Steam for Linux hits the Ubuntu Software Center

Hey everyone, the Steam for Linux client is now available!

Well, that's the title of Valve's announcement, at least. The reality is that Steam for Linux has been freely downloadable since the beta opened up last December. As of today, though, you can finally grab the client software right from the Ubuntu Software Center—the same place you'd find LibreOffice, Skype, Gimp, and that obscure text editor your bearded hacker friend won't shut up about.

The Steam for Linux client looks and behaves pretty much like the Windows version. It even includes the new Big Picture mode, so you can use it comfortably on a home-theater system. A number of Valve's own games are available—Team Fortess 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike 1.6, and Half-Life—as are many casual and indie titles.

Honestly, I was pretty impressed with the whole thing when I tested it on that Zotac mini-PC earlier this month. Valve has done a pretty terrific job.

To celebrate today's release (and make some Linux geeks slightly poorer), Valve has kicked off a big Linux sale on Steam. More than 50 titles are available at either half price or quarter price, and the sale is scheduled continue until next Thursday at 10:00 AM PST. Most of the games available are of the indie variety, but there are some pretty solid deals to be found. Among the highlights are:

These are all cross-platform games, by the way. Thanks to Valve's Steam Play feature, you can buy a single license and play on any supported platform—be it Linux, Windows, or OS X. Naturally, that means the sale is by no means exclusive to Linux users. Anyone can partake, and they'll be free to enjoy their purchases if they give Steam on Linux a shot.

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