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Phoronix Confirms GNU/Linux Steam and Source Engine Clients 324

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.
nukem996 writes "After initially reporting in 2010 that Valve was working on a native GNU/Linux client, one has finally been confirmed. Michael Larabel recently visited Valve's Bellvue, WA based office and has been able to see it himself. Included in the article are screenshots of the client running and speculation of a release." Valve has yet to officially comment, but you'd hope they wouldn't invite someone up to their offices and send them home to spew lies.
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Phoronix Confirms GNU/Linux Steam and Source Engine Clients

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  • Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:28AM (#39793713)

    I know this isn't going to be a popular sentiment on /., but a Steam Linux client is going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes. The applause won't even have died down before they're bitching that there aren't enough games, it's not open source, it doesn't look right in their obscure distro of choice, etc.

    The Linux community *should* embrace and celebrate this, but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free. Introducing a closed source client that charges for games into that group isn't going to please them. Nothing is going to please them.

    Okay, now everyone mod me troll for pointing out something you know is true.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by schitso (2541028) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:32AM (#39793749)
      While it's true that some people are like that, it's unfortunate that your experience with the Linux community left you with the impression that most are like that.
      That hasn't been my impression, at least. Maybe I'm too much of an idealist.
    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:35AM (#39793771) Homepage

      I don't think so.

      With Steam on the platform (closed or not), it provides an easy and viable source of customers for companies that produce games. Now there's no excuse not to make Windows, Mac & Linux versions when you already push out Windows & Mac versions.

      Sure there'll be a lot of die-hards but they can waddle off into their gameless PC's if they want. But the gamers who currently have Windows and Linux PC's - this gives them incentive to game on Linux, which gives others incentive to make games for Linux.

      A lot of the big indie titles already work on Linux, it's just a matter of there not being enough and Steam revolutionised Windows gaming when it arrived, why not Linux gaming now? There are any number of app-stores out there for Linux but a gaming-centric, game-developer-supported one is a big plus.

      Linux-native versions of quite a lot of games, and support for cross-platform programming being rife even if under-used, this could really boost the casual/indie game market and also mean that maybe some of the big developers that we've been telling people for YEARS should just be pushing out a Linux binary too might actually follow suit. There's no reason that gaming on Linux can't be as popular and successful as gaming on Windows.

      And having a few hundred indie games shoved onto the platform with a "one-click download" install that users are familiar with and might even get "free" games for (if they own the Mac/Windows version, for example) can't be a bad thing, even if it never really takes off.

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        Agreed. I was considering switching my netbook back to Windows so I could play some monkey-island style games on there, but now it looks like I might not have to. Right now I have steam running under Wine, which is a bit of a crutch, but it at least gives me chat functionality.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Enderandrew (866215)

          For what it is worth, ScummVM works just fine on Linux. And many classic DOS point-and-click games also work great in DOSBox on Linux.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Cutting edge stuff. Look out, XBox, GNULIX has your number.

            • by jedidiah (1196)

              I've seen kids go gaga over old MAME games while showing a total lack of interest in the xbox or PS3.

              Sometimes even youngsters can recognize a classic.

            • by zero0ne (1309517)

              This right here.

              This is how Valve will play this out.

              1) Release Linux version of STEAM + Source games working from day 1
              2) Release new Console version based on Linux (no MS licensing overlord). Console comes with all source games
              3) Release STEAM client for mobile ...
              Profit?

              If they now have a linux client, doesn't that mean that if I make a game using their source engine, it will work on Windows, Mac & Linux right off the bat? If so they would basically be able to say "Use STEAM & Source engine to

      • Perhaps I'm being naive, but Steam only solves one part of the "problem" of games on Linux. Many other difficult technical problems remain, such as the fragmentation of distros, poor 3D video drivers/performance, fragmented APIs such as audio.
        And then there all the "marketing" problems, such as that many Linux users are not interested in paying for games, or want open source, or also run Windows for games.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:35AM (#39793775)

      In any other arena I would agree with you, but in the arena of games I think they have a shot. In my experience, gamers (even Linux gamers) tend to be forgiving of closed-source software. To some extent, they're even forgiving of light-handed DRM (and as DRM goes, Valve's is about as light-handed as it gets). If even half a dozen A+ titles make it to Linux, I suspect a lot of people will purchase them just so that they can dump their dual-boot. I would.

      Yes, there will still be the cries of the "DRM is evil, keep it out of our holy land" zealots, but I think those voices will pale compared to the game nerds (like me) who want to play nice looking video games without compatibility libs or dual-booting. For my own selfish reasons, I hope I'm right.

      • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Yobgod Ababua (68687) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @10:14AM (#39795119)

        Yeah, totally. I'm probably the target market for this kind of thing. Incidently, I do exist.
        I don't run Windows at all, ever. My Linux box single boots to Linux.
        Also, I love games, in several genres, and have disposable income.

        Better Linux support makes me happy, and when I'm happy I spread my cash around more than when I'm unhappy.
        My current major source of unhappy is the growing number of .NET 3.5+ games on Steam that I'd really like to try (WINE seems to have some serious heartburn with .NET 3.5+ that hasn't been going away.) Yes, I know in theory this should spur me to go out and help fix things, but it's some pretty specific code in an area I'm not familiar with, which makes the entry cost really damn high.

        To be honest, while I don't think DRM helps the publisher as much as they think it does (ie: It's useless), I really don't care if it's there as long as the game **WORKS**. If the game works, I'm happy, and companies will profit just a little bit more. If the game doesn't work, or even worse, doesn't work just because of DRM, then they should DIEDIEDIE. Steam's move here is good for me. They are trying to make sure that THEY are not what prevents me from playing (and buying games). That's good, since there are a lot of good games coming through steam.

        I am pleased.

      • awesome. and you are so right the only reason i have my windows partition still is for games that need direct3D and hardware acceleration. if this turn out to be true, i will be able to whack the windows partition for good.

        i also know why they are doing this windows 8 is becoming more locked down with their windows marketplace, and my in the future try to kill off steam because it competes with their own products. apple is headed to where everything is distributed through the mac apps store and will try to

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:35AM (#39793779) Homepage Journal

      I don't think that's really true. There are some people out there who think closed software is a crime against humanity, but to be frank, those people are generally not gamers. Gamers are used to a system where you are lucky not to be forced to play on closed hardware, let alone just on closed software on an open OS.

      I think the reality is Steam is a good idea (if not implemented perfectly) and Valve are a company that are almost universally doing things right. They make some of the best games ever created, and do it pretty ethically. It's not really surprising they'd be the folks to look at Linux first.

      Valve care about the consumer, and that is more important, I think, that whether or not it's open or closed. If a product is good, I'll use it. I mostly use open source software as, for what I need, I find it's generally best, but there are exceptions (I'm a big fan of PyCharm, the python IDE which is closed source).

      Most people will love this, and for good reason. Good games on a good platform can only be a good thing, and it means we might start to see the barrier breaking down, and people producing for Linux because suddenly there is a way to do it more easily.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RoboJ1M (992925) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:35AM (#39793781)

      I won't.
      I'll be dancing in the goddamn street with a crowbar.
      I've been watching with interest the burgeoning Linux games industry and it's about to go critical with this, that's for sure.
      It's not just Steam, it's Source.
      So that's the back library taken care of.
      And now I can play keyboard/mouse games again for the first time since I abandoned the Windows world! YAY!

      • by lattyware (934246)
        Exactly - if there was one game engine to see under Linux, it's Source. I mean, you have a lot of the best games ever made under one banner right there.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by nitehawk214 (222219)

          Ok ok, lets lay off the "best games ever made" rhetoric. There are at least 2 posts on this thread where you are claiming this. I agree with what you are saying, but lets stay away from the absurdly subjective topic of "best game ever". It adds nothing but flame and controversy.

          That being said, porting Source to Linux is almost a bigger deal than Steam. I think this will usher a new era of well produced indy games and cross-platform compatibility. (Presuming people can get their video drivers working.)

          • Just a note on the final dig about drivers: when HL2 first came out, there were plenty of video driver issues on Windows. It's not a phenomenon isolated to Linux.

            But yes, distros need to start turning on S3TC support for the Intel drivers. It can be done with PPAs or manually building the driver but it's such a pain in the bum for something that should "just work".

          • lets lay off the "best games ever made" rhetoric.

            Half Life
            Half Life 2, etc.
            Portal
            Portal 2

            I think you can cut GP some slack. He's not totally off his rocker.
      • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Informative)

        by causality (777677) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:56AM (#39794001)

        I won't. I'll be dancing in the goddamn street with a crowbar. I've been watching with interest the burgeoning Linux games industry and it's about to go critical with this, that's for sure. It's not just Steam, it's Source. So that's the back library taken care of. And now I can play keyboard/mouse games again for the first time since I abandoned the Windows world! YAY!

        Don't know about you, but I have always had good luck playing Windows games via Wine. That includes Steam games. I'm currently playing Skyrim this way.

        The number of games that don't work via Wine is an ever-shrinking list, though you may have to acquaint yourself with Winetricks and the AppDB. While a native Steam/Source client is only going to improve things for you, to speak as though there were no way at all to play keyboard/mouse games without Windows is simply not true. I've been doing it for years now.

    • by Quazion (237706)

      Maybe its not to please the die hard linux community, but its great for the average linux Joe.
      I would love to play the steam games (LFD2 for example) I own under Linux.

      Personally I think crossplatform game developement should be the norm and bringing steam to every platform might help.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:41AM (#39793861)

      part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free

      This may come as a shock, but GNU is maintained by the Free Software Foundation, so in some sense the entire point of GNU/Linux is to be free/libre.

      Really though, there are more than just philosophical reasons for proprietary software in GNU/Linux being a bad thing. If I compile my program in Ubuntu, will you be able to run it in Gentoo? There are an enormous number of incompatible distributions out there, and I doubt that Steam will be available on all of them. In practical terms, proprietary software for GNU/Linux is difficult to push for this very reason, so there are two outcomes:

      1. Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community. This already happens with some packages; we really do not need more.
      2. Steam becomes irrelevant on GNU/Linux because it does not work everywhere, and then the short-lived experiment dies. This has also happened with other software in the past.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community. This already happens with some packages; we really do not need more.

        Your logic fails here. If you, as a libre proponent, don't want to use proprietary software then just don't use it. How could proprietary vendors exert any control over you if they aren't offering anything you care to use? If there are people in the Linux community

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          This is ultimately about everyone's ability to make choices in the future without being beholden to what they may have bought in the past.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > This may come as a shock, but GNU is maintained by the Free Software Foundation, so in some sense the entire point of GNU/Linux is to be free/libre.

        It may come as a shock to you but the commercial games industry has been using libre tools to build their games since before Linux emerged as a potential alternate gaming platform.

        Contrary to the statements of some fear mongers, the Free Software is not incompatible with proprietary commercial enterprises.

      • by causality (777677)

        Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community.

        They might influence things like whether a given file is in /opt instead of /usr/local but these are not major changes and could be remedied with a few symlinks. All free Linux distros use the same broad (upstream) codebase of Open Source software. The differences between them amount to little more than where certain things are located in the filesystem and what is installed by default. Any dependency this native client requires is either exotic (meaning Valve should provide it themselves) or something y

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I will take that one step further.

          Gentoo has excellent community documentation. Because this whole "linux fragmentation" thing is mostly FUD and nonsense, I can use that Gentoo documentation to help sort out things on Ubuntu.

          So if there is an Ubuntu-centric Steam client, chances are that I will be able to use the Gentoo community docs to troubleshoot it should that need ever arise.

          Most stuff isn't distro specific. H*LL. A lot of stuff isn't even specific to Linux.

      • by gmack (197796)

        Really though, there are more than just philosophical reasons for proprietary software in GNU/Linux being a bad thing. If I compile my program in Ubuntu, will you be able to run it in Gentoo? There are an enormous number of incompatible distributions out there, and I doubt that Steam will be available on all of them. In practical terms, proprietary software for GNU/Linux is difficult to push for this very reason, so there are two outcomes:

        1. Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community. This already happens with some packages; we really do not need more.
        2. Steam becomes irrelevant on GNU/Linux because it does not work everywhere, and then the short-lived experiment dies. This has also happened with other software in the past.

        This is classic FUD. There is plenty of software that releases only a single binary for all Linux distros. Aside from Flash, there have been games such as Wolfenstein Enemy Territory that still works on my brand new 64 bit debian install with only a minor fix needed to work around a sound issue and that binary is 6 years old.

      • This may come as a shock, but GNU is maintained by the Free Software Foundation, so in some sense the entire point of GNU/Linux is to be free/libre.

        Yeah, but there's nothing in that statement which precludes running proprietary software. Your Linux *is* free. If you want that medical database application which runs on it, expect to pay. There may be a free alternative to it, which may do what you're looking for, but there is absolutely nothing in the GPL that says GPL-licensed code can't be used to provide a platform on which to run proprietary code.

        Stallman's rants about freedom aside, this is good for Linux. It will open Linux up to another potential

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes.

      Your comment fit better 10 years ago. The Linux crowd has grown considerably away from the Stallman-esque era. There are regular people using it now who would never get the difference between free and "free". I think Steam has a good chance, but there had better be some good ports of popular titles or the whole thing is pointless.

      There are a many,many Linux users who will gladly pay the $50.00 for the latest title on Linux before dealing with the Mac or Win empires.

      • There are a many,many Linux users who will gladly pay the $50.00 for the latest title on Linux before dealing with the Mac or Win empires.

        ... until the very first instance that Steam DRM gets in the way of them playing games (unexpected outage, for instance). Then will be the nerdrage to end all nerdrages.

        Bear in mind that many Linux users chose Linux for ideological reasons, including opposing vendor lock-in and DRM. Steam on Linux, for many, will be anathema.

        • I think you highly overestimate our ideology.
          The fact that Steam is at least giving us a chance of being treated like first-rate citizens gives them SIGNIFICANT slack for any glitches. I do think DRM is overrated (by publishers) and ultimately useless as a tech, but it makes them feel better, so whatever. The whole point of this announcement is that Valve wants to make sure their system (DRM included) works properly on Linux. That's a total win.

          Oh, and FYI the -usual- response of proper Linux geeks to somet

    • Why do you care about the feelings of the "community"?

      A thing is good or bad in itself (make your own opinion), it doesn't matter what is the opinion of some vocal people, especially that they don't get to contribute code to the client, it would be more relevant if the client were open source but is not.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @09:05AM (#39794103)

      They should mod you down for being wrong. Those you speak of are the loudest voices only. In reality lots of linux users are already running these games in wine, and would welcome official support. I am one of those users.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @09:08AM (#39794147) Journal

      I know this isn't going to be a popular sentiment on /., but a Steam Linux client is going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes. The applause won't even have died down before they're bitching that there aren't enough games, it's not open source, it doesn't look right in their obscure distro of choice, etc.

      The Linux community *should* embrace and celebrate this, but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free. Introducing a closed source client that charges for games into that group isn't going to please them. Nothing is going to please them.

      Okay, now everyone mod me troll for pointing out something you know is true.

      I suspect that it won't be a major issue: Obviously, Free Software Only people aren't going to bite; but that is to be expected. Non-gamers won't care, also expected, and pretty much anybody gaming on Linux is already probably resigned to closed source binaries: their graphics drivers if nothing else(and presumably most of the games that they've coaxed into working under WINE(maybe there are a few OSS games with such strong Windows ties that WINE is easier than a port; but I'm having a hard time thinking of any). Intel OSS drivers are OK; but intel GPUs are not really gaming material. AMD is on the right trajectory; but the latest more-or-less-fully-ironed-out FOSS 3D support is for R200 parts, which aren't exactly screamers, and Nvidia's position on OSS drivers is "Well, it needs to be good enough so that the customer can see what they are doing as they download and install our binary driver."

      I don't know how the numbers break down between purist users and nonpurist users; but the ratio of 'do-unto-others' purists to everybody else is tiny. Even the big, bad, Godfather of GNU himself merely advises that using closed software is not a good idea, and requests that you comply with the license of GPL software you use. Not terribly scary.

      On a somewhat different topic, this linux release of theirs might have some ties to the persistent rumors of some sort of Valve-blessed hardware configuration providing a console-like package. If they suspect that they can even break even on Steam/Source for Linux, that might improve their prospects of being able to release a valvebox spec that leaves buyers with the extra $100 to spend on games, rather than on Windows. Even people who don't care about freedom care about free, after all.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rtkluttz (244325) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @09:11AM (#39794205) Homepage

      As long as Steam for linux is what it should be... a portal to purchase games and nothing but that I am all over it packaged in an unannoying executable that I run when and only when ** I ** want it to run on my machine, then I am all over it. If it departs from that, sends any data back home without my approval, tries to add or remove software from my machine, etc. Then I'll burn it with fire. People have a right to protect their software.. but their agreement is with ME, not my hardware. If they use my hardware or software against me they are out. That is the whole reason I am on linux. I control my machine, not someone else.

    • ...but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free.

      Well, yes. But as with every community, FLOSS also has trolls, suckers, whiners and bitches...but everyone else has them too. And those are the loudest of the community. While *some* people will whine all over the internet how bad this is, everyone else will be busy playing games on Steam.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      I suspect the primary target for such clients will not be for use on the desktop but for set-top-boxes. In those console environments, the configuration is a lot easier to maintain so issues of "not working on my distro" will not be the thing.

      But it is an interesting trend to make things for Linux more and more. I don't think Linux on the desktop will ever be "mainstream" but it will always be there. More and more, people use their computers for the applications and functions they provide and the OS is i

    • by Danzigism (881294)
      As a Linux user for the past 15 years, I will personally use the shit out of a Steam client, and I DGAF about any of the Linux Nazis out there. Most Linux users think this way, as you should too. DGAF..
  • by InvisibleClergy (1430277) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:37AM (#39793805)

    The entire reason I *have* an Ubuntu partition is so that I *can't* play all the modern games I'm used to having. With this and how well WoW runs under Wine, I guess that programming Skynet will have to wait.

  • Here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:40AM (#39793837) Homepage

    Thought this might be handy for those who wonder what else they might be able to get on Linux Steam:

    http://steamlinux.flibitijibibo.com/index.php?title=Native_Games [flibitijibibo.com]

  • Oh Great Penguin In The Sky, I want to believe.

    But this is Phoronix, so I won't actually believe until I'm playing Portal without Wine.

  • Steam console? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brenddie (897982) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:40AM (#39793849)

    What if their rumored steamBoxStation console is a "PC" running linux?

    • by lattyware (934246)
      I think that would be a good reason for them to do this. At the moment, it wouldn't really work as it'd mean the majority of their library wouldn't work, but if they can get stuff ported over, and get people releasing for all platforms, it puts them in a much stronger position to release a console, as they don't have to be under Microsoft's thumb, and they have a stronger position to negotiate for windows licences. I don't think that a steam box is something we'll see soon, but this is probably a move that
      • ...and they have a stronger position to negotiate for windows licences.

        Yeah, I can see that talk already coming: "Hello, this is Valve, give us a discount or we'll develop even more stuff for Linux." - "Yeah...did you know that we own Linux because of out patents? How about you giving up that little Linux idea of yours before we sue you into oblivion?" - "You don't Linux in any way, proof it!" - "Yeah, let's sign this NDA first." - "Never, why should we?" - "See you in court."

        You know what really good about this is? I can imagine Valve beating up Microsoft hard time.

  • by javilon (99157) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @08:42AM (#39793879) Homepage

    There are a number of users that will be happy to buy from steam if it is available for Linux. I am one of them and here is the description

    I have grown used to buying apps for my Androis phone. The reason are:
    - It is convenient
    - prices are not outrigeous, so I can do impusle buying

    Now, I don't use Windows and I don't feel like rebooting into it just for playing. I don't feel like maintaining the Windows OS, so I don't play games except the few Free/free Linux games coming in my distro. But I will purchase and play some of the classic games if they are available in Steam for Linux.

    • by ledow (319597)

      I wouldn't necessarily pay for a Linux-only title. I'm not sure it would get the use on its own.

      But I would add, say, 10% to get a "TriplePlay" Windows/Linux/Mac entitlement on Steam to a game that I'm buying, so that I can play on any platform for just a little extra.

      Hell, I'd happily pay to upgrade games I *already* have on my Steam account to triple-play like that, but only a reasonable price.

      And if HL3/Ep3 comes out and it's available on both - hell, yes, I'd pay a bit extra to have it on Linux like a

      • by lattyware (934246)
        Just as a note, when Steam was released for OS X, existing accounts could play all the games they had already purchased on a Mac without re-buying them (aka: Steam sells you a licence to play the game on any platform it is availible for, not a particular one) - so there is no reason to presume they wouldn't do that with Linux to. Hence the price would be the same, and you could play it where you want.
        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Just as a note, when Steam was released for OS X, existing accounts could play all the games they had already purchased on a Mac without re-buying them (aka: Steam sells you a licence to play the game on any platform it is availible for, not a particular one) - so there is no reason to presume they wouldn't do that with Linux to. Hence the price would be the same, and you could play it where you want.

          This is true for some games, but not for all. I have Steam installed on my primary gaming machine running Win7 and my personal laptop, a Macbook Pro. While my Civ IV and V licenses work on both machines Bioshock and Bioshock 2 only work on Windows despite there being a Mac port of both. As far as I can tell in this case Steam thinks they are a different SKU and therefore separate products.

          It would seem that it will only work on both if it is initially released to Steam as such.

    • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @09:24AM (#39794387)

      Well, as a guy whose wallet is frequently raped by Steam Sales, and as one whose used the Mac version of Steam, I can say a few things:

      1) Steam does make it convenient to buy games - arguably *too* easy. I can buy a game in about thirty seconds and have it downloaded within at worst two hours (for a 20GB epic), often as little as two minutes (for the 100MB indier-than-thou titles). Seriously, it's not uncommon to hear Steam fans complaining about how they get hooked into impulse-buying games on sale that they never play (I've actually played perhaps half the games I own on Steam, and that's considered "doing pretty well").

      2) Prices for some games are definitely in the impulse-buy range. There's an entire section for "under $5", mainly containing extremely old titles (Doom, Half-Life) or low-budget indie games. And they literally *always* have some sale going on, and at least twice a year they have massive sales.

      3) The initial lineup of Linux games will primarily be Valve's own recent titles, as well as whatever indie games already have Linux versions. Roughly one in four titles I own are Mac-compatible (fifty or so out of two hundred); I would anticipate seeing less than that for Linux, perhaps one in eight.

      * For some reason, Valve's only ported Half-Life 2 and later to Mac, and I would expect the same on Linux. So no Half-Life 1 (there *is* Half-Life: Source, the port to the HL2 engine), no Opposing Force, no Counter-Strike 1.6, no Ricochet.

      4) There *is* DRM. The DRM is normally pretty benign and limited - as long as Steam is running in online mode (on only one computer at a time - someone else signing in to the same account elsewhere will boot you out), you'll have zero problems. Offline mode exists, but it does have oddities (it's perfectly usable, but you'll actually have to think DRM, at least while setting everything up). Note also that some third-party games have their own layer of DRM, so if you're a militant anti-DRM fanatic, check the game details (it *does* say "this game uses additional DRM" or something to that effect).

  • Regardless of the open-sourceness of Steam, the problem is still the same as it as always been with Linux : the marketshare is way too small for major companies to do Linux port, and most people who use desktop linux have Windows somewhere too.
    Apart from Valve and indie games, I highly doubt we will see AAA games for Linux in the next few years.

    And then there is the issues of video drivers.
    Even if there have been good progress done recently, compatibility and performance are still way below Windows drivers.

  • Valve has been a good steward with Steam, not doing nefarious things like turning off old games to sell new ones, or banning Wine users, or any other evil things they could do, but it's still funny to me to see the /. community all excited about rumors that someone is going to port a DRM platform to Linux.

    Valve has yet to officially comment, but you'd hope they wouldn't invite someone up to their offices and send them home to spew lies.

    Yeah well. I still say I'll believe it when I have a download link.

    On that subject, whatever happened to the super-duper-optimizing compiler that was going to revolutionize everything Linux that Phoro

    • by ledow (319597)

      - Most games won't come across without DRM. Some will, most won't."

      - Most games don't support Linux at the moment.

      You use logic to see what the statement:

      - Bringing across a viable, market-proven, popular DRM scheme to Linux, with the potential for some large, hugely-anticipated gaming titles too.

      does in that case. And most gamers would agree that out of all the possible DRM's out there, the one you'd choose to come across if you had to would be the Steam DRM.

      Compare and contrast with any other DRM scheme

    • ...but it's still funny to me to see the /. community all excited about rumors that someone is going to port a DRM platform to Linux.

      Baby steps my friend, baby steps. It's the first step...though, not sure where this will take us, but can't be bad, ey?

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Valve is what I call "nice DRM". The things it stops you from doing are generally pretty mild - can't be online in more than one place at once, can't run games you haven't bought. As long as you're in online mode, you'll never even notice it. Offline mode is about as tricky as some DRM platforms' online modes - basically, as long as you've been permitted to play the game before, you'll be allowed to do so in offline mode (although patches have an unfortunate tendency to break that, making you go back online

  • I have a few computers at home running a variety of operating systems, but the two I use most frequently both run Windows 7. One is my work PC. I need to run Windows on that one because there are a few applications I need for work that are Windows only. The other is my gaming machine. I play a couple of Source mods on it,and I use Windows because it's much easier than trying to run the games on Linux.

    If Valve would release Steam on Linux, and make it easy and straightforward to install Source mods on Linux

  • I've said for years and years and years, the main reason I don't use a Linux box as my main is because I can't play any games without messing with emulators or dual boot or some such, and quite frankly, I've never want to deal with it.
    However, if this goes over well, and developers/publishers start actually using it? I'll probably finally switch over to some form of Linux.
    I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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