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Valve Making Big Push Towards Linux Support

Left 4 Dead 2 has already been ported, as Linux efforts get off the ground.

Valve is continuing to extend Steam’s reach. Following the expansion onto the Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android, the company has announced plans to support Linux.

“For some time, Gabe [Newell] has been interested in the possibility of moving Steam and the Source game engine to Linux,” said the Linux team within Valve, as part of a blog post revealing the news.

Valve is building upon the popular Ubuntu (specifically, version 12.04), and has already ported Left 4 Dead 2. Going forward, the plan is to optimize that version of Left 4 Dead 2 and have it running as fast as the Windows version, release a fully functional Steam client for Linux, and port more Valve games over to Linux.

“Our mission is to strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers,” said the team. “ [...] We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers.”

It sounds like early days for Steam, Valve and Linux, but it’s hard to argue this isn’t a great development for fans of open source. Valve said it will continue to update users on its newly established Linux blog.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

Valve is continuing to extend Steam’s reach. Following the expansion onto the Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android, the company has announced plans to support Linux.

“For some time, Gabe [Newell] has been interested in the possibility of moving Steam and the Source game engine to Linux,” said the Linux team within Valve, as part of a blog post revealing the news.

Valve is building upon the popular Ubuntu (specifically, version 12.04), and has already ported Left 4 Dead 2. Going forward, the plan is to optimize that version of Left 4 Dead 2 and have it running as fast as the Windows version, release a fully functional Steam client for Linux, and port more Valve games over to Linux.

“Our mission is to strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers,” said the team. “ [...] We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers.”

It sounds like early days for Steam, Valve and Linux, but it’s hard to argue this isn’t a great development for fans of open source. Valve said it will continue to update users on its newly established Linux blog.

Staff
Posted by two_socks

Could be awesome. Steam support in a big way on Linux would be great.

Posted by shiftplusone

This is good news

Posted by predator
Posted by shadowdrone

I've been waiting for this.Onward to Linux, aboard the Steam engine!

Posted by Mystyr_E

Knew this was a Patrick article thanks to X-Files logo. Any sarcasm is obviously an Alex one

Edited by Pachydermic

@predator: Thanks for posting that. RMS is a big name and should definitely be heard... but I think I have to disagree with him here.

How can steam help Linux? Hopefully by gathering some attention from developers and the industry in general... then we'll see more games released for Linux and a more stable platform to do that on. My big hope is that Linux gets better driver support for video cards in the long-run. It's true that the software is very, very far from free. But I think it's kinda crazy to hope that everything which comes out on Linux will be totally free and open source - software is hard to make, and people need good incentives to make good software!

Anyways, this is pretty exciting. I bet they saw how much money people were willing to spend for games on Linux during all the Humble Indie Bundles. This will probably make Valve a good bit of coin.

Posted by darkelink

Just saying, this has been in the OSX launcher since steam launched on that platform:

#determine platform UNAME=`uname` if [ "$UNAME" == "Linux" ]; then PLATFORM=linux32 # prepend our lib path to LD_LIBRARY_PATH export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="${STEAMROOT}"/${PLATFORM}:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH PATHLINK=~/.steampath rm -f ${PATHLINK} && ln -s ${STEAMROOT}/${PLATFORM}/${STEAMEXE} ${PATHLINK} PIDFILE=~/.steampid echo $$ > ~/.steampid else # if [ "$UNAME" == "Darwin" ]; then PLATFORM=osx32 # prepend our lib path to LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Edited by DeF

@Mystyr_E said:

Knew this was a Patrick article thanks to X-Files logo.

I now fully believe Patrick is actually an alien and just teasing us with all those X-Files references.

edit: or his hair is actually the alien and the body is just for cover!

Posted by Phished0ne

Everytime there is a new Humble Indie Bundle, i am still surprised to see that people A) still use Linux, B) play games on Linux. People are crazy.

Posted by Maginnovision

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

Nonfree is a really weird term. Also the guy who wrote that seems a little paranoid. Steam coming to linux won't damage it, but actively telling people not to support this could. This makes me feel like the linux folks are getting to be like the apple folks.

Posted by nickux

Before I even clicked on the article I knew who wrote it based on the main image. Throw up them X's!!!

Posted by Phished0ne

@Maginnovision said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

Nonfree is a really weird term. Also the guy who wrote that seems a little paranoid. Steam coming to linux won't damage it, but actively telling people not to support this could. This makes me feel like the linux folks are getting to be like the apple folks.

What do you mean "getting to be like the apple folks"? Linux users have long been the most "holier than thou" of any OS-related faction i have had experience with.

I stopped reading that blurb at "Nonfree games (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users. If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having these games on your computer. That much is clear." I'm all for open source, but talk about some pretentious neo-hippy bullshit(and that's coming from someone who goes to obscure music festivals).

Posted by Xeirus
Posted by Maginnovision

@Phished0ne said:

@Maginnovision said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

Nonfree is a really weird term. Also the guy who wrote that seems a little paranoid. Steam coming to linux won't damage it, but actively telling people not to support this could. This makes me feel like the linux folks are getting to be like the apple folks.

What do you mean "getting to be like the apple folks"? Linux users have long been the most "holier than thou" of any OS-related faction i have had experience with.

I stopped reading that blurb at "Nonfree games (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users. If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having these games on your computer. That much is clear." I'm all for open source, but talk about some pretentious neo-hippy bullshit(and that's coming from someone who goes to obscure music festivals).

Because my family and I have always used linux and were part of certain communities and were NEVER exposed to this sort of thing. I stopped using linux when I decided to make windows phone/xbox stuff as much as PC stuff, so I haven't been around that scene for a while, but it's still really odd for me to read something like that. The windows 7 sins thing was kind of dumb too. First time seeing this stuff, so it's a little weird and shocking.

Posted by Pr1mus

@Phished0ne said:

@Maginnovision said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

Nonfree is a really weird term. Also the guy who wrote that seems a little paranoid. Steam coming to linux won't damage it, but actively telling people not to support this could. This makes me feel like the linux folks are getting to be like the apple folks.

What do you mean "getting to be like the apple folks"? Linux users have long been the most "holier than thou" of any OS-related faction i have had experience with.

I stopped reading that blurb at "Nonfree games (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users. If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having these games on your computer. That much is clear." I'm all for open source, but talk about some pretentious neo-hippy bullshit(and that's coming from someone who goes to obscure music festivals).

I hope that linux people who thinks like that also grow their own food and have houses they built themselves with wood they cut from some forest that doesn't already belong to someone! Also it'd be nice for them to share their secret for free electricity and internet with us windows peasant!

Posted by leem101

For valve being a small company with zero direct focus for their employees whatsoever, its weird how they manage to do so much (release 1-2 top quality games a year, build game engines, run steam which is a massive service, port their games about to different platforms, etc)

Yet their directions to the employees are generally along the lines off "doing something creative, doesn't really matter what"

Great company

Posted by Hawker
Posted by Phished0ne

@Pr1mus said:

@Phished0ne said:

@Maginnovision said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

Nonfree is a really weird term. Also the guy who wrote that seems a little paranoid. Steam coming to linux won't damage it, but actively telling people not to support this could. This makes me feel like the linux folks are getting to be like the apple folks.

What do you mean "getting to be like the apple folks"? Linux users have long been the most "holier than thou" of any OS-related faction i have had experience with.

I stopped reading that blurb at "Nonfree games (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users. If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having these games on your computer. That much is clear." I'm all for open source, but talk about some pretentious neo-hippy bullshit(and that's coming from someone who goes to obscure music festivals).

I hope that linux people who thinks like that also grow their own food and have houses they built themselves with wood they cut from some forest that doesn't already belong to someone! Also it'd be nice for them to share their secret for free electricity and internet with us windows peasant!

Hey Man....everything should be like.....free man...you know?

Posted by ascagnel
@predator Knowing RMS's usual borderline-insanity when it comes to unrestricted/free-as-in-speech software, I'd like to see a top-shelf indie or AAA game ship with a GPL engine and code on the disc (for the PC version).

The ultimate problem is that doing that leaves the compan(ies) involved open to huge liability in terms of patent violations, since software patenting is such a mess and it would so easy to prove a violation.
Posted by leem101

@Hawker: it's to keep him from hearing the voices

Posted by Duxa

This will be sweet!

Posted by kidman
Posted by Chemin

This is amazing news. Sure, I'm not a big Linux user, but opening more doors for gaming on that platform is superb, and I'm all for it.

Posted by bowlingotter

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

If by "explains it well" you mean "makes Linux users look like whiny, holier-than-thou elitists" then you're bang on.

I'm a Linux gamer and Steam coming to Linux is one of the best pieces of news ever to hit the scene.

Posted by Skanker
Posted by Phatmac

X

Posted by DarkS2K

I <3 Valve.

Posted by iAmJohn

@Skanker said:

@kidman said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

"Nonfree games (like other nonfree programs) are unethical" is the part where I stopped reading.

Free as in freedom, not free as in beer.

No matter how you try and describe it, it's still the paranoid rantings of a dunce.

Posted by BaconGames

My first thought: who the fuck still uses Linux? Second thought after reading that article linked here: oh.

Posted by ccmdo

Perhaps Valve are gearing up to take the larger operating systems down a notch. Once Valve on linux boxes equalises in quality with Windows and Mac, boom. Half Life 3 released 1st on Linux. Yeah, called it.

Posted by yoshimitz707

@ccmdo: Except Steam on Mac is still awful and it makes no business sense to not release half life 3 on everything.

Posted by Castiel

Fuck for a very short moment I thougt this was about a new X-files game.

Edited by Insectecutor

Looks to me like this severs Valve's dependence on Microsoft and opens the door to Steam everywhere and, along with the 10' interface, is grist to the Steam console rumour-mill.

Posted by RinSatori

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

That article is bs.. I love linux but the mentality that every thing needs to be free/open and if its not free its bad influence or needs to be purged cause using nonfree stuff is being a heritic is just plain retarted.

Posted by ccmdo

@yoshimitz707: I've actually never seen steam on a Mac, in a weird sense, I'm kind of pleased to know it's not up to scratch. Also, it was a joke. However, if any company would pull something that crazy, I'd like to imagine it would be Valve.

Posted by Puddlesworth

I have a lot of respect for the great work Stallman has done building software for linux, but he absolutely does not speak for the majority of linux users. His assertion that all proprietary software is unethical is not held by the vast majority of linux users. (On his site he lists the very small handful of linux distro's which he considers fully free and they are the kind that even linux users would describe as "niche")

Posted by MikkaQ

@Maginnovision said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

Nonfree is a really weird term. Also the guy who wrote that seems a little paranoid. Steam coming to linux won't damage it, but actively telling people not to support this could. This makes me feel like the linux folks are getting to be like the apple folks.

I would argue that Linux evangelists and Apple evangelists are totally different breeds. The Linux fans are like the Tea Party. They like to make everything they do into some kind of political statement, especially uninstalling Windows and permanently moving over to Linux. They bark on about freedom and open source nonsense without usually understanding enough about the topic at hand to make sense (like that article above).

Apple evangelists act like they're in some weird cult where everything Apple does adds to their contentment, every product release an excuse to worship at the Apple store altar. Apple can do no wrong, because to them it's all part of some greater, immaterial plan. They insists that everything is just better on the Apple side, and of course that "it just works".

Posted by iAmJohn

@yoshimitz707 said:

@ccmdo: Except Steam on Mac is still awful and it makes no business sense to not release half life 3 on everything.

I wouldn't call it awful, but Steam on Mac is definitely the equivalent of Windows iTunes to be sure.

Posted by peterh

@Puddlesworth said:

I have a lot of respect for the great work Stallman has done building software for linux, but he absolutely does not speak for the majority of linux users. His assertion that all proprietary software is unethical is not held by the vast majority of linux users. (On his site he lists the very small handful of linux distro's which he considers fully free and they are the kind that even linux users would describe as "niche")

I think this video aptly sums up how a lot of "normal" Linux users feel about RMS. "Free software is great" YEAH! "Making your software free is great" YEAH! "Every piece of software that is ever written should be completely free (as in speech) and anybody who says otherwise is evil" YE... wait, what?

Posted by Sweep

Fuck. Now I'm never going to get any work done.

Moderator
Posted by Ravenlight
Posted by Puddlesworth

@peterh said:

@Puddlesworth said:

I have a lot of respect for the great work Stallman has done building software for linux, but he absolutely does not speak for the majority of linux users. His assertion that all proprietary software is unethical is not held by the vast majority of linux users. (On his site he lists the very small handful of linux distro's which he considers fully free and they are the kind that even linux users would describe as "niche")

I think this video aptly sums up how a lot of "normal" Linux users feel about RMS. "Free software is great" YEAH! "Making your software free is great" YEAH! "Every piece of software that is ever written should be completely free (as in speech) and anybody who says otherwise is evil" YE... wait, what?

Hahaha, this is spot on. That's exactly how I and most of my friends who use linux think of him. I'm tired of people pretending that we are like RMS (or worse the tea party). That's, frankly, bullshit.

Posted by predator

I thought RMS was surprisingly lenient on this subject. I would have said we don't want Steam on GNU/Linux at all, but he makes a good point.

Posted by Rawson

Valve thinks Windows 8 is going to be such a huge disaster, they're going to have to go to Linux to continue selling games.

Posted by Feigr

As people have already pointed out, the ramblings of RMS should not be taken as representative of Linux users in general.

I feel like RMS has a constant need to one up himself in order to stay in the spotlight, saying crazier things all the time. If you've watched the interview he did on the Linux Action Show you know what I mean. He basically said that a software developers children starving to death because he didn't make any money writing free open software is better than him making money and feeding his kids off of creating proprietary software. So yeah, he's nuts, and values life sort of the same way a terrorist does, in that the agenda is more important than human lives (NOT saying RMS is a terrorist!).

I'm a recent Linux fan, having in the last couple of months started fiddling around with Linux (I started with Arch as my first distro because I thought I could just as well learn as much as possible from the start) and I love using and tweaking it. We're still a long way off from having all PC gaming needs satisfied without running Windows but every step on the way is a reason to celebrate.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

Can't you just use a PC though? Seriously guys, buy a second hard drive. They aren't that expensive. Sure, they used to be cheaper, but come on, get a 200 GB HDD, install windows on it, play some games. Hell, you don't even have to pay for Windows if you don't mind being without support, certain updates, and a wallpaper.

@Skanker said:

@kidman said:

@predator said:

As I said in the earlier forum thread, RMS explains the good and bad effects of Steam on GNU/Linux well.

"Nonfree games (like other nonfree programs) are unethical" is the part where I stopped reading.

Free as in freedom, not free as in beer.

Wait... what? Free as in beer?

Regardless, the Steam DRM is a GOOD thing. DRM that is completely un-invasive is a good thing, and helps the business. ya can't really do DRM free games.

Posted by Xymox

Well to be fair, windows 8 looks like a huge disaster... Not saying it will be, but from what I've seen so far, not a huge fan. But then again, the only thing that makes me use windows is games.

And steam is also opening up to the free to play market, so this could be some good stuff going forward.

Posted by predator

@MordeaniisChaos said:

Wait... what? Free as in beer?

Free of charge or gratis.

Posted by peterh

@MordeaniisChaos said:

Free as in freedom, not free as in beer.

Wait... what? Free as in beer?

It's a quirk of the English language; "free" has multiple meanings. I've seen it explained as "gratis" (Free as in "here, have one for free") vs "libre" (Free as in "you have been freed from slavery"). Also commonly called "Free as in beer" vs "Free as in speech"

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