Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Valve Software Launches Linux Blog, Confirms Work On Steam Client for Linux

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the steamy-tux dept.

Games 236

New submitter oakgrove writes "Valve Software confirmed today in a new blog devoted specifically to Steam on Linux (called Steam'd Penguins) that for more than a year, a Steam client has been in the works for Ubuntu Linux 12.04. 'We've made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available. We're still giving attention and effort to minor features but it's a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing.' The blog post also says that a working port of Left 4 Dead 2 is currently playable, and that their goal is to bring performance in line with the Windows version."

cancel ×

236 comments

whatever (5, Funny)

danap611 (149840) | about 2 years ago | (#40669083)

Anything to get our minds off of HL3/HL2Ep3.

Re:whatever (-1, Troll)

gamergirlies (2685753) | about 2 years ago | (#40669123)

It's just Valve's secret attempt to push Starforce and Securom DRM shit on to Linux. Valve can go fuck themselves, we don't want shit like that in the linux land!

Re:whatever (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669149)

Oh look. A false flag troll. Nice try but you forgot to type an M$ in for effect.

Re:whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669495)

Oh look. A nigger.

That's you, incidentally.

Re:whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669639)

Now-Now, I thought Microsoft is equal opportunity employer...
Please don't use the N-word here.

Re:whatever (4, Funny)

zaphod777 (1755922) | about 2 years ago | (#40670303)

You do know that there are DRM features in the kernel right?

Re:whatever (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#40670351)

Why on earth did they put them in there?

Re:whatever (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40669561)

Right now it's been so long that the Half-Life magic has gone for me. I don't doubt that eventually something will be released (either EP3 or a full-blown HL3), but life and other games kinda make it hard to care much for a classic series that hasn't been ended yet.

Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (0)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 2 years ago | (#40669111)

Can anyone say Open Sauce DRM??

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669159)

I know this will be quite hard to believe, but... I'm quite literally expelling flatulence out of my own asshole. It's completely true, and has even been verified by the World's Greatest Minds.

You may mourn now.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40669187)

You know you can just not install it right? Personally I like choice thats why I choose Linux. And soon I'll have more choice takes to Valve.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (4, Insightful)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40669241)

I think he's just concerned (legitimately) that once Steam appears on Linux, sure more games might come out, but they'll likely take the easy road and be distributed only on Steam rather than being also available in a non-DRM form.

Having said that, with the exception of some indie games, most new games these days require mandatory Steam usage anyway, so Steam appearing on Linux hasn't made anything WORSE so much as allowing options for those people who don't mind perpetually renting software. As always if you don't agree with the ToS of Steam (like I clearly don't), then you either stick with the games you've got, buy from places like GOG or move onto another hobby.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (4, Informative)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 2 years ago | (#40669683)

DRM is not a requirement of being on Steam. Many games are DRM free on steam for both Windows and OSX. If you dig through the file directory to find the executable for the games instead of using Steam as a launcher most games will launch without steam running. Alternatively if you find the steam launcher convenient you can add non-steam games to the Steam app.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40669795)

True, but those are vast exceptions. The games you're talking about are mostly the games which run via DOSBox (e.g. the classic Doom games). Games without DRM on Steam are extremely few. Even simply games like VVVVVV - you try running the .exe directly, see how far that gets you.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669901)

Yeah, but what he said completely bypassed your argument of taking the "easy way around" distributing on steam "rather than" also being available in a non-DRM form. It can be both. Which was your point; which he shot down.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40670815)

Why would anyone want to play doom in dosbox, when there are modern ports of the doom engine available?

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (4, Insightful)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40670887)

It's probably due to the fact that in order for Valve to sell the old Doom games so that they can work on modern versions of Windows, going with DOSBox means it would provide the most authentic, classic Doom experience available. It would mean they can use the official ID produced DOS binaries without having to deal with third-party source ports. Allows them to adhere to all the licenses I guess.

Of course, once you've bought the game you can then break out the Doomsday Engine (like I use) with 3D models and texture packs and go nuts like that. But that's up to the purchaser; Valve shouldn't really make that decision automatically.

Re:Linux Virus Launch Disguised as DRM via Steam! (1)

makomk (752139) | about 2 years ago | (#40670811)

Really? Last I heard, DRM was a mandatory requirement of being on Steam, resulting in some games shipping with a copy of the DosBox or ScummVM binary inside a Steam DRM wrapper - even though it did nothing to protect the game itself from copying and was questionable from a GPL licensing perspective, they still had to do it if they wanted to sell via Steam

wow! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669127)

Big Whoop! Can now play the ne of the oldest and vulgar fps shooters around, while I'm at it I should fire up my Atari 2600.

Re:wow! (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40669169)

Er, l4d2 came out in November of 2009 and it is basically being used as the test mule for the steam Linux port. Have some perspective.

Re:wow! (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40669219)

Big Whoop! Can now play the ne of the oldest and vulgar fps shooters around, while I'm at it I should fire up my Atari 2600.

Man, it is hard to make some people happy. Here's one of the more successful game companies trying to make a serious effort to bring better games to Linux, and after 8 comments, there are 6 complaints about it.

Better they should do like Sony and just say "Fuck you, no Linux"? Or like Microsoft who tries to make with the lip service while trying to stab OSS in the back?

I mean, there might be some really evil intent behind Valve working on bringing Steam to Linux, but maybe a "wait and see" attitude might be called for at least until they give some indication of trying to screw Linux users over.

It could also signal to a lot more game developers that people who use Linux would be interested in some good games.

How can you be mad at a company that's selling great games from last year for like $5 or $10? Especially right behind EA announcing that they're going to charge $70 for Battlefield?

Part of being a discerning customer is being able to tell who's trying to kiss you and who's trying to bugger you.

Re:wow! (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#40669741)

Man, it is hard to make some people happy. Here's one of the more successful game companies trying to make a serious effort to bring better games to Linux, and after 8 comments, there are 6 complaints about it.

You can be pretty sure all eight were from Microsoft and Apple trolls.

Re:wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669911)

Pretty sure that they were linux trolls.

Re:wow! (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#40669941)

Pretty sure that they were linux trolls.

Oh yeah, right, like the guy who said "we don't want shit like that in the linux land!".

Great news! (4, Interesting)

skipkent (1510) | about 2 years ago | (#40669129)

Either we are a very vocal bunch, or they see a real trend here. Either way this is great for us.

Re:Great news! (3, Funny)

Haymaker (1664103) | about 2 years ago | (#40669527)

nah, Gabe just looked at the consumer preview for Windows 8 and started Steam & Source on Linux as a reaction before he even realized it.

Re:Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669701)

Gabe pretty much has more money than God and the cost of porting it over is likely to be paid back by indie game sales where the developers want to offer Linux support cheaply. Plus Steam is a huge market and I'm sure there are going to be people that don't want Windows 8 but have to update from XP when it is finally placed at end of life.

Two sides to this coin (4, Interesting)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#40669177)

On one hand I do like the fact that this has potential to bring games out to the linux market that haven't been there, and to eliminate the viewpoint that there are no gamers on linux. On the other side of the coin, I'm not sure how useful this will actually be for current linux fans. Almost all valve games have gold or platnum wineHQ ratings, as do a huge portion of games on steam. Running steam on wine I can play left4dead, half life, portal 1+2, magika etc... As well as quite a few non-valve games, Skyrim etc... Now assuming valve fully devotes to the project and makes native linux versions of all of their games, it is unlikely that half of the games that can be played via wine, will be ported, making the official linux client, less useful than valves port. As a result many linux users will still be identified as windows users (since wine will identify as windows XP), the numbers for linux will still show as low, and linux support will stay very weak.

Re:Two sides to this coin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669209)

What if the native Steam client somehow integrates with Wine and allows to play non-ported game more easily?

Re:Two sides to this coin (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40669231)

Unlikely - the Mac port does not do so. Although they did use DOSBox for many old game rereleases - Doom, Wolfenstein, etc. all run in an embedded DOSBox when installed from Steam. So I guess Wine isn't entirely out of the question.

However, I still think it's a good thing - the Mac Steam port seemed to trigger off a small wave of other Mac game ports. The same could very well happen for Linux. And native ports are always better than emulating.

Re:Two sides to this coin (1)

kcbnac (854015) | about 2 years ago | (#40669389)

Apple users have an expectation that everything "just works" - Linux users may be willing to have a 'beta/unsupported' feature, perhaps enabled via a command-line startup option for Steam.

Re:Two sides to this coin (3, Insightful)

Haymaker (1664103) | about 2 years ago | (#40669555)

Yeah, with the Linux side of things they probably have more freedom to release things in an earlier stage like "we have this mostly working, you might want to play around with it a bit though before it's completely awesome" and the community would be fine with that. At least more freedom than you'd see on the OSX or Windows side of things. Gamers can be a pretty picky bunch, but I imagine (or hope) that Linux users will be more likely to be happy to use less-than-stable software if it means they get to use it sooner. Whether or not Valve will use that availability, we will have to see.

Re:Two sides to this coin (1)

quantumphaze (1245466) | about 2 years ago | (#40670729)

I thought it was up to the game developers themselves to bundle a working configuration for Wine (usually Codeweaver's CrossOver). This leaves them assured that the game works reasonably and they give some level of support. I know that Psychonauts for Mac Steam was a Crossover port before the Humble Indie Bundle 5 made it native.

If the rumours of a Steam console hold true, then I expect there to be a partnership with Valve and Crossover to convince game developers to get their back catalogue working in Wine. That or Valve buy out Codeweavers.

Re:Two sides to this coin (2)

skipkent (1510) | about 2 years ago | (#40669221)

Could see another rise of preloaded linux PCs and laptops. "Kid going to school? This here computer is 80$ cheaper, comes with a full office suite and runs steam!"

Re:Two sides to this coin (4, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40669465)

they would never buy their kid a computer that runs off steam, too much fire hazard (parents are dumb, remember?)

Re:Two sides to this coin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669539)

*Kid looks askance at shitbox PC, goes back to playing $1 games on his iPad*
*Dad spends all night playing CS 1.6*

A third side (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40669251)

It doesn't really matter so long as their support for WINE isn't weak.
I use two commercial geophysical programs on linux via WINE for which the developers specificly test against WINE. A third uses dotnet but tests against mono. I know two of the vendors actually have fixed compatibility problems in their software that showed up when they tested it the compatibility layer.

Re:A third side (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40669341)

Seriously. Wine is just another abstraction layer. Complaining about Wine makes no more sense than complaining about OpenGL, or even Linux itself. Either you are hitting bare metal, or you are using abstraction layers. The only thing that matters is whether the software works or not.

Re:Two sides to this coin (1)

YokoZar (1232202) | about 2 years ago | (#40670049)

On one hand I do like the fact that this has potential to bring games out to the linux market that haven't been there, and to eliminate the viewpoint that there are no gamers on linux. On the other side of the coin, I'm not sure how useful this will actually be for current linux fans. Almost all valve games have gold or platnum wineHQ ratings, as do a huge portion of games on steam. Running steam on wine I can play left4dead, half life, portal 1+2, magika etc... As well as quite a few non-valve games, Skyrim etc... Now assuming valve fully devotes to the project and makes native linux versions of all of their games, it is unlikely that half of the games that can be played via wine, will be ported, making the official linux client, less useful than valves port. As a result many linux users will still be identified as windows users (since wine will identify as windows XP), the numbers for linux will still show as low, and linux support will stay very weak.

Wine is fairly simple to detect on Valve's end, at least as far as the hardware survey goes -- Wine will, for instance, report its audio drivers as something unique to Wine users. In the past Valve even shared hardware survey data about the percentage of Wine users on the Wine mailing list (something like 0.4%, but this was maybe 4 years ago). Unfortunately at one point in the recent past Wine started crashing during the hardware survey. While this bug has been fixed it's quite possible Linux users have learned to not accept the survey and are thus systematically under-counted.

Re:Two sides to this coin (3, Interesting)

makomk (752139) | about 2 years ago | (#40670821)

As a result many linux users will still be identified as windows users (since wine will identify as windows XP)

The last Steam hardware survey I did detected the fact that I was running it under Wine, so they already know that users are doing that.

It's about time, too (5, Interesting)

skaag (206358) | about 2 years ago | (#40669181)

Valve have a golden opportunity here, in several ways:

1. Ubuntu is a first stepping stone. Once they have the Linux experience, they can target all kinds of Linux based platforms & set top boxes, as they become popular. It's just like UbuntuTV in a sense - It takes a stable operating system and tailors it to a niche market, adds the back-office sauce into the soup, and you suddenly have a serious iTunes/Netflix contender (technologically anyway).

2. I believe game producers are going to see this as a blessing: Valve becoming the major conduit through which serious games flow into the Linux world, paving the road for those producers into user's desktops, while providing billing, game discovery, content distribution, and community tools. Nobody else is doing this at the moment with Linux, except for Canonical who have created their own "App Store" application (which by the way is pretty good!). So imaging Canonical's "App store" on steroids, for games! Once enough games are built for Linux, why would anyone use Microsoft Windows for gaming?

3. When you are first to capture a market, you become the dominant player. The longer you're the dominant player, the more difficult it becomes to unseat you from your throne.

Re:It's about time, too (2)

gslavik (1015381) | about 2 years ago | (#40669213)

Relating to your point #3. There have been two studios who have had a market on the three major OS (Windows, OS X, Linux) who have left. This is id Software (Rage is Windows only) and Epic (still no Linux client for Unreal Tournament 3). When Valve finishes porting the Source engine, they will have the engine with most reach and since they are also delivering the distribution network, they will probably be on the throne for a very long time.

Re:It's about time, too (1)

skaag (206358) | about 2 years ago | (#40669283)

I agree with you 100%. I think id Software and Epic did not have enough "weight" to bring studios into their product. Plus, it's been many, many years that Steam have been waiting quietly for the right moment. Now they are diving in, and this is going signal others that Linux has finally matured enough for Steam to enter in a major way. And we all know how VC's are like cattle, they need a leader they can follow like a herd (no offense intended to cattle).

Re:It's about time, too (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#40669757)

The Linux market is at least a few million of generally above average intelligence and income users as proved by the Humble Bundle stats.

The Linux market is not the Linux gamers (2)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 years ago | (#40669993)

The Linux market is at least a few million of generally above average intelligence and income users as proved by the Humble Bundle stats.

The Linux game market is not the number of Linux gamers. Many Linux gamers are dual booting or running WINE, they are already buyers of the games on Steam. The Linux game market is really those gamers who refuse to dual boot or run WINE. That is a group far smaller than you suggest. The current Steam customers don't really count since the Linux version would simply cannibalize sales of the Windows version and generate no new revenue for the developer. Replacing a Windows sale with a Linux sale does not pay for development or support.

Re:The Linux market is not the Linux gamers (1)

skaag (206358) | about 2 years ago | (#40670061)

Yes that's true, but I actually owned Steam when I was 100% Linux based, and I ran games under CrossOver for a long while. But I would gladly re-buy Steam just for the chance of running it natively.

Re:The Linux market is not the Linux gamers (1)

dririan (1131339) | about 2 years ago | (#40670451)

Steam is completely free. If you mean re-buy the games you had on Steam, you shouldn't have to, as long as you either remember your account name and password, or still have access to the e-mail address you used for your account.

Re:It's about time, too (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | about 2 years ago | (#40670001)

The "above intelligence" part is probably what scares big companies off.
Yeah, I am a smug, elitist prick. Sue me.

Re:It's about time, too (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40669269)

Ubuntu is a first stepping stone.

And pretty close to the last - once it works there it's just a matter of grafting whichever bit of Ubuntu it works with onto whatever linux distro you want. DLL hell was an Microsoft only problem which has probably even vanished there now.

Re:It's about time, too (1)

skaag (206358) | about 2 years ago | (#40669325)

Wha..??! DLL hell vanished from Microsoft OS's? Ha! HA HA HA! *HA HA HA HA HA HA HA*!!!
Thank you, I didn't laugh like this for a while...

But I agree with you on the grafting part, and that's what I meant. Once it works on Ubuntu, it will be very easy to port it to any other Linux distro. Whether or not Steam will officially support it is another issue (they may choose not to). What I also meant, is that Steam will be able to target Linux based gaming consoles. Heck, the OS is already there, and doesn't cost a damn thing. Why wouldn't they create their own dream console? Building it in China will cost peanuts and they will then have their own walled garden, with total control over the OS and what comes in and out of it. Total predictability. Gaming studios will love that. And Steam really does grok gamers, gaming and game distribution (and the whole business behind it). They will be in a position to completely replace the old style gaming distribution channels. It makes sense strategically.

Re:It's about time, too (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40669407)

Once it works on Ubuntu, it will be very easy to port it to any other Linux distro.

Yep, just statically compile, throw the whole thing in /opt, put an icon in /usr/share/icons and a .desktop file in /usr/share/applications and call it a day. It should be fairly trivial to port to all of the major Linux distros and most of the minor ones.

Re:It's about time, too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669467)

Yeah, right. At least until Ubuntu decides to rip-and-replace some graphical/sound layer, breaking everything. Valve will eventually figure out that trying to sell commercial software ontop of a huge unstable undebugged pile-o-poo is a waste of time, and abandon the thing. Finally, the Open Sores crowd will get the last word as they mock anyone who wanted to play closed-source games.

Give up on the outdated reactionary shit (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40670023)

Even Halliburton sell commercial software for linux.
Aren't they big enough and conservative enough for you?

Re:It's about time, too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670097)

Total predictability.

Having worked on console games for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony platforms I can tell you there is no such thing at total predictability in the console world either. It's better than a PC environment, but each hardware revision still has its own little idiosyncrasies.

Gold and Lead... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40669479)

One could also view Valve's move as a somewhat defensive one.

Apple hasn't exactly been shy about the fact that The App Store is exciting and mandatory on iDevices, and exciting-and-optional-for-now on OSX.

Microsoft hasn't exactly been shy about copying Apple in these matters(and while their 'games for windows live' initiative is risible, their xbox work shows that they are to be treated with caution).

Valve has a comparatively well regarded distribution mechanism; but they face the potential of being squeezed by platform vendors who want to own the store.

Now, as long as Redmond wants their $20-$100 bucks a box to make sure that Win32 and device drivers are working, and Apple wants their somewhat larger slice to provide the full package, Valve has a pretty limited incentive to try to upset that arrangement. Neither business is easy, and only the dominant player stands to make any serious money.

However, now the platform guys want to own both the platform and the store. That can't be good for the independent shopkeeper, now can it?

Re:Gold and Lead... (1)

skaag (206358) | about 2 years ago | (#40669513)

Excellent argument. Probably 100% valid, too.

Re:Gold and Lead... (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 2 years ago | (#40670419)

good point, it's an awesome hedge bet on the off chance MS manage to get a working store together and apple will be succeeding in totally replacing steam in the next 5 years in my opinion. Not to mention people keep throwing android at things plugging into TVs and one of those boxes might actually take off. not a bad idea to keep that card up your sleeve for the cost of 3 or 4 developers.

Prediction (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 2 years ago | (#40669211)

- HL2/CSS/DODS/DOTA2/TF2 on OpenGL (obvious)
- Software renderer for Source
- Tux hat for TF2 (oh dear what will happen to the linux install base then?)
- Possibly some *good* open source games through the Steam free game sections for the 3 platforms to spur interest also, without the proprietary code merged into the binaries.

Re:Prediction (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | about 2 years ago | (#40669237)

Technically the Source engine already has an OpenGL renderer since they ported those games (and Steam) to OSX .

Re:Prediction (1)

ildon (413912) | about 2 years ago | (#40669453)

Why do you think they would make a software renderer for Source?

Should have ported TF2 first (2)

westyvw (653833) | about 2 years ago | (#40669215)

With the most popular game TF2, and it being free, I would think they would have wanted that one out the door first. Then DOTA2 as the next most popular.
TF2 brings in the numbers, new people can get in at no cost. Left 4 dead is a bit Niche (and a bit has been at this point).
Either way, get some more games involved and I will no longer need to boot into windows, and that makes me very very happy. I would rather dual boot Linux/LinuxGaming if I want to keep a pure open environment.

Re:Should have ported TF2 first (2)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 2 years ago | (#40669727)

They are the same engine, with the difference being that TF2 also has some extra complicated netcode bolted on to handle the large team games. In fact Valve tends to forward-port their previous games to the newest engine, which is currently represented by L4D2/Portal2. So get L4D2 working first. Then bolt on the extra bits the Portal games need. That gets you just about the entire Source Engine back catalog along with most of the 3rd party Source games. Then get the netcode (that has to interact with large teams of players on two other platforms) working and TF2 and CounterStrike are good to go.

Re:Should have ported TF2 first (2)

Haymaker (1664103) | about 2 years ago | (#40669869)

Remember back when they had just Portal out for OSX, some people could play TF2 on OSX by moving some files around.

Personally, I think they're playing with L4D2 because it's more stable. TF2 is getting content updates every few weeks, while L4D2 is still new but relatively stable. Maybe just for the sensitive stage where they want to make sure it works just fine (with an acceptable framerate, which is probably the hard part) they want a game that doesn't push new hats to the client every other week. Once everything is smooth, I imagine it's trivial to move the rest of the Source engine games over.

Thank you Valve (5, Interesting)

Mountaineer1024 (1024367) | about 2 years ago | (#40669289)

I have 44 bought games on my steam list, all on a box that only runs windows so that I can play games. Thank you for giving me dream that one day I can get rid of all the windows installs in my house.

Re:Thank you Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669367)

Thank you for giving me dream that one day I can get rid of all the windows installs in my house.

You need to get out more.

Re:Thank you Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669745)

Thank you for giving me dream that one day I can get rid of all the windows installs in my house.

You need to get out more.

He even wants to get rid of all the windows in his house, he must be losing his mind.

Re:Thank you Valve (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#40669977)

Thank you for giving me dream that one day I can get rid of all the windows installs in my house.

You need to get out more.

He even wants to get rid of all the windows in his house, he must be losing his mind.

Not really, it's just to make the entire place like one giant basement.

Re:Thank you Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670453)

Thank you for giving me dream that one day I can get rid of all the windows installs in my house.

You need to get out more.

He even wants to get rid of all the windows in his house, he must be losing his mind.

Not really, it's just to make the entire place like one giant basement.

Or a dungeon?
*puts on robe and wizard hat*

Linux is great for deploying server applications.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669333)

If they're smart they'll sell functioning Server installs of multiplayer games. Sell games that a set number of friends can log on to, hosted and coordinated through the Ubuntu user's computer as server. Ready to play gaming networks might be hard to implement on Windows, but something like that might be dang near easy in a Linux environment.

For that matter, the same paradigm could apply to any server applications. Regardless, I'm glad to see Steam being forward thinking in what I'm personally betting is the clear choice for an OS in the cloud/networked future. It'd be an awesome functionality, one I'd cheer them deploying so long as they don't try to monopolize through a patent the concept. Especially since it's already been discussed in a public forum, I'm presuming making such an approach public knowledge and fair use.
That is assuming, God forbid, there's not already somebody else squatting on the concept like that.

Re:Linux is great for deploying server application (2)

kcbnac (854015) | about 2 years ago | (#40669409)

Ummm...If you have Steam installed already, go into the Library and select the 'Tools' listing. You'll find dedicated server software, available for free, to download and run for several dozen (3 or 4 dozen last I remember seeing) games available on Steam.

Re:Linux is great for deploying server application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669647)

Lol, looks like I'm behind a bit then. Oh well, more new things to enjoy :)

About time (2)

detain (687995) | about 2 years ago | (#40669351)

They've never been against people using Wine to launch steam and with there recent hiring of various big linux people they should be able to complete a gaming engine for linux and start releasing alot of linux content along with their windows offerings. In addition to getting more commercial games to the linux platform it will be interesting to see what (if anything) they are able to then contribute back to the linux community in the form of patchs and new libraries. Steam has always been pretty good at embracing new technologies (they were among the first game vendors to utilize bittorrent for content distribution), and the linux community has an amazing offering of libraries and programs to work with from a developers viewpoint; so I think we can expect some great things from Steam in the new future both for gamers and gaming development. That being said, it took them way way too long to start this. They should have started this years ago instead of wasting all this time trying to decide if linux is going to make it as a desktop platform.

My prediction (4, Interesting)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 2 years ago | (#40669353)

I believe that Valve is thinking about what it would take to get into the console business and Linux could be the key. I think this is the proof of concept stage- get the Steam client and a couple of games running on Linux. Evaluate how much work it takes and evaluate the game performance on Linux.

If they can come up with a way to port games cleanly and inexpensively, then suddenly Steam in the living room is a no-brainer. Commodity hardware in a nice case with bluetooth accessories. Rev the hardware every two years instead of every 7 or 8 years and make sure that new games are playable on older consoles by automatically reducing game settings.

Re:My prediction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670047)

My prediction is that this won't go far.

Much to my annoyance, gaming graphics performance on Linux will never be on par with Windows. Because neither NVIDIA nor AMD are interested in providing full documentation to the open source driver developers (and who could blame them, trade secrets/patents n' all), open source graphics performance will always be subpar on Linux compared with Windows and often does not support the latest hardware properly either. Although AMD is pretty good at providing monthly driver updates, even their own on-staff developer of the proprietary driver doesn't have access to all the latest documentation. And to top it off, AMD's driver has to be uninstalled, rebuilt from source and reinstalled with every kernel update. (It has to be rebuilt if there are significant changes in the kernel header files, which is nearly always the case.)

Re:My prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670547)

Funny how your technically correct comment ignores the binary blob drivers. I don't like them, but the Nvidia one has the performance. I can't speak for ATI. It's funny how you say overreaching statements like "gaming graphics performance on Linux will never be on par with Windows" when in fact it already is if only you download the graphic driver the gfx card makers provide, just as you have to do on Windows.

Re:My prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670571)

That's nothing a good old big bag of money can't fix. I'm sure either company can be convinced to produce a decent closed-source driver that way.

It's finally time to build a linux gaming machine (1)

Great_Jehovah (3984) | about 2 years ago | (#40669385)

I occasionally consider building a gaming machine but never follow through because I would have to choose between running windows or having very few supported games. If this actually happens I will be a happy man.

Rendering changes for everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669395)

When the mac versions of source games arrived, the windows versions were updated. It appeared that the rendering distance and fog density might have been adjusted.

Meh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40669601)

I can't abide Steam. Another bunch of self-appointed gate-keepers. Their software on Windows is horrible - buggy, crashy, invasive and irritating. I don't see this as a step forward for Linux.

Re:Meh (1)

LesFerg (452838) | about 2 years ago | (#40669899)

Appreciate your right to an anonymous moan about Steam, but have you really had a lot of experience of how things used to be?

In the past I remember many horrible experiences while attempting to install games from a handful of CDs or from 2 or 3 DVDs released by a publisher who had their own idea of how complicated and needlessly annoying the process should be, and then the hassle of finding and inserting the DVD to be allowed to start up a game, every time I wanted to play it.

All I know is a lot of problems went away once I started using Steam, and it has never been easier from the point of deciding to buy a game to the point of kicking of a game session.

I have not noticed any of the mentioned crashy and buggy stuff, altho I have not purchased EVERY game they publish. My guess is bad graphics hardware or drivers. Invasive? what? the steam client that you can configure to start up automatically or not? What is invasive?

Note to Valve Folks (3, Interesting)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about 2 years ago | (#40669621)

If there are any Valve folks reading this -- just a couple of notes, questions, etc ...

1) Please fix the site so that mac games will only recommend mac games. The same goes for the upcoming linux section. It kind of sucks to click on a recommended game only to find it's window's only.

2) When are you guys going to answer Facebook Connect? Seriously, it'd be killer to integrate our mobile game apps into steam to either replace game center or to add to it.

3) steam console ... Ouya sounds great but steam would be divine :) How about a steam branded android device?

And hey, if you guys need to html++, give me a call ;) Or, maybe a discount :)

Keep up the great work!
 

Re:Note to Valve Folks (3, Interesting)

westyvw (653833) | about 2 years ago | (#40669957)

Go ahead and go over to the valve linux blog and email them from there. They really seem interested in getting input.
http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/steamd-penguins/ [valvesoftware.com]

The mail address is in the text and on the sidebar on the right.

reboots (1)

organicstanna (2461136) | about 2 years ago | (#40669731)

if/when they bring steam to linux with even a few of the source engine games i would be happy. i wonder how existing mods would work with the linux version. all being well i can finally stop having to reboot twice a day just to muck around in some games during spare time!

I'm not trying to troll here.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40669803)

But is it seriously a wise move to target Linux for games? Considering the segment of the market that actually runs Linux, and in particular, the even smaller segment of the market that runs LInux on the desktop, is it worth any game studio's time to really support it?

For what it's worth... I run Linux on my main computer at home, and I really like using it, but I also do have a separate computer that runs Windows which I use for games, and I'd imagine that pretty much anyone who is a gamer is probably going to have a box that runs Windows anyways. I don't mean to sound like a cynic, but game studios exist to make money, and is it worth any software house's time to put the effort and money into supporting Linux, when the additional payback from Linux support isn't likely to even pay for a single programmer's salary for the additional time it took to ensure that the software worked correctly on that platform?

If somebody can some up with a coherent answer to that question without resorting to appeals to emotion, or implied insults regarding a person's preference of OS... If there's an actually rational reason for a game studio that's in the business of trying to make money to spend the time, money, and effort supporting Linux, when Linux's biggest market is on the server side, and not on the desktop anyways.... then respond to this post - I'd really like to hear it.

Re:I'm not trying to troll here.... (2)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about 2 years ago | (#40669929)

Perhaps Valve played with the Windows 8 Preview?

Re:I'm not trying to troll here.... (1)

westyvw (653833) | about 2 years ago | (#40669987)

I think you saw some of the answers already in the posts above yours:
A steam console in the works, independent of OS.
A get in early on the inevitable uptake of linux in embedded devices and home desktops
The humble bundles have indicated that Linux users want games, and are willing to pay for them on thier platform of choice. 75,000 (roughly) people bought the last Linux humble bundle, getting your platform which delivers ads daily, in front of those users too?

Re:I'm not trying to troll here.... (1)

haggholm (1678078) | about 2 years ago | (#40670237)

One: With more and more cross-platform games (Windows + Mac), porting efforts would probably be a lot smaller than they would have back in the days when single platform games were the rule. Even if the market segment is smaller, it may still be worth it if the effort is small enough.

Two: Steam is not just a platform for AAA titles, it’s also a delivery vehicle for large numbers of indie titles. Linux may not be a good target for the AAA studios, but appealing to the Linux community for smaller indie offerings (which, since they don’t need the same bleeding-edge performance, can more easily rely on cross-platform libraries) may be a very good idea for some of the indies.

Three: Right now, there’s no serious competition in the commercial Linux gaming space. It’s true that “Linux gamers” is a small market segment, but Steam would pretty much monopolise the whole of it. If it grows (and with Steam on Linux, it might), they’re the first and the biggest, and as has been pointed out, they’re at no real risk here of being elbowed out by an OS vendor run “app store”.

Will it work out? Beats me, I’m not a business guy. But I don’t think it’s quite so devoid of possibilities as the parent suggests.

I need something explained (3, Interesting)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40670041)

I'm not trying to troll here, so don't take this the wrong way.

From my experience, a lot of Linux users hate Microsoft because of their dominance in operating systems. It has resulted in a lot of software only being available for Windows and not Linux, hardware manufacturers only putting out drivers (decent or otherwise) for Windows and not Linux, and so on. People hate Microsoft due to their effective monopoly in the software industry (now getting less effective, but still)

Once Steam is released for Linux, it's going to be the focal point for virtually all games on Linux just like Steam is on Windows. Sure there are exceptions (GOG, Origin, developers selling directly and so on), but by and large Valve will have an effective monopoly as the primary source of games for most PC gamers.

Since Steam also uses account-based DRM, your games are linked to a single point of failure. A clerical error, a PayPal/credit card dispute, anything that may or may not be your fault occurs, and you may find yourself locked out of your account either temporarily or permanently. If this happens, you can't play your games.

Linux users traditionally are geeks, and hence know the dangers of relying on a single vendor, a single point of failure. They'd know not to put all your eggs in one basket because otherwise, you don't have control. I'm no Richard Stallman but I'm honestly scared about the fact that everyone appears to be happy giving control out of their hands and to a third-party... EVEN LINUX USERS!

Are people so desperate for games that they don't care about the fact that revocation of your purchases is technically possible due to Steam's DRM? I need someone to post something insightful because I'm going out of my fucking mind with worry that the traditionally anti-DRM crowd here is giving me mixed signals when it comes to Valve. At this point I'm almost ready to give up gaming and do something else if everyone's basically agreed that DRM cannot be stopped.

Re:I need something explained (1)

haggholm (1678078) | about 2 years ago | (#40670259)

If Steam on Linux becomes a success, then more game studios will port their games to Linux (as well as, presumably, Windows + Mac).

Once more game studios port their games to Linux, those games can be sold outside of Steam, e.g. via GOG.

Seems like a win-win.

Re:I need something explained (1)

Confusador (1783468) | about 2 years ago | (#40670261)

My understanding of Steam, which since I'm a Linux user comes from posts from earlier threads (e.g. [slashdot.org] ), is that you don't have to launch Steam to play the games (though that's the easy way), and there's nothing stopping a game from having lan play. In fact, Valve's games usually include both lan play and the ability to host your own servers. So, yes, they can revoke your account and block you from their servers and stop you from buying new games, but they can never stop you from playing the ones you own. I also understand that you can transfer your license to someone else's account (I've seen people give away games when they ended up with multiple copies), so it doesn't even shit on first sale.

Like I said, I may be wrong, but I'm willing to find out.

Re:I need something explained (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40670403)

I've read gman003's posts before - he doesn't say anything bad about Steam, ever. He's very much the definition of a fanboy, so only take his words with a grain of salt.

Virtually Steam game has their .exe modified so that they reference a file called steam_api.dll (located in the game's directory). This API provides a wrapper for the game to communicate with Steam, whether it's for achievements or supporting Steam cloud functionality, whatever. It also provides authentication through the Steam client. In other words, that .exe. MUST be launched via the Steam client and can't be run manually. If you try, you'll get an error message. Hence, if the Steam client doesn't like you anymore for whatever reason you're out of luck, and that's what I don't agree with.

There are SOME games which allow you to manually run them, but the only ones I know of are things using DOSBox such as the old Doom games, Commander Keen, Wolf 3D and etc. In these cases since DOSBox already exists in Linux it's not a big deal, but for most other games, you MUST be using the client.

As for transfer of licenses, what you're seeing when people give away games are what's known as Steam gifts. When you buy a game on Steam you can mark it as a gift; it will then remain out of your games lists but available to send to another Steam user via a menu option. But if you've already got a game in your main list of Steam games and want to exercise first sale, you can't do anything about it. If you try to sell your account to someone else and Valve finds out, they will lock the account since account transfers are against the ToS (another thing I don't agree with).

Re:I need something explained (2)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#40670409)

I can only speak for myself, so please take this with a grain of salt.

From my experience, a lot of Linux users hate Microsoft because of their dominance in operating systems. It has resulted in a lot of software only being available for Windows and not Linux, hardware manufacturers only putting out drivers (decent or otherwise) for Windows and not Linux, and so on. People hate Microsoft due to their effective monopoly in the software industry (now getting less effective, but still)

The problem with Microsoft is not their monopoly, it's how they defend that monopoly, they've been actively killing competition.

Since Steam also uses account-based DRM, your games are linked to a single point of failure. A clerical error, a PayPal/credit card dispute, anything that may or may not be your fault occurs, and you may find yourself locked out of your account either temporarily or permanently. If this happens, you can't play your games.

Yes and No. Not Valve decides if the games use DRM, the developers do (or publisher). Games which do not have DRM on them can be played without Steam with no problem, even games with DRM might be played without Steam with no problem. The assumption that you're only able to play the games if you're logged into Steam is wrong, that depends on the game. Also, I don't see how a CreditCard/PayPal issue could lock you out of your account?

Linux users traditionally are geeks, and hence know the dangers of relying on a single vendor, a single point of failure. They'd know not to put all your eggs in one basket because otherwise, you don't have control. I'm no Richard Stallman but I'm honestly scared about the fact that everyone appears to be happy giving control out of their hands and to a third-party... EVEN LINUX USERS!

Same statement as above, it depends on the games itself. In my opinion, it is far more likely that the Ubisoft authentication servers are getting shut down then Steam. Also, if you don't tell anyone I'll tell you my master plan for that situation...I'll crack every single game I bought on Steam...every single one. It's a sad situation that I have to break stuff to make it work, but in all honesty, I paid something between $1 and $10 for every game...I'll go that extra mile. I mean, if I'd paid $55 for the game, and then it breaks I'd be pissed! But $1? 10 minutes spending in Google, done...I'm in. And I know that it does not answer your question, but that's my idea to that, and I know where you're coming from, but that's my plan. Well on the other side, if they start removing stuff remotely from my harddisk...that's something different...completely different...

I need someone to post something insightful because I'm going out of my fucking mind with worry that the traditionally anti-DRM crowd here is giving me mixed signals when it comes to Valve.

That's because if there's one company out there which will get it right, it's Valve! All other game companies have degraded into some sort of money whore, but Valve still is a shop of enthusiasts and geeks which are coding for enthusiasts and geeks.

At this point I'm almost ready to give up gaming and do something else if everyone's basically agreed that DRM cannot be stopped.

At the moment, I fear, it's choosing the lesser of two evils. And Steam is the lesser of all the evils...I mean, I even find Steam even less intrusive then "Insert the disc now!" copy protection.

Re:I need something explained (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#40670519)

Just want to address a few of your comments:

Yes and No. Not Valve decides if the games use DRM, the developers do (or publisher). Games which do not have DRM on them can be played without Steam with no problem, even games with DRM might be played without Steam with no problem. The assumption that you're only able to play the games if you're logged into Steam is wrong, that depends on the game.

As I told someone else, there are very few games I've tried which work without Steam. DOSBox games like the classic Doom games, Wolf 3D and some others work fine. Skyrim or Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Portal 1/2? Not a chance. Note I'm also not referring to any extra 3rd-party DRM, just the base Steam DRM.

Also, I don't see how a CreditCard/PayPal issue could lock you out of your account?

I have read people's complains on the Steam forums whereby there was an issue when paying through PayPal, for whatever reason PayPal wouldn't transfer funds to Valve even though the transaction was completed in Steam (completely PP's fault mind you, but it happens), and so the account is locked for reasons of fraud or some such BS. If you're good with Steam support it might be a temporary lock while they try to ascertain what happened, but it's still a lock.

Also, people have noted that if credit card chargebacks tend to result in suspended accounts. The reasons for using a chargeback are numerous but if you have to do so on a Steam purchase, your account will be locked. Again, support might be able to resolve this, but it's still a high stress situation that wouldn't be an issue if you could still run stuff without Steam.

I'll crack every single game I bought on Steam...every single one

Seems like we shouldn't have to go to this length though, but yeah, I've thought about that too. You have to wonder then if there will be Linux cracks for Steam games now? :)

At the moment, I fear, it's choosing the lesser of two evils. And Steam is the lesser of all the evils...I mean, I even find Steam even less intrusive then "Insert the disc now!" copy protection.

I've always hated disc-based protection. That's one thing I don't miss for sure.

You do make good points all round. Let's just say that I'm very wary of building a 100+ games library in Steam knowing that it's all authenticated against a third-party and not entirely in my control.

Re:I need something explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670675)

anything to have some proper games on linux.
not to mention the future of gaming. would be nice to see some future titles not only released on windows and mac, but also on linux.

Awesome (2)

devent (1627873) | about 2 years ago | (#40670165)

Just awesome. As the Humbe Linux Bundle have shown there is big potential in the Linux desktop market for games. Many games are already working just fine in Wine. As you can see in the WineHQ[1] there are 3333 Platinum, 2878 Gold and 2468 Silver rated applications and games (Platinum and Gold means they are working out-of-the-box with Wine).

But I do hope you are going to contribute to the Wine project. What would be just beyond awesome if your client would be open source. There is no reason to not make your client open source anyway, since it will work only with your service. But to have your client open source would bring you many advantages.

Like free bug fixing from the open source community; Free translations to different languages, like Chinese, Thai, German, Spanish. Free porting to different Linux distributions like Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian. You would have so many more potential customers if Linux users could just go to their package manager and install your client from the official repositories.

Thank you for the port and for the courage to take the opportunity.

[1] http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&sTitle=Browse%20Applications&sOrderBy=appName&bAscending=true [winehq.org]

If you plan a console it makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670379)

The existing consoles (forgive the pun) are running out of steam.

Produce an optimized PC based console at Xbox prices, a bootable DVD afor those on Windows and have the downloader installable on mainstream Linux.
Instant market saturation.
Then watch the current contenders cry like babies as the cream gets taken out of their industry by Steam.

What do you mean "auto-update"? It’s not Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670531)

We have package managers for that. You know. Proper ones. At least like Portage.
And how do you plan on updating those games with no root access anyway? Install software to my home directory?
Hell no! That has to be backed up. Only personal data goes in there! Got that?

Nice if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40670663)

Would be nice if they got microsoft to license them the right to use directx and other things like that in a closed "virtual" environment in linux, in order to play pretty much every games.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...