Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you’ve probably heard that Steam is headed to Linux—as is Left 4 Dead 2 and quite possibly other Valve games, as well. Valve shared a number of details about the port back in July, and now, the company has begun recruiting beta testers.
A page entitled "Valve Linux Steam Client Beta Application" has gone up on Valve’s website. The page states simply, "We’re looking for Linux gamers to install and test our new Steam for Linux client. We are primarily interested in experienced Linux users." To sign up, users must log in with their Steam accounts and complete a survey, which includes questions like "What Linux desktop manager are you using?" and "Do you currently use Wine to play games on Linux?"
The survey also asks pretty pointed questions about users’ hardware configs—their processors, graphics cards, memory, displays, and so forth. On that topic, Valve explains, "For this beta program, we are interested in testing on a wide range of hardware configurations – ranging from a single laptop to a multi-monitor tower setup with the latest graphics card."
That’s about it as far as the details go—at least for now. Valve’s timing is certainly noteworthy, though. Back in July, Valve head honcho Gabe Newell stated in so many words that he hoped to back Linux as a more open alternative to Windows 8 for gamers. Windows 8 just came out last Friday… and now, here we are.