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Steam Not Coming To Linux 520

dkd903 writes "A rumor has been going around for about four months that Valve was working on a Linux version of Steam and this had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. But, Valve has now officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear – there is no Linux version of Steam in development. Doug Lombardi, the Marketing VP of Valve Corporation, in an interview, has put an end to all the rumors by saying that they are not working on Steam for Linux right now."
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Steam Not Coming To Linux

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  • Wine (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <> on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:00AM (#33339642) Homepage
    Last I checked it ran pretty good in Wine (the Source engine too), so it's not a total loss.
  • by Da w00t ( 1789 ) * on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:04AM (#33339682) Homepage
    iD software has historically produced Linux versions of their games; I remember fondly playing the quake(s), and doom 3 under Linux. While there have been lots and lots of reports over the years showing there is a Linux gaming market, it isn't a large enough market share for these game developers to put serious effort into it. I bet some of them actually see developing for Linux as a hindrance, even though most big game dev companies essentially abstract-out the bits between PS3, XBOX, Wii, PC, etc that are different.
  • by segin ( 883667 ) <> on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:13AM (#33339772) Homepage
    Developing for Linux is a lot like developing for OS X - pthreads, POSIX, OpenGL, and all. Besides, if they need their games ported to Linux, all they would have to do is contract Ryan Gordon [].
  • Re:I'm glad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:27AM (#33339934)

    Umm, yes, because so many enterprises have adopted Mac OS...

    Insightful my arse. Linux is much bigger than Mac in the enterprise.

  • Re:fooled me (Score:1, Informative)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:35AM (#33340026) Homepage Journal

    Games require fast access to 3D, audio and controls. Having dozens of distros all doing things their own way is a PITA.

    No, it isn't. You target SDL, OpenAL, et cetera. They work fine on the popular distributions, i.e. the ones you have to care about.

    And the last time I heard someone talk about X, he was saying it's two decades behind in terms of what games require.

    He was either a liar or unqualified to comment... or it was two decades ago. We have OpenGL, we have SDL, we have OpenAL, we don't need anything else.

    Like it or not, there has to be a single Linux distro with a single specific setup if you want companies to support Linux at all.

    Games are being sold right now which run on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. But as anyone who has run all of these operating systems can attest, there are substantial compatibility problems between them. I have run software which will only run on all of these platforms. I have run software which runs on one or more but will not run on one or more other of them. And indeed, the Linux community will figure out how to run your software. That's how we got loki_compat []. All that is needed is to support either Debian or Fedora and the community will work it out.

  • by watermark ( 913726 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:39AM (#33340058)

    I do dual boot, but I wouldn't have a need to dual boot if the games ran native in Linux. The only reason windows exists on my box is to run games, bringing the cost of games to $cost_of_games+$microsoft_tax. While I like free things as much as the next guy, I expect to pay for games (just not monthly, screw Blizzard.) Steam's DRM is unintrusive and very rarely causes me inconveniences.

  • by Kryptonian Jor-El ( 970056 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:51AM (#33340208)
    I think its less to do with some ideology about only using free software, but with the license under which ubuntu is packaged, where it can't automatically opt you into closed-source software
  • Re:Wine (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:53AM (#33340238) Homepage

    Yes, but trying to run Steam with different games requiring different WINE settings is a giant pain in the ass.

  • by sammyF70 ( 1154563 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:01AM (#33340370) Homepage Journal
    But more Linux users will actually pay and pay more [] for good native games. They just won't pay for something of which they can legally get working free equivalents
  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:20AM (#33340684) Homepage

    Since all y'all are going to use anecdotarithmetic to prove that there are over 13 billion Linux users ready to hand over their hard earned allowance^W earnings to Steam, I'll go ahead and use the same standard of evidence to show why it's not so.

    In an in depth poll of household machines (100% of responders replied), I have discovered: 1 x Ubuntu 9.10 desktop, never used for gaming; 1 x Ubuntu 10.04 netbook, never used for gaming; 1 x Ubuntu 10.04 / XP desktop used for gaming, with Steam installed on the XP partition, and a total Frankenstein clusterfuck of bleeding edge Wine and shattered corpses Windows games installed and then abandoned on Ubuntu to linger on, begging for death.

    Based on that conclusive survey, I think the market for Steam on Linux is you and Captain Sweatpants over there, and I'm pretty sure Captain Sweatpants secretly has an XP partition anyway.

  • OS/2 Warp (Score:2, Informative)

    by ckblackm ( 1137057 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:24AM (#33340764)
    I think hes talking about the OS/2 Warp versions.... version's 3 and 4. There was a blue spine version 3 that included the windows code (red spine did not). And then Warp 4 included the windows code. (I just installed v4 on an old omnibook 800ct just for giggles). Actually, OS/2 is still being developed as ecomstation. You can see it at
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:26AM (#33340816) Journal

    Personally, it irritates me when I install ubuntu or similar, and drivers that I need for wireless are included in the available libraries, but you have to opt-in to those because they "are not free software".

    A much more common case is that the drivers are not included because Ubuntu does not have the right to distribute them. A lot of WiFi cards require firmware to work, which is not freely redistributable. When you 'opt in' you are actually running a script that fetches the firmware from the original supplier. Other drivers are redistributable, but not in conjunction with the Linux kernel. The nVidia drivers are an example of this. They are not compatible with the GPL, so if you distribute them with the kernel then you lose your license to distribute the kernel (since they are not a derived work of the kernel, they can be distributed independently of the kernel without any license issues).

    Objections to non-Free software are often not based on ideology, but rather on pragmatism. If the license prevents you from doing what you want to with the software, it's understandable that people are hostile to it.

    When your hardware manufacturer decides that it's no longer worth the cost of maintaining the drivers and the last release has known security holes, I hope you enjoy your proprietary drivers.

  • Re:Wine (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:30AM (#33340884)

    env WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-${GAME_NAME}

  • serious linux users (Score:3, Informative)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:32AM (#33340908) Homepage Journal

    Casual linux users dual-boot their systems, serious linux users go for a big uptime.
    Serious gamers who are also serious linux users have two machines.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:53AM (#33341312)

    Notice the differentiation, Wine does not do any /CPU/ emulation, it does on the other hand do software, often called binary, emulation. /Every/ other system that performs similarly refers to itself as binary emulation. Look up FreeBSD linux binary emulation if you don't believe me.

    Well, you are of course free to call it whatever you want. The fact remains that Wine doesn't emulate a Windows system in the way that, say, VirtualBox running Windows does.

    I'm confused as to how you think Wine works, if it was simply APIs as you seem to think, how exactly would it go about loading binaries, as well as handling Windows memory layouts, exceptions, threads, and processes.

    All of those are part of Windows API. Also, running native Linux ELF-format binaries also involves using a special loader program (/lib/ This format is simply recognized directly by the kernel, yet Wine can also be registered as such a loader by following the instructions here [].

    If APIs were all you needed you wouldn't have to preface every single windows command with "wine."

    You don't. See above.

  • by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @11:09AM (#33341572)

    Keep on trolling dude with your select quoting. Why didn't you quote the next line which says..

    Some people argue that since Wine introduces an extra layer above the system a Windows application will run slowly. While technically true, Wine is no different from any other software library in this regard;

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @11:15AM (#33341668)

    A program that allows machine code to be run on a system which does not accept it natively. For example, software that allows compiled powerPC code to run on an x86 system would be an emulator.

    WINE by itself allows windows programs compiled for x86 to run without Windows, but only on systems that are also x86. The machine code is never interpreted. It instead provides a compatibility layer for the Windows kernel and API.

    The people who actually wrote WINE knew what emulation is, and that they weren't doing it. You should listen to them

  • Re:I'm glad (Score:2, Informative)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @11:30AM (#33341944)


    Server room? Sure. Linux is more popular than Macs since Macs make pretty shitty servers from a cost perspective.

    Desktop? Give me a break, the only people who use Linux desktops have businesses selling Linux. Plenty of businesses that don't sell Apple product use Macs.

    I know 1 google employee that uses a Linux on his laptop ... when it isn't booted into OS X, I know 7 or 8 admins that use Mac laptops to admin unix machines are large companies.

    You also see macs all over Hollywood. You see macs all over the media industries like Newspapers (dead tree format and online), television and

    Macs common on the desktop in general? Of course not, more common than Linux? Without any doubt what so ever.

    You guys need some perspective from outside your basement, something from the real world might be useful. Its fine to want to support your favorite OS, but when you walk into some business with the sort of ignorance you have the only thing you're going to get is laughed at, especially when you walk in and the guys doing the hiring have Macs.

  • Re:I don't follow (Score:3, Informative)

    by smbell ( 974184 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @11:45AM (#33342232)
    I'm not a big fan of Phoronix and it's multi-page click through articles, but saying the rumor had no basis in reality is a bit of a stretch. The short of it is there was never an official announcement. Phoronix pointed out, and many others verified, there was several references to linux in various portions of the Steam client. This all came to a bit of a frenzy as some binaries that appeared to be the early workings of a linux client were found available from a valve server. They were up for several weeks, during which several people played with them and got them to some degree of running, and then the binaries disappeared. Some, including Phoronix, speculated that this was in preparation for getting that client ready for release.

    Most likely there have been several pushes to port things to linux, but never enough follow through, so there are linux compatible bits strewn all over the place.
  • by irving47 ( 73147 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @12:23PM (#33342950) Homepage

    "The same could be said of Macs. Part of what made Steam viable on the Mac was Valve porting a number of their games over to the Mac. And they could do it again for Linux if they wanted to..."

    I play on a fairly recent iMac... Team Fortress 2 is gorgeous on the Windows 7 side, but when I reboot from that, into Mac OS X version, the difference is still quite clear, even with the recent updates. Also, the microphone tends to fail after 3-5 minutes of use.

    So essentially... they have enough to worry about as it is...

  • Re:Wine (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cato ( 8296 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:38PM (#33344148)

    True, but you can use WINE bottles to get around this - install a WINE bottle, then move the steamapps directory somewhere else and do a symbolic link to it from the WINE bottle, and install one game in this bottle. For the next game, install a new bottle (with new WINE settings etc) but with symbolic link to the shared steamapps folder.

    For extra point, the steamapps folder can be on an NTFS partition (but only if you have kernel >= 2.6.26, or your GCF files may get corrupted) - then you can multiboot into Windows sharing the same steamapps folder, for games that aren't compatible with WINE, or to check that a WINE game is working as it should under Windows.

  • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <<moc.xobreven> ... .vidavsxd54sals>> on Monday August 23, 2010 @02:13PM (#33344748) Homepage

    However, if Wine does count as emulator, should the ability of newer Windows versions to run programs made for the older ones be considered that too?

    Yes, goddamn it, that's emulation also.

    And things don't 'count' as emulators, like it's some sort of penalty. That's the entire fucking problem with this discussion, a bunch of people convinced that emulators are 'slow' or 'bad', and half the people arguing Wine is emulation (Hence bad) and the other half arguing it's not (Hence good.) Both you are fools.

    All modern OSes emulate things. An emulation is just another way of saying 'API' (Well, ABI), except it's an API of a thing that does really exist like that.

    If there was some actual existing DirectX video card that people could buy and put in their machine, DirectX in Windows would be an 'emulation'. This would not magically make existing implementations slower.

    USB flash drives show up in modern OSes as hard drives. The OS is emulating a hard drive when it presents them to you. You can interact with it as if it were a hard drive. (Hell, now the damn BIOSes can even emulate a hard drive and boot off it. And speaking of booting, CD-ROMs still boot as floppy emulations, IIRC.)

    Likewise, Java was deliberately designed as a fictional machine to be emulated...and then later actual Java CPUs were built.

    A good portion of Wine is just API remapping, which isn't normally called 'emulation', otherwise all applications would be running 'under an emulator' unless they wrote directly to the actual screen image in memory or wrote to files on disk without byte-level access. Applications are supposed to use some sort of OS interface, or, rather, they're supposed to use some sort of library interface and the library is supposed to use the OS interface. That's not normally called emulation even if said library interface mimics another OSes, hence most of Wine is not an emulation, just like glibc isn't 'emulating' libc.

    However, parts of Wine do things that normally would be called emulation, like, oh, mapping drive letters, which isn't some frontend to a Linux function because, obviously, no such functionality exists in Linux.

    Of course, emulation doesn't make things slower. Translation from API to hardware, or API to a different API, happens several time for everything a program does, and Wine doesn't add any of those compared to other X programs or Windows programs running on Windows.

  • Re:I'm glad (Score:3, Informative)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @04:47PM (#33346926) Homepage

    Wow. If "taking multiple dicks up the butt" is not serious, then what the hell is?

    Boss: "Hey guys, the workload's gonna be a little higher this week. Don't worry, it's nothing serious; I just need you to take multiple dicks up the butt while you complete your projects."

    At least give credit where credit is due.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.