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Steam and Source Coming to Linux Soon


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#1 nobody813

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:51 PM

Steam for Linux Arrives "in Months"

There is light in the end of the tunnel for proponents of a native-Linux version of Valve's Steam platform, as a Steam for Linux is just months away, according to a Phoronix report. Linux has been hiring developers with experience in Linux OpenGL applications for some time now, and the gearwheels at Valve have been able to drive out an early version of Left 4 Dead 2 that was seen running native on Linux (Ubuntu 11.10), without translation layers such as Wine, utilizing the OpenGL API, with the ICD provided by AMD Catalyst. Although first denied in 2010, Valve is back to the idea of Steam for Linux, thanks to its "flat" company structure that lacks a hierarchy. Following the footsteps of Steam for Mac, Valve could port some of its games to Linux, and give the client SteamPlay capability.

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The original can article be found on Phoronix

I for one can not wait for this to happen. I personally use Linux Mint as my secondary OS on my main PC, and have Ubuntu variants on my netbook and elderly laptop. Having proper access the Steam community is a native Linux client is great news in itself

Still, the proof is in the pudding, and I hope Valve finish what they've started, including continuing the Half Life series :-P

Edited by nobody813, 25 April 2012 - 10:38 PM.

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#2 Xen

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

Yay, yay, yay!!! Hopefully it might end all the fuss trying to shoeshorn games in using wine or cedega.

#3 mark84

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:44 PM

It would be rather good. Not that I use Linux much at home but it really does need a booster shot to get the platform better supported for big title game releases.

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#4 TazFromOz

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

Wicked news. :)
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#5 SquallStrife

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:47 AM

Technical support will be a nightmare.

#6 Caelum

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:13 AM

Technical support will be a nightmare.



This is exactly what i was thinking.
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#7 nobody813

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:49 PM

Technical support will be a nightmare.



This is exactly what i was thinking.

Agreed. Seems to be Ubuntu they're doing all their work on at the moment, but will be interesting to see if it is made available for all the other major families of Linux distributions

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#8 NukeJockey

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:20 PM

Blah, its hard enough supporting Windows and Mac as it is -.-
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#9 nobody813

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

Blah, its hard enough supporting Windows and Mac as it is -.-

Haha true

Perhaps they should just call it Steam beta, and be done with it. EA seems to have done that with Origin

Edited by nobody813, 02 May 2012 - 08:23 AM.

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#10 Dread Emperor

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

Agreed. Seems to be Ubuntu they're doing all their work on at the moment, but will be interesting to see if it is made available for all the other major families of Linux distributions


Most likely/realistic scenario would be being able to use Steam on any distro, but only receiving support if you're using the latest version of Ubuntu.

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#11 SledgY

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:54 PM

Technical support will be a nightmare.



This is exactly what i was thinking.


The steam client itself is largely just a wrapper around a HTML view. If it is developed using a multi-platform framework (it will be), the difficulty of supporting many platforms is greatly simplified. Dropbox has done a great job here with their Python based client. The games themselves are another mater entirely.
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#12 nobody813

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:37 PM

Technical support will be a nightmare.



This is exactly what i was thinking.


The steam client itself is largely just a wrapper around a HTML view. If it is developed using a multi-platform framework (it will be), the difficulty of supporting many platforms is greatly simplified. Dropbox has done a great job here with their Python based client. The games themselves are another mater entirely.

Haha, should do what EA did

EA Begins Their (Sad) Ubuntu Game Push

:-P

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#13 GlennsPref

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:38 PM

Technical support will be a nightmare.



This is exactly what i was thinking.

Agreed. Seems to be Ubuntu they're doing all their work on at the moment, but will be interesting to see if it is made available for all the other major families of Linux distributions


You only need to go down a few levels to get past the gui restictions.

If steam works on any variation of GNU/Linux then it can be hacked to work on any distro, supposing you have the experience.

I'm keen, I have win7-64b-ultimate just for steam apps. On two machines (different users)

I know, I know. I'll be pleased when it's done (I'm no coder).
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#14 nobody813

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:32 PM

Haha true. I reckon that'll probably be the way it goes. All the testing I know of has been done in plain old Ubuntu, so all of its derivatives will be fine. Like you said though, won't stop everyone else from using it :-P

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#15 SquallStrife

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:13 AM

If steam works on any variation of GNU/Linux then it can be hacked to work on any distro, supposing you have the experience.


Being on Linux doesn't mean they'll release the source code.

#16 Mordenakhnen

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:07 AM

If steam works on any variation of GNU/Linux then it can be hacked to work on any distro, supposing you have the experience.


Being on Linux doesn't mean they'll release the source code.


And hacking doesn't necessarily mean modifying the source code (or mucking with the binaries for that matter),
it could mean playing round with support libraries and such (assuming that they don't statically link) to get it working.
If it fails to run on a particular distro but does work on others then compatibility of 3rd party software would seem to me the most likely culprit.

#17 GlennsPref

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

Well, I just meant that if it works with a *buntu, we should be able to get the deps list and configure it to run... usually requires finding files in packages of the right version, not so much just grabbing packages and installing. then the linking, and testing. Editing makefiles (and conf files) is one thing, hacking source code is another world, I'll leave to you. Thank you, Regards Glenn. Just hurry up!
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#18 nobody813

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 11:57 AM

Valve Writes About Their Linux Client Plans

Finally some non-Phoronix exclusive information about Steam/Source Engine on Linux ;) Valve Software has begun to write about their Steam Linux client initiatives on their public blog.

Over at blogs.valvesoftware.com/Linux is the start of the Linux blog! This should be linked to from the main Valve Software blog in the near future, I'm told (I was just pinged by them this evening about the soon-to-go-live blog post). The first post is entitled "Steam’d Penguins"; the post's author isn't displayed but I would assume it was written by Mike Sartain.

It's pretty much what I confirmed back in April when at Valve and in updates since then with communicating with Valve, but here's the main highlights of the first Valve Linux blog post:

- "For some time, Gabe has been interested in the possibility of moving Steam and the Source game engine to Linux. At the time, the company was already using Linux by supporting Linux-based servers for Source-based games and also by maintaining several internal servers (running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu server) for various projects."

- Valve is currently beginning all development work on Ubuntu Linux. "First, we’re just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster. Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. This doesn’t mean that Ubuntu will be the only distribution we support. Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future."

- The current projects being focused upon include getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality, optimizing a version of Left 4 Dead 2 to run at a high frame-rate with OpenGL, and porting additional Valve titles to Linux.

- Valve has Steam on Ubuntu 12.04 working with all major functionality. "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."

- They want the same level of performance as in Windows and Linux. "Our goal is to have L4D2 performing under Linux as well as it performs under Windows."

- They have setup a valvelinuxteam@valvesoftware.com email address.

Aside from that first post, here's some other interesting tid-bits from their side-panel information:

- "Our mission is to strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers. This includes Linux ports of Steam and Valve games, as well as partner games."

- Valve is investigating some interesting open-source Linux possibilities. "We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers."

- "The Valve Linux team is currently 11 people and growing. Our mission is to investigate open source development with a specific focus on supporting Steam and other Valve products on the Linux platform. The Linux background of our team varies from those who have a deep knowledge of Linux development to those who have just scratched the surface. However, one thing we all share is a great passion for supporting all things Valve on Linux." Wow! In Valve Picks Up Another All-Star Linux Developer last weekend I only knew of eight or nine people in the team, but now they appear to have on a few more and they're still building this team.

Read the post and expect more good things out of their official Linux blog soon! As Gabe said, it should be available this year. Perhaps they decided to go public now with their own blog in response to the recent success of Ouya for Linux gaming?

Those wishing to keep up to date with any announcements should go to http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/Linux/. I'm a very happy chappy :-D

Edited by nobody813, 17 July 2012 - 11:59 AM.

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#19 GlennsPref

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

Hey, Thanks for the heads-up! cheers, Glenn
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#20 nobody813

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:58 PM

Valve & Intel Work On Open-Source GPU Drivers

As the latest Valve Linux news for today, Valve Software actually cares about open-source Linux graphics drivers. Last week they had the Intel OTC Linux graphics team out to Bellevue to jointly work on the OpenGL renderer for the Source Engine and the Intel Mesa driver.

Ian Romanick of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center blogged about The zombies cometh.... In there, Romanick shares that he and his team were in Bellevue working with Valve's Linux team on Left 4 Dead 2. Romanick's key points from the blog post:

- "It was the most successful work trip I've ever had. The guys at Valve were amazing to work with."

- Goals included "help them tune their game for our driver / hardware", find where the performance is lacking, and discover what OpenGL features they want/need.

- Some OpenGL Source Engine optimizations were found when it came to buffer vertex management and where some shader recompilation was triggered for all drivers/hardware.

- Intel Mesa developers found where their driver really needs to be sped up.

- Intel Linux engineers have access to the Left 4 Dead 2 source-code from Valve to help them in their optimization efforts.

- Patches to improve the Intel Mesa DRI driver for Left 4 Dead 2 have begun to land.

- "The funny thing is Valve guys say the same thing about drivers. There were a couple times where we felt like they were trying to convince us that open source drivers are a good idea. We had to remind them that they were preaching to the choir. :) Their problem with closed drivers (on all platforms) is that it's such a blackbox that they have to play guess-and-check games. There's no way for them to know how changing a particular setting will affect the performance. If performance gets worse, they have no way to know why. If they can see where time is going in the driver, they can make much more educated guesses."

- Valve has requested improvements to the GL_ARB_debug_output extension implementation for Mesa.

- They're working on a "smart vsync" implementation to get best performance while trying to avoid tearing.

That's about it for that was mentioned in the email.

It was back in May that Ian Romanick, Eric Anholt, and Kenneth Graunke approached me about getting in contact with Valve. The Intel Linux developers were interested with what was going on in the Linux gaming world, but the official Intel channels for getting in contact with Valve were too slow/uneventful. I got the Intel-Valve-Linux ball rolling and now for the liasoning I'm told I'll be be rewarded with a beer in Nuremberg at XDS2012 in September. :) Prost!

[Note to the Intel guys: Preferrably Gutmann as a nice beer from the area, otherwise most other beer from the region is good, sans Tucher.]


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