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Valve's Steam & Games Coming To Linux 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-play dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Valve's Steam and Source Engine-based games are coming to Linux. Michael from well known site Phoronix.com has been invited to Valve's office and was able to spend a day with the developers and Gabe Newell himself. He is confirming the rumors about Linux ports from Valve, and has been able to play the games and work the developers himself. Attached in the article are pictures from Valve's offices with games running on Linux."
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Valve's Steam & Games Coming To Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ever get that Deja Dupe feeling?

  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by Poeli (573204) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:47PM (#39797393)
  • It would be nice to be able to read the link, too bad ads keep getting in my way.
  • Ah, dupes, I've missed you.

  • by sagematt (1251956) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:49PM (#39797425)
    The Year of the Linux (Gaming) Desktop is finally here!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Unfortunately, even if every Steam user switched entirely to Linux it would still only have a few percentage points of market share. Linux users waaaay overestimate how much of an impact ths will have. Especially when the Windows version will have 1000+ more games to choose from.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        You repeatedly seem to make the mistake of worrying about already-released games. The impact is going to come mainly from new titles. Who gives a shit if they port Missy Janes Magical Mystery Adventure or whatever?

        • You underestimate the effect that hats will have on the linux economy.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          No, I don't. Get back to me when EA, Activision, Ubisoft etc. provide any official plans to release their big budget titles on Linux. I won't hold my breath, though. Plus it's funny since all the Valve games being wanked over are all 'already-released games'. Most of them over 4 to 5 years old.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            All of which are still incredibly popular.

            There's cynical, and then there's just stupid.

            This *is* big news because of the old games, and because it kicks the door open to a huge number of new games. Steam is an enormous force in the games world... however you want to cut it.

            I think this is less to do with Linux being a big market , and more to do with expanding Steam in a way that EA won't with Origin and keep Steam's many fairly vociferous and loyal support.

            Whatever... I'm not complaining... nor am I under

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          That is not gonna be the problem friend, the problem is there are a TON of AAA titles that use Steam PLUS some other DRM, and of course while the other will work just fine on Windows because Linux has a kernel that changes too often and doesn't allow kernel level DRM they simply won't work on Linux now or ever. So far I've seen SecurROM, TAGES, Starforce, and GFWL all used on Steam games.

          You see THIS is where your line of thinking breaks down. on the one hand you're thinking that just because Valve does som

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            You know, if there becomes a demand for it, someone will start selling linux-compatible DRM (and then we are all fucked).

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              This brings up an interesting question though: Is it even possible to create Linux compatible DRM? The only way I could see it working would be if one forked the kernel and then created one with their own proprietary hooks but even that would be iffy since with GPL V2 you have to share your changes with those that receive the binary.

              Personally I just don't see how it would be possible to create Linux DRM without getting bit in the ass by the GPL. I'm sure there are many companies that would LIKE a DRMed Lin

      • by oakgrove (845019)

        Unfortunately, even if every Steam user switched entirely to Linux it would still only have a few percentage points of market share. Linux users waaaay overestimate how much of an impact ths will have.

        And? Linux can be legally had for free and the source is open to anybody that wants to hack it and rerelease changes. It pretty much exists outside of the scope of marketshare that Windows and OSX (and BeOS and DrDOS) exist in. If those OS's don't sell to more than a certain critical mass of consumers, they fail. Linux could not be used by a single person for years and then somebody could just pick it up and continue. Maybe if you spent less time bashing (your username wtf?) it you would have a more ra

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Baby steps. This is just the beginning. Indy devels are all over Steam. How much extra work to make their Steam Mac ports work under Linux?
        As much as I love the new direction Windows has been going in(excluding Metro), Opensource is the future. RedHat business model for everyone!
      • by robmv (855035)

        They are afraid of MS Store, locked on ARM devices and very probable to be forced later on x86 on another future Windows releases. And what if Apple make that move in the future with OS X, lock it to only use the App store. We don't know if that will happen, but it it happens Valve is dead in the water, at least Steam. This is a planed movement to use the current power they have with hardcore gamers and see if they can move them to Linux if things become bad for Valve in the future

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      So one has too wonder. Will Valve come out with a console/set top box?
      That may seem crazy talk but why not. A simple Linux based box that hooks up to steam for games could be a real hit with people.

  • I don't care (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sav1or (2600417) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @12:50PM (#39797443)
    I don't care if it's open source or not, just as long as i can play my beloved counter strike at a decent fps and not have to switch back to windows. Anyone who says different can just suck on it
    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Yup.

      I would love everything to be open, but I'm realistic... and given a choice between nothing and something between nothing and what I want.. I'll go for the latter.

      I'm sure there'll be a church of RMS guy telling us we are enabling evil by settling with the devil or some over-dramatic thing like that.. but that stuff is just background noise now...

    • I do care about most of the software I use being open source. But I don't care about games being open source either.

      If they just keep their DRM under control, I'm cool with that. Too bad DRM's tendency isn't to stay under control. I'll wait and see.

  • by octaene (171858) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nosliwsb.> on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:10PM (#39797739) Homepage
    I already play Valve games on my Linux computer using PlayOnLinux (http://www.playonlinux.com/). That's been very stable for me, but I'm hoping that a native Valve client will allow even better system performance while gaming.
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:27PM (#39797983)

    I wonder if this Steam Linux client will act like PlayOnLinux and download Whitelisted Wine Clients that Steam won't flag as "cheating." I say this because I have a family member that keeps one Windows 7 machine just because he plays Left 4 Dead 2, and Steam once banned a whole sloth of Wine Users because their DLL files did not match the database Steam had.

    Supposedly, Steam keeps a whitelist of known Wine DLLs to prevent this.

    • This is about porting Steam AND the Source engine as Native Linux applications.
      L4D2 is running already (that's their test target) and probably the rest of Valve developped/Source powered game will follow.

      So no Wine DLL in this. Real native Linux apps.

  • by recrudescence (1383489) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:29PM (#39798021)

    Just because Steam will now run officially on linux doesn't mean all the titles existing for windows will magically be available for linux. It only means that developers who had already ported to linux may market it as such. Same thing happened with desura for linux. And you can see how limited the Mac selection on steam is as compared to windows (I'd expect linux to be even less).

    The only positive side to this is that, hopefully, companies will have a bit more of an incentive from NOW on to port to linux.

    On the other hand, companies that already WERE porting to linux anyway, and in a nice non-DRM manner, will probably opt to do it via steam now instead.

    • by mactard (1223412)
      I'm sure the Souce engine code is extremely portable, judging by how well they run on Mac OS X. However the games require Steam, so they port Steam. Source and Steam are one in the same - Steam has just been extended a bit.
    • I think the point you're making is covered pretty comprehensively in this article:

      http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=valve_linux_dampfnudeln&num=1 [phoronix.com]

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @03:27PM (#39799533) Homepage

      Just because Steam will now run officially on linux doesn't mean all the titles existing for windows will magically be available for linux.

      Of course not, but there's actually several hundreds of games there already that have also Linux-binaries and with Steam coming for Linux the publishers only need to push those Linux-binaries there, too, so people will already at launch have atleast something play. Most more-popular Indie-games atleast seem to sport Linux-support, I've got a handful of such games in my library and I know for a fact that they do run well under Linux. The good thing about this all is that Steam for Linux won't be totally empty even on launch, and with a true-and-tried games delivery platform there's much more incentive for people to release Linux-binaries, too. How much it actually affects publishers and developers in the end remains to be seen, but nevertheless, the chances are now bigger than ever before.

    • according to the phoronix report (Michael spent a day speaking with Gabe at Valve)
      Left 4 Dead 2 is currently running on Linux (that's what they use to test).
      Other Valve developped/Source powered games will follow.
      And Gabe would like Valve to stimulate 3rd parties publishing on steam to port their games to Linux too.
      So even if porting source doesn't imply ports of games, Valve (and mroe precisely Gabe) *DO* want Linux ports of games.

  • will ATI and nvidia make good drivers? and put the same level of work in to them as they do with the windows drivers?

    • ATI
      - quality of the proprietary drivers has increased lately. though they tend to only support the last few generation of GPUs only. (Early Radeon HD will be dropped soon).
      - open source drivers: they are officially supported by ATI. That's their recommandation for anything not supported in Catalyst anymore (Currently everything up to Radeon X). They are stable although not as goof performance wise for latest hardware as the Catalysts.
      - If you want hardware that will supported for long ATI is the thing to go

  • by BaronAaron (658646) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:57PM (#39798373)

    Would make sense if the rumors of a Steam Box are true.

    • by Mr.Radar (764753) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @02:03PM (#39798465)

      I completely agree with this. One of the big problems with Valve attempting something like the SteamBox is Steam and games being tied to the Windows and OS X platforms. Apple definitely wouldn't allow a third party to use their OS and it's questionable whether Microsoft would let someone build a console on Windows technology that would compete with the Xbox. Not to mention that even if Microsoft did, consoles generally have a negative or very thin profit margin and paying for an OEM OS licenses on top of the cost of the hardware is the last thing you'd want to do in that circumstance.

      From Valve's perspective, building a game console on Linux would be highly preferable to Windows because it would leave them in full control of the software stack without any license fees. Not to mention that a set baseline of hardware would allow them to do mitigate the biggest problem facing gaming on Linux (after game availability) which is the poor and inconsistent state of 3d graphics drivers by providing guarantees for what will work to developers.

      If they are truly interested in building their own game console, porting Steam (and Source) to Linux would be a good first step.

  • This certainly more than makes up for Adobe pulling Flash support from Linux.

    (Fingers crossed that this sees the light of day...)

  • Reading the motivations, it seems we should also be thankful to microsoft for this -- part of the motivation for their devs to work on it is that linux is slowly getting better on the desktop*, but the other part is that windows is rapidly getting worse :P

    * or slowly getting worse, if you use ubuntu and don't know how to install an alternative window manager; but Metro is still ahead of Unity in that respect

  • Coral cache here. [nyud.net]

  • PC-BSD?
  • Just in time... (Score:4, Informative)

    by aztektum (170569) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @02:54PM (#39799141)

    What good timing. There just happen to be a bunch of Kickstarter projects that will need a way to distribute their promised Linux clients.

  • by s_p_oneil (795792) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @04:11PM (#39800003) Homepage

    I can understand why Steam is such a successful platform, but I bought two games on it and got burned badly enough by them that I got rid of it.

    The first pretty much killed it for me. It was a $60 AAA game that took several days to download over my DSL line, which by itself was fine. However, after waiting all that time to get it installed and playing it for exactly 1 evening, it came out with a patch that took about 48 hours to download. As soon as the patch was available, Steam locked me out of the game without warning and started downloading it. Soon after I finished downloading that patch, there was a new one that locked me out again. Steam wouldn't let me choose whether (or even when) to download a patch. I could force the download to stop, but that just kept me locked out of the game indefinitely until I restarted and completed it. In the first month I was only able to play the game two or three evenings because it pushed me up to my ISP's bandwidth cap. I explained my problem to Steam tech support, and asked for either a way to disable the lockouts or a refund so I could buy a copy of the game that I could actually play. They told me to piss off, and I told them I was done buying things on Steam.

    The second was a game I'd bought first, but that I ended up playing for a while after. At some point, Steam ended up locking me out of the game with a cryptic error message. I don't recall the exact message (it's been a while), but when searching Steam forums for it, they recommended a number of things (including deleting the game and re-downloading it, re-installing Steam, etc.), but nothing worked. I would've contacted tech support, but fortunately that game had only cost $10. At that point I decided that $10 was a cheap price to pay to be able to uninstall Steam and walk away from it forever.

    • by Wyzard (110714)

      How long ago was that? In Steam's properties window for a game, there's an Updates tab with the choices "always keep this game up to date" and "do not automatically update this game". That option has been there for a long time.

  • Notice how the guy in the screenshots is using GNOME3 in fallback mode, on Ubuntu, with the default settings, which looks terribly bad.

    I wouldn't trust a Linux developer that doesn't even have a decent Linux workstation setup to be able to code for Linux well.

  • My old Linux games take quite a bit of jamming of old libraries and LD_PRELOADs to still run. (Neverwinter Nights, Heretic II, Myth II, ..)
    But I have old Win95/98 stuff that starts up in wine just fine.

    Given the rate at which Linux changes, and how legacy compatibility is not considered a priority, I think I would rather buy copies of games for Windows and run them in wine. What would be ideal for me is some sort of "wine-certified" program so I can know that the developer went to the effort to test and QA

  • the article does mention they want someone with kernel module experience. looking at what the steam client does drm wise and how linux is, it makes sense because the only way it can do such things is have hooks in the kernel.

    self process obfuscation to prevent cheating programs in general.
    network interface monitoring to prevent the packet modifying cheats.
    a hook into the opengl rendering stack to allow checking for aim-bots and the like.
    system process monitoring and inspection, can't do this as a normal use

  • by Osgeld (1900440)

    steam functions under wine now, and really what good is it to me? Great, maybe eventually source engine games will get ported, which makes up 2 games in my library of like 20 games

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