No Linux version of Steam in the works, says Valve

So much for that Linux version of Steam we’d been led to expect by a hidden code snippet. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Valve’s Doug Lombardi stated in no uncertain terms that a Penguin-friendly version of the game browser-cum-social networking tool isn’t in the works after all:

Q: Final question, and one I’m sure you’re not super-keen to answer, but I promised one of our tech guys I’d ask it. What truth is there to rumours that you’re also working on a Linux version of Steam?

Doug Lombardi: There’s no Linux version that we’re working on right now. …

Linux gamers will, it seems, have to boot into Windows (or Mac OS X) to get their fill of Steam games for the foreseeable future. Steam won’t make Linux a viable gaming platform on the PC, at least for now.

Porting Steam to desktop Linux would likely involve more work than just retrofitting the OS X version. Although Apple’s operating system has *nix roots and also supports OpenGL, it runs on a much more limited set of hardware—and there’s only one distribution of it. A Linux version of Steam would need to be tested on multiple distros with a much broader set of hardware configurations. The fact that Linux still has a tiny market share on the desktop probably doesn’t help, either.

Comments closed
    • satsuper
    • 9 years ago

    No Linux version of steam eh, I’m guessing the two Linux gamers out there must be shattered.

    • highlandr
    • 9 years ago

    WaltC has a couple of good points on Mac gaming, most notable being Apple’s own lack of interest, but I don’t think that is what Valve is thinking about.

    Valve is looking for casual gamers. Who cares if Audiosurf runs at 50fps or 30? Valve wants to sell as many games of ANY kind to as many people as possible. Obviously they want to sell their own games, but as the distributor they are happy selling any games.

    How many Steam-like platforms are there for the Mac? How many on the PC?

    Valve ported their own collection over to kick off the launch, but getting the platform and those cheap casual games on MacOS will give them far more sales, while also avoiding the obvious fact that Mac gaming is a marketing bullet point at best.

    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    *self-nuked*

    • maxxcool
    • 9 years ago

    misspost — booo!

    • maxxcool
    • 9 years ago

    /flame pants on/

    Haaahahahahaha, ok… sorry. but i find it hilarious that all the snobby uber l33tists are stuck on wine. you love your individually selected and rant supported OS so much you fragmented your own market out of steam support

    *congrats*

    Am i being a jerk? Yep. I tried getting help for a few *nix versions and got snobby *you dont know all the command line options?* replies for liking windows and wanting to try linux.

    /edited to be less jerky… /

      • crabjokeman
      • 9 years ago

      Judging from your post, I’m guessing that your issues with running Linux had little to do with lack of support from “l33tists” and much more to do with the retard between your chair and keyboard.

        • maxxcool
        • 9 years ago

        your the perfect example of why linux will never work for the masses… thanks for making my point in less than 2 minutes.

          • Deanjo
          • 9 years ago

          Too bad Mac users have no problem adjusting. Must be a superior class of user.

            • maxxcool
            • 9 years ago

            I’m looking at the bait… but its just not tempting enough yet….

      • Byte Storm
      • 9 years ago

      While I certainly don’t agree with the summarized answer you received, you do need to understand that when using Linux for the first time, there is going to be a lot of searching for answers; and learning all the commands that are available in terminal.

      That is the advantage of Linux, it is ridiculously customizable.

      What you should have done is learn some of the commands and methodology behind the Distro you chose, then asked the forums about the more advanced stuff.

      Most little things can be accomplished with knowledge of some very basic commands.

      It isn’t as easy as Windows, but for some it is exactly what they want.

        • maxxcool
        • 9 years ago

        I can agree with your philosophy of learning. Do, make mistakes, learn, advance… However asking questions on command line parameters and “case sensitivity” should not be greeted in 2 forums with mac-like snob behavior of “if you do not get x, stick with windows”

        and his reply is very common in linux forums unless your in ubuntu or pclinux os..

        Then if your in unbuntu…. 50% of the time “other” linux gurus get snobby on your choice of distro because its for “noobs”.

        lastly, the fragmented nature if linux while not a issue “for me” does make it cumbersome for others…. but really… its the attitude i have ran into so many times like crabjokemans.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      What smartphone do you use?

      Whatever it is, it doesn’t run Windowsg{<.<}g

        • maxxcool
        • 9 years ago

        Since i do not use a smart phone, It sure doesnt run windows. and the one i did was a t-mobile wing. and it DID use windows 6.5.3….

      • aatu
      • 9 years ago

      I wouldn’t blame the linux guys just yet. It’s quite clear you don’t know how to behave. I think linux guys are more defensive (and offensive) about your type, and if you go to their forum acting like the king of the world and expect everybody to come to serve you … then you get responses like that.

      But if you ask them nicely and politely, they’re more eager to help. Either way, I’d still like to know which forum(s) gave you that sort of answers. Better yet, give direct links, and we’ll tell you whether you deserved it or not.

      Oh and another thing: if you have a “noob” question, ask it in the right subforum (Beginners’ lounge, etc.). They’re usually there for a reason…

      • DrCR
      • 9 years ago

      With all due respect, you’re posting like a punk. And if you post like a punk, you should expect punk answers.

      A word to the wise is enough. I hope this is enough. 🙂

    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    I am still very skeptical as to Valve’s continuing support for OS X as time moves on. I recall 3dfx making a brave and bold splash in its marketing development right before the company went legs up, spasming fitfully, and then, eyes wide shut in 2000, 3dfx finally crossed over the river Styx.

    Somebody inside 3dfx, and I don’t to this day know who was responsible, decided literally just a few months before 3dfx was forced into bankruptcy by creditors in late 2000, that initiating hardware and software driver 3d-card support for the /[

      • poulpy
      • 9 years ago

      Sorry you lost me at skeptical [sic] 🙂

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        Eh? I know that I spelled “skeptical” correctly, so, ah…eh?….;)

      • wobbles-grogan
      • 9 years ago

      Can i get a tl;dr version?

      • blastdoor
      • 9 years ago

      Jesus el Christo, dude, just get a frickin’ blog already.

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        Heh…;) Sometimes I get a little carried away…;)

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      WOW!

      I don’t think valves support of osx is a last ditch bid for income. They are doing just fine and if they ever really need money they could just go public.

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t think Valve’s support of OS X OpenGL is about money, either–else they wouldn’t be doing it…;) I don’t really know why Valve is attempting to push OS X OpenGL, really, since Apple has engineered OS X (with bootcamp) so that Valve doesn’t have to do that. The only conclusion I can reach is that like so many companies have learned in the past, to their chagrin, the only company that ultimately benefits from Mac gaming support is Apple, which is why that support is so short-lived whenever it occurs in the marketplace. Apple doesn’t much like to give anything back, either, as far as I can see. I wish Valve all the luck in the world with this strategy, but I’m not sure it will be enough to see the company’s present OS X strategy survive for any length of time.

      • palhen
      • 9 years ago

      It might cost Valve resources to develop steam and to port their games to OS X, but on the other hand, Mac owners are starving for games. And even better, thay are used to pay for software. And the best thing, people buying Macs have (or at least had) a lot of money.

      I think Valve’s OS X-business is doing fine.

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        Traditionally, though, Mac owners have never cared very much about computer games–else they would not have bought a Mac to begin with. Right? Makes perfect sense to me. I have had many a dialogue with die-hard Mac owners who profess to loving the Mac, hating Microsoft (as is true for any dutiful Mac soldier), and being completely and utterly apathetic about gaming on their Macs. Every single Mac owner I’ve talked to at any length has expressed the sentiment that where gaming is concerned he/she/it can “take it or leave it.” At their hottest, Mac gaming aficionados seem very lukewarm about Mac gaming. I really think Valve is embroiling itself in a great big OS X mess that is going to cost the company far more in terms of time and money than it will bring in in terms of profits.

        I actually think it would be far more cost effective for Valve to simply provide Mac Steam buyers with a *free copy* of Windows 7 so that every Mac user could utilize BootCamp (after all, Bootcamp is a standard feature of OS X) and run the Valve game of his choice–right now–today–no waiting on ports, no waiting on Apple to bring its OS X OpenGL implementation into the 21st century, etc.! Apple obviously thought this the superior solution, and for once I completely agree with Apple. I find it very odd indeed that Valve is turning back the clock and trying to do this the hard way through pushing Apple to update it’s OS X OpenGL implementation, and porting its D3d titles back to OpenGL. All this work just keep Mac owners from having to reboot the sytem an extra time to play the game? I doubt that very much. Again, why Valve is taking this route, all the while eschewing Linux development, is completely beyond me.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 9 years ago

      Ergo my earlier use WINE/Cegeda comment, and you can still dual boot with windows too.
      The 3dfx history lesson certainly brings up some sad memories, and I have collected several of their cards.

      PS. I read your entire post, and find it funny that other people don’t or can’t read it.
      I can read several entire books in a day, and don’t understand the slow reading problem. Is it the public schooling?
      I wish I could write that much though. Well written, but it was a little long winded.

      • maxxcool
      • 9 years ago

      /new pair of flame pants/

      o.0 ? Angry much? have some 3dfx stock maybe?

      regardless of 3dfx self inflicted suicide, steam on mac will be successful. And you know what? i would not waste money retro-coding either. i would just give developers incentives and cut steam costs to lobby programmers to program for ogl and windows direct-x and just post new games to steam for win/mac as time goes on.

      marketing. thats it.

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      l[< "Personally, I think it's too late primarily because most of Apple's Mac customers are traditionalists"<]l I stopped reading this post when I quickly realized that it has little to do with any fact. Over 50% of Mac system sales since 2006 have been from "switchers" so how can they be traditionalists.

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        Don’t know if it has occurred to you that there’s another side to Mac adoption as well–it’s called attrition. That means counting all those people who dropped the Mac and moved on to something else. That’s why, with all of the “new blood” Apple is supposedly getting with the Mac, its market share world-wide remains fairly static and unchanging. Basically, as many people as are “switching” to the Mac are leaving it at the same time…;) But…Apple works very hard to make sure that you don’t hear much of anything about that aspect, doesn’t it?

        And I know *plenty* of Mac traditionalists, and most people do. It’s pretty much a fact, though, that when when an Apple traditionalist reads something about the Mac he doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with–he just stops reading…;) That qualifies you as a Mac traditionalist through and through, although you may be unaware of it at the present time.

          • Deanjo
          • 9 years ago

          Attirition certianly does happen. No arguement there. The fact remains however that current Apple users are not traditionalists. They are new users to the platform and that accounts for well over half of their users. A vast majority of PC users however are traditionalists as most of them stay within the PC realm. You’ve got your analysis ass end backwards.

        • maxxcool
        • 9 years ago

        agreed, they were “too” successful in thier mac ad’s 🙂

      • StashTheVampede
      • 9 years ago

      Mac users pay for things. Windows users pay for things. Linux users don’t pay for nearly as many items.

      Valve adding Mac to their arsenal is a two pronged approach:
      – Get their Source SDK updated to support multiple platforms for PAYING customers. License Source and your code can work on multiple consoles, Windows and Mac.
      – Get their Steam SDK updated to support another platform for PAYING customers. While the selection is somewhat limited, they are trying to get more users onto the Mac platform with their delivery/DRM system.

      Valve doesn’t hate linux users — the simple numbers show that there are too FEW paying linux users that are on desktops. When numbers show that the linux desktop crowd is worthing paying attention to, they’ll have a very well developed OpenGL renderer in their arsenal.

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Valve has never ever stated they weren’t working on something that they eventually WERE working on when they announced it. Never.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      of course not ^_^

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 9 years ago

    What? You can’t use Wine or Cegeda?

    • Dizik
    • 9 years ago

    Is this like Gabe saying that they’ll never develop for the PS3?

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 9 years ago

    That’s mildly disappointing.

    • Shining Arcanine
    • 9 years ago

    There was evidence that Phoronix dug up that indicated that Linux support was being worked on alongside Mac OS X support. I assumed that it would because Valve’s developers were developing for Mac OS X on Linux, but my expectation is that the developers were planning it as an extra feature as a surprise to their bosses and Phoronix’s premature exposure of it caused the developer’s bosses to tell the developers to stop what they were doing with Linux.

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      Or some developer was just screwing around, or cut and pasting code or doing his development work in linux which is probably more plausible then any grand conspiracy theory.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      You can’t honestly believe that.

    • Peffse
    • 9 years ago

    My laptop will patiently wait.

      • huge
      • 9 years ago

      ditto.

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. i guess that answers the question from the other day….

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      Told ya. 😛

    • Weckl
    • 9 years ago

    Money talks.

      • cegras
      • 9 years ago

      What did you expect? A free lunch?

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    That’s a bummer.

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 9 years ago

      Who’s a bum?

      • anotherengineer
      • 9 years ago

      Indeed. It would have been nice if they at least made it for Ubuntu.

      They should just give there code to the ubuntu developers and let them do it for them for free lol (after signing a NDA of course)

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