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Steam Client for Mac Launches, Linux Client On the Way 572

Posted by Soulskill
from the three-cheers dept.
CyDharttha writes with news that the Mac version of Steam went live today, along with Mac versions of Portal, Team Fortress 2, and many other games. Valve plans to make more games available every Wednesday. Several publications are also reporting that a Linux version of Steam has been confirmed, and is expected within the next few months. Quoting Phoronix: "Found already within the Steam store are Linux-native games like Unreal Tournament 2004, World of Goo, and titles from id Software such as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Doom 3. Now that the Source Engine is officially supported on Linux, some Source-based games will be coming over too. Will we finally see Unreal Tournament 3 surface on Linux too? Only time will tell, but it is something we speculated back in 2008. Postal III is also being released this year atop the Source Engine and it will be offering up a native client. We have confirmed that Valve's latest and popular titles like Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, and Team Fortress 2 are among the first of the Steam Linux titles, similar to the Mac OS X support. The released Linux client should be available by the end of summer."
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Steam Client for Mac Launches, Linux Client On the Way

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  • I am happy. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CasualFriday (1804992) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:17PM (#32185408) Homepage
    AWESOME. If CS:S and HL2 run well in Ubuntu, I now have no reason to keep my Windows partition.
    • Re:I am happy. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @06:14PM (#32187312)

      AWESOME. If CS:S and HL2 run well in Ubuntu, I now have no reason to keep my Windows partition.

      What I'd be interested in is to see how well Linux ports do on Steam if/when it comes to Linux.

      I have a suspicion that Valve and other games that launch today for the Mac will see a notable spike in sales. Mac users are known for being willing to pay for software. Linux users, not so much. Games, however, are one of the areas where the anti-proprietary sentiment is at its weakest, so it'll really be interesting to see how well Steam would do on Linux. A successful Steam launch has a lot of potential upside for Linux in general. Either way, it will tell a lot about the Linux market as a whole. I hope it does well, but I'm not terribly optimistic. I know there's a good deal of desire for games among Linux users, but X11 OpenGL drivers, audio libraries, different package managers and repositories, etc., do pose technical challenges that are mostly absent on Windows and Mac. Fortunately, by going native with OpenGL, the Mac launch has covered the most significant hurdle, which is breaking reliance on DirectX. WINE/Cedega/Cider are far from being a sufficient solution to this (as the no doubt countless "I can finally ditch my Windows partition" posts to come from Linux users will attest to).

      On the Mac side, I can't see how this will be anything but a success. There have always been more Mac games than people commonly make it out to be, but having a single "iTunes for games" type of thing is huge. This should make native ports much more numerous, as this will do a lot to allay fears that a developer might have about putting effort into porting a game yet failing to recoup the costs.

  • But for now, do the Windows version of Source games support OpenGL? I would think that'd make them run better in WINE.
    • Re:But, for now.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:21PM (#32185482)

      No but they obviously wrote an opengl backed for Mac OSX.

      Since that's done, it's trivial to port the renderer to Linux (which also uses OpenGL for native 3d hardware access). The renderer is probably the most complex part of the engine, so that means adding Linux support is much cheaper than it would have otherwise been.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BitZtream (692029)

        Apparently the really complex part is dealing with case sensitive file systems since they couldn't actually pull that off.

        I know, I would have expected the hard part to be graphics, sound and input, but no, it looks like the hard part is not using hard coded file names in different places within your source that have different capitalizations on them.

        I guess no one told them about #define

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:19PM (#32185438) Homepage
    the download page. [steampowered.com]
    • by joe_bruin (266648) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:21PM (#32185476) Homepage Journal

      Even better, free Portal for PC and Mac here: http://store.steampowered.com/freeportal/ [steampowered.com]

      • by pyster (670298) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:50PM (#32186588)
        You will be able to spot the mac users a month from know as they all scream the cake is a lie randomly.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Richy_T (111409)

          They'll already be used to assuming the party escort submission position though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DavidTC (10147)

        Yup.

        It claims 'If you download the Mac version, you get the PC version free'.

        But it is lying. Even if you have just a PC, you can go in and get a free license. (Which makes sense, as all licenses are apparently for both.) Go to the Steam store start page, follow the link (Which is the link above) on the side, one more click, and, tada, free Portal.

        It took me two tries, though, the first time the page timed out. This deal is good to the 24th, though, so if you can't get in today don't fret.

        I'm not even g

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:03PM (#32186026)

      WHY THE HELL DO EDITORS APPROVE POSTS LIKE THIS WITHOUT A GOD DAMN URL TO THE IMPORTANT BITS.

      For fucks sake, it takes your users to actually post the important parts of the story slashdot, come on.

      User driven content is one thing, slashvertising for some other site that doesn't even have the information your users care about is just retarded.

      Thank you FooAtWFU for providing the one bit of information I actually cared about (And joe_bruin below for the free portal linkage)

  • What to do (Score:4, Interesting)

    by quadrox (1174915) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:19PM (#32185450)

    I am torn apart - show my support for linux games and make linux game purchases with steam once that is possible, or keep boycotting it because of the evil DRM that it brings...

    I just don't know anymore...

    (FYI: sadly, I already have plenty of steam games on my account, from a time before I realized the true extent of the DRM danger)

    • Re:What to do (Score:5, Informative)

      by Diantre (1791892) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:26PM (#32185548)
      Awww come on now. Steam is, IHMO, the only gaming platform that does DRM well. You simply have to register your game to your account and you can play anywhere afterwards (even in offline mode). The only time you have to connect to the internet is when registering your games (that you likely bought over the net anyway). Non-intrusive and practical; I can download my games on as many computers as I want and play them whenever I want.
      • Re:What to do (Score:5, Informative)

        by Amouth (879122) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:42PM (#32185748)

        Steam really has matured to a very nice product.

        I personally like using it as i don't have to keep track of all my install CD's .. and i can have them installed on my laptop and desktop.. remove as i need space/

        even for the net only and DRM part - Steam has put out notices in the past that in the event that the steam network was to go away they would push an update removing the need to auth on the client so that it wouldn't stop working..

        now many people can argue that they say that but woln't do it BUT out of the different publishers and networks Steam seems to be the only one actually doing GOOD work - and i have YET to see them re-nig on something, and there for will give them the benefit of the doubt and my money - until they give me a reason not to.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *

          now many people can argue that they say that but woln't do it BUT out of the different publishers and networks Steam seems to be the only one actually doing GOOD work - and i have YET to see them re-nig on something, and there for will give them the benefit of the doubt and my money - until they give me a reason not to.

          The trouble is, if that situation were ever to occur it means that Valve was going out of business... and who knows if the ethical people would still be there at that point?

          I see no reason wh

        • Re:What to do (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Smelly Jeffrey (583520) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:05PM (#32186726) Homepage

          and i have YET to see them re-nig on something

          The word you are looking for is renege.

        • Re:What to do (Score:4, Insightful)

          by asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @06:02PM (#32187228)

          Steam has put out notices in the past that in the event that the steam network was to go away they would push an update removing the need to auth on the client so that it wouldn't stop working..

          Notices where, exactly? In the terms of service? In the license agreements? Is the source code in escrow?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by danieltdp (1287734)
        Note that you can't lend, sell or give the game away to other people. It is stuck to you forever
      • Re:What to do (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sancho (17056) * on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:12PM (#32186124) Homepage

        They can still take away access to your legally purchased games. This is actually one of the most unreasonable DRM schemes in existence.

        Spoken by someone who is waiting to hear if they disabled his account, if his account got hacked, or what, since he's unable to log in with the new client.

    • Re:What to do (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:34PM (#32185654)

      Show your support for a model which not only works, but is actually being done correctly. Companies like Ubisoft and EA are great examples for how to completely ruin a distribution platform like this. Valve is, and has been for many years, an excellent example of how to do it right. This type of protection is no more "evil" than requiring the CD to be in the drive (that being said, I still refuse to purchase GTA4 even over Steam because of the additional DRM added by Rockstar). Show companies like Ubisoft and EA that you reject not the concept of online distribution, but their specific implementation of it, by supporting a company like Valve which is committed to a good experience for its customers. Just as companies who make terrible decisions against their customers deserve to be boycotted, companies who prioritize a good customer experience also deserve to be rewarded.

      In other words, help Valve prove that Linux is a viable market for games, and that even free software folks are willing to pay for high-quality games. It will give companies like Ubisoft a lot to think about.

      • Re:What to do (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:17PM (#32186184) Journal

        Don't get me wrong, I like Valve, and I support Valve, I buy most of my games through Valve, but it erks me when people proclaim Valve's DRM Scheme as "How to do it right".

        The only reason its the right way of distributing is because they haven't abused it for DRM purposes. One person can share a steam account as much as one can copy a CD. Multiple people can even play online should it be a non-valve game. They've tied their own titles into Steam so well that their DRM is tight for Multiplayer Valve Titles. Not that thats a bad thing, gotta protect their games and all.

        I've committed to them because, as you say, they deliver a good customer experience.

        But it is still completely within their power to take away every game you've purchased through Steam. When you use Steam, you agree to the EULA, which basically states that you are not buying the game, you are purchasing a license through Valve. Valve may at any time at their discretion close your steam account, or stop their servers, with no obligation to deliver you a working copy of the game. This has happened to severe hackers on their more popular titles, such as Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is, though I like and support Valve's online distribution method, and Valve as a whole, their implementation does leave one paranoid, since you can lose hundreds of dollars worth of games at the sole discretion of someone else.

        Should something happen to cause new management at Valve, their system is set up perfectly to screw you over worse than game you could buy in store. Just saying.

        • Re:What to do (Score:5, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:30PM (#32186350)

          One person can share a steam account as much as one can copy a CD. Multiple people can even play online should it be a non-valve game.

          I'm not worried about copying a CD, but i do like being able to move them from PC to PC. After I finished portal, I'd like to *give* it to my brother. But unlike a normal game, that's not possible. Either I give him my whole steam account (which is against the ToS), share it with him (which is against the ToS), or create a separate steam account for each steam game i buy (which makes steam a hassle, is frowned upon by valve, and may even be against the ToS, and then give him that... which is against the ToS)...

          Steam kills the right of transfer and resale. They do it by claiming you are entering into a perpetual rental agreement instead of a sale in the fine print. (Despite advertising that you can "buy" games.)

          I'd rather just get a CD.

          I don't want to live in a world where the rights of property ownership have been subverted by making all purchases perpetual rental agreements with onerous terms and conditions. How long before you go into a store and buy a pair of ice skates with fineprint that you are entering into a rental agreement, and that you aren't allowed to lend anyone the skates, or give them away, or cover the sponsored logos, and that they've been implanted with sensors and rfid tracking technology to enable them to enforce these rules... and you aren't allowed to tamper with it... not because of a DMCA... but simply because its just a rental after all. You don't even really own them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833)

          The only reason its the right way of distributing is because they haven't abused it for DRM purposes.

          That's correct, the single largest reason why Valve is "doing it right" is because they don't abuse it. They could, but they don't. Like you point out, that can change overnight, and if it did I think they would see their customer base shrink faster than a nutsack in ice water.

          This has happened to severe hackers on their more popular titles, such as Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2.

          Well.. I have no sympathy for people whose idea of fun is to intentionally and specifically harm the experience for 31 other players. I've been in several CS games where you've got a guy with a speed hack plus an aim bot, and it's

        • Re:What to do (Score:4, Insightful)

          by X0563511 (793323) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:01PM (#32186692) Homepage Journal

          Valve may at any time at their discretion close your steam account, or stop their servers, with no obligation to deliver you a working copy of the game. This has happened to severe hackers on their more popular titles, such as Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2.

          I do have to say though, I don't lose any sleep over this. You 'signed' the ELUA, and you went and acted like a jackass ("hacking" in a multiplayer game is nothing but being a jackass) and the consequences for such an act was meted out. It's not like they were innocent.

        • Re:What to do (Score:4, Insightful)

          by devent (1627873) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:40PM (#32187026) Homepage
          But it is still completely within their power to take away every game you've purchased through Steam. When you use Steam, you agree to the EULA, which basically states that you are not buying the game, you are purchasing a license through Valve.

          How is that different for any other EULA for any other proprietary software you bought? Check your EULA for WindowsXP/Vista/7 there is the same crap that you only got a license to use and that Microsoft reserve the rights to cancel the license at any time for what ever reason.
    • by DCstewieG (824956)

      Steam is pretty much DRM done right as far as I'm concerned. Obviously it would be preferable not to have it, but if you must, Steam ain't bad. I am still amazed they're going with a buy once, play any platform model for their games. I was fully intending to buy Half-Life 2 all over again to play on Mac but I won't have to. Valve rocks.

    • Here's my take: (Score:4, Informative)

      by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:17PM (#32186190) Homepage Journal

      1. Valve's DRM isn't horribly invasive or system-destroying.

      2. They do the right thing by having cheap prices on downloadable games--including $2.99 special offers.

      3. They are now doing the right thing by supporting Mac and Linux, and by allowing your existing licenses to work with any platform. This is really key, because it means that people who have a PC just for gaming and a Mac or Linux box for everything else will be encouraged to switch to Mac or Linux entirely and drop Windows. If you had to re-buy all your games, that wouldn't happen.

      4. If we all support Valve, it'll show that gaming on Mac and Linux can be viable, and maybe help break the stranglehold Microsoft has on PC gaming.

      So I already spent $10 with them, and plan to support them more. Once Mac and Linux gaming takes off again, then we can start supporting people who offer DRM-free games.

    • Re:What to do (Score:4, Interesting)

      by melikamp (631205) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:50PM (#32187110) Homepage Journal

      The DRM is not even the only issue. If you run anything that is binary and closed-sourced on your GNU/Linux machine, with your user privileges, you are basically asking for a punch in the gut. Keep doing it, folks; with so many willing targets, all of us who actually give two shits about security will be that much safer.

      I came to realize that I do not particularly want proprietary games to leave Windows. This way, I have my Windows machine, which is basically a dedicated game device and a public-terminal-level-security Internet appliance. With native GNU/Linux ports, I would still have to have two separate machines, and still treat one of them as a rogue, although I would be able to save a few bucks on OS.

  • by chocobanana (974767) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:20PM (#32185466)
    Great news! I'm really looking forward to see what Steam, as a mainstream game distribution platform, will do for Linux and Mac.
  • by Kirin Fenrir (1001780) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:21PM (#32185470)
    ...oh. So it does. :)
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Yes it does.

      One of the two things keeping me using my windows partition is games.

      With good titles like these coming to linux, the only remaining factor is my desire to keep my .NET skills sharp in case I need to find a new job quickly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:22PM (#32185494)

    Why by World of Goo through steam, when you could buy it NOT through steam? Seriously, they sell a DRM-free version, doesn't require any intrusive software on your machine, your computer stays YOUR computer, no worries about what the thing might be doing behind your back, etc.

    I can understand the argument of, "Well, game XYZ is only available through stream", even though I wouldn't do it myself. Buy when there's a totally un-DRMed alternative available, why would anyone chose Steam over that?

    • by Tei (520358) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:37PM (#32185684) Journal

      I give you some reasons:
        - You already trust the Steam shop. This is important for people nervaous about his credit card details
        - You have a centralized location to re-download. If you move to another computer (or OS), you just click to download again
        - If you have savegames on your Mac, Netbook, PC, ..these savegames follow you around. You can start playing on the netbook, continue on the Mac and finish on the PC.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rockoon (1252108)
      Steam Achievements?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      I purchased the iD pack on steam and currently play the games I got from it on Linux. Just because you buy it from steam doesn't mean the DRM aspects are going to be used.

  • Ut2004 runs find with some 32bit helper libraries on a 64 bit machine. Enemy Territory and Quake Wars both do not (for me).

  • What? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Diantre (1791892) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:27PM (#32185574)
    I can't wait to see the mac users' faces when they are told to enter something in the console :)
    • I can't wait to see the mac users' faces when they are told to enter something in the console :)

      Steam requires users to enter something into the console?

      Do you think this is the Linux versions or something?

      ./steam -game tf -command update -dir .

      *waits for Team Fortress 2 to install/update*

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:29PM (#32185592)

    in 3... 2... 1

  • We can look forward to a lot hardcore postal fans will be switching to linux?
    • yes i am an idiot, and yes I need to start previewing my comments, to correct for out of control grammatical errors.
  • Painful (Score:5, Informative)

    by drdaz (994457) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:35PM (#32185656)

    I'd been looking forward to this for a while now. Having installed I find out that Steam doesn't support case-sensitive file systems.

    Color me disappointed.

    Their 'solution' is here:

    https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=8601-RYPX-5789 [steampowered.com]

    *Sighs*

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      I'd been looking forward to this for a while now. Having installed I find out that Steam doesn't support case-sensitive file systems.

      Oh, that's hilarious.

      WTF is the point of porting something to Linux if you expect a case-insensitive filesystem??? Heck, I'm not sure I've ever *seen* a case-insensitive filesystem on any UNIX-like OS.

      Too funny.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by binarylarry (1338699)

        um... Mac OSX.... and it's actually a certified Unix whereas Linux is just a unixalike (Ubuntu user here).

      • Re:Painful (Score:5, Informative)

        by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:03PM (#32186022)

        OS X (which is a certified Unix, for whatever that matters) creates case-insensitive filesystems by default. You have to go out of your way to make a case-sensitive one.

        This is because Apple, like all right-thinking people, realizes how stupid and hard-to-use a case-sensitive filesystem is. (Debate below. :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lederhosen (612610)

          There is no debate. Everyone that has some programming experience with unicode and multi language support knows that the *only* sane way is to have case sensitive file systems. Maybe the right thinking people (at apple and other places) should realize that the current locale should not influence if two file names are to be treated as equal (the reason is that not all languages agree on which characters are uppercase/lowercase versions of each other).

          • Re:Painful (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:53PM (#32187140)

            Case-sensitive filesystems may be sane for PROGRAMMERS, but they're not sane for USERS.

            As a user, I couldn't care less about how hard it is for you to deal with it. I'm not a machine, I don't want to start thinking like one just because the programmer working a layer or two beneath me can't figure out a way to make it work for people that think like humans.

            MS and Apple have no problem doing it, and their systems are just as multi-language as any Linux release.

      • Re:Painful (Score:5, Informative)

        by flink (18449) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:06PM (#32186054)

        Heck, I'm not sure I've ever *seen* a case-insensitive filesystem on any UNIX-like OS.

        OS X's HFS+ filesystem is case insensitive. It's case preserving, like NTFS.

        $ echo bar > FOO.txt
        $ cat foo.txt
        bar
        $ ls *.txt
        FOO.txt

  • My Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:35PM (#32185658) Homepage Journal

    Is will you get access to the Linux binaries if you already have the Win32 version?

    Even a discount would be nice I guess.

  • Looks like Valve is trying to get bought out by Microsoft.
  • Cries phoronix again. It's hardly the first time they've claimed steam is coming to Linux based on some reused cross-platform tools or scripts. There's no official confirmation, there's no certainty that there is a complete Linux version and even if there were it's no certainty that they see a business case for it. For example Telltale recently made Mac versions of their games but there's no Linux version in sight...

  • by RobertLTux (260313) <robert@noSpam.laurencemartin.org> on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:48PM (#32185802)

    if you have several games on the windows platform will they flip you a pass to the linux versions??

    (game publishers dream: having somebody "need" to buy 3 copies of a game (Win/Lin/Mac))

  • by slimjim8094 (941042) <[slashdot3] [at] [justconnected.net]> on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @03:53PM (#32185870)

    The summary is wrong. Team Fortress 2 will NOT be available today. It'll most likely be out next Wednesday.

    In fact, it doesn't even show up in the list of owned games.

  • by BrianRoach (614397) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:30PM (#32186346)

    The Telegraph in the UK reports that there is a Linux version confirmed ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/7715209/Steam-for-Mac-goes-live.html [telegraph.co.uk] ) .... They cite no source for that information, and Valve hasn't said anything about it. Every other blog / "News" site is parroting their report.

  • by AlgorithMan (937244) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:29PM (#32186950) Homepage
    I think we all should buy a hell of a lot of games... just to show that linux is a damn good marketplace for games... this would hopefully lead to more developers releasing for linux which would take away the last argument for windows...

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