See the Steam client running on Linux; likely available by the end of the year

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One of the most popular posts we've ever had on opensource.com was "Steam for Linux confirmed." Unfortunately it was last year's April Fool's Day joke. But check today's date--April Fool's is almost a month ago now, and this time you can actually see pictures.

Phoronix's Michael Larabel has long stood that the Steam client would eventually be released for Linux, while many others considered it somewhere between a persistent rumor and a dream.

Today Larabel writes effusively about a recent visit to Valve to see the Linux Steam client, Gabe Newell's enthusiasm for Linux, and how great Valve's work on Linux is. He notes that Newell recently moved his own desk into the Linux development area.

He writes that while he can't be more specific about a date, we should have something in our hands by the end of the year:

The initial release will likely be in the form of a "beta" so that they can release earlier and this initial public version may be limited to just Left 4 Dead 2, but their grand plans for Gabe/Valve's support on Linux are nothing short of greatness.

Read more about Larabel's trip to Valve, the joy of "simply being able to execute a Source Engine game myself on an Ubuntu Linux installation and not seeing it pass through Wine or anything else," and see photos in his Phoronix post.

Update: Phoronix has now confirmed that Valve will release a Linux version of the Steam client by the end of 2012.

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11 Comments

Unidentified's picture

Does this mean that Steam will be released as Free software? (If not, then I find this not interesting).

Unidentified's picture

It's a shame you feel like that, unfortunately it's pretty common attitude over the net.

Whether this is released free or not, it's great to see commercial companies seeing a market for gamers in the Linux community. I'm actually shocked that so many games are produced for Windows and Mac and still Linux get missed even though there is plenty big enough market and it'll grow if games are published on it. Many people will swap to Linux just out of spite to Microsoft, others follow whats "cool" and happening for that moment. Some will feel elite doing it, but these very same people could be the creative influence that brings something special to open source or Linux in general in the future.

Unidentified's picture

The first post is the reason more companies dont produce for linux. It costs money. Lots of money to make good software. If the prevailing opinion is I wont use it unless its free then why would companies spend the money? As a community we need to outgrow that image.

suehle's picture
Open Source Sensei

Linux users consistently, every time, pay more (about twice as much as Windows uers) for the Humble Indie Bundles.

Jt's picture

You've got the most INCREDIBLE - LOOKING HAIR! :-)

bbehrens's picture
Open Source Sensei

Case in point: This year's Humble Indie Bundle V.
http://www.humblebundle.com/

gscarborough's picture
Open Minded

You should care, even if you won't be using it. This is a sign that Linux is being seen as mainstream. If nothing else, this opens up support for the platform. While I love Linux and everything it stands for, I am not naieve to the fact that not all software is going to be free. Even still, this will benefit all of us who use Linux in a number of ways. Better hardware support, more exposure to general audiences, more development of the platform.

I suspect that Valve will be putting some form of Linux on their rumored Steam box. Microsoft does not seem to be serving the PC gaming platform much anymore. And Windows 8 really isn't designed to run games. The desktop in it is already a second class citizen. Linux though could be a boon to Valve. Its a platform they can have full control over and that can be easily stripped down to the essentials. Its not hard to build a small distro that is bascally instant on. And they won't even have to pay a fortune for it.

Unidentified's picture

Steam will be free. It's the games that will cost you.... as it should be.

C Cooper's picture

Linux has been a slow train coming for many years, I smile every time it clears another mile post. Steam would definitely be a major accomplishment for the Linux community, No pun intended but it is another component in building up a critical head of steam in the locomotive that is Linux. All aboard!

Joel Linco's picture

In this world, you can't always have everything free. Having Steam on Linux is definitely a major push in bringing Linux to mainstream users. Whether it's free or not it's going to be one of the best things that happened to Linux.

Duane's picture

First off, i think this is a huge milestone for Linux and Steam. Steam is a huge company bringing the gameing industry to Linux. Yes, a lot will goff at this as they dont play games, or want it for Open source. Even if Steam is open source and you purchase a game to play, does not mean the game will be open source. But dont be so narrow minded. Once this is here, just imagaine how much further Linux will go, look at all the avenues that will open up in the future. Go Linux and Steam.