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Left 4 Dead Demo Includes Linux Steam Client Libraries

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the fun-little-surprise dept.

PC Games (Games) 217

SheeEttin writes "If you've been longing to play games from Steam on your Linux machine, you may not have to wait much longer — the Left 4 Dead demo includes some Linux libraries, in particular, one named 'steamclient_linux.so.' While the game's full release does not include these libraries, their apparently accidental inclusion in the demo suggests that Steam games will have native Linux clients in the near future. (A job listing at Valve looking for someone whose responsibilities would include 'Port[ing] Windows-based games to the Linux platform' would seem to support this.) The libraries also include several strings nonessential to a pure server, including references to forgotten passwords. Hopefully, this indicates that at least some Valve-affiliated games will have native Linux clients."

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Just in time (5, Funny)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925111)

for the Year Of The Linux Desktop.

Oh yes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925267)

Jahaha! Sehr gut! Oh yes! Wunderbar!
 
Mod me up if you get it ;)

Re:Oh yes! (2, Insightful)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925281)

RtCW: Enemy Territory?

Nein! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926861)

It's what your mom says when we have our conjugal visits.

Re:Just in time (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925427)

Couldn't it just be the decade of the Linux Desktop?

When exactly did the year of the Windows Desktop occur?

Re:Just in time (2)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926335)

1985-to present and for the foreseeable future.

It is for the server.. (5, Informative)

evilNomad (807119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925121)

steamclient_linux.so is used by the dedicated linux servers to connect to steam and check for updates and such, it was probably just included by mistake..

Re:It is for the server.. (4, Informative)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925171)

steamclient_linux.so is used by the dedicated linux servers to connect to steam and check for updates and such, it was probably just included by mistake..

The article quotes a large string of names and says:

These strings plus hundreds of other technically shouldn't be needed if this were simply for Linux server usage -- even though no Linux server binary ships with the Windows game on Steam.

Not sure if that's reasonable grounds for their assumption, but is worth considering.

Re:It is for the server.. (1, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925225)

People write inefficient code..
Client apps that have absolutely no business being on a server make it to "servers" all the time, just look at all the cruft supposed server versions of windows come with.

Re:It is for the server.. (2, Interesting)

evilNomad (807119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925233)

Well, maybe Valve decided that if they were going to port some features for the dedicated server, they might do them all when they were at it.. But no one but Valve will know.. :)

Re:It is for the server.. (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925533)

The Linux Dedicated Server distribution includes all kinds of things that aren't needed -- including Windows DLLs, sound files, etc.

I'd like to see an actual comparison with the current Linux dedicated server before I jump to conclusions.

That said, I'll also be first in line if they ever do release a Linux client.

Re:It is for the server.. (3, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925993)

Sound files are needed if your server uses sv_pure, AFAIK. The server needs all the game resources to compare files hashes with the hashes the client sends to be sure they're not replacing files. A common reason to use sv_pure would be to prevent TF2 cheaters from replacing, say, the soft "spy decloak" sound FX with a REALLY LOUD NOISE, which would make it a lot easier to hear any nearby spies.

Re:It is for the server.. (3, Insightful)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926189)

The server needs all the game resources to compare files hashes with the hashes the client sends to be sure they're not replacing files.

That's just lazyness. Instead of storing the actual game artwork the server could just store a list of the hashes - and save a couple hundred megabytes (sometimes gigabytes) of diskspace.

Re:It is for the server.. (3, Informative)

prockcore (543967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926713)

no, because the hacked client can do the same thing. The server hashes a random part of the file, and then tells the client to hash that same part.

Re:It is for the server.. (2, Insightful)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926813)

A hacked client could just as well use hacked artwork but at the same time perform the hashes over a copy of the original artwork. It's just another step in the arms-race and imho not a very effective one. Once a hacker has managed to gain control over the hash-function it probably doesn't matter much to him whether he just sends stored hashes or performs partial hashes over an existing set of files...

Re:It is for the server.. (1)

TheFrunk (1096377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926895)

I could be wrong, but I believe the reasoning for this is so if a hash check fails with any one particular file, the server can send down the original one so that the player can still join the server, instead of kicking the player back to the main menu.

Re:It is for the server.. (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926203)

I wonder why they don't just ship the checksums of the files with the server, rather than the entire file itself.

Re:It is for the server.. (1)

J-F Mammet (769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926577)

I would say they need to change the hashing algorithm from time to time because cheaters may defeat them and would be able to cheat again. Or they also use challenge for some random part of the actual file to make sure that the client isn't just sending a bogus hash without actually checking the file.

How about OS X? (5, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925149)

I wonder if this means they will provide OS X support as well?

Re:How about OS X? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925465)

Dream on mactard.

Re:How about OS X? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926313)

Why be such an asshole?

Are you so insecure than you can only feel good about yourself by insulting others?

Poor little man.

Re:How about OS X? (4, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925587)

Parent being modded funny is probably the funniest response there could be to his question...

Re:How about OS X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926173)

I wonder if this means they will provide OS X support as well?

Just use Crossover Games - it works for Valve's stuff.

Re:How about OS X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926289)

I wonder if this means they will provide OS X support as well?

Linux has been waiting a lot longer than OSX, you mac users can wait a few more years!

Re:How about OS X? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926349)

You can already run Steam and some games on OSX and Linux. I've played Portal and Half Life 2 on my Mac using Codweavers' [codeweavers.com] software. It played pretty well.

I wonder how much work it would really take to get more games running in WINE or some derivative, assuming that was a goal of the game developers.

Hold your horses (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925159)

Just because the Steam client may run native Linux doesn't mean that games will.
I'd be surprised if the first offerings were more than the few games that will run under wine bundled with wine.
And a game running under wine doesn't become a Linux game. Sorry, no.

Re:Hold your horses (5, Insightful)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925219)

"(A job listing at Valve looking for someone whose responsibilities would include 'Port[ing] Windows-based games to the Linux platform' would seem to support this.)"

And so what if the whole movement only starts with some Wine support? For alot of people its a pain to get steam up and running with linux, and so if Wine becomes integrated into Steam, then that will save alot of people headaches. That's far better than just continuing to ban all the people on their forums who cry out for a Linux client.

Re:Hold your horses (3, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925349)

The way I see it, if you play an involved game like most Steam games are, you're no longer multitasking. The game, not the OS, is what you interface with. So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

wine is useful when you need to run a native Windows program from within the context of Unix. But it will never provide the full Windows environment, and if you're not going to interface with the OS, why bother what the OS is?

I know there may be people out there who don't have any Windows licenses, but I think those are few and far between. Especially those who can also afford games from Valve. I must have half a dozen unused Windows licenses here, because whenever I buy a computer, I get one, no matter whether I then blow the OS away and install Linux.
wine, ndiswrappers and other stuff that tricks Windows programs into running more-or-less as intended is something I see as a last resort, not first.

Re:Hold your horses (3, Insightful)

kcbnac (854015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925445)

Because for those of us who've chosen Linux as our 'workstation' OS, having to maintain (albeit minutely) a second OS (install, AV/Firewall as much needed for gaming, hardware drivers, etc) simply for a game or 5, becomes a chore. I usually leave chat or web-browsing windows up on my gaming machine (Still running windows because the hassles are too many) but if it were a one-time setup (not every time a new major patch comes out) I'd switch to Linux on the second machine too.

Why buy a PC when a 'net appliance' will do?

Re:Hold your horses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925511)

Rebooting is a pain. It takes time and it kills any backgroup processes that might be running (e.g. downloads, DVD burning etc).
It also requires having a 2nd partition with windows installed which would be obsolete with native Linux games.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926045)

Why would you be burning a DVD while playing a game?

Buffer underruns, anyone?

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25927031)

That's easy. Because you only have one computer and want to do something while that's running on automatic. I could see people wanting to play games while doing other stuff such as ripping DVDs, compiling, defragging etc.

To them I say: Buy another computer. The reasons are obvious enough to someone who knows what the PC is doing but its understandable why people WANT to do such things.

Re:Hold your horses (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25927033)

Someone from the year 2000 called to let you know about this great new technology that was just invented called "BURN-Proof". It means that buffer underruns don't result in unusable discs anymore! WOW!!!

Re:Hold your horses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925535)

Because Windows costs money and a big part of the running of Linux is to avoid the licensing costs.

Re:Hold your horses (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926743)

All linux users are cheap fuckers who can't afford real operating systems. This is why Steam will never be ported, no one pays for anything in the linux user 'community'...

Cheap fucking retarded assholes worshipping Stallman and his fucked up socialism.

Re:Hold your horses (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925553)

So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

It's a huge paint in the ass when you have to *reboot your whole system* just to play some game and then *reboot it again* to continue your work.
Not to mention the pain it is to maintain to maintain a system you only want to use for games - 'sorry, just installed the usual security updates, please *reboot your system*'
Well, I think, playing games is more fun if you can just star them and wait few seconds to load everything instead of spending minutes of rebooting and even more of fiddeling around with the two systems.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925697)

Turn the updates off. Silly people telling their OS to do things and then whining when they do them...

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926275)

Hear, hear! I just did exactly this just to play 2 games after trying in vain to get Portal working under wine and Crossover Games. Same with RealMYST.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926331)

Worked perfect for me (with Ati hardware!)

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926583)

What distro, wine version, and gfx card are you using? I'm on Fedora 10 with a GeForce 6600 GT. wine 1.1.7-1.

Re:Hold your horses (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925575)

whoa whoa whoa. Extra OEM licenses != extra licenses. Licenses purchased installed with a computer are limited to use with that computer. Even if you wipe it. If the argument is about being legal with windows, this is not a valid point. Secondly wine runs opengl games, even with steam fairly well, and it wasn't too hard to setup. Lastly and more importantly, games from valve are NOT expensive. In fact there was just a deal for all the games released from valve for 99.95. Yes, that's all the games, cs, cs:s, portal, hl, hl2, hl expansion, etc etc

Re:Hold your horses (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925703)

When I bought my PC I specifically asked to remove Windows and I didn't had to pay for it. And no, I don't want to pay the price of 4 games and having to install another OS and having to deal with bugs and virus just to play. But I don't think I'll have much choice for now.

One of the main problems is DirectX. OpenGL isn't an alternative for a game like Crysis. The last good commercial 3D engine based on OpenGl was what, a modified Quake III engine? CoD run on OpenGl and they moved.

Now, or someone (who?) it willing to invest in developing OpenGl features or in writing a DirectX subsystem for Linux, and none of which seems likely to happen.

Re:Hold your horses (2, Informative)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925883)

Many, many engines support OpenGL. id tech 4 (Doom 3, Quake 4, Prey, etc) was pure OpenGL, Unreal's engine is always D3D and OGL, etc. The only big engine that doesn't support OGL is Source; even stock Gamebryo supports it, although many games opt not to ship with it (e.g. Oblivion, Morrowind (back when it was NetImmerse)) since they make internal changes and don't care about maintaining OGL support.

Re:Hold your horses (2, Informative)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926059)

id Software's engines are a very rare exception; Carmack, for some strange reason, likes OpenGL over DirectX. Unreal Engine 3 technically supports OpenGL, but their primary focus is on D3D as is just about everyone else's.

Why? Because D3D is better than OpenGL in the majority of ways, enough that targeting the minute market of Linux is almost certainly not worth the hassle.

And no, don't say "use SDL." SDL sucks, too. If you can seriously look at SDL next to DirectX and say that there's any valid comparison that doesn't involve a belly laugh, you do not belong in this conversation.

Re:Hold your horses (2, Interesting)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926375)

How, exactly, is D3D "better" than OGL? The language is obtuse (a COM interface versus a simple state machine), amongst other things.

I'm not trolling, just curious about why you would think that.

Re:Hold your horses (3, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926431)

Why? Because D3D is better than OpenGL in the majority of ways, enough that targeting the minute market of Linux...

...and Mac OS, and PS3, and Wii...

Re:Hold your horses (0)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926589)

D3D is better than OpenGL how? OpenGL supports all features that Direct 3D does.

Re:Hold your horses (3, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925733)

Because it's actually more painful to run it in Windows, for some of us. Here, let me count the ways:

Linux has pretty good 64-bit support. The last remaining broken piece was browser plugins -- Java has been ported, and Flash will be soon. Windows 64-bit sucks before Vista, and Vista sucks in so many other ways that 64-bit is hardly a concern.

And yes, Valve games can use 64-bit and multicore. And I do have 4 gigs of RAM, which means XP can only see 3.5 gigs.

I also run Linux for everything other than games. That means, not only is there the irritation of having to reboot -- somewhat mitigated, as I can hibernate one and boot another -- but that I have to maintain Windows, which is much more work for me than maintaining Linux -- on top of which, I still have to maintain Linux. (Example: Ever try to hunt down XP drivers for a made-for-Vista laptop?)

Steam also insists that I install/update games via its client. That's great, if I'm running Windows anyway -- and I'm on fiber, so it's fast. But it means I can't download while on Linux. What's more, I can't play a Steam game I've already got while I wait -- as soon as Steam sees me playing a game, it kills all downloads. I suppose it's to keep me from lagging -- thanks, but it reacts the same way if I'm playing a single-player game.

If there was a Linux client, I'd just leave it running and not care.

And then there's the fact that Steam itself is a good deal more than just a game client, now -- assuming they've finally gotten the Friends feature working, it's also an IM client. That would be nice -- a friend IMs me, inviting me to a game, and rather than rebooting, I just click "yes" in that window -- and he can IM me from the game, he doesn't have to alt+tab to some other client to a Pidgin-friendly service.

Now, granted, I could run games under Wine. I do, for some games -- MMOs, I pretty much demand that they run windowed on Linux, because I absolutely do multitask with those. But with Steam, there's a performance hit (all Valve games are DirectX only, now), there's again 32-bit only (no Win64 support in Wine yet), and none of it is supported, meaning if I have any problems, I'm on my own.

Still, it's not as though there would be no benefit. Even if these end up being winelib'd apps, at least they're supported, and it's a step in the right direction -- next up would likely be an OpenGL port. It also means that some of the non-Valve games on Steam which have native Linux clients would also work in Steam.

Re:Hold your horses (3, Informative)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925901)

Wine doesn't support x64 code, so the only benefit you can get is having the full address space enabled (because the kernel can properly map memory).

Re:Hold your horses (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926451)

True. However, a true native port would very likely include the existing x64 support. And no, I don't really get that advantage, as a single 32-bit process (on Windows) is limited to, what, 2 gigs of RAM? The only advantage would be if I needed the other 2 gigs for something else, rather than 1.5 gigs.

I still would also gain the benefit of being able to download while I work, having a supported solution, not having to reboot, being able to instantly join a game from an IM, and so on.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25927019)

"Linux has pretty good 64-bit support. The last remaining broken piece was browser plugins -- Java has been ported, and Flash will be soon."

64 bit flash ten for Linux came out earlier this month, the long wait is over.

Re:Hold your horses (2, Insightful)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925767)

Just because you aren't multitasking doesn't mean you don't have multiple tasks open. It's not uncommon for me to have 20-30 windows open (spread across multiple desktops) and so rebooting is a particularly painful process for me. My hardware is powerful enough to keep all those tasks open and play a game at the same time. If the only choices I had were "reboot" or "don't play games", I would pick "don't play games".

Re:Hold your horses (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926845)

Just because you aren't multitasking doesn't mean you don't have multiple tasks open. It's not uncommon for me to have 20-30 windows open (spread across multiple desktops) and so rebooting is a particularly painful process for me.

And hibernation isn't an option why?

Re:Hold your horses (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25927021)

And hibernation isn't an option why?

Interesting. I hadn't thought of that but, if you hibernate linux and then reboot into Windows, you'd probably be able to reboot into the hibernated linux afterwards if you didn't have the Windows NTFS partition(s) mounted from there. Hibernation blows your cache which is annoying but, it's not a horrible solution.

Re:Hold your horses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925857)

The way I see it, if you play an involved game like most Steam games are, you're no longer multitasking. The game, not the OS, is what you interface with. So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

The main reason not to reboot into Windows to play a game, at least for me, is the incredible inconvenience.

For a while I was running Ubuntu as my main desktop, with a separate Windows partition for gaming.

My email, bookmarks, address book, documents... All of that was under Ubuntu. If I was playing a game in Windows and needed some piece of information I'd have to exit out of the game (hopefully after saving somewhere) and reboot into Linux to get at what I needed. Then reboot again to get back into Windows to play some more. It became a major inconvenience.

Running a game under WINE it is trivial to simply pause the game and look up whatever it is that I need. Sure, there's a performance hit to the game... And it would be better to have native Linux support... But it's certainly less annoying than constantly rebooting.

Re:Hold your horses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926013)

So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

a) I don't have windows installed.
b) For that matter, I don't even own windows, and I'm not going to lay out a hundred bucks or whatever it costs when Wine suffices.
c) Even though I may not be doing other things in the foreground, there are background processes, daemons, servers etc. that I would like to keep running.
d) Firing up a game in Wine should - I hope - take less time than rebooting into a different OS - and shutting down the game when you're finished playing should take less time than shutting down windows and rebooting back into Linux, too.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926447)

So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

I guess it depends on whether you really think it's less painful to do that. You have to close all your applications and everything you're doing, reboot, run the game, and then reboot again to get back to everything else.

And that even ignores the fact that you have to set aside disk space to install a whole other OS, buy that other OS, install it, hunt down drivers, process the updates, and potentially worry about system security and system optimization for a whole other OS. And then if you've miscalculated the amount of hard drive space that you'll need for that second OS, you have to deal with that.

WINE isn't that hard to install these days, and it's not hard to install and run programs in WINE, assuming they work. The integration into your Linux system isn't quite seamless, but it's pretty good.

But the real issue with WINE these days is the part where I said "assuming they work". You can get lots of applications running in WINE pretty smoothly, but you can't count on all your applications to run in WINE. However, if developers set WINE compatibility as a goal it might be a real alternative to using Windows.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926763)

I guess it depends on whether you really think it's less painful to do that. You have to close all your applications and everything you're doing, reboot, run the game, and then reboot again to get back to everything else.

"Close all your applications and everything you're doing"?
One word: hibernate

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926553)

I must have half a dozen unused Windows licenses here, because whenever I buy a computer, I get one, no matter whether I then blow the OS away and install Linux.

If you ever actually read the OEM licenses for Windows, you'd know that those licenses are bound to the specific hardware that you purchased, and cannot be transferred to other hardware. So restricted, Microsoft allows the OEM licenses to be deeply discounted.

You might not be using the licenses, but that doesn't mean you've got them stockpiled.

Re:Hold your horses (0, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926679)

For one thing, some of us refuse to use microsoft products because the company's operations are detrimental to society. For another, some of us prefer open source/free software for similar ethical reasons.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926797)

For one thing, some of us refuse to use microsoft products because the company's operations are detrimental to society. For another, some of us prefer open source/free software for similar ethical reasons.

Isn't that a good reason to avoid using wine too? I mean, wine won't work with the majority of games out there unless you copy in proprietary libraries, fonts and other helper applications.

I much prefer seeing native Linux applications than continuing to support Microsoft by running proprietary Windows applications under a compatibility layer. That wine itself is open source doesn't mean that the software you run in wine automatically becomes open source too.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926951)

It is indeed. There are quite a few linux users who don't think wine is a good idea. Personally, I think it's probably best to have the compatibility, but to encourage open alternatives instead, as the wine appdb does (if I recall correctly).

Re:Hold your horses (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926475)

"(A job listing at Valve looking for someone whose responsibilities would include 'Port[ing] Windows-based games to the Linux platform' would seem to support this.)"

For the 100th time, they have always had somebody porting windows games to Linux, nobody in their right mind runs servers on windows!!!

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926945)

Porting a game is different than making a server for it. Servers just have to organize and relay data, and have nothing to do with actually rendering the scenes or taking player input.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

Kentaree (1078787) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925299)

If they release a linux client that uses Wine, they're bound to support it too, which can only be good for Wine, and linux gamers.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925421)

If they release a linux client that uses Wine, they're bound to support it too, which can only be good for Wine, and linux gamers.

I think you're missing the point: wine apps aren't Linux apps, and those playing Windows games under wine aren't Linux gamers but Windows gamers logged in to Linux.
The "Linux gamers" would much rather see ports that run natively, or even better, games developed for Linux. The best thing would not be "good for wine", but that wine went away due to lack of a need for it.
Remember, wine will always be a kludge. A damn good kludge at times, but still a kludge. It isn't a solution, but something that makes life bearable while people wait for and work towards solutions.

Re:Hold your horses (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926517)

And a game running under wine doesn't become a Linux game. Sorry, no.

If they start making applications that are officially supported under Wine, it'll still be a very big deal.

Not much longer... (2, Funny)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925161)

Just a few more years?
If they're still looking to hire, I doubt this would be anytime soon. It is valve we're talking about here.
Let me know when they publicly announce it.

Re:Not much longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925373)

We'll be long dead by the time they announce it.

Maybe I'm oldfashioned... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925189)

If you've been longing to play games from Steam on your Linux machine

I've been longing to play games without having to render my computer to a software distribution behemoth that borders on spyware.

Re:Maybe I'm oldfashioned... (1)

onedotzero (926558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925459)

Some references would be nice.

Re:Maybe I'm oldfashioned... (0, Troll)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925691)

He is talking about steam. not only are you forced to run it always in the background when you play the games.
it will call home every time you start a game to see if it's legit even if it's for lan or single player(yes i know one can get around it but do it too often and it will complain). It will prevent you from even running a game that is not up to date even in single player mode or lan, which is a pain in the rear because on some games the newest patch is not always the best. The ability to arbitrarily and without notice change requirements of the game like forcing people to up date their os's to play games that without steam would of played just fine.
the subversion of your fair use rights of being able to take the games you buy to a buy sell or trade store when your throughly sick of it to get some money back on your investment, on top of that boxed games that require steam can't be sold by ebay or any buy sell or trade stores because valve has publicly announced they won't accept those sales as valid even if the buyer proves he has the legit cd and proof of purchase. the fact that it removes from your control the physical medium of the game, some of us have isp's that don't like it when you download multiple gigs of data just because one little file in the steam cache(which you are not allowed to open btw) gets courpt.

to put it bluntly at the cost of my karma, if a game is on steam it's not worth playing. i DO NOT support companies that treat people like this. though on a side note i would find it funny if they ported steam to linux, it would be the first official spyware program for the os.

There already is a Linux steam client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925285)

It's for running the dedicated servers!

As was mentioned above this was probably just an accidental inclusion from that project.

"Valve Time" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925317)

Considering how long it takes them between releases, we can expect this sometime around 2015.

But Postal3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925343)

Postal3 has already been confirmed to have a linux-native client AND postal3 is to use Valves Source engine so since this game is due in 2009 a linux-native source engine/valve must be worked on

maybe this is the 1st signs of it

Porting DRM to linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925517)

But if you can have a game DRM system on Linux, can Linux be truly free?

Re:Porting DRM to linux! (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25927069)

Yes. It's not like you are forced to use it if/when it's available.

Come one, Phoronix? Seriously? (5, Interesting)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925521)

Who still believes any of the stuff they're writing?

Those libraries are used by the Linux SERVER, so they can pull updates over Steam. Yes, Steam in Linux...shocking, ain't it? That says absolutely zip about game capability.

Phoronix sees a handful of .so files and weaves a huge story about any Source games are just around the corner for Linux.

There's absolutely _nothing_ noteworthy about this...

wishful thinking (4, Informative)

niteice (793961) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925549)

I don't doubt that Valve has investigated the possibility of a native Linux client. However, Phoronix doesn't seem to be looking in the right places. Let's go through what they brought up from the perspective of someone who is familiar with the Source engine:

steamclient_linux.so - this is the ONLY interesting file. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that a majority is stubbed out and this is a remnant of the port of L4D to Steamworks - it uses a more generic library layout to work with any application, not tightly integrated with Source as before. Perhaps the server uses some functions in it to connect to the Steam master servers. That would explain why they only found it to be about half the size of the Windows version.

studiorender_i486.so - Valve calls their 3D model format a "studio model." I'm fairly certain that this file is stubbed out and only the model loader is available - the physics engine needs it to get at mesh data.

vstdlib_i486.so - Valve's standard libraries. Routines and classes used throughout the engine. No surprise, it's been shipping as long as the dedicated server has.

libsteam_api_linux.so - The API into Steam. Again, probably a Steamworks artifact. Again, perhaps part is used by the dedicated server.

engine_i486.so - core engine functionality. Anything that isn't factored out into another library (there are about 45) exists in here. I'm fairly sure that typically, left4dead.exe connects to Steam, then loads this library to make stuff happen. Core client and server code (operation, not logic) is in here.


Unfortunately, I have since removed the demo from my computer (bought the actual game, well worth it) and can't investigate these files any further. I don't think this is 100% indicative of Valve having a Linux client ready, but rather extreme extrapolation on Phoronix's part. I'm completely with them on wanting a client though.

No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people... (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925557)

Supposedly the numbers are 5:1 Mac:Linux on the desktop platform [wikipedia.org] ; you'd think they would be going after that market first.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925761)

Supposedly the numbers are 5:1 Mac:Linux on the desktop platform [wikipedia.org] ; you'd think they would be going after that market first.

There is a problem with that theory. Most Mac users use a mac for ease of use, not stability and ability to do whatever you want with full operability. There are far more gamers running linux than MacOSX.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925773)

That says nothing about the ratio of people running macs and wanting to play source games over the amount of people running linux and wanting to do the same thing.

VALVe has tons of data about that.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925815)

Well, I'd say the 295 people using 8 core machines [steampowered.com] are probably mostly Mac Pro users booting into Windows to play games. As one of those 295 people (0.2% of survey respondents) I can say we do want a Steam client for OS X.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926047)

I didn't say anything about Mac people wanting a steam client being nonexistent. I simply said that if the amount of people willing to play on macs
At any rate, I shot an email to a dev and am awaiting his response.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926219)

I have an Intel Skulltrail rig, have 8 cores, and have never put OSX anywhere near it.

A decent try, but Mactards don't have a monopoly on 8 cores either, though no doubt Stevie Jobber has tried to convince you that the only 8 core desktops in the world are Macs.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925871)

Linux and Mac OSes are all based off of the Unix kernel arn't they? I'm sure it wouldn't take too much to work on an OS X version too if this Linux version actually exists.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926501)

Well AFAIK there is no itunes, safari, etc for linux so its obviously not that easy.

Re:No Mac support first? There's 5x as many people (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926991)

They probably just don't care about the small minority of Linux users. Why would they use their time and money to please a tiny bit of the market share when they could focus on their windows port. There is alot more of an incentive to work there. Besides, you're working backwards if you go from Mac OS back down to unix. They would probably start with unix and make a base that works, then polish things per distrobution.

Could be good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25925711)

There is no platform for distributing comercial games available for Linux so far. If Valve did port Steam and all games using the Source Engine to Linux, they'd have some kind of Linux-Game monopoly. They could even do some contracts with major Distributors to include the Steam client in the repositories. So nearly everyone willing to buy a linux game will go to steam an buy it there easily - other companies already porting games to Linux could sell them using steam. And with the increasing popularity of Linux, this would be the right time for Valve to jump at the raising train

benefits will (1)

wakingrufus (904726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925757)

even if they are planning to port valve games, there will be a sooner good side effect from this: it will be nice to be able to install the linux versions of introversion games. currently, if you are running steam in WINE, you can only install the windows versions of those games, even though linux versions are available as a separate install.

The Demo Is Gone BTW (1)

Ka D'Argo (857749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925867)

The only way to play the demo is, and IANAL, kind of illegal now. The demo for L4D was removed from Steam the day the full game launched. If you google it, many people missed out on the demo and now have to buy the full game if they want to try it. The illegal part is, while the game is no longer listed in Steam, you still have the game installed. If you run the exe, you can play the single player demo only. I say kinda illegal cause if Valve doesn't want you playing the game on Steam, I doubt they want you playing the single player either and will probably update Steam to remove it (it was removed cause the demo is rather open ended and could easily have new maps made for it, detracting from sales of the full version. You could still technically do this for the single player too). So the linux guys are in the same boat as a lot of us wanting to test the game before buying it (assuming they even support Linux in the full version).

Re:The Demo Is Gone BTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926783)

Yeah, I thought that was really bizarre how they removed all references to it. At the time I didn't know the demo would expire, so it's lucky I downloaded it when it was available. I can understand disabling the multiplayer portion of a demo after the game is released (so those servers can support the retail version). But to release a demo (which includes a single-player mode) for ONE WEEK ONLY and then remove it from the face of the earth is just stupid. I feel bad for people who are just now hearing about the game; this is an instance where I can fully support "alternative" options such as The Pirate Bay. If they were going to nuke the demo after only one week, they shouldn't have even bothered with a demo at all. What. The. Fuck.

wine already runs steam + Valve games just fine (4, Interesting)

mattbee (17533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925887)

i.e. Half-Life 2, Team Fortress, Portal, right here on my Ubuntu laptop. There *is* a native version of Steam for Linux, albeit one without much of a front-end, just for running dedicated servers. So I suspect this is a non-story. Valve would be insane to worry about porting their games to Linux (at least) before they ported to the Mac, so I really think it's unlikely they're considering it. There's no common programming framework between Steam games, other than the copy protection & integration, so every game would be a separate porting job - not going to happen!

However if they could wrap up Steam, wine, Ubuntu together into a neat physical package, they could be in an interesting position to flog PC-based games consoles with a library of download titles, and *that* is the only reason they might be interested in supporting their own games on Linux. With Popcap and other cheap smaller titles making up the majority of their catalogue (even if those are not the most popular overall) and some hardware partner on board, they might have a shot if they could price a console at the low end of things.

Still- while they have an interest in keeping titles out for the XBox 360, taking on a huge platform project to compete with Microsoft would take balls of steel and plenty of money.

No, this is all crap, undoubtedly. But nice to speculate occasionally :)

Re:wine already runs steam + Valve games just fine (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926085)

Valve would be insane to worry about porting their games to Linux (at least) before they ported to the Mac

A somewhat obtuse statement from an otherwise interesting comment that deserves a response.

Firstly, to be a Mac user, you have to buy one of a range of specific computers but to be a Linux user, you just need an empty PC or a Windows PC with some spare hard disk space. Therefore, if you're currently a PC gamer in Windows, it's easier to move to (or dual boot) Linux than it is to buy a Mac.

Secondly, I wouldn't argue that in the USA, if Windows is the most used OS, then second place would probably go to OS X on Macs with Linux a fairly close third. However, such is not the case for Europe and, I suspect, much of the rest of the world - Linux is definitely second place to Windows. Therefore, outside the USA, there's probably a bigger potential market for commercial games on Linux than on Macs.

I really am not intending to provoke a "my OS is better than your OS" argument, but as someone who has been in the IT & telecoms industry for 25+ years, I say it like I see it - my friends and workmates all run Windows, about 10% run Linux (usually alongside it) and I know of no-one who either owns a Mac or intends buying one, despite the fact that these are mostly IT literate people with numerous iPods amongst them.

Re:wine already runs steam + Valve games just fine (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926237)

Therefore, if you're currently a PC gamer in Windows, it's easier to move to (or dual boot) Linux than it is to buy a Mac.

Ignoring any time considerations, of course. Realistically someone could more easily go from actually using Windows to actually using Mac OS X without ripping all their hair out or trying to kill themselves. The transition from Windows to any Unix type OS is hard.

I also find your assertion that Linux desktops outnumber Macs outside of NA a little odd. That's definitely not true here in the UK or I bet the rest of Western Europe, as much as I'd like it to be.

Re:wine already runs steam + Valve games just fine (1)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926127)

I have had nothing but trouble getting Valve's games to run smoothly under Linux, and by reading through the support forums I can see that I'm not the only one.

Mind you, this is on a brand new quad-core 2.3GHz machine with a 384MB NVidia graphics card.

While I don't doubt they'd consider creating a package out of the whole thing, I would like to think that they are interested in opening up to the general Linux market a little as well. I've bought every Valve game so far, so it would be nice to know that my switch to Linux isn't going to prevent me from continuing that trend.

Re:wine already runs steam + Valve games just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926389)

"brand new quad-core 2.3GHz machine with a 384MB NVidia graphics card."

Having 384MB of memory is NO WAY says anything about whether or not that card is fast. Ram is quite cheap and most lower end cards have a decent amount of ram. In fact, it's pretty common for vastly slower cards to have MORE ram than faster ones, as ram is cheap but the gpu isn't.

Probably just a random binary. (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 5 years ago | (#25925903)

steamclient_linux.so is probably a gzipped jpeg of Bill Gates with a few bits of header pasted on to make it look exciting for the Linux folks.

Frist st0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25926113)

code shWaring be on a wro>ng

More surprising: "PC Specific Splitscreen Options" (2, Informative)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25926757)

Among the libraries included in the L4D demo:
libsteam_api_linux.so
libsteamvalidateuseridtickets_i486.so
libtier0_s_linux.so

I noticed this within the first hour after the demo came out while adjusting the configuration files.

However, I was more surprised with the file:
C:\Program files\Steam\SteamApps\Common\left 4 dead demo\left4dead\cfg\splitscreen_on.cfg:

// PC Specific Splitscreen Performance Options
// Currently these are all pretty much disabled because they muck with per-machine system settings.

//cl_particle_fallback_base 3
//cl_particle_fallback_multiplier 2.0

// Leave flashlight depth texture on in PC splitscreen
r_flashlightdepthtexture 1

//r_shadowrendertotexture 0
//r_shadowfromworldlights 0

//cl_detaildist 450
//cl_detailfade 150

//r_drawmodeldecals 0
//r_decals 512
//r_decalstaticprops 0

//cl_ragdoll_maxcount 0
//sv_ragdoll_maxcount 0
//ragdoll_sleepaftertime 3

I thought "WTF!? Splitscreen on the PC???". Doesn't do much, since it's disabled, but it's worth pointing out.

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