Although I don’t write about Linux much, this is a news that is worth reporting – the game distribution platform/software Steam is coming to Linux. This is probably one of the biggest news in the history of Linux, and without exaggerating, because lack of games is one of the primary reasons that keep people away from this open source operating system. For more than a decade, we have been hearing about the imminent arrival of the “year of Linux on the desktop”. Seems like the year has finally arrived.
Yesterday, Valve launched the official Valve Linux blog and announced that work is underway on a port of Stream for Linux. Valve will be initially targeting Ubuntu 12.04 – Ubuntu being the most popular distribution and having recognition with the general gaming and developer communities – and the first game that has been confirmed for Linux is Left 2 Dead 2.
The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 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.
Gaming is one of the aspects of computing that is rather weak on the Linux platform. While there are many native games available on Linux, most of the popular Windows games are still aren’t available on Linux. It should be noted that games already run quite well under Linux via Wine – an implementation of the Windows API that runs on top of Linux, but with Steam getting behind the gaming scenario should get better.