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Valve Blog Announces Dates For Steam Linux External Beta 183

An anonymous reader writes "In the third post to the new Valve Linux Blog, the Linux team has announced that starting next week they will begin their internal beta, with an external beta of 1000 users to begin mid 'some time in October.' There will be an external beta sign up page made available 'soon' according to the blog."
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Valve Blog Announces Dates For Steam Linux External Beta

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  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Thursday September 27, 2012 @08:39PM (#41484135) Homepage Journal

    but as someone who ditched Windows back when Win2K was still new I'm not really up on it.

    Is it closer to an iTunes like store, an Apt like installer, or is it some sort virtual machine running a standardized program, like Flash, Java, or a console emulator?

    Also - how does it compare to something like the Ubuntu Software Center I used to install Torch Light and the rest of the recent Humble Bundle stuff.

  • by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @08:43PM (#41484161) Journal

    More like iTunes, plus the usual social additions expected of gaming communities (IM, chat, voice, achievements, etc.).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2012 @08:46PM (#41484181)

    It's like an itunes store/software center, but for games. You can talk with your friends, even if you're both in games (shift+tab iirc will bring up an overlay in any game). Also they're porting the source engine (iiuc), so we'll (probably) have games like L4D2 and maybe even Half Life 2. More info on their blog: http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/steamd-penguins/

  • Re:Linux != Ubuntu (Score:4, Informative)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @11:52PM (#41484979)

    They're doing the initial beta (and possibly initial release) only under Ubuntu, to limit the number of complications.

    Why Ubuntu? There are a couple of reasons for that. First, we’re just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster. Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. This doesn’t mean that Ubuntu will be the only distribution we support. Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future.

    Source: Valve Linux blog, entry "Steam'd Penguins", posted July 16 2012 [valvesoftware.com]

    And all that means, really, is that they currently only "support" it on Ubuntu - it will quite likely run fine on other distros, although probably with some work involved. And, if it's a reasonable success, they may make it supported on other major distros.

  • by DarkTempes ( 822722 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @12:12AM (#41485041)

    Think of a webkit-based instant messaging client and app store mixed together. It keeps your games up-to-date, has really good sale prices, and makes it stupidly easy to play games with friends.

    The downside is that there is DRM (many games have to be launched through steam to play them) and it's kind of a pain to play games when offline.
    In the past Valve has said that if they were to ever dissolve then they'll release a DRM removal tool.

  • by glittermage ( 650813 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:33AM (#41485309)
    Steam doesn't require online access to play games once they've been downloaded. The game might have had an additional DRM besides Valve. The Steam only DRM games I have tried without Internet access work fine (it seems confused at first that Internet isn't available).
  • There was a long-standing bug in Steam which made offline mode unreliable for anyone who shuts their computer down regularly.

    When you'd shut down Windows, Steam would apparently just sit around and fail to heed the warnings the OS gave it until it would be forced to close. This made it not properly save the offline mode token, so if the next time you launched the client was without an internet connection, you were SOL.

    If you closed Steam before shutting down it worked fine, but since this wasn't common knowledge and you don't usually plan internet outages at the consumer level as far as an average user cares it didn't work.

    The actual cause of the bug was identified publicly by a user a few months ago and shortly followed by a Steam client update which resolved the problem. At this point offline mode works exactly as expected.

  • by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruising-slashdot@@@yahoo...com> on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:35AM (#41486075) Homepage Journal

    Mostly true, but Steam is also a storefront wrapping a DRM system. Some Steam games can run apparently without Steam running and signed in (none of the ones I've tried, though), but many can't. To be fair, that's sometimes because they use Steam for in-game features (multiplayer matchmaking and such) but often it's just for the DRM. There are almost no free (as in cost, much less freedom) games on Steam, so it's not much like a typical Linux package management repo in that way either.

    As DRM schemes go, Steam isn't that bad; it can run in an offline mode for up to a month or so without connecting to Valve's servers, and it quite handily avoids the whole "You have used up your limit of X activations" BS. It brings a host of other problems, though, like the inability for two people to play two completely different games at the same time if they were purchased on the same account. It also has the usual "you don't really own it" BS of DRMed media, such as the complete inability to resell any game.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday September 28, 2012 @10:37AM (#41488069) Homepage Journal

    OTOH, traditionally I can buy a game at the tore for 50 bucks. Later resell it for 5 bucks. On steam, I can usually purchase that same game for 25 bucks. So resell doesn't really bother me. Gifting games I have played needs to be allowed.

    Bu yes, they need a 'home server' option that lets anyone in your home play any game as long as someone else isn't playing it.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein