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Phoronix Confirms GNU/Linux Steam and Source Engine Clients

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.

Games 324

nukem996 writes "After initially reporting in 2010 that Valve was working on a native GNU/Linux client, one has finally been confirmed. Michael Larabel recently visited Valve's Bellvue, WA based office and has been able to see it himself. Included in the article are screenshots of the client running and speculation of a release." Valve has yet to officially comment, but you'd hope they wouldn't invite someone up to their offices and send them home to spew lies.

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Good luck (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793713)

I know this isn't going to be a popular sentiment on /., but a Steam Linux client is going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes. The applause won't even have died down before they're bitching that there aren't enough games, it's not open source, it doesn't look right in their obscure distro of choice, etc.

The Linux community *should* embrace and celebrate this, but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free. Introducing a closed source client that charges for games into that group isn't going to please them. Nothing is going to please them.

Okay, now everyone mod me troll for pointing out something you know is true.

Re:Good luck (5, Insightful)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793749)

While it's true that some people are like that, it's unfortunate that your experience with the Linux community left you with the impression that most are like that.
That hasn't been my impression, at least. Maybe I'm too much of an idealist.

Re:Good luck (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793801)

It's not that most are like that, it's that most of the really vocal people are.

Re:Good luck (1, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793863)

it's unfortunate that your experience with the Linux community left you with the impression that most are like that.

Indeed! I would prefer if Microsoft astroturfers' experience with the Linux community entirely consisted of being punched in the face.

Re:Good luck (-1, Troll)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793957)

it's unfortunate that your experience with the Linux community left you with the impression that most are like that

I was once part of a team that tried to do the right thing and port a closed source app to Linux. Let's just say the reaction from Linux users was pretty much the opposite of what we expected--and made me vow to NEVER port to Linux again.

Re:Good luck (-1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794133)

What you mean is the game sucked and the linux port sucked harder. Then when people demanded it actually work, after they paid, you decided against doing it again. If you are going to do a half assed job, just make sure it works with wine. Much better than a shitty port.

I play lots of windows games that way, including valve ones. I have seen plenty of games where the windows version in wine was better than the port.

Re: "closed source app" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794155)

Those were the key words.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794237)

Could you add a bit of context with the name of the app? Thank you.

Re:Good luck (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794351)

Your post lacks so much information that it doesn't even qualify as anecdotal evidence.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793761)

It's not true that nothing will please them. In fact you have already written yourself what will...

Re:Good luck (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793771)

I don't think so.

With Steam on the platform (closed or not), it provides an easy and viable source of customers for companies that produce games. Now there's no excuse not to make Windows, Mac & Linux versions when you already push out Windows & Mac versions.

Sure there'll be a lot of die-hards but they can waddle off into their gameless PC's if they want. But the gamers who currently have Windows and Linux PC's - this gives them incentive to game on Linux, which gives others incentive to make games for Linux.

A lot of the big indie titles already work on Linux, it's just a matter of there not being enough and Steam revolutionised Windows gaming when it arrived, why not Linux gaming now? There are any number of app-stores out there for Linux but a gaming-centric, game-developer-supported one is a big plus.

Linux-native versions of quite a lot of games, and support for cross-platform programming being rife even if under-used, this could really boost the casual/indie game market and also mean that maybe some of the big developers that we've been telling people for YEARS should just be pushing out a Linux binary too might actually follow suit. There's no reason that gaming on Linux can't be as popular and successful as gaming on Windows.

And having a few hundred indie games shoved onto the platform with a "one-click download" install that users are familiar with and might even get "free" games for (if they own the Mac/Windows version, for example) can't be a bad thing, even if it never really takes off.

Re:Good luck (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794207)

Agreed. I was considering switching my netbook back to Windows so I could play some monkey-island style games on there, but now it looks like I might not have to. Right now I have steam running under Wine, which is a bit of a crutch, but it at least gives me chat functionality.

Re:Good luck (2, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794299)

For what it is worth, ScummVM works just fine on Linux. And many classic DOS point-and-click games also work great in DOSBox on Linux.

Re:Good luck (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793775)

In any other arena I would agree with you, but in the arena of games I think they have a shot. In my experience, gamers (even Linux gamers) tend to be forgiving of closed-source software. To some extent, they're even forgiving of light-handed DRM (and as DRM goes, Valve's is about as light-handed as it gets). If even half a dozen A+ titles make it to Linux, I suspect a lot of people will purchase them just so that they can dump their dual-boot. I would.

Yes, there will still be the cries of the "DRM is evil, keep it out of our holy land" zealots, but I think those voices will pale compared to the game nerds (like me) who want to play nice looking video games without compatibility libs or dual-booting. For my own selfish reasons, I hope I'm right.

Re:Good luck (4, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793779)

I don't think that's really true. There are some people out there who think closed software is a crime against humanity, but to be frank, those people are generally not gamers. Gamers are used to a system where you are lucky not to be forced to play on closed hardware, let alone just on closed software on an open OS.

I think the reality is Steam is a good idea (if not implemented perfectly) and Valve are a company that are almost universally doing things right. They make some of the best games ever created, and do it pretty ethically. It's not really surprising they'd be the folks to look at Linux first.

Valve care about the consumer, and that is more important, I think, that whether or not it's open or closed. If a product is good, I'll use it. I mostly use open source software as, for what I need, I find it's generally best, but there are exceptions (I'm a big fan of PyCharm, the python IDE which is closed source).

Most people will love this, and for good reason. Good games on a good platform can only be a good thing, and it means we might start to see the barrier breaking down, and people producing for Linux because suddenly there is a way to do it more easily.

Re:Good luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794003)

Hate to break it to you, but for the reasons you mentioned, gamers are typically not Linux-users. So the people that do use Linux will typically care less about games, so as much as I hope Valve succeeds in making Steam for Linux a viable product, I'm afraid the target audience will be pretty small.

Realistically, I think we should just hope that Valve won't kill the port after its first year if sales are disappointing and the product (and its Linux-supporting catalog) is allowed to mature and grow as Linux becomes attractive to more and more people (including gamers) over time.

Re:Good luck (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794225)

In turn, sorry to break it to you, but all the Linux users I know are gamers, and would welcome a native Linux version of Steam. The more games we can play without having to reboot the better.

Re:Good luck (5, Insightful)

RoboJ1M (992925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793781)

I won't.
I'll be dancing in the goddamn street with a crowbar.
I've been watching with interest the burgeoning Linux games industry and it's about to go critical with this, that's for sure.
It's not just Steam, it's Source.
So that's the back library taken care of.
And now I can play keyboard/mouse games again for the first time since I abandoned the Windows world! YAY!

Re:Good luck (2)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793807)

Exactly - if there was one game engine to see under Linux, it's Source. I mean, you have a lot of the best games ever made under one banner right there.

Re:Good luck (1, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794185)

Ok ok, lets lay off the "best games ever made" rhetoric. There are at least 2 posts on this thread where you are claiming this. I agree with what you are saying, but lets stay away from the absurdly subjective topic of "best game ever". It adds nothing but flame and controversy.

That being said, porting Source to Linux is almost a bigger deal than Steam. I think this will usher a new era of well produced indy games and cross-platform compatibility. (Presuming people can get their video drivers working.)

Re:Good luck (1)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794329)

Just a note on the final dig about drivers: when HL2 first came out, there were plenty of video driver issues on Windows. It's not a phenomenon isolated to Linux.

But yes, distros need to start turning on S3TC support for the Intel drivers. It can be done with PPAs or manually building the driver but it's such a pain in the bum for something that should "just work".

Re:Good luck (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794395)

lets lay off the "best games ever made" rhetoric.

Half Life
Half Life 2, etc.
Portal
Portal 2

I think you can cut GP some slack. He's not totally off his rocker.

Re:Good luck (3, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794001)

I won't. I'll be dancing in the goddamn street with a crowbar. I've been watching with interest the burgeoning Linux games industry and it's about to go critical with this, that's for sure. It's not just Steam, it's Source. So that's the back library taken care of. And now I can play keyboard/mouse games again for the first time since I abandoned the Windows world! YAY!

Don't know about you, but I have always had good luck playing Windows games via Wine. That includes Steam games. I'm currently playing Skyrim this way.

The number of games that don't work via Wine is an ever-shrinking list, though you may have to acquaint yourself with Winetricks and the AppDB. While a native Steam/Source client is only going to improve things for you, to speak as though there were no way at all to play keyboard/mouse games without Windows is simply not true. I've been doing it for years now.

Re:Good luck (1)

Quazion (237706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793795)

Maybe its not to please the die hard linux community, but its great for the average linux Joe.
I would love to play the steam games (LFD2 for example) I own under Linux.

Personally I think crossplatform game developement should be the norm and bringing steam to every platform might help.

Re:Good luck (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793861)

part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free

This may come as a shock, but GNU is maintained by the Free Software Foundation, so in some sense the entire point of GNU/Linux is to be free/libre.

Really though, there are more than just philosophical reasons for proprietary software in GNU/Linux being a bad thing. If I compile my program in Ubuntu, will you be able to run it in Gentoo? There are an enormous number of incompatible distributions out there, and I doubt that Steam will be available on all of them. In practical terms, proprietary software for GNU/Linux is difficult to push for this very reason, so there are two outcomes:

  1. Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community. This already happens with some packages; we really do not need more.
  2. Steam becomes irrelevant on GNU/Linux because it does not work everywhere, and then the short-lived experiment dies. This has also happened with other software in the past.

Re:Good luck (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793943)

Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community. This already happens with some packages; we really do not need more.

Your logic fails here. If you, as a libre proponent, don't want to use proprietary software then just don't use it. How could proprietary vendors exert any control over you if they aren't offering anything you care to use? If there are people in the Linux community who want to use proprietary software, then let them, and if they are "controlled" by those vendors then so be it, as long as they are happy. Their choice of software does not limit your libre software selection, and as such you shouldn't be trying to limit others' choices (regardless of your philosophical stance).

Re:Good luck (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794183)

This is ultimately about everyone's ability to make choices in the future without being beholden to what they may have bought in the past.

Re:Good luck (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794157)

> This may come as a shock, but GNU is maintained by the Free Software Foundation, so in some sense the entire point of GNU/Linux is to be free/libre.

It may come as a shock to you but the commercial games industry has been using libre tools to build their games since before Linux emerged as a potential alternate gaming platform.

Contrary to the statements of some fear mongers, the Free Software is not incompatible with proprietary commercial enterprises.

Re:Good luck (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794221)

Whatever distros popular proprietary software is available for become the distros that people use, thus allowing proprietary software vendors to exert control over the community.

They might influence things like whether a given file is in /opt instead of /usr/local but these are not major changes and could be remedied with a few symlinks. All free Linux distros use the same broad (upstream) codebase of Open Source software. The differences between them amount to little more than where certain things are located in the filesystem and what is installed by default. Any dependency this native client requires is either exotic (meaning Valve should provide it themselves) or something you could find in any decent distro repository.

For example, I use Gentoo. I love it, but it's one of the least likely distros for a proprietary software company to standardize on. I'm not worried about this at all, and that's not because I would never consider trying this client.

For that matter, the Valve installer could locate critical dependencies itself instead of assuming they can only be in a single location. This would have to be done one time and from then on it would work until uninstalled. This just isn't a big deal, but tell me if you think I have it all wrong.

Re:Good luck (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793865)

going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes.

Your comment fit better 10 years ago. The Linux crowd has grown considerably away from the Stallman-esque era. There are regular people using it now who would never get the difference between free and "free". I think Steam has a good chance, but there had better be some good ports of popular titles or the whole thing is pointless.

There are a many,many Linux users who will gladly pay the $50.00 for the latest title on Linux before dealing with the Mac or Win empires.

Re:Good luck (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794305)

There are a many,many Linux users who will gladly pay the $50.00 for the latest title on Linux before dealing with the Mac or Win empires.

... until the very first instance that Steam DRM gets in the way of them playing games (unexpected outage, for instance). Then will be the nerdrage to end all nerdrages.

Bear in mind that many Linux users chose Linux for ideological reasons, including opposing vendor lock-in and DRM. Steam on Linux, for many, will be anathema.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793875)

I know this isn't going to be a popular sentiment on /., but a Steam Linux client is going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes. The applause won't even have died down before they're bitching that there aren't enough games, it's not open source, it doesn't look right in their obscure distro of choice, etc.

The Linux community *should* embrace and celebrate this, but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free. Introducing a closed source client that charges for games into that group isn't going to please them. Nothing is going to please them.

Okay, now everyone mod me troll for pointing out something you know is true.

I think it might be about as useful as the IOS and Android versions, a chat client and store interface. You'd know when your friends are all on to boot into Windows for actual gaming. I don't see how that affects Valve's bottom line though.

And... Yah then there's the purists who talk the loudest you mentioned.

Re:Good luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793891)

You are stuck in the slashdot of 10 years ago. Today, attacking Linux users gets you easy karma.

Re:Good luck (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793939)

Why do you care about the feelings of the "community"?

A thing is good or bad in itself (make your own opinion), it doesn't matter what is the opinion of some vocal people, especially that they don't get to contribute code to the client, it would be more relevant if the client were open source but is not.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794081)

I think most of us justs wants to have competing choices. No matter open or closed. At this point, linux-based are the only options.
I would like to use more any linux distro, but the lack of applications (open or closed) is forcing me to the monopolys lap.

Re:Good luck (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794103)

They should mod you down for being wrong. Those you speak of are the loudest voices only. In reality lots of linux users are already running these games in wine, and would welcome official support. I am one of those users.

Re:Good luck (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794147)

I know this isn't going to be a popular sentiment on /., but a Steam Linux client is going to please the Linux community for all of about 5 minutes. The applause won't even have died down before they're bitching that there aren't enough games, it's not open source, it doesn't look right in their obscure distro of choice, etc.

The Linux community *should* embrace and celebrate this, but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free. Introducing a closed source client that charges for games into that group isn't going to please them. Nothing is going to please them.

Okay, now everyone mod me troll for pointing out something you know is true.

I suspect that it won't be a major issue: Obviously, Free Software Only people aren't going to bite; but that is to be expected. Non-gamers won't care, also expected, and pretty much anybody gaming on Linux is already probably resigned to closed source binaries: their graphics drivers if nothing else(and presumably most of the games that they've coaxed into working under WINE(maybe there are a few OSS games with such strong Windows ties that WINE is easier than a port; but I'm having a hard time thinking of any). Intel OSS drivers are OK; but intel GPUs are not really gaming material. AMD is on the right trajectory; but the latest more-or-less-fully-ironed-out FOSS 3D support is for R200 parts, which aren't exactly screamers, and Nvidia's position on OSS drivers is "Well, it needs to be good enough so that the customer can see what they are doing as they download and install our binary driver."

I don't know how the numbers break down between purist users and nonpurist users; but the ratio of 'do-unto-others' purists to everybody else is tiny. Even the big, bad, Godfather of GNU himself merely advises that using closed software is not a good idea, and requests that you comply with the license of GPL software you use. Not terribly scary.

On a somewhat different topic, this linux release of theirs might have some ties to the persistent rumors of some sort of Valve-blessed hardware configuration providing a console-like package. If they suspect that they can even break even on Steam/Source for Linux, that might improve their prospects of being able to release a valvebox spec that leaves buyers with the extra $100 to spend on games, rather than on Windows. Even people who don't care about freedom care about free, after all.

Re:Good luck (4, Interesting)

rtkluttz (244325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794205)

As long as Steam for linux is what it should be... a portal to purchase games and nothing but that I am all over it packaged in an unannoying executable that I run when and only when ** I ** want it to run on my machine, then I am all over it. If it departs from that, sends any data back home without my approval, tries to add or remove software from my machine, etc. Then I'll burn it with fire. People have a right to protect their software.. but their agreement is with ME, not my hardware. If they use my hardware or software against me they are out. That is the whole reason I am on linux. I control my machine, not someone else.

Re:Good luck (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794227)

...but my experience has been that a large (or at least largely vocal) part of that community is made up of idealists and professional bitchers who think everything should be open source and free.

Well, yes. But as with every community, FLOSS also has trolls, suckers, whiners and bitches...but everyone else has them too. And those are the loudest of the community. While *some* people will whine all over the internet how bad this is, everyone else will be busy playing games on Steam.

Re:Good luck (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794245)

I suspect the primary target for such clients will not be for use on the desktop but for set-top-boxes. In those console environments, the configuration is a lot easier to maintain so issues of "not working on my distro" will not be the thing.

But it is an interesting trend to make things for Linux more and more. I don't think Linux on the desktop will ever be "mainstream" but it will always be there. More and more, people use their computers for the applications and functions they provide and the OS is increasingly less relevant. This fits in nicely with the predictions made about the death and doom of the general purpose home desktop PC in favor of special purpose appliance oriented systems. Apple seems to have bought into that notion to be sure. It would make sense that any party wishing to push their online services would create a Linux based console from which users can access their services. While previous attempts at this have failed (the iOpener and the MSN version of the same) it was simply because the market and the focus were wrong for the time. (They tried to make an "internet appliance" rather than an application specific appliance.)

So, a set-top-box could conceivably download and install a "steam plugin" and move right along. Anyone ever play with the Samsung bluray players with download app functionality? Care to guess what OS is beneath the sleek user interface?

WooOOOOohooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794323)

Just wanted to express how I do not fit your stereotype :)

Re:Good luck (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794369)

As a Linux user for the past 15 years, I will personally use the shit out of a Steam client, and I DGAF about any of the Linux Nazis out there. Most Linux users think this way, as you should too. DGAF..

cool story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793797)

Lol, Phoronix.

Dammit Valve! (4, Funny)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793805)

The entire reason I *have* an Ubuntu partition is so that I *can't* play all the modern games I'm used to having. With this and how well WoW runs under Wine, I guess that programming Skynet will have to wait.

What games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793841)

The client is going to make the Win32 games work. What's the point if you only have a few games?

What Linux user is going to pay money to play the small number of games available?

Re:What games? (3, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793881)

Well, if you bothered to read even the title, you'd see that says Source, which is Valve's game engine. That's a lot of games and mods, not to mention that they are all very good games. There are also a fair number of titles on Steam with Linux versions anyway, and this opens the way for more to happen. You can't expect it to be instant, but this gives devs a reason to release Linux versions, and a way to reach Linux users.

Re:What games? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793905)

The Source engine games make up a minscule fraction of the games on Steam. And just because a game uses Source doesn't mean it'll run on Linux OOB. Basically, a steam client will mean they'll get a hugely tiny fraction of the entire library since most of the games on Steam will never have Linux clients.

Re:What games? (2)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793947)

Yes. And? No one is ever going to make wine perfect or port every game to Linux. At some point if gaming is going to happen under Linux, someone needs to make a move like this. No, there will not be a massive library to begin with, that doesn't make it wortheless. People might still want to play the games they can, and it makes it easier to release stuff in future. If I want to play Portal 2 on my Linux PC and it's availible, why wouldn't I? There is a point to it, even if it isn't every game. For some people, every game they want might have a Linux version. More likely, some won't, but that doesn't mean it's a no-go.

Re:What games? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793959)

It means you are cheering because you'll get a handful of games that have been on Windows for years. Woo....hoo?

Re:What games? (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794029)

Well, yeah, but that's understating it. I'll also get a platform that gives developers more reason to release for Linux, I get future Valve games (which I care about a lot more than most companies), and I get it for free in a way that's convinient to me. Where is the downside?

Re:What games? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794235)

> It means you are cheering because you'll get a handful of games that have been on Windows for years. Woo....hoo?

Sounds a lot like the Mac version of Steam.

Re:What games? (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794357)

Yes, the version that has only 7% of the content available on Windows. Also, mac people never tried to claim that Steam for Mac was going to cause some mass exodus from Windows like the delusional Linux users believe. Why would anyone who is a heavy Steam purchaser switch exclusively to a platform that will at best have less than 10% the content that is currently available to them on Windows?

Re:What games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794311)

No one is ever going to make wine perfect

Source please.

Wine isn't trying to do something new or something that no-one has ever done before. It is only trying to provide a windows environment, something that Microsoft already have done.

The statement that no one is ever going to make wine perfect seems a bit taken out of the blue. Can you give any motivation to why not?

Re:What games? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794077)

You missed the point. This (a major online store and content distribution system adding linux support) has never happened before, and it will open doors. We're already getting more and more games from indies (witness the humble bundles, for example).

Take a look at Mac support on steam. Sure they don't have everything, but they certainly have a lot.

Re:What games? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794139)

The Mac version has only 7% of the games for Windows.

Re:What games? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794301)

Which is still a lot. 331 games another poster claimed. One valve Source game ported to linux would be big news, 30 would be huge, over 300 would be a miracle.

Re:What games? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794289)

Having a central starting point will be helpful. People have an obvious place to look for new stuff.

A lot of stuff gets neglected for lack of exposure. That's true now and it was true back in the days of Loki. The whole centralized app store approach takes a lot of burden off of the developers to make sure that people know about the product.

Re:What games? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794263)

It's a small fraction now. But once it starts working on Windows, Mac, and Linux, a lot more developers might take a look at it. Plus, Valve's development of Dota 2 means that the tools to make an RTS will be in the engine, in addition to the FPS support it already has. That might make it attractive to quite a few developers who don't have their own engine.

Re:What games? (1)

nautsch (1186995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794137)

What Linux user is going to pay money to play the small number of games available?

The Steam client is free.

You would only pay per game.
And the client will probably warn you, if you are about to buy a game, which won't run on your platform.

Re:What games? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794191)

Me?
I already own all the Valve games other than the L4D series. The minute they work on linux I will buy them. I would be glad to play the games I already own without wine.

Re:What games? (1)

nautsch (1186995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794215)

Why would you buy them? As you said, you already own them.

As far as I understand it, it is just another platform you can access your Steam profile from. Any game that runs on that platform and you own, would already be there. Am I missing something here?

Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793843)

Hey, I've got a fun new idea! How about I start with one cry of "Wolf!" in this post, and every time Phoronix "confirms" a Linux Steam client is being worked on and/or its release is "imminent" in some way, we add another! It'll be great! I'd suggest we start counting from when Phoronix first started "reporting" this, but I figure hey, they need some way to drive people to their site for the advertising dollars, so we won't have to wait long to get that number up!

So here we go: "Wolf!"

Re:Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793895)

As much as normally Phronix trumpets nothing, this time it's legit. He visited Valve and saw it, and Gabe has talked about how he, personally, has been working on Linux-related stuff recently in a podcast. We don't know when it'll happen, but Valve are pretty well known for keeping stuff under wraps until they have it close to delivery.

Re:Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793973)

How is it legit? The article was nothing but regurgitation of his previous rumors, there wasn't a single quote from Gabe Newell and Valve has not officially confirmed anything. Oh right, he posted an internal screenshot of a game supposedly running on Ubuntu!! OMG CONFIRMED!!!!

Re:Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793977)

Until I'm playing a native Team Fortress 2 client on my Linux box, the answer, my friend, is "Wolf!".

I WANT TO BELIEVE (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793847)

Oh Great Penguin In The Sky, I want to believe.

But this is Phoronix, so I won't actually believe until I'm playing Portal without Wine.

Steam console? (5, Interesting)

brenddie (897982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793849)

What if their rumored steamBoxStation console is a "PC" running linux?

Re:Steam console? (2)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793915)

I think that would be a good reason for them to do this. At the moment, it wouldn't really work as it'd mean the majority of their library wouldn't work, but if they can get stuff ported over, and get people releasing for all platforms, it puts them in a much stronger position to release a console, as they don't have to be under Microsoft's thumb, and they have a stronger position to negotiate for windows licences. I don't think that a steam box is something we'll see soon, but this is probably a move that helps them, just in case they do decide to do it in the future. It's a bit of a Google move in that it's designed to make the ecosystem better suited to support what they want to do.

Re:Steam console? (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794067)

...and they have a stronger position to negotiate for windows licences.

Yeah, I can see that talk already coming: "Hello, this is Valve, give us a discount or we'll develop even more stuff for Linux." - "Yeah...did you know that we own Linux because of out patents? How about you giving up that little Linux idea of yours before we sue you into oblivion?" - "You don't Linux in any way, proof it!" - "Yeah, let's sign this NDA first." - "Never, why should we?" - "See you in court."

You know what really good about this is? I can imagine Valve beating up Microsoft hard time.

I'll put my money where my mouth is (4, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793879)

There are a number of users that will be happy to buy from steam if it is available for Linux. I am one of them and here is the description

I have grown used to buying apps for my Androis phone. The reason are:
- It is convenient
- prices are not outrigeous, so I can do impusle buying

Now, I don't use Windows and I don't feel like rebooting into it just for playing. I don't feel like maintaining the Windows OS, so I don't play games except the few Free/free Linux games coming in my distro. But I will purchase and play some of the classic games if they are available in Steam for Linux.

Re:I'll put my money where my mouth is (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793919)

I wouldn't necessarily pay for a Linux-only title. I'm not sure it would get the use on its own.

But I would add, say, 10% to get a "TriplePlay" Windows/Linux/Mac entitlement on Steam to a game that I'm buying, so that I can play on any platform for just a little extra.

Hell, I'd happily pay to upgrade games I *already* have on my Steam account to triple-play like that, but only a reasonable price.

And if HL3/Ep3 comes out and it's available on both - hell, yes, I'd pay a bit extra to have it on Linux like a shot.

Already, quite a few of the indie titles I have are Windows/Linux and some are Windows/Mac/Linux. Some of what pushed this is, I'm sure, the indie bundles which make a big show when they are cross-platform (and we've even had a Windows/Android one already too). If Steam-Linux would give me a Linux copy of those, as well as my Windows copy, in retrospect or for a small price that would be perfect.

Re:I'll put my money where my mouth is (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793975)

Just as a note, when Steam was released for OS X, existing accounts could play all the games they had already purchased on a Mac without re-buying them (aka: Steam sells you a licence to play the game on any platform it is availible for, not a particular one) - so there is no reason to presume they wouldn't do that with Linux to. Hence the price would be the same, and you could play it where you want.

Re:I'll put my money where my mouth is (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794231)

Just as a note, when Steam was released for OS X, existing accounts could play all the games they had already purchased on a Mac without re-buying them (aka: Steam sells you a licence to play the game on any platform it is availible for, not a particular one) - so there is no reason to presume they wouldn't do that with Linux to. Hence the price would be the same, and you could play it where you want.

This is true for some games, but not for all. I have Steam installed on my primary gaming machine running Win7 and my personal laptop, a Macbook Pro. While my Civ IV and V licenses work on both machines Bioshock and Bioshock 2 only work on Windows despite there being a Mac port of both. As far as I can tell in this case Steam thinks they are a different SKU and therefore separate products.

It would seem that it will only work on both if it is initially released to Steam as such.

Re:I'll put my money where my mouth is (3, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794387)

Well, as a guy whose wallet is frequently raped by Steam Sales, and as one whose used the Mac version of Steam, I can say a few things:

1) Steam does make it convenient to buy games - arguably *too* easy. I can buy a game in about thirty seconds and have it downloaded within at worst two hours (for a 20GB epic), often as little as two minutes (for the 100MB indier-than-thou titles). Seriously, it's not uncommon to hear Steam fans complaining about how they get hooked into impulse-buying games on sale that they never play (I've actually played perhaps half the games I own on Steam, and that's considered "doing pretty well").

2) Prices for some games are definitely in the impulse-buy range. There's an entire section for "under $5", mainly containing extremely old titles (Doom, Half-Life) or low-budget indie games. And they literally *always* have some sale going on, and at least twice a year they have massive sales.

3) The initial lineup of Linux games will primarily be Valve's own recent titles, as well as whatever indie games already have Linux versions. Roughly one in four titles I own are Mac-compatible (fifty or so out of two hundred); I would anticipate seeing less than that for Linux, perhaps one in eight.

* For some reason, Valve's only ported Half-Life 2 and later to Mac, and I would expect the same on Linux. So no Half-Life 1 (there *is* Half-Life: Source, the port to the HL2 engine), no Opposing Force, no Counter-Strike 1.6, no Ricochet.

4) There *is* DRM. The DRM is normally pretty benign and limited - as long as Steam is running in online mode (on only one computer at a time - someone else signing in to the same account elsewhere will boot you out), you'll have zero problems. Offline mode exists, but it does have oddities (it's perfectly usable, but you'll actually have to think DRM, at least while setting everything up). Note also that some third-party games have their own layer of DRM, so if you're a militant anti-DRM fanatic, check the game details (it *does* say "this game uses additional DRM" or something to that effect).

lol overhyped shit (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793933)

And? So what? Wow, Linux will finally get access to Valve games that are anywhere from nearly a decade old to nearly half a decade old!!! YEAR OF THE LINUX DESKTOP IS NOW ASSURED!!! Oh wait, PC gaming is a niche market and very few people are going to switch to Linux just because a handful of games that they could have already been playing for years on Windows will now possibly get Linux versions.

Re:lol overhyped shit (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793997)

Uh... Portal 2 is under a year old. Counter Strike: Global Offensive comes out this year and uses the Source engine. Virtually every game Valve has made is a masterpiece and worth playing no matter the age. Beyond that, PC gaming isn't a niche market, and who cares about people switching to Linux, I just like the idea I can play my games under my normal OS.

Re:lol overhyped shit (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794005)

Hello troll.

Did you miss the bit about the source engine coming across too? That would mean *all* Valve games, basically.

And there's a suspiciously large couple of games waiting in the wings with people DYING to get their hands on them - Half Life 2 Ep3, DOTA 2, etc. - not to mention there's been major new releases in the last, what, April - Portal 2.

That's hardly a "decade old". Niche market or not, Source engine and Steam on Linux could CREATE its own new gaming market in a matter of days after release. And at worst, we have a shed-load of games come across and a native client to install already-ported indie titles that seem to be VERY popular at the moment (has a large indie bundle taken less than a few million in pure profit recently?).

Just because all the big name publishers ignored Linux gamers and missed the boat for the last ten years doesn't mean that you should join them.

Big business decision (though I still class it as rumour) that I've seen from a tech company in a long-time.

Would you rather Steam-on-Linux or Instagram-on-Facebook in your daily news?

Re:lol overhyped shit (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794171)

Wow all valve games? So that's like 7? OMG!

Re:lol overhyped shit (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794379)

The following are just the ones that cost money and are directly from Valve.
This is already 14 games. Adding in the free stuff like Lost Coast and modds will greatly increase this list, but even 7 Vavle games on linux would be big news.

Half Life
Counter Strike
Blue Shift
Opposing Force

Half Life 2
Half Life 2: Deathmatch
Half Life 2: Episode 1
Half Life 2: Episode 2

Left For Dead
Left For Dead 2

Portal
Portal 2

Team Fortress
Team Fortress 2

Re:lol overhyped shit (1)

rfdparker2002 (1192421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794187)

But then again it removes another stumbling block for users who might be interested in Linux but want to be able to play game X before they do so, and Valve have a lot of games with strong followings - Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, to name a few.

So again what'll this be?
* Valve's own pretty damn popular Source and GoldSrc games
* A big bunch of indie games already available for Linux (largely thanks to the Humble Bundles)
* Valve's Steam content distribution platform

And that last part is important - it removes another obstacle for other big (more conservative) game developers/publishers, "Is there a distribution channel I can trust?". That's not to say there aren't plenty of other obstacles to overcome, but once the ball starts rolling... It's Valve's combination of their own great titles and a trusted distribution channel that makes this more encouraging than any other large publisher/developer porting a few popular titles over.

The problem stay the same (2)

Milharis (2523940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793945)

Regardless of the open-sourceness of Steam, the problem is still the same as it as always been with Linux : the marketshare is way too small for major companies to do Linux port, and most people who use desktop linux have Windows somewhere too.
Apart from Valve and indie games, I highly doubt we will see AAA games for Linux in the next few years.

And then there is the issues of video drivers.
Even if there have been good progress done recently, compatibility and performance are still way below Windows drivers.

Still, it's a good news, and it might be the first step that is needed to start.

Re:The problem stay the same (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793987)

The funny part is that somehow people actually think that this will cause some mass exodus to Linux despite the fact that PC gaming is a niche market and that the Linux clients available will be extremely tiny in number. Currently the Mac version of Steam has only 331 vs the 4641 for Windows. The amount of Linux games is going to only be tinier.

Re:The problem stay the same (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794071)

And still it was worth them producing Mac versions, continuing to produce Mac versions, other people producing Mac versions and still selling and supporting Mac versions.

I think they're just thinking of Linux as the next logical step, given that. The more people on Steam, on whatever platform they choose, the more buying games.

And think "indie bundle". All of them have had cross-platform games in most of their offerings and all of them have been hugely profitable (Humble bundles typically make millions of dollars each, for instances).

Re:The problem stay the same (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794189)

The Mac version of Steam has been out since 2010, the PC version since 2003, so it's not exactly fair to compare them directly.

Besides, your numbers are *way* off, it's actually closer to 1579 vs 245 for PC and Mac respectively - I suspect you included all the demos, videos, mods and DLC in your totals.

Re:The problem stay the same (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794247)

So what?
Even if they only ported Portal that would be a big first step.

I know you are an anti-linux troll, but try to at least construct a rational argument. Linux users would have every right to be excited about just one vavle game being ported, 331 would be considered a miracle.

so we're (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793953)

ballparking randomly on october/november for the release, tied in with this guys trip to oktoberfest. makes perfect sense.
valve is working hard to develop a linux steam client, phoronix is working tirelessly and self-referentially to insist it was the first to break this glorious rumour turned screen-shot in the hopes of selling more click-through advertising. Its a win for everyone if Valve pulls this off, (ill certainly be purchasing a new computer) but this phoronix crap is barely an article...mostly gushing about relationships with gabe newell. by the time i reached the end of it we'd said phoronix so much id forgotten what the word was.

I hope they'll have WindowsLinux offers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793961)

I already bought lots of Valve's games for Windows, among them every single game from the HL universe. I guess they won't just give the linux versions away and I don't want to spend 200-300 bucks only to be able to play on linux. Hopefully they'll make some offer like "pay 20$/€/.. once and get the linux version of every source engine game you already have"

Re:I hope they'll have WindowsLinux offers (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794269)

When they added mac support they did not charge extra. Any games you already owned for Windows were just also available for Mac. I doubt they will do anything different.

They should really partner with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39793983)

Since a lot of games are windows based. They should partner with http://transgaming.com/ [transgaming.com] and make a good crossover platform better.

Case in point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794007)

While a smaller percentage of the whole Linux users historically donate a larger dollar amount per donation than Windows user do for Humble bundle releases.

Re:Case in point (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794211)

Yeah only because the mean is skewed by people using a purchase for Linux as a donation.

A Steam client doesn't guarantee platform support (1)

drdaz (994457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794043)

Steam for OS X, a big step forward though it was, hasn't delivered a massive amount of content.

I haven't got numbers to back that up, but often when I hear about a game being released on Steam (usually from a developer / publisher which isn't Valve) that I would like, I open the client and find out it's Windows-only. Which is a shame. Publishers still clearly think that Mac is a niche market. The situation with a Linux client is unlikely to be much better.

That said, having Valve's own stuff available is no bad thing. They have produced plenty of good content.

Yay! Native DRM! Finally!! (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794055)

Valve has been a good steward with Steam, not doing nefarious things like turning off old games to sell new ones, or banning Wine users, or any other evil things they could do, but it's still funny to me to see the /. community all excited about rumors that someone is going to port a DRM platform to Linux.

Valve has yet to officially comment, but you'd hope they wouldn't invite someone up to their offices and send them home to spew lies.

Yeah well. I still say I'll believe it when I have a download link.

On that subject, whatever happened to the super-duper-optimizing compiler that was going to revolutionize everything Linux that Phoronix "confirmed" a while back?

Re:Yay! Native DRM! Finally!! (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794125)

- Most games won't come across without DRM. Some will, most won't."

- Most games don't support Linux at the moment.

You use logic to see what the statement:

- Bringing across a viable, market-proven, popular DRM scheme to Linux, with the potential for some large, hugely-anticipated gaming titles too.

does in that case. And most gamers would agree that out of all the possible DRM's out there, the one you'd choose to come across if you had to would be the Steam DRM.

Compare and contrast with any other DRM scheme, for instance.

I don't like DRM. I do like Steam. Because it respects me, the customer, and doesn't tell me how many machines I can install on, or have to run in the background all day long when I'm doing nothing, or slowly destroy my Windows setup, or force me to work around it all the time.

In terms of trade-off (game availability vs burden of DRM), Steam DRM wins by MILES.

Re:Yay! Native DRM! Finally!! (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794195)

...but it's still funny to me to see the /. community all excited about rumors that someone is going to port a DRM platform to Linux.

Baby steps my friend, baby steps. It's the first step...though, not sure where this will take us, but can't be bad, ey?

No. (0, Flamebait)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794063)

Phoronix never confirms anything. Phoronix makes shit up, or possibly, at best, speculates.

Can we get a story when this is reported by a place that's at least remotely trustworthy?

Mirror (1)

PhrstBrn (751463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794093)

Re:Mirror (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39794319)

/.ed? That's impossible. Nobody uses Linux on the desktop or is interested in it, right?

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