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Steam for Linux Beta (steamcommunity.com)
236 points by futureperson 1820 days ago | hide | past | web | 62 comments | favorite

I installed Windows specifically to get Steam (and Visual Studio). If Steam works on Linux, I have very little need of Microsoft products outside the office.

Even once Steam is on Linux, most games won't be. Much like Steam is on Mac but the vast majority of games don't support it.

However: 1. You should install Steam for Linux anyway! (Once it's public.) 2. I read games in virtual machines actually work reasonably well these days. (Not with VirtualBox though, sadly.)

(And I will never understand why people love Visual Studio so much. Oh well.)

> Even once Steam is on Linux, most games won't be.

While that's true, it'll lead to the creation of more games for Linux, particularly with a lot of people apprehensive about the big GUI changes in Windows 8.

More importantly, 90% of my "regular" gaming takes place in Source-based engines (TF2/L4D2), so I would be more than happy as long as those Source games are available on Linux (and I believe that was Valve's plan all along with Steam for Linux).

You'd think that, but I've notice precisely 0 more non-Valve games being released for Mac since Steam came to OS X. The only releases seem to be from companies who already did Mac ports, and indies (who are generally multi-platform).

Psychonauts? Sure, it's from an indie developer, but one with no history of Mac ports (actually, a history of being very Xbox-centric). When they got the publishing rights back, they made and released a Mac/Steam port (and then a Linux port).

And Steam has been pretty good at picking up pre-existing Mac ports, notably Civilization IV, Assassin's Creed 2, and several Star Wars games. I think Steam is also largely responsible for the Mac port of Civilization V being a first-class platform instead of the port being outsourced and late (though cross-platform multiplayer support took a while, and so did some of the DLC).

That might be because gamers aren't big on Macs, because they're expensive and difficult to upgrade. A lot of gamers prefer desktops, but the iMac isn't ugpradeable and the Mac Pro uses custom parts and hasn't received significant updates in recent years.

Maybe, but it's much bigger than Linux's game market.

Er, I don't think that's true at all. First of all, indies didn't used to do as many Mac ports before Steam for Mac/Humble Bundle. But aside from that, you have franchises like GTA, KotOR, Civilization, Assasin's Creed, and others. I think Steam for Mac definitely had an influence.

Good Old Games recently started selling a lot of (old) games for OS X.

They're emulated, not ported.

On the other hand, for an overwhelming majority of people "being apprehensive about the big GUI changes in Windows 8" means sticking to Windows 7 (or even Window XP), not switching to Linux...

That said Steam on Linux cannot be a bad thing, I think it helped bringing quite a lot of games to OSX as stated elsewhere in this thread. The bad news is that most of the times it means Cider (http://transgaming.com/cider), so the result pale in comparison to rebooting on Windows. I expect the same to happen on Linux: many ports using Wine...

> games in virtual machines actually work reasonably well these days

In KVM / Qemu, you need to forward a hardware graphics card to the VM, which means you can't use it in the host OS. It works ok if you have a crossfire or sli setup (since Linux support for either is... lacking) but you still need to have separate displays for the host and guest then.

I haven't tried vmware / xen though.

As long as Team Fortress 2 runs, I'll be happy :)

Well L4D2 has been ported, so I imagine it won't be long before the other Source engine games follow suit.

tf2 allegedly has been ported already and traces of that port have been found in the latest update.

Some of the games available for Mac through Steam are using Mono or a Wine wrapper. Those games should be very easy to port to Linux.

And while you can do gaming inside a VM with the right combination of hardware and software, it is very tricky to set up.

> (And I will never understand why people love Visual Studio so much. Oh well.)

Me neither!

I loved Visual Studio until I learned Vim, now I can't stand any IDEs they are all very cumbersome.

Interesting. I actually really like Vim's input system, but I can't separate myself from IDEs entirely. I use Eclipse and Xcode with vim keybindings :)

Can you say how you get vim bindings on xcode?

I use the XVim plugin: https://github.com/JugglerShu/XVim

It's not perfect, but it's mostly pretty good.

Not to dispute what you're saying, but I can't think of anything likely to cause a shift in momentum as Steam on Linux.

I expect to see people selling PC's as Linux gamestations of the back of this. Opertunities for a cheap Linux box already setup with steam to pull down games are now alot more tempting that I'd bet you will see kickstarter projects before the year is out.

Now the real question is, will this steam distribution system handle non X86 chips, and if so will there be limitation on the games selections above and beyond processing ability to run the game. If they can crack that then, I will be truely impressed and see more momentum than you. But it certainly will add momentum, the indirect effect on stabalising and opening up graphics drivers has been one of the greatest side effects of this port of steam onto linux than steam itself.

Be ineteresting how things are a year from now, I smell some roses; But we shall see.

Wait until there is a selection of games that you wish to play available on linux before you go ahead and write off Windows. Also, wait for driver support to be up to snuff for what you want to do.

IMO if you REALLY want games on linux you should use it for everything possible. If everyone just sits on windows waiting for games on linux then those games are not going to come lol.

I recall reading an article here a couple months ago that steam found ported games running faster on linux, after some OS optimization, as compared with the more heavilly optimized windows version.

This would be the article (blog post) in question: http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/faster-zombies/

Steam on linux doesn't necessarily mean (all) games on linux.

You'll still want to keep a windows computer around if you want to play a wide range of games.

It's the same with steam for mac. Only a handful of games worth playing.

Only two handfuls of games are worth playing on Windows as well.

I'm confused. What was the point of posting this link? This is just the Steam group for the beta. It doesn't include any new information (or a way to get in the beta) that I can see.

An official group is yet another milestone to having Steam on Linux. Also, there's a prominent `Join' button for them early adopters :-)

Right, but this doesn't guarantee beta access, nor does it confirm anything we didn't already know. I'm not trying to be prickly, I just don't see the point of this submission as it stands. If anything, the title should have been, "Join the Steam for Linux Beta Group" or something along those lines.

And if a million people join the group, they'll know they're onto something.

They already know they're on to something. If Gabe's worst nightmares about Windows come true, Linux will be his only refuge.

Yes, but unless they can convince large publishers that writing games for Linux is a good idea, it's not much of a refuge, is it?

Having a hundred thousand people sign up for his Steam group might be enough to get the ball rolling that way, though.

Looks like they might be going to announce something at the upcoming Ubuntu conference: http://cdr.thebronasium.com/sub/17746

I'm quite surprised the domain is "steamcommunity.com" and not "community.steam.com", it made me hesitant to enter login details.

Steam doesn't actually own Steam.com The current owners won't sell it.

Which is hilariously funny since there's nothing there but a drop page.

Folks that do that kind of irritate me. Sure, you can do what you like with the domain, but it's like they are being uncooperative for the sake of being uncooperative.

    % wc -l /etc/services 
    599 /etc/services

Yes, this is true. It looks like steam.com wasn't the particular case I was thinking of; one such instance with what must have been another company, the landing page basically made it clear the owner was squatting the domain to piss of the company that wanted it.

I wonder what they pay to serve it though, I wonder if there are enough hits to it for it to be non-trivial (where non-trivial for a drop site is more than spare change a month)

I'm curious as well. It's been like that for years from memory. What possible value could this site have for the owners? Apart from maybe trolling purposes? And just who are "Steam Tunnel Operations" anyway?

They do have an MX record present, so it's possible that they still use email for some legitimate purpose. Bear in mind they've had the domain since 1994 apparently (according to a WHOIS lookup), that length of time makes it unlikely that it's purpose is illegitimate.

Seems legit.

If you check the certificate for https://steamcommunity.com/, it should show Valve Corporation. Regardless, you can log in at the Steam store (https://store.steampowered.com/); the session should automatically transfer to Steam Community.

Valve does not have steam.com, the store site is steampowered.com and the community site is steamcommunity.com...

Steam's community domain has been what you'd mentioned since quite some time. No need to be hesitant.

The actual beta sign up page was just posted to the group.


Can somebody explain what precisely this page means?

It's an official group for the beta which is hopefully coming soon that appeared on Wednesday. There are no news about the beta and there has been no clarification about this page's purpose. Nothing has been announced yet.

Looks like it's gonna be a closed beta.

They did say, in a post entitled "External Beta News" [1], that a private - but again, external - beta is to be expected in October.

[1] http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/beta-late-than-never-3/

Hopefully you get access by joining to group.

Isn't kickstarter would be perfect for companies to create games for linux platform?

This way they will know in which games people are really interested and I also think that people will gladly support those kickstarter. Overall much less risk on investment.

Most Kickstarters for games now include or add support for Linux. I doubt most games would do it if not for HumbleBundle which requires Linux support and can earn you $100k to $300k or so. If not for HumbleBundle the number of new customers a Linux build gets you is almost certainly not worth it.

People still treat Kickstarter like a pre-order system, also Kickstarter disallows you from posting renderings instead of actual products (pretty much all game publishers do this).

That's only for physical products, you can still post rendering for games.

Ok , so I joined the group but I can't get into group chat from my Linux box.

Can't join from the Steam Android app either. Kinda pointless.

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