Steam for Linux beta now open for all

Valve has confirmed that it’s working on console-like PCs for the living room. The systems will run Steam on top of Linux, and you can get a taste of what’s in store today. Valve has opened the doors to its previously closed Steam for Linux beta.

To celebrate the open beta, Valve has released an updated Steam client for Linux. Anyone can download the new release, which tweaks the Big Picture interface designed for navigating from the couch. The latest client also fixes bugs associated with Team Fortress 2 and Cubeman.

If you’re aren’t running Linux but want to check it out, Valve seems to recommend using Ubuntu 12.04, which can be downloaded here. The Ubuntu Wiki even has instructions explaining how to install the Steam client. The same page also provides details on how to update AMD, Nvidia, and Intel graphics drivers—something you’ll want to do before trying to play games.

Speaking of games, searching the Steam store for Linux-compatible titles reveals 36 offerings. Most are more casual titles from independent developers, but Team Fortress 2 and Serious Sam: BFE are both on the list. Valve is working on a Linux port of Left 4 Dead 2, as well, but that game isn’t available just yet.

Comments closed
    • hoboGeek
    • 7 years ago

    I’m using Linux Mint 13, wondering if it would work, seeing that Mint is basically a modified Ubuntu…
    Either way. a good way to spend Christmas time.Testing gaming under Linux

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      You think as i do.

      • TheBob!
      • 7 years ago

      I have been in the closed beta for a while running Linux Mint 13. It works like a charm.

    • maxxcool
    • 7 years ago

    Is L4D available yet ? pretty much the only game I’m interested in testing on linux that I have already purchased…

    • Ryu Connor
    • 7 years ago

    Kindly remember that Richard Stallman has deemed [url=http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/nonfree-games.html<]Steam[/url<] and [url=http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do<]Ubuntu[/url<] as naughty. If you want some [url=http://youtu.be/I25UeVXrEHQ?t=1m50s<]toe jam[/url<] in your Christmas stocking, you had best be nice and not install either.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      ROFL @ the toe jam video.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        And this is why Linux gets a bad rep; I’m impressed his t-shirt isn’t smothered in takeaway stains that were accumulated over the previous month.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      I think we all remember. Luckily we can think for ourselves and don’t need Stallman to tell us what software to use.

      • CppThis
      • 7 years ago

      Good for him, but I don’t put much stock in what Stallman has to say anymore. GNU/FSF purity wars are just as dysfunctional as Big Content’s “we want to own your soul” business practices, only in a different way.

        • jihadjoe
        • 7 years ago

        Im not sure what to make about his rant on Steam, but the bit about Ubuntu is disturbing. It’s not about OSS purity, but rather that [url=http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/richard-stallman-calls-ubuntu-spyware-because-it-tracks-searches/<]Ubuntu is spying on you[/url<]. Apparently it sends data about all of your searches (yes, including local ones) to Ubuntu.

          • just brew it!
          • 7 years ago

          Yes, Ubuntu messed up on that one; we’ve had some discussions about it previously. It is easy enough for the user to disable, but Canonical really should’ve made it an “opt-in” feature instead of enabling it by default.

          On the mitigating side, it’s (currently) enabled by default only in their bleeding edge (12.10) release. The Long Term Support (12.04) release does not have the issue. Also, since it is part of their custom Unity desktop it is not installed if you use one of the alternate desktop environments (Kubuntu, Xubuntu).

          I hope that with the next release they do a better job of explaining the feature up front, give the user the chance to opt in during installation, and (if enabled) ensure that all non-local traffic is properly anonymized and encrypted.

    • Litzner
    • 7 years ago

    I really like the Idea of Linux as a gaming platform, even more so now with Windows 8 and the direction that Microsoft is trying to go now. But so far, the games available on Linux for Steam are few and far between.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Give it time, heck it isn’t even out of beta yet. You have to figure that many publishers won’t bother putting the effort into their previous releases for native Linux support but may decide to support it in their newer titles that are still in early development when it is the easiest to create native ports.

      • CppThis
      • 7 years ago

      I agree but this is a good step forward in moving away from MS/DirectX monolithy. I’m traditionally a Microsoft guy out of convenience, don’t hate Linux but don’t particularly care for it either, but it’s becoming clear that Ballmer has lost his final marble and Redmond is no longer a reliable technology partner.

      What’s ultimately necessary is going to be support for DirectX and most/all of the Windows API so legacy games and their backing applications will work. Ironically, Microsoft might be willing to spin off legacy technologies if it’s serious about focusing on chasing mobile unicorns.

    • Noigel
    • 7 years ago

    Will someone finally solve the keyboard / mouse / couch paradox? I want to see this happen in my lifetime.

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      have u heard of a controller?

      • truprecht
      • 7 years ago

      What happens when an unstoppable force (desire for entertainment) meets an immovable object (consumer of entertainment)?

      I tried a bunch of wireless mice/keyboards to find ones that would work reliably from 10 feet away, but even then it’s a hassle. The combo keyboard-touchpads are are built for right-handers (I’m a lefty). I’ve found that Mobile Mouse on an iPad, and to a lesser degree iPhone, is the most convenient, usable and cheap (assuming you already have one and are not buying it solely to use as a remote).

      • SonicSilicon
      • 7 years ago

      Doesn’t Big Picture solve most of that? [url<]http://store.steampowered.com/bigpicture[/url<]

    • Rza79
    • 7 years ago

    Has any of you tried this already with Linux Mint?

      • stupido
      • 7 years ago

      I have it installed under Mint 14 (Nadya) but until last night I was not able to run. Not because of installation problems but because it says that my account is not included in the ‘closed beta’ 🙁

      so when I go home this night I’ll try once again…

      • Litzner
      • 7 years ago

      I have tried it with Mint 14 (Cinnamon) and I have it working just fine.

        • Veerappan
        • 7 years ago

        Same here.

        Note that if you previously installed the closed beta, and you keep getting a “this is a closed beta and you’re not authorized” type message, you can delete the ~/Steam folder and get it to re-download a fresh Steam copy and re-authenticate your account.

        If you’re running a 64-bit distro and having trouble getting games to launch, make sure you’ve got a 32-bit libGLU installed:
        sudo apt-get install libglu1-mesa:i386

        If a game isn’t starting, just navigate to:
        /home/{you}/.local/share/steam/SteamApps/{your_steam_user}/{a game}
        and try to launch the executable directly. It’ll fail to find the steam.so library, but it should tell you if it’s missing any others.

        Also, game trailers are dependent on Steam having an appropriate flash plug-in available… I haven’t figured that one out yet, but I’m assuming that you can drop a 32-bit flashplayer plug-in in the right place and get that to work.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    psssh. this is for noobs who should stick to baby safe windows and osx. a deb installer? compile yourself like a real man.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      If Steam was OSS I’m sure someone would be. lol

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        yeah, another reason it’s not true linux.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          Linux is just the kernel technically and not all linux distributions are fully OSS. In fact GNU only lists 8 distro’s being truly free and none of them are big distros (BLAG, Dragora, Dynebolic, gNewSense, Musix, Parabola, Trisquel, Ututo XS).

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Doesn’t it mainly depend upon what’s distributed with them? So if say, a closed source driver is included, it’s not technically ‘fully open source’?

            • just brew it!
            • 7 years ago

            Yup. These sorts of pronouncements only matter if you value ideological purity above actually being able to use the system for the things you want.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            From GNU’s point of view a true free operating systems has no non-free applications, non-free programming platforms, non-free drivers, or non-free firmware “blobs”. Most distro’s are eliminated from the list simply because of the firmware condition.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i’m aware of that, i just wanted to complain about something i knew would get nerd responses.

    • puppetworx
    • 7 years ago

    Can you imagine a Steam OS (or any gaming OS) which is locked down and only lets signed code run as well as enforcing hardware NX bits (DEP) to help prevent hacking, at least during gaming? I dream of this. When will it be time for secure gaming?

      • Game_boy
      • 7 years ago

      lol that you think locking down is to help YOU

      • eofpi
      • 7 years ago

      You seem to have misspelled “console” there.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      Consoles tried this already and failed.

        • puppetworx
        • 7 years ago

        Wow. I feel dumb for not knowing this. Not that I ever touch a console.

        Guess I was grasping at straws then.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Just something that sounds really good till someone hacks the OS and you have people with aimbots running around, but no one to ban them.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      is this still an issue? in the games i play, hon, civ, sc2, and a few others, i haven’t seen hacking. is it still a problem?

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        Only with certain titles that don’t implement enough anti-cheating measures. UT2004 is pretty bad, dunno if there’s a fix because I haven’t played it online for a good while.

        It might help to allow separating linux and windows users online, since windows is where most of the aimbot kiddies are.

        • TurtlePerson2
        • 7 years ago

        Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was broken on the PC because of hacking. I really enjoyed the multiplayer, but it got to a point where one out of every four games I joined had someone who was obviously hacking. Some people even had names like “IAMHACKER” and were not even trying to hide it. This was before Black Ops 2 came out and MW3 was tied to your Steam account, so I guess Valve Anti-Cheat doesn’t actually work.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Nah, VAC doesn’t work at all, like Punkbuster. Same thing was happening in BF3.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            The best–and only good–anti hacking measure is to find a good server.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        SC2 most definitely has map hackers. You can easily find them through replays and watching the other person.

        As far as other games go, unequivocally yes. It’s gotten worse and worse over the years. Anyone can be a champ for $10 now.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          i don’t see any. i haven’t played it that much, and i’m only silver in 1v1 and platinum in team games. and i don’t watch replays. maybe that’s why i lose….

      • maxxcool
      • 7 years ago

      It is nothing to sign your own code, especially if you are a competent coder.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    The day before the world ends!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Now we know who to blame.

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        Mainstream gaming on Linux: yeah, I can see that being the End of Days.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          I was thinking Valve in particular, or maybe Gabe. This phrase “port of Left 4 Dead 2” might mean something else entirely. Zombie apocalypse irl? 😮

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            yay! linux gets 3 year old games!! great job valve!

            • stupido
            • 7 years ago

            oldy but goldy (at least TF2.. for me though)…

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder if anything will run in a virtual machine…. maybe I’ll try for fun…

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      I might try that too; my living-room system is plenty powerful enough, and at work we use multiple OSes driving multiple graphics displays in VMs a lot, and haven’t had any problems, so it’ll be interesting to see….

        • just brew it!
        • 7 years ago

        OpenGL acceleration in VMs isn’t exactly what I’d call mature though. So don’t get your hopes up.

          • dpaus
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, I’m anticipating lots of hard lock-ups followed by re-boots. As long as I learn something, it’s all good 🙂

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      With VMWare, yes, with virtualbox not likely.

      • Litzner
      • 7 years ago
    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    First-class way to waste my holiday time. I’m going to check it out.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I can’t even call myself a proper Linux user since I just play around with Ubuntu a couple of times a month, but I like the idea of Linux being gaming-viable, and I also like the idea of OpenGL getting more support.

      DirectX is actually very good, but Microsoft do stupid stuff like withhold current versions from all but their latest operating systems. They did it with Vista and they’re doing it again with Windows 8, despite the fact that W8 shares 99% of it’s code with W7.

        • just brew it!
        • 7 years ago

        Well… getting a new version of OpenGL (or other major API) to play nice with an older Linux distro can also be an exercise in futility. But at least you don’t need to pay if you decide to upgrade to a newer (compatible) version of the OS.

        • wiak
        • 7 years ago

        true, btw am kinda a linux user, dont realy use it that much, and when i do i allways mess it up pretty badly, so for me windows is more stable, less easy to messup

        trallalala
        meh!

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          [url<]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/32510942.jpg[/url<]

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