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Left 4 Dead Demo Includes Linux Steam Client Libraries 217

Posted by Soulskill
from the fun-little-surprise dept.
SheeEttin writes "If you've been longing to play games from Steam on your Linux machine, you may not have to wait much longer — the Left 4 Dead demo includes some Linux libraries, in particular, one named 'steamclient_linux.so.' While the game's full release does not include these libraries, their apparently accidental inclusion in the demo suggests that Steam games will have native Linux clients in the near future. (A job listing at Valve looking for someone whose responsibilities would include 'Port[ing] Windows-based games to the Linux platform' would seem to support this.) The libraries also include several strings nonessential to a pure server, including references to forgotten passwords. Hopefully, this indicates that at least some Valve-affiliated games will have native Linux clients."
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Left 4 Dead Demo Includes Linux Steam Client Libraries

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  • by kbrasee (1379057) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:47AM (#25925111) Homepage
    for the Year Of The Linux Desktop.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Does this mean I can now kill a Linux system's performance and stability with the DRM sh*t too? W00t!
      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        The Steam UI's efficiency leaves much to be desired - especially since the store software is based largely off of Internet Explorer - but it's still the best option for getting games digitally that's fair to publishers and gamers alike.

        It's not perfect, but it's the best we've got.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by PsyQ (87838)

          If you run Steam through WINE and use Gecko as the HTML renderer, performance is much improved. The whole store feels lightning fast.

          If they did the same with their Linux version and perhaps used Gecko on Windows as well, maybe they could fix that problem.

  • by evilNomad (807119) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:48AM (#25925121)

    steamclient_linux.so is used by the dedicated linux servers to connect to steam and check for updates and such, it was probably just included by mistake..

    • by cjfs (1253208) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:53AM (#25925171) Homepage Journal

      steamclient_linux.so is used by the dedicated linux servers to connect to steam and check for updates and such, it was probably just included by mistake..

      The article quotes a large string of names and says:

      These strings plus hundreds of other technically shouldn't be needed if this were simply for Linux server usage -- even though no Linux server binary ships with the Windows game on Steam.

      Not sure if that's reasonable grounds for their assumption, but is worth considering.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Bert64 (520050)

        People write inefficient code..
        Client apps that have absolutely no business being on a server make it to "servers" all the time, just look at all the cruft supposed server versions of windows come with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by evilNomad (807119)

        Well, maybe Valve decided that if they were going to port some features for the dedicated server, they might do them all when they were at it.. But no one but Valve will know.. :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          Valve is most likely looking at the medium to long term market of netbook computers, really huge numbers of low priced FOSS based computers. A very competitive games distribution network, for low priced game sales and those games will have to really efficient and run well on minimal resources.

          It makes sense to get the bugs out and smooth out the interface now, so that will be be able to more effectively target multi player gaming on netbooks, hundreds of millions of low cost school netbooks is bound to b

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The Linux Dedicated Server distribution includes all kinds of things that aren't needed -- including Windows DLLs, sound files, etc.

        I'd like to see an actual comparison with the current Linux dedicated server before I jump to conclusions.

        That said, I'll also be first in line if they ever do release a Linux client.

        • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gmail.cSTRAWom minus berry> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:34PM (#25925993) Homepage

          Sound files are needed if your server uses sv_pure, AFAIK. The server needs all the game resources to compare files hashes with the hashes the client sends to be sure they're not replacing files. A common reason to use sv_pure would be to prevent TF2 cheaters from replacing, say, the soft "spy decloak" sound FX with a REALLY LOUD NOISE, which would make it a lot easier to hear any nearby spies.

          • by Kent Recal (714863) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:53PM (#25926189)

            The server needs all the game resources to compare files hashes with the hashes the client sends to be sure they're not replacing files.

            That's just lazyness. Instead of storing the actual game artwork the server could just store a list of the hashes - and save a couple hundred megabytes (sometimes gigabytes) of diskspace.

            • by prockcore (543967) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:56PM (#25926713)

              no, because the hacked client can do the same thing. The server hashes a random part of the file, and then tells the client to hash that same part.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Kent Recal (714863)

                A hacked client could just as well use hacked artwork but at the same time perform the hashes over a copy of the original artwork. It's just another step in the arms-race and imho not a very effective one. Once a hacker has managed to gain control over the hash-function it probably doesn't matter much to him whether he just sends stored hashes or performs partial hashes over an existing set of files...

                • by tibman (623933) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @04:39AM (#25931421) Homepage

                  In the case of steam though, a VAC ban and you lost the game.. forever. The only cases where a person can escape a VAC ban and not lose their account is with internet cafes. But i know some places automatically kick all SteamIDs in the internetcafe band of ids. Voogru made a mod that specifically does this.

                  Something else Valve does to complicate matters is once your hack is detected.. they don't do anything for days or weeks. They randomly wait and pretend it didn't happen. Then bam, VACbanned. So someone researching vulnerabilities won't know which one was detected, or which game, or when.

                  Is it worth cheating if you get VAC banned and have to rebuy the game? That arms race sounds very expensive..

          • by cortana (588495)

            I wonder why they don't just ship the checksums of the files with the server, rather than the entire file itself.

            • by J-F Mammet (769)

              I would say they need to change the hashing algorithm from time to time because cheaters may defeat them and would be able to cheat again. Or they also use challenge for some random part of the actual file to make sure that the client isn't just sending a bogus hash without actually checking the file.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BAILOPAN (694545)
      +1, This article is silly. You can find that file in every Valve Linux dedicated server (HL1, various HL2 versions, etc).
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:51AM (#25925149) Homepage

    I wonder if this means they will provide OS X support as well?

    • Re:How about OS X? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AndGodSed (968378) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:52PM (#25925587) Homepage Journal

      Parent being modded funny is probably the funniest response there could be to his question...

    • You can already run Steam and some games on OSX and Linux. I've played Portal and Half Life 2 on my Mac using Codweavers' [codeweavers.com] software. It played pretty well.

      I wonder how much work it would really take to get more games running in WINE or some derivative, assuming that was a goal of the game developers.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Likewise, came here to say that.

        I played portal under wine and have had other things running fine. A native client is a better thing, obviously, but it's not like linux users have been totally unable to run these so far,

      • Re:How about OS X? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by melstav (174456) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:36PM (#25927435)

        Dude! WTF!

        I'm tired of people assuming that, just because something might (sorta) run (maybe) under WINE that that's all that really matters.

        The article is about native Linux support. NATIVE.

        Native means you don't need WINE and you don't need a VM. It means you slap the disk in, run the installer, and go. No emulation layer, no reverse-engineered Windows APIs.

        Relying on Codeweavers is not going to be a good idea for a commercial software house. Relying on Codeweavers is what end-users do while they wait for the software houses to realize that they are ignoring an entire market *AND* invest the resources necessary to service that market.

        • Which may never come, if the market is small and the resources necessary to service it exceed the likely value of the market- which may very well be true.

          You could be waiting a very long time indeed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nine-times (778537)

          Some developers are using CIDER to bring games to OSX, and I'm afraid I don't really see the problem with that. Whether or not it's "native" is somewhat a matter of what you mean by "native", since it's certainly not emulation. Relying on WINE isn't too far different from relying on a set of libraries that happen to not be installed by default.

          And when you run things on WINE, they run pretty fast and stable. You don't need to rely on Codeweavers, since they could simply test to make sure their software

        • Really? Google disagrees with you.
          They worked with Codeweavers for all their Linux ports.

        • by Nazlfrag (1035012)

          Codeweavers is a stopgap, but I'd be happy enough with an emulation layer if the rest of what you said held true, ie. slap it in, install and go.

        • by Miseph (979059)

          Alternatively, developers could write "native" WINE ports. I'm still baffled that more games, at least the ones which are never intended as bleeding edge in the first place, aren't coded with the intent that they'll be able to run in WINE. It would be considerably cheaper to aim for Windows and WINE compatibility than aiming for entirely separate Windows and Linux ports.

          What difference does it really make if the APIs are originally from Windows once they're running under Linux, anyway?

  • Hold your horses (Score:4, Informative)

    by arth1 (260657) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:51AM (#25925159) Homepage Journal

    Just because the Steam client may run native Linux doesn't mean that games will.
    I'd be surprised if the first offerings were more than the few games that will run under wine bundled with wine.
    And a game running under wine doesn't become a Linux game. Sorry, no.

    • by Zathain Sicarius (1398033) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:00PM (#25925219)

      "(A job listing at Valve looking for someone whose responsibilities would include 'Port[ing] Windows-based games to the Linux platform' would seem to support this.)"

      And so what if the whole movement only starts with some Wine support? For alot of people its a pain to get steam up and running with linux, and so if Wine becomes integrated into Steam, then that will save alot of people headaches. That's far better than just continuing to ban all the people on their forums who cry out for a Linux client.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by arth1 (260657)

        The way I see it, if you play an involved game like most Steam games are, you're no longer multitasking. The game, not the OS, is what you interface with. So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

        wine is useful when you need to run a native Windows program from within the context of Unix. But it will never provide the full Windows environment, and if you're not going to interface with the OS, why bother wh

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kcbnac (854015)

          Because for those of us who've chosen Linux as our 'workstation' OS, having to maintain (albeit minutely) a second OS (install, AV/Firewall as much needed for gaming, hardware drivers, etc) simply for a game or 5, becomes a chore. I usually leave chat or web-browsing windows up on my gaming machine (Still running windows because the hassles are too many) but if it were a one-time setup (not every time a new major patch comes out) I'd switch to Linux on the second machine too.

          Why buy a PC when a 'net applia

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

          It's a huge paint in the ass when you have to *reboot your whole system* just to play some game and then *reboot it again* to continue your work.
          Not to mention the pain it is to maintain to maintain a system you only want to use for games - 'sorry, just installed the usual security updates, please *reboot your system*'
          Well, I think, playing games is more fun if you can just star them and wait few seconds to load everything instead of spending minutes of rebooting and even more of fiddeling around with the t

          • by gparent (1242548)
            Turn the updates off. Silly people telling their OS to do things and then whining when they do them...
          • Hear, hear! I just did exactly this just to play 2 games after trying in vain to get Portal working under wine and Crossover Games. Same with RealMYST.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          whoa whoa whoa. Extra OEM licenses != extra licenses. Licenses purchased installed with a computer are limited to use with that computer. Even if you wipe it. If the argument is about being legal with windows, this is not a valid point. Secondly wine runs opengl games, even with steam fairly well, and it wasn't too hard to setup. Lastly and more importantly, games from valve are NOT expensive. In fact there was just a deal for all the games released from valve for 99.95. Yes, that's all the games, cs,
        • Re:Hold your horses (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:07PM (#25925733) Journal

          Because it's actually more painful to run it in Windows, for some of us. Here, let me count the ways:

          Linux has pretty good 64-bit support. The last remaining broken piece was browser plugins -- Java has been ported, and Flash will be soon. Windows 64-bit sucks before Vista, and Vista sucks in so many other ways that 64-bit is hardly a concern.

          And yes, Valve games can use 64-bit and multicore. And I do have 4 gigs of RAM, which means XP can only see 3.5 gigs.

          I also run Linux for everything other than games. That means, not only is there the irritation of having to reboot -- somewhat mitigated, as I can hibernate one and boot another -- but that I have to maintain Windows, which is much more work for me than maintaining Linux -- on top of which, I still have to maintain Linux. (Example: Ever try to hunt down XP drivers for a made-for-Vista laptop?)

          Steam also insists that I install/update games via its client. That's great, if I'm running Windows anyway -- and I'm on fiber, so it's fast. But it means I can't download while on Linux. What's more, I can't play a Steam game I've already got while I wait -- as soon as Steam sees me playing a game, it kills all downloads. I suppose it's to keep me from lagging -- thanks, but it reacts the same way if I'm playing a single-player game.

          If there was a Linux client, I'd just leave it running and not care.

          And then there's the fact that Steam itself is a good deal more than just a game client, now -- assuming they've finally gotten the Friends feature working, it's also an IM client. That would be nice -- a friend IMs me, inviting me to a game, and rather than rebooting, I just click "yes" in that window -- and he can IM me from the game, he doesn't have to alt+tab to some other client to a Pidgin-friendly service.

          Now, granted, I could run games under Wine. I do, for some games -- MMOs, I pretty much demand that they run windowed on Linux, because I absolutely do multitask with those. But with Steam, there's a performance hit (all Valve games are DirectX only, now), there's again 32-bit only (no Win64 support in Wine yet), and none of it is supported, meaning if I have any problems, I'm on my own.

          Still, it's not as though there would be no benefit. Even if these end up being winelib'd apps, at least they're supported, and it's a step in the right direction -- next up would likely be an OpenGL port. It also means that some of the non-Valve games on Steam which have native Linux clients would also work in Steam.

          • Re:Hold your horses (Score:4, Informative)

            by cbrocious (764766) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:24PM (#25925901) Homepage
            Wine doesn't support x64 code, so the only benefit you can get is having the full address space enabled (because the kernel can properly map memory).
            • True. However, a true native port would very likely include the existing x64 support. And no, I don't really get that advantage, as a single 32-bit process (on Windows) is limited to, what, 2 gigs of RAM? The only advantage would be if I needed the other 2 gigs for something else, rather than 1.5 gigs.

              I still would also gain the benefit of being able to download while I work, having a supported solution, not having to reboot, being able to instantly join a game from an IM, and so on.

              • One nice thing on OSX is that you can use your boot camp partition both natively (dual boot) and under Parallels. So you can download during the day in Parallels and reboot to play when work is finished.

                • Interesting. I haven't tried that here -- I do have a virtualized Windows, but it's different enough hardware that I had to call Microsoft to register the bare-metal install after first installing on the VM.

                  I could also download and then backup during the day in my VM, then restore the backup.

                  For now, I just suck it up and enjoy my fiber -- only took an hour to download Episode 2 anyway. It is, however, an irritation.

          • "Linux has pretty good 64-bit support. The last remaining broken piece was browser plugins -- Java has been ported, and Flash will be soon."

            64 bit flash ten for Linux came out earlier this month, the long wait is over.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by somenickname (1270442)

          Just because you aren't multitasking doesn't mean you don't have multiple tasks open. It's not uncommon for me to have 20-30 windows open (spread across multiple desktops) and so rebooting is a particularly painful process for me. My hardware is powerful enough to keep all those tasks open and play a game at the same time. If the only choices I had were "reboot" or "don't play games", I would pick "don't play games".

          • by arth1 (260657)

            Just because you aren't multitasking doesn't mean you don't have multiple tasks open. It's not uncommon for me to have 20-30 windows open (spread across multiple desktops) and so rebooting is a particularly painful process for me.

            And hibernation isn't an option why?

            • Hibernation in Linux doesn't work with all setups; my desktop would happily go into hibernation, but never successfully came out of it. (Same with standby.)
        • So why would you want to force it to run using something like wine, when it would be less painful to reboot into Windows and run it natively?

          I guess it depends on whether you really think it's less painful to do that. You have to close all your applications and everything you're doing, reboot, run the game, and then reboot again to get back to everything else.

          And that even ignores the fact that you have to set aside disk space to install a whole other OS, buy that other OS, install it, hunt down drivers, process the updates, and potentially worry about system security and system optimization for a whole other OS. And then if you've miscalcula

          • by arth1 (260657)

            I guess it depends on whether you really think it's less painful to do that. You have to close all your applications and everything you're doing, reboot, run the game, and then reboot again to get back to everything else.

            "Close all your applications and everything you're doing"?
            One word: hibernate

        • I must have half a dozen unused Windows licenses here, because whenever I buy a computer, I get one, no matter whether I then blow the OS away and install Linux.

          If you ever actually read the OEM licenses for Windows, you'd know that those licenses are bound to the specific hardware that you purchased, and cannot be transferred to other hardware. So restricted, Microsoft allows the OEM licenses to be deeply discounted.

          You might not be using the licenses, but that doesn't mean you've got them stockpiled.

        • by jlarocco (851450)

          I know there may be people out there who don't have any Windows licenses, but I think those are few and far between. Especially those who can also afford games from Valve.

          Yeah, because Linux is for poor people. LOL

          I must have half a dozen unused Windows licenses here, because whenever I buy a computer, I get one, no matter whether I then blow the OS away and install Linux.

          Just because you're stupid enough to buy Windows when you're not going to use it, doesn't mean other people are.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > Yeah, because Linux is for poor people. LOL

            If I am going to blow money for playing games, I would
            rather it go towards a dedicated games console that will
            us the big HDTV in the living room rather than being
            designed around small computer monitors.

            You're not "poor" just because you don't have money to burn.

      • "(A job listing at Valve looking for someone whose responsibilities would include 'Port[ing] Windows-based games to the Linux platform' would seem to support this.)"

        For the 100th time, they have always had somebody porting windows games to Linux, nobody in their right mind runs servers on windows!!!

    • by Kentaree (1078787)
      If they release a linux client that uses Wine, they're bound to support it too, which can only be good for Wine, and linux gamers.
      • by arth1 (260657)

        If they release a linux client that uses Wine, they're bound to support it too, which can only be good for Wine, and linux gamers.

        I think you're missing the point: wine apps aren't Linux apps, and those playing Windows games under wine aren't Linux gamers but Windows gamers logged in to Linux.
        The "Linux gamers" would much rather see ports that run natively, or even better, games developed for Linux. The best thing would not be "good for wine", but that wine went away due to lack of a need for it.
        Remember,

        • by Kentaree (1078787)
          And now look at it from a developer's point of view, Windows has the vast majority of gamers, making it fairly unfeasable to make Linux-only games, or even port their DirectX-based games to Linux. But if they make it playable on Wine, and people start playing it on Wine, doesn't that increase the amount of people playing it on Linux? It might be a bit naive, but it's possibly a way of getting gamers over to Linux, encouraging developers to concentrate more time and effort on it.
    • And a game running under wine doesn't become a Linux game. Sorry, no.

      If they start making applications that are officially supported under Wine, it'll still be a very big deal.

  • Just a few more years?
    If they're still looking to hire, I doubt this would be anytime soon. It is valve we're talking about here.
    Let me know when they publicly announce it.
  • by Loibisch (964797) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:45PM (#25925521)

    Who still believes any of the stuff they're writing?

    Those libraries are used by the Linux SERVER, so they can pull updates over Steam. Yes, Steam in Linux...shocking, ain't it? That says absolutely zip about game capability.

    Phoronix sees a handful of .so files and weaves a huge story about any Source games are just around the corner for Linux.

    There's absolutely _nothing_ noteworthy about this...

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      Who still believes any of the stuff they're writing?

      I don't, but I read it anyway to laugh at the hilariously inaccurate articles - it makes Slashdot look professionally edited in comparison

    • Phoronix is a funny site. Though they do a good job of collecting a lot of news on a handful of topics which most other sites don't address too well, their own journalism is pretty comical- headlines along the lines of

      • "350 DAYS AND STILL NO LINUX UT3 CLIENT" and then "UT3- 351 DAYS AND NO CLIENT; USERS EXPRESS FRUSTRATION" and "AFTER 352 DAYS, ANGRY MOBS CRY FOR UT3 CLIENT"
      • "HORROR STRIKES LINUX COMMUNITY- X.ORG MISSES SCHEDULED RELEASE DATE- APOCALYPSE APPARENTLY NIGH AT HAND"
      • "NOUVEAU DRIVER TEAM MAKES
  • wishful thinking (Score:5, Informative)

    by niteice (793961) <icefragment@gmail.com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:48PM (#25925549) Journal
    I don't doubt that Valve has investigated the possibility of a native Linux client. However, Phoronix doesn't seem to be looking in the right places. Let's go through what they brought up from the perspective of someone who is familiar with the Source engine:

    steamclient_linux.so - this is the ONLY interesting file. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that a majority is stubbed out and this is a remnant of the port of L4D to Steamworks - it uses a more generic library layout to work with any application, not tightly integrated with Source as before. Perhaps the server uses some functions in it to connect to the Steam master servers. That would explain why they only found it to be about half the size of the Windows version.

    studiorender_i486.so - Valve calls their 3D model format a "studio model." I'm fairly certain that this file is stubbed out and only the model loader is available - the physics engine needs it to get at mesh data.

    vstdlib_i486.so - Valve's standard libraries. Routines and classes used throughout the engine. No surprise, it's been shipping as long as the dedicated server has.

    libsteam_api_linux.so - The API into Steam. Again, probably a Steamworks artifact. Again, perhaps part is used by the dedicated server.

    engine_i486.so - core engine functionality. Anything that isn't factored out into another library (there are about 45) exists in here. I'm fairly sure that typically, left4dead.exe connects to Steam, then loads this library to make stuff happen. Core client and server code (operation, not logic) is in here.


    Unfortunately, I have since removed the demo from my computer (bought the actual game, well worth it) and can't investigate these files any further. I don't think this is 100% indicative of Valve having a Linux client ready, but rather extreme extrapolation on Phoronix's part. I'm completely with them on wanting a client though.
  • Supposedly the numbers are 5:1 Mac:Linux on the desktop platform [wikipedia.org]; you'd think they would be going after that market first.

    • by gparent (1242548)
      That says nothing about the ratio of people running macs and wanting to play source games over the amount of people running linux and wanting to do the same thing.

      VALVe has tons of data about that.
  • The only way to play the demo is, and IANAL, kind of illegal now. The demo for L4D was removed from Steam the day the full game launched. If you google it, many people missed out on the demo and now have to buy the full game if they want to try it. The illegal part is, while the game is no longer listed in Steam, you still have the game installed. If you run the exe, you can play the single player demo only. I say kinda illegal cause if Valve doesn't want you playing the game on Steam, I doubt they want yo
  • by mattbee (17533) <matthew@bytemark.co.uk> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:22PM (#25925887) Homepage

    i.e. Half-Life 2, Team Fortress, Portal, right here on my Ubuntu laptop. There *is* a native version of Steam for Linux, albeit one without much of a front-end, just for running dedicated servers. So I suspect this is a non-story. Valve would be insane to worry about porting their games to Linux (at least) before they ported to the Mac, so I really think it's unlikely they're considering it. There's no common programming framework between Steam games, other than the copy protection & integration, so every game would be a separate porting job - not going to happen!

    However if they could wrap up Steam, wine, Ubuntu together into a neat physical package, they could be in an interesting position to flog PC-based games consoles with a library of download titles, and *that* is the only reason they might be interested in supporting their own games on Linux. With Popcap and other cheap smaller titles making up the majority of their catalogue (even if those are not the most popular overall) and some hardware partner on board, they might have a shot if they could price a console at the low end of things.

    Still- while they have an interest in keeping titles out for the XBox 360, taking on a huge platform project to compete with Microsoft would take balls of steel and plenty of money.

    No, this is all crap, undoubtedly. But nice to speculate occasionally :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pandrijeczko (588093)

      Valve would be insane to worry about porting their games to Linux (at least) before they ported to the Mac

      A somewhat obtuse statement from an otherwise interesting comment that deserves a response.

      Firstly, to be a Mac user, you have to buy one of a range of specific computers but to be a Linux user, you just need an empty PC or a Windows PC with some spare hard disk space. Therefore, if you're currently a PC gamer in Windows, it's easier to move to (or dual boot) Linux than it is to buy a Mac.

      Secondly, I wo

      • by Nick Ives (317)

        Therefore, if you're currently a PC gamer in Windows, it's easier to move to (or dual boot) Linux than it is to buy a Mac.

        Ignoring any time considerations, of course. Realistically someone could more easily go from actually using Windows to actually using Mac OS X without ripping all their hair out or trying to kill themselves. The transition from Windows to any Unix type OS is hard.

        I also find your assertion that Linux desktops outnumber Macs outside of NA a little odd. That's definitely not true here in the UK or I bet the rest of Western Europe, as much as I'd like it to be.

      • by mattbee (17533)

        I really am not intending to provoke a "my OS is better than your OS" argument, but as someone who has been in the IT & telecoms industry for 25+ years, I say it like I see it - my friends and workmates all run Windows, about 10% run Linux (usually alongside it) and I know of no-one who either owns a Mac or intends buying one, despite the fact that these are mostly IT literate people with numerous iPods amongst them.

        I had assumed, and others pointed it out, that many more people buy Macs than run Linux

  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:02PM (#25926757)
    Among the libraries included in the L4D demo:
    libsteam_api_linux.so
    libsteamvalidateuseridtickets_i486.so
    libtier0_s_linux.so

    I noticed this within the first hour after the demo came out while adjusting the configuration files.

    However, I was more surprised with the file:
    C:\Program files\Steam\SteamApps\Common\left 4 dead demo\left4dead\cfg\splitscreen_on.cfg:

    // PC Specific Splitscreen Performance Options
    // Currently these are all pretty much disabled because they muck with per-machine system settings.

    //cl_particle_fallback_base 3
    //cl_particle_fallback_multiplier 2.0

    // Leave flashlight depth texture on in PC splitscreen
    r_flashlightdepthtexture 1

    //r_shadowrendertotexture 0
    //r_shadowfromworldlights 0

    //cl_detaildist 450
    //cl_detailfade 150

    //r_drawmodeldecals 0
    //r_decals 512
    //r_decalstaticprops 0

    //cl_ragdoll_maxcount 0
    //sv_ragdoll_maxcount 0
    //ragdoll_sleepaftertime 3

    I thought "WTF!? Splitscreen on the PC???". Doesn't do much, since it's disabled, but it's worth pointing out.

    • by Narishma (822073)
      It was available in the beta or demo but was disabled in a patch. They said they would add an option to enable it again in the future (probably through the console) but won't support it on PC. They mainly added it for the Xbox version.
  • steamclient_linux.so is a file included with the Linux Steam client, the one that only offers and downloads the dedicated server files. It's accidently inclusion, but it doesn't mean anything.

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