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Games Linux

More Evidence For Steam Games On Linux 256

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-on-valve-spill-the-beans dept.
SheeEttin writes "Back in November 2008, Phoronix reported that Linux libraries appeared in the Left 4 Dead demo, and then in March, Valve announced that Steam and the Source engine were coming to Mac OS X. Now, Phoronix reports that launcher scripts included with the (closed beta) Mac version of Steam include explicit support for launching a Linux version."
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More Evidence For Steam Games On Linux

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  • Steam on Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:22AM (#31936954)
    This is an indication of support for the Steam distribution platform, and some Valve games on Linux. Good luck getting EA to build Linux binaries for their games, because Steam doesn't do that for you.

    Good on Valve for going this way, and maybe it's the push big publishers need to start telling devs to create native Linux binaries, but don't think for a moment that that this means all Steam games will run natively on Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jazzbunny (1251002)
      Well EA already pledged support for MeeGo platform so it's not that far fetched idea.
    • Re:Steam on Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sznupi (719324) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:46AM (#31937048) Homepage

      OTOH what Steam could provide is keeping known versions of Linux libs (hey, that includes Winelib ;) ), making things much simpler. With the amount of control Valve perhaps has...who knows, perhaps many games ("simpler" ones at the beginning) could be semi-automatically adapted to included version of Wine, too.

      • by Techman83 (949264)
        It's not really that far fetched, Picasa is one example and there are many other applications that come prepackaged with wine.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
        I run WoW in WINE, and with very reasonable results (I get some visual artefacts, but only single frames of some incorrect polygon shapes). If Valve were working on bundling custom WINE launchers for each game... That might work.
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Yeah. I'll keep my system open, thank you very much.
    • by T Murphy (1054674) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @07:17AM (#31937196) Journal

      Good luck getting EA to build Linux binaries for their games

      No duh. Everyone knows malware won't run on Linux.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Everyone knows malware won't run on Linux.

        Oh, it'll run, but you've got to give it permission.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by h00manist (800926)

          Everyone knows malware won't run on Linux.

          Oh, it'll run, but you've got to give it permission.

          No, it's because the malware programmers have little motivation to create software for the 1% of computers that have more qualified admins. If linux reaches 99% of users, suddenly it will have all kinds of software for it which run very well, hordes of people looking for exploits, etc - malware. MacOS is getting more popular, soon it will start having trouble, I'm sure. Market shares are at http://marketshare.hitslink.com/os-market-share.aspx?qprid=9 [hitslink.com]

    • by DrXym (126579)
      This is an indication of support for the Steam distribution platform, and some Valve games on Linux. Good luck getting EA to build Linux binaries for their games, because Steam doesn't do that for you.

      I don't see why it couldn't. They could licence and bundle one of the Wine libs that exist for running Windows games on Linux and Mac and make the experience completely transparent to the end user. Games would have to be tested & certified of course, but other than that it wouldn't require EA or anyone e

      • You don't need to license Wine as it is freely available for redistribution under the GPL. When Sierra/Vivendi re-released many of their classic adventure games, they came bundled with Dosbox to make the games work. They didn't have to license Dosbox, as it is GPL. They could simply redistribute it.

    • Ya that's the real problem. I mean while Steam and Impulse and so on are cool, currently they are not the be-all, end-all in games, or even the biggest sales channel. Retail is still where the most games are sold. So it isn't like the problem with games on Linux was that the distribution channel was closed to Linux, though the games could be available. The problem is that the games themselves aren't being ported to Linux.

      While Steam on Linux certainly wouldn't hurt Linux gaming, I'm unconvinced it would rea

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MZeora (1707054)
        Funny story - true story. You buy the retail box, then upload the Key to Steam and download and install that way. So really once Steam gets some proper Linux support for their games (through testing as mentioned by others by the various means)

        As a full time Linux user. I for one welcome the advance of having Steam run on Linux. Since that'll take from the fan boys of not having the gaming abilities. Linux CAN in fact be a all purpose desktop. Just because it's naturally born as a Server OS doesn't mean i
        • Just because it's naturally born as a Server OS doesn't mean it can't be brought to the masses at large, just like everything else it takes time.

          You do know that Linux was born as a desktop OS [google.com], don't you? :)

      • With the Mac OS port, it isn't just the Steam client, but also the Source engine. All the Source-engine games are ported. With a Linux port, expect to see all the Source titles avaiable. Will every Steam game be available in Linux? No, but it would be a new channel for commercial Linux games to be sold.

        That is always a step in the right direction.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheKidWho (705796)

      No, you're all wrong.

      This is an indication of Steam for Android.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The script shown in the article mentioned linux32 not linux ARM. Whatever it's for, it's not primarily for phones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by binarylarry (1338699)

      Valve should partner with Canonical and work with them to get a first class Ubuntu release working.

      Canonical could put Steam in their official partner repo for closed source stuff like Adobe's software.

      You hear me Gabe, contact Mark Shuttleworth at Ubuntu and lets get this rolling!

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      I'm pretty excited about this... there's been a lot of pretty bad news in the past couple years regarding Linux gaming... the current version of UT was promised a Linux port which never arrived, EVE gave up on their crappy Linux port (likely because it actually ran pretty well under wine), and id Software of all people has made menacing threats about future Linux support.

      I've started playing a lot of Valve games lately, and now find it hard to go back to some of the other FPSs I've played before. The Steam

    • Sure, most games won't run natively just yet - only games based on Valve's source engine.

      But when I'm on Steam (and I own dozens and dozens of games, put out by several different publishers), 99% of the time I'll be playing a Valve game. I currently have 300+ hours racked up in Team Fortress 2 alone.

      If I can format my Windows gaming partition, and only play Valve games on Linux, I'd say it's a sacrifice I'd be willing to make. I suppose Valve will be the only publisher to get my purchases from now on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Joe Snipe (224958)

      Are you saying Linux Steam is all vapor?

  • by onion2k (203094) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:24AM (#31936964) Homepage

    Someone is obviously working on the idea, which is grand, but that's all we can tell at this point. The number of projects that are started and eventually canned because they're either to hard to finish, too costly, or just too expensive to bother marketing that they won't turn a profit is pretty vast.

    The fact code exists does not necessarily mean we'll ever get to play the games.

    But let's be optimistic. A native version of Steam would be pretty awesome. Here's hoping whoever is behind the project is successful. :)

    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @07:14AM (#31937176) Journal

      The fact code exists does not necessarily mean we'll ever get to play the games.

      Additionally, even if they fully port Source to Linux, most of the games on Steam don't use the Source engine. It would still be A Good Thing® as it would make the platform (Linux/x86) more viable if Steam supported it, which would serve to encourage other companies to release for Linux as well. It will be slow, but it has to start somewhere, and Steam/Valve has a very good reputation for being friendly to both content providers and gamers, providing the least offensive DRM out there.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      That's what people said about Mac gaming, and Steam is currently in closed beta - all is not lost.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:25AM (#31936968) Homepage
    This could be an ancient script cut-and-pasted to suit. Heck, I've still got a Makefile that has a section for Ultrix but it doesn't mean that it works or that I'm supporting it.
    • This is not your private development repository we're talking about.

      Companies normally don't include "clutter" and left over files in a release tree. Normally, you would have a carefully prepared and checked distribution tree, where every file is accounted for. If steam now includes some linux libraries, I would take it as a very strong indication that they intend to use them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        steam doesn't include linux libraries, the OS X beta version includes a bash script which checks for darwin/os x and also has a couple lines checking if it's linux.
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Companies normally don't include "clutter" and left over files in a release tree.

        you never looked at files in microsoft releases have you.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        This is not your private development repository we're talking about.

        Yes, I know, thanks. I wasn't talking about that in the first place. I was talking about my "company release tree". There's a whole bunch of legacy or tried-and-abandoned cruft in there that it's not worth anyone's time to remove. And yes, it goes out to customers, and no, they don't care; they only care if the things that they are paying for work.

        If you (and I do mean you personally) are spending time doing that sort of tidying on you

        • Sucks to be you.

          Almost took you seriously, but then I read that.

        • If you (and I do mean you personally) are spending time doing that sort of tidying on your releases, then you're not working on paid tasks, and you are surplus to requirements.

          Unless the requirements include 1. that trade secrets about future releases don't leak, and 2. that nothing more offensive than the video submitted to the rating agency ends up on the disc.

      • Companies normally don't include "clutter" and left over files in a release tree. Normally, you would have a carefully prepared and checked distribution tree, where every file is accounted for.

        Then I guess Hot Coffee, the hidden unfinished sex minigame in one of the Grand Theft Auto games, wasn't "normal".

  • Great (Score:2, Interesting)

    Between APPL market cap catching up to MSFT, people moving off to apple products in droves, google's dominance, and non-MS phones, plus the increasing user-friendlyness of Linux distros, microsoft hasn't been in the news lately. Now I can *finally* move off of windows totally, if games on linux take off.

    Seems that the "Microsoft is dying" meme might well happen, but not due to a single MS-killer, but emergence of new monopolies?
    • How the hell is that a troll? Damn mods missing meds again
  • by Thunderbird2k (1753946) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:28AM (#31936984)
    This is no evidence at all. Valve has released dedicated Linux servers for their games for years including steam. Come on don't take phoroCRAP serious. They make news of nothing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271)

      Indeed -- the Linux binaries in Left 4 Dead were merely for dedicated servers. There was no news there, and the summary makes it seem like Phoronix had greater insight than they really did. Nearly every multiplayer game that runs on Windows has also included dedicated server binaries for Linux, including old Valve titles like Half-Life and Counter-Strike. They just extended that to include a command-line auto-updater that worked through Steam.

      That said, if they are porting their games to OS X, it seems l

    • by epiphani (254981)

      And having gone through large levels of painstaking kernel-level optimization based on best practices provided by both Valve and the community, I can honestly say that their dedicated Linux servers are Crap.

      It annoys me too, because the big things that are annoying are things I could fix in half an hour with access to the source.

  • by glenkim (412499) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:39AM (#31937024) Homepage

    As an aspiring game developer, I look at Valve's actions with a lot of excitement lately. Steam and Source are coming to Mac for sure now, and so that means Source SDK should be updated to support deployment to Macs. If Linux is included in this package, it only sweetens the deal. For developers just getting started, Source would have a unique advantage over the other engines available currently (e.g. Unreal, Crytek) in that it would allow developers to reach as wide an audience as possible. I really hope this happens.

    • by V!NCENT (1105021)

      Ever heared about Unigene? It's Win, Lin and Mac and tesselation and OpenGL 4.x and DirectX 11 support.

      Commercial, so not FLOSS...

    • by TypoNAM (695420)

      Unreal tech has been running natively on Mac and Linux as this was done years ago. You don't remember or haven't played Unreal Tournament 2004? Although that was the last Epic games title to run on Linux. UT3 was promised and still hasn't been ported to Linux and released publicly.

      Even the original Unreal Tournament was ported to Linux, but by Loki Games and not Epic: http://www.lokigames.com/products/ut/ [lokigames.com]

  • I will buy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Haiyadragon (770036) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:42AM (#31937040)

    If they do this I will buy a few games the moment they are released. I hate DRM but this kind of development needs to be encouraged. Now if only ATI and/or Nvidia would open up their specs, or some open protocol/source solution would come into existence.

    • by Sparr0 (451780)

      I mostly don't buy software or hardware with DRM.

      I mostly don't buy software that runs on Windows only.

      Steam currently falls into both of those categories, putting it in absolutely-won't-buy land. If it ever comes to Linux, I will probably buy at least a few games through it, but only when they are cheaper than otherwise.

      • If it ever comes to Linux, I will probably buy at least a few games through it, but only when they are cheaper than otherwise.

        It's all about the weekend deals - I picked up the complete X-Com collection (5 full games) a couple months back for the paltry price of $2.

      • by tepples (727027)

        I mostly don't buy software or hardware with DRM.

        DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players, cable boxes, and PC video on demand services all use digital restrictions management. So let me guess: you mostly watch movies only on rabbit ears TV or not at all.

  • If it comes to Linux via Steam, I'll have no excuse left.

  • by Nikker (749551) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @07:11AM (#31937156)
    Never used steam myself so maybe someone can enlighten me. The video drivers for Linux are crap compared to Windows, does this mean they have some way access the hardware properly? Or does it mean you need twice the hardware to run at the Windows equivalent performance?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      On nvidia based hardware I got better performance in some games with Wine then running the same game in Windows. They might be closed source binary blobs, but they do work great.

      On the flip side, my laptop (which runs WoW on the lowest settings) refuses to work at all with the binary ATI drivers. And the open source drivers crash X and don't give any real performance that you can use.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know what world you're living in - FGLRX is buggy and will sometimes decide to start eating my memory like ice cream, but when it works it's not noticeably slower than the Windows drivers. Of course, the newest commercial Linux game I run is ETQW, and I've got a Radeon HD5850, so I may just be covering it up with more hardware.

    • I can't tell the difference between HL2 in Windows and in WINE on my system. It does require the non-free drivers, but if I'm playing Steam games I'm not likely to be that bothered.
      • by mr_da3m0n (887821)

        I can't tell the difference between HL2 in Windows and in WINE on my system. It does require the non-free drivers, but if I'm playing Steam games I'm not likely to be that bothered.

        I can, because last time I tried, wine did not provide all the dx9 shaders the engine used. So it certainly looks different to me, as in, slightly better on Windows. But then again it's been a while since I tried it, maybe wine changed significantly since I last did.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by FreonTrip (694097)

      The Nvidia drivers run very well in Linux; in the realm of OpenGL, I've literally found no difference in performance or quality. If anything, the Linux drivers are somewhat better-behaved - setting a 16-bit 3D video mode results in ugly dithering in Windows, but not in Linux.

      I have not had occasion to try the fglrx drivers on remotely modern hardware, but last time I tried them it was reminiscent of ATI's driver situation in Windows from a decade earlier: glitchy and somewhat prone to memory leaks, but def

  • There could still be a chance that the support there is only to launch dedicated servers easily, no? Or am I missing something?
    • by bucky0 (229117)

      There's already a CLI-based steam client for linux to install dedicated servers though...

  • I think this is excellent. TF2 already runs pretty great under Wine, I consistently get ~ 60FPS with max resolution and effects.Perhaps if they release a native port I can get closer to the 90FPS I can achieve with Windows.

    Not that it really matters much at those rates, but on newer games that will push my hardware to the limits it could be the difference between 20 FPS and 30.
  • at the risk of burning karma i will post this.
    I moved completely to linux to get away from drm of this kind. i admit steam is a somewhat successful digital distribution system but the drm they bundled with the games makes them too hard to swallow. requiring a constant internet so the games can phone home when needed, sorry offline mode only works a few times before steam refuses to run games until you get back online. along with removing your control of the installed files for the game by putting them in on

    • I moved completely to linux to get away from drm of this kind.

      The million-dollar question is, how to get more developers. It takes huge amounts of time to develop all software, games or whatever else, and the time needed grows exponentially with how good you want it to be. How to get programmers so much time, while they still manage to pay their bills. It's understood the software will not be for sale, so...

    • sorry offline mode only works a few times before steam refuses to run games until you get back online.
      well since it has online stuff as part of the purpose it does want to "check in" with the servers every once in a while
      along with removing your control of the installed files for the game by putting them in one big file,
      thats completely wrong as about 20 seconds at the steam site will show you

      i have also heard rumors that it prevents you from making backups of the install files though
      also wr

  • They have a selection of their own games to port, they've moved to a cross-platform front-end - there's no reason they would care to build and test all their games on Linux just to sell to the few thousand geeks. Surely if they're putting effort into Linux, it's because they have a more popular Linux-based platform in mind - maybe their own, maybe Chrome OS, Android... but being the owner of a games platform like that without it being tied to expensive PCs, or to consoles with pricey gatekeepers, would be

  • Didn't Valve post job listings two years ago looking for people to port Steam and Source to Mac and Linux? Wasn't that the biggest and most important clue that they intend to do these ports?

    The Mac port became official. Should we be surprised there are hints they are working on the Linux port?

  • by denmarkw00t (892627) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @02:17PM (#31943000) Homepage Journal

    Too much wine make a man drunk, but just enough wine makes Steam run on Linux

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