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Valve's Steam License Causes Linux Packaging Concerns 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the patience-young-padawan dept.
New submitter skade88 writes "With the Linux Steam beta giving Ubuntu and its large userbase all the love, other Linux gamers understandably want to be let in on the fun. For the beta, Valve has provided Steam as a Debian package. Many hungry Linux gamers have reported that they have Steam running on their favorite distro, but that still leaves the legal debate. What is the legal threshold needed to get Steam in the repos of your preferred flavor of Linux? Will Valve's one-size-fits-every-OS license be flexible to work on Linux or will it delay the dream of a viable gaming world for Linux? We are so close to bridging the last major hurdle in finally realizing the year of the Linux desktop: Gaming. Lets hope the FOSS community and Valve can play together so we all win."
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Valve's Steam License Causes Linux Packaging Concerns

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  • by icebike (68054) * on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:33PM (#42006229)

    The packaging is not the issue here.

    Any competent distro can install Debian packages via various foreign package tools.

    The issue is that some of these Distros are going out of their way to accommodate a non GPL package, and a beta one at that.

    Its a binary blob.

    Any time a Distro starts messing with those, its on very thin ice. Most don't. They just write scripts that will fetch the original and
    do what ever is necessary to install it if the user chooses. Or they seek official permission to re-package. This is very common with Video drivers, etc.

    The proper way is to fetch the binary from what ever legal source Valve provides, and install it using what ever foreign package utilities they have.
    That way they live within valve's license. Its the only reasonable way. Why take on a packaging headache for a binary blob?

    Part of what was troubling from Valve's Steam license comes down to "You may not, in whole or in part: copy, hotocopy, reproduce, translate, reverse engineer (with the exception of specific circumstances where such act is permitted by law), derive source code, modify, disassemble, decompile, or create derivative works based on the Program; remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Program; or attempt in any manner to circumvent any security measures designed to control access to the Program."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:37PM (#42006283)

      Isn't this exactly what stuff like Debian's 'non-free' repo are for? If each distro has an equivalent (like for binary blob video drivers), it goes there, prompt the user to agree to the non-free license, and then fetch as normal.

      Question is, does 'may not copy the Program' mean you can't mirror their packages for them with your own distro mirrors, untouched?

      • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:39PM (#42006323) Homepage Journal

        Think 'debian-multimedia' or Adobe's yum repo for flash. Total non-issue.

      • The questions you're asking are really for a corporate entity. Ok, I cant install steam at work... I wasn't going to anyway. But do we really give a shit about this at home? I certainly don't.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not exactly. Debian packages stuff like this as a wrapper. Examples are the Microsoft fonts and Flash. The wrapper knows where to download the actual package from, and may perform some extra work after extraction to make the installation more compatible with Debian, but the package itself does not contain the proprietary files.

        It would be a little different here, given that the proprietary data is already packaged, but in principle it's the same.

      • Question is, does 'may not copy the Program' mean you can't mirror their packages for them with your own distro mirrors, untouched?

        I've seen similar licenses before.
        Generally, a steam-installer package is made. When you run steam-installer, it'll download steam from the original source (ie: valve's site), and install it into the system, performing any additional that may be necessary.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The packaging is not the issue here.

      Any competent distro can install Debian packages via various foreign package tools.

      The issue is that some of these Distros are going out of their way to accommodate a non GPL package, and a beta one at that.

      Its a binary blob.

      Any time a Distro starts messing with those, its on very thin ice. Most don't. They just write scripts that will fetch the original and
      do what ever is necessary to install it if the user chooses. Or they seek official permission to re-package. This is very common with Video drivers, etc.

      The proper way is to fetch the binary from what ever legal source Valve provides, and install it using what ever foreign package utilities they have.
      That way they live within valve's license. Its the only reasonable way. Why take on a packaging headache for a binary blob?

      Part of what was troubling from Valve's Steam license comes down to "You may not, in whole or in part: copy, hotocopy, reproduce, translate, reverse engineer (with the exception of specific circumstances where such act is permitted by law), derive source code, modify, disassemble, decompile, or create derivative works based on the Program; remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Program; or attempt in any manner to circumvent any security measures designed to control access to the Program."

      Or put the package in non-free....

      • by icebike (68054) *

        Or put the package in non-free....

        Except Valve says:

              "You may not, in whole or in part: copy, hotocopy, reproduce,"

        That seems overly broad, and maybe the place to start is to grab Valve by the wattles and slap them till they spit.
        What the hell were they thinking when they wrote that mess?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:01PM (#42006611)

          The thing they are packaging is just a script that downloads the real steam binary. You know, exactly like with flashplugin-installer, which has a similar license. This is a non-issue. Put it in non-free.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          What the hell were they thinking when they wrote that mess?

          I think it was just a typo, pretty sure they meant photocopy.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          This is pretty retarded of them. They should have ZERO problem with the redistribution of their client. It is NOT the product. It is the thing that downloads the product.

          There is really nothing for them to lose here.

          The community can do the packaging work for them if they are allowed.

          • by gmack (197796)

            Or better yet, Valve can add a package or script on their website that adds the valve repo and then the distro makers don't need to care at all. It's a fix that works for both DEB and RPM and allows Valve to be in full control of their updates.

            There are many good reasons why Valve wouldn't want to be dependent on distro update schedules.

            • This is the only solution that really makes sense, also the only one that will really work with a drm system included that may demand immediate updates at times. It's the same process used by Google for things like Chrome and Earth. One for deb, one for rpm, with internal logic to add the repos in apt/yum/zypper. Third parties such as Arch or Gentoo can write their processes to pull in that package, open it up and install the files where they need to go, as they do already.

              Essentially, it's a non-issue for

          • by GNious (953874)

            Question of quality / user-experience - by having 3rd parties redistribute the package Valve has less control of the distribution and updating, and they risk getting connected to poor experiences caused by the 3rd parties.
            Also pretty sure Valve's Legal Team would want it that way, simply due to paranoia.

            May be largely a non-issue, but as a corporation with legalities and images to uphold, this is how it will be pretty much 100% of the time.

          • by Rockoon (1252108)

            They should have ZERO problem with the redistribution of their client.

            Yeah, because people downloading old versions of their client is exactly what they want.

      • The issue isn't classification, it's that the people behind the distribution may not have the right to distribute the package in the first place.

        For two examples, look at how most distributions dealt with Java prior to the GPL, and how they currently work with Flash. Those with long memories can also recall the issues with Netscape (3 & 4, not Mozilla) which had similar problems, albeit at a time when package repos were still a relatively new concept.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Why is why you do not distribute it, you do like flashplugin-installer. Your package just goes and fetches the actual software and runs the install.

    • by egr (932620)

      The packaging is not the issue here.

      I disagree. I've had enough bad experience with closed-source auto-updating debian packages! (I look at you, Guitar Pro!)

      The ideal case would be a tarball (almost all linux gaming publishers do that). Why would they limit themselves to the crapbuntu is unknown to me, but my guess to spare time on user support. Oh well.

      • by EvanED (569694)

        Why would they limit themselves to the crapbuntu is unknown to me, but my guess to spare time on user support. Oh well.

        From what Valve has said, that's not intended as a long-term thing. They are going with Ubuntu first because ... surprise surprise ... that's what the vast majority of their survey respondents said.

        • by egr (932620)

          From what Valve has said, that's not intended as a long-term thing. They are going with Ubuntu first because ... surprise surprise ... that's what the vast majority of their survey respondents said.

          I really wish so. And I really hope that they will keep up the work and not abandon the project like some others did with other Linux ports.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by marcosdumay (620877)

      Well, non-free and all that... Or maybe, the best way for Debian to handle it is to put a package at non-free that adds Valve's repository into apt.conf.d. That way they avoid any problem that may appear by redistributing Valve's software when their license changes, as it keeps doing. (Maybe Debian could create a few of those packages, including the keyring and sources.list of other repository - multimedia and backports, for example, could use that.)

      Anyway, the main reason I cared to replay was to say: PLEA

      • by icebike (68054) *

        Seriously, you just posted that to YELL at me about a trifling disagreement about terminology?

        Where are my mod point....?

  • a non-issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:36PM (#42006265) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, this is not an issue.

    Valve wants to make it easy? Run a repo, and provide instructions for using it.

    Valve wants to make it only moderately difficult for newbies? Provide package files and leave it at that.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Valve wants to make it easy? Run a repo, and provide instructions for using it.

      Repos only work for one distro. Or a closely related family (e.g. debian/ubuntu/mint) at best. The right thing to do is provide a tarball under as permissive a license as possible, and let the distros do their own packaging.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Or put a blob out there for as many distros as they want (.deb, .rpm, etc...) and have the user install it manually. Steam is self-updating, why would they need to rely on a package manager?

        • by icebike (68054) *

          Steam is self-updating, why would they need to rely on a package manager?

          That in itself is something of a problem if you ask me. Unfortunately, it seems to be the way a lot of packages want to go these days.
          We've seen it on some platforms with various things like Google Chrome, FireFox, Google Earth, Thunderbird, etc.

          The opportunity for unintentional mass-breakage is wide open. The potential for some intentional skuldegerous subversion of the update servers is less wide open, but would be far more devastating if someone pulled it off.

          You still need a package manager (or some i

          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            the reason for this is Windows - because these programs need to roll their own updaters, they tend to write the code to be as cross-platform as the program is. So there's no incentive for them to scrap code they know and replace it with a different updater.

            It might make sense for the end-user, and I'd hope the manufacturers of these programs would start to support more default package managers now they're getting more into Linux, but they're still really Windows programs for the most part.

          • by devman (1163205)
            Not everything in a linux distro needs to be installed with a package repo. I mean you could just download the tarball from their website and run it. For what its worth, the update method is similar to how Half-Life Dedicated Server and Source Dedicated Server are updated and it works well.
        • by kasperd (592156)

          Steam is self-updating

          The hacks needed in order to pull that off will put the security of the entire system at risk. This is something Linux distributions should fix. But the proper fix is not what those people behind self updating packages may have in mind. It needs to be fixed by not putting the same level of trust in every repository. The fix would break all the self-updating packages by removing their privileges to update themselves.

          Only packages from repositories trusted by root, should be able to i

          • by devman (1163205)
            I'm not sure how a self updating program that the user installs in $HOME compromises security. I mean the the user can read and write there $HOME and the program has permission to open network sockets. It doesn't really need anything else, and thousands of other programs have this same permission. For what its worth this is the same update mechanism that Valve has been using for HLDS and SRCDS for almost a decade and it works great on a wide variety of distros and it certainly doesn't compromise security (n
            • by kasperd (592156)

              I'm not sure how a self updating program that the user installs in $HOME compromises security.

              That is not exactly the situation I was referring to.

              Any program a user installs for himself under his home directory should of course not be a thread to the overall security of the system. If it does, it is not the program that is to blame, but rather the OS. So it really should only put that user at risk. Some people are so paranoid about security, that they do not want non-administrator users to be able to wr

      • by bbelt16ag (744938)
        ofcourse they could always provide a .bin that would work too.or the source code....
      • Eh? Why not all of the above. A lot of companies provide RPM and DEB archives, plus a .tar.gz
        It's not particularly hard to package things up.

        If they want to add some ease-of-use to updating, throwing the packages on a public repository would work, but I believe that the application itself was supposed to have self-updating capabilities.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Because multiple repositories just multiplies the work Valve has to do supporting Linux. Simply packaging things isn't a lot of work, but checking to see if the packages work is. Better to have one canonical archive and let the distros do their own packaging and testing.

          • by EvanED (569694)

            Because multiple repositories just multiplies the work Valve has to do supporting Linux. Simply packaging things isn't a lot of work, but checking to see if the packages work is. Better to have one canonical archive and let the distros do their own packaging and testing.

            I can flip that argument around though: if you're Valve and thus concerned about the quality of your product, why would you turn over control of said quality to a third party?

            (I'm not sure to what extent I buy these two arguments; I'm just p

        • I believe that the application itself was supposed to have self-updating capabilities.

          Or, if they really wanted to play nice, they could disable auto-updating on Linux. (They may keep it on if it was installed from a tarball. Just don't make a self-updating .deb or .rpm.)

          • by devman (1163205)
            The system they have works well. Half-Life DS and Source DS also use Valve created update tools and people run those servers on dozens of distros with out the need to wait for maintainers to update package repositories.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        No reason they can't provide several repos, in addition to a sharutils-style self-installer. Seen plenty of third-parties do that.

      • The right thing is to provide the source, so that distros can package it properly.

        Providing a tarball with the binaries is merely a compromise which in generally, gets accepted.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. Opera does this, Google do this with Chome, as do other sane companies. Once Valve get into the groove, they'll do the same.

    • Re:a non-issue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LoRdTAW (99712) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:31PM (#42007033)

      This.

      I don't see Microsoft or Apple worrying how they will distribute Steam, because they don't*. I don't see why browsing to steampowered.com and downloading the client for your OS of choice should be any different than on Windows or Mac OS. The belief that everything should be in the repos is silly.

      *Even if they were to make Steam available through their app stores its still the publishers responsibility to submit the app for distribution.

      • Repositories:
        1) Mean stuff is more likely to work on your systems, on your OS version.
        2) Are ultra-newbie friendly.
        3) Keep malware/toolbars/spyware/"downloaderes" away.
        4) Are generally designed in the best interest of the user, not the developer.
        5) Provide a unique mean for everything to be installed/updated, instead of every software developer having to program/install a different updater - This is turn means there aren't 20 "updater" services running on background.
        6) Packages are sometimes tweaked to inte

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously, this is not an issue.

      Valve wants to make it easy? Run a repo, and provide instructions for using it.

      Valve wants to make it only moderately difficult for newbies? Provide package files and leave it at that.

      Since when is downloading an installer and double clicking it HARD?

      Oh it's hard on Linux because the installer would have to account for dozens of different common configurations or thousands of less common ones?

      You did that to yourselves...

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        This is the situation on ANY OS.

        When you let game installers run willy nilly through the system files, every single PC can have it's own unique configuration. Windows solves this through brute force but it's still the same problem.

        Linux is far from unique here.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        How about the fact that I'd like to actually be able to cleanly undo all the stuff that the installer did, and vendor who made that installer has no incentive to allow that.

        Why do you think people have to reinstall their windows systems every few years just to keep them working normally?

  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:37PM (#42006281) Homepage
    Nothing to see here , moving on ...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:45PM (#42006419)

    The answer is easy, and I think it applies to all distributions:

    To be in the distribution, the licence of your project must fit the , currently version 1.9 or later. This means that the licence most likely also has [opensource.org]OSI approval [opensource.org] and can be found on the SPDX list. Beyond that, you also need to make sure that your package is compatible licence wide with the licences of all your dependencies.

    To be available for a distribution, you only need to take care of the latter bit, and you can choose any licence, including non-FLOSS commercial ones. I, however, will not look at, review, debug or build that package without being paid for it outside of the scope of my work on the distribution.

    I am a packager for a major GNU/Linux distribution.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      Not a bad suggestion, but really, I wouldn't blame Valve for packaging Steam only in Debian. Indeed, the bulk of distros out there are now based on Ubuntu or Debian, and only some are based on Fedora, Arch, Gentoo and Slackware. There is no reason to support that many packages. Sure, in Linux, the idea is open source and open choices, but a point comes where you want a standard way of packaging software. Given how good apt is, there is hardly a good reason why they should support yum/rpm, pac, txz or wh

  • by Tr3vin (1220548) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:54PM (#42006521)
    The Steam client auto-updates on Windows. I would imagine it would do the same on Linux. Now, I understand that Windows doesn't have a packaging system like Linux but I really don't see why Valve would need to use one. There are several pieces of software that I use that I get from a tar.gz over a rpm or a deb. Why wouldn't Steam do the same?
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Hint: Linux actually has security built in by design. Random apps can't just update themselves, because they don't have root permission.

      • by Tr3vin (1220548)
        They can if they aren't owned by root.
      • by mic0e (2740501) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:21PM (#42006865)
        Counterhint: Steam circumvents this by providing only a tiny 'seed' package, which will then download the whole steam application and all games to the user's home folder. I also heard chrome does the same (on windows as well). However, the seed coul probably easily be re-written as or published as free software (e.g. a 100-line bash script) to circumvent all packaging license issues.
        • by EvanED (569694)

          I also heard chrome does the same (on windows as well).

          I can confirm that it does (or least, did) on Windows. It's one of a few reasons I don't use it.

          (And yeah, I know about some alternative thing you can download that's aimed at business that lets you choose installation location. I said "one of a few reasons" :-))

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Unix users have been able to install stuff to their own $HOME directory since before there was a Linux or a Windows.

          • by EvanED (569694)

            That doesn't mean it's commonly done. For instance, installing to anything but /usr is something that almost no package manager out there does. So sure, you can install $PACKAGE yourself, but first you're going to have to track down the three libraries it uses, and the two libraries one of those use, and the three libraries one of those use. (Believe me, I do this a fair bit because I somewhat frequently have need to install things to non-standard locations.)

            What we're talking about here is what basically e

            • "So sure, you can install $PACKAGE yourself, but first you're going to have to track down the three libraries it uses, and the two libraries one of those use, and the three libraries one of those use. (Believe me, I do this a fair bit because I somewhat frequently have need to install things to non-standard locations.)"

              Believe me, I've installed "official" versions of Firefox and Opera in any directory accessible to my non-root user account. They typically come in a tarball of program binaries rather than t

        • Counterhint: Steam circumvents this by providing only a tiny 'seed' package, which will then download the whole steam application and all games to the user's home folder.

          Turning the life of anybody that properly partitioned his disk into a hell. No wait, turning the life of EVERYBODY into a hell, since it will replicate Steam on everybody's home dir, and let several different versions of it installed at the same time.

          Or maybe they'll be "smart" and make a setuid updater... That will open every computer runn

      • by devman (1163205)
        Steam on linux doesn't install to system directories. The update method is similar to updating HLDS or SRCDS which have valve created update tools that work across dozens of distros. Everything the apps need to run is provided by the steam updater, and can be installed and run by the user where ever they please.
    • by Kardos (1348077)

      Steam would run as a user (not as root), and users don't have permission to change system binaries. So unless you're pondering installing Steam in your $HOME, no, Steam will not be updating itself.

    • It auto-updates on Linux as well, however it does it in an interesting fashion. Essentially, the .deb package Valve put out (and distros are considering throwing in their repos) simply installs an installer. When one runs "steam" for the first time, it downloads and installs steam locally in his or her home folder. It can thus update as non-root.
      • by Todd Knarr (15451)

        If it does that, then why would it need packaged at all? Just provide the installer for download and let users run it. Since it's not installing anything at the system level, there's nothing that needs to be in the package management system. And since the installer won't need manual updating after you've got Steam itself installed (if it does need updated, presumably the auto-update function will handle that), there's nothing gained from having it under package management.

        K.I.S.S.: Learn this acronym and ab

    • The problem is that modifying files outside of /home/ requires root, and that includes auto-updating. You'd have to launch Steam with root access every once in a while. The ones you get from tar.gz, rpm, or deb generally don't update. The only exception I know of is the Google Talk plugin, which added a repo to my sources.list and now updates with aptitude just like everything else.
      • by EvanED (569694)

        As others have said (but I'll reply here so you're more likely to see it), apparently Steam essentially installs to your $HOME.

      • by iroll (717924)

        Can somebody explain why Valve wouldn't want to do this (add a repo to sources.list and update via apt)?

        It could still do version checks and even prompt you to run a script (by clicking an update button) to run apt-get update.

  • by mfearby (1653) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:12PM (#42006759) Homepage

    It happens every so often around here that someone will claim X as the final hurdle to "finally realizing the year of the Linux desktop", and if you think that packaging Steam is that last cab off the rank, you are sorely mistaken. What about the ruination of a good desktop environment (GNOME), and the torture that getting a video card properly working can be? Or the cacophony of sound libraries that mean I can't get Skype to pick up my microphone? Or the many mail programs that *should* be able to import/export each other's databases yet, to this day, still manage to be a PITA (Kontact!).

    I've been using Linux full time for 5 years (since the Windows Vista calamity) and it wasn't until Ubuntu ruined their distro with Unity that I had to hop to another one (Debian Squeeze and now openSUSE due to a new mobo install, and to get support for the LAN on same I wasn't prepared to upgrade to Sid). openSUSE 12.2 hasn't turned out to be as stable as I had hoped, so my Mac Mini should be delivered on Monday (TNT tracking currently has it in transit from Hong Kong :-) And installing and configuring Oracle Java is a nightmare. Just when you think you've found the right HOWTO to get it installed, you find that there's another way, and the way you were using was perhaps ill-advised. Yes, this isn't Linux's fault but Java is a necessity for some people, and the free Java doesn't quite cut it for some apps (CrashPlan, for example). It used to be that there were non-free repos in Ubuntu that added all these things nicely, but these seem to be a thing of the past nowadays for most distros.

    Until Linux learns to cope with the installation/addition of other software that doesn't live up to its high and mighty standards, and stops fragmenting its core GUIs and programs, the much prophesied "year of Linux on the desktop" is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! And if you think that people are going to accept a totally stripped-bare 100% pure distro the likes of which Richard Stallman would use, then it's game over (though it's probably been game over for years, now).

    • by 6031769 (829845)

      OK, here's the news:

      1. Nobody really uses SUSE anymore. Even Slackware beats the pants off it for usability. Give SUSE the heave-ho and you're halfway to paradise. *

      2. Java is 100% unnecessary for most of the productive tasks for which you will use a computer. Just bin it. If anything you think you want to run requires java, bin that too and just use a non-java equivalent. Java is very useful for mobile phones and old-style web apps, but nothing on the desktop since 2004.

      3. This is the choir here. Nobody in

    • by bmo (77928)

      >Ubuntu ruined their distro with Unity that I had to hop to another one

      This is silly, because in the Ubuntu repos, there are a couple of dozen window managers and all the standard DEs. And Unity itself is just a Compiz plugin. You can just go into ccsm and turn it off.

      Changing distro because you don't like the default window manager or DE (if you did a dist-upgrade, you'd have kept your own settings) you're doing Linux the wrong way.

      >rest of message

      I dunno man, I've been doing this stuff since 1994,

    • by http (589131)

      Is this another one of those for-sale-low-/.-UID accounts? [slashdot.org] Sometimes I wish I had weaker memory.

      (a) Only old people used GNOME. XFCE or LXDE for the easy wins, plus openbox, e, or even KDE if you're a glutton for punishment. Plus, others for the asking.
      (b) X has become so good that a configuration file is simply not needed for a single-monitor user. I've only encountered one machine in the past 4 years where X didn't work, and that was for a video card/mobo combination that wouldn't even display cons

      • by mfearby (1653)

        I had no idea people cared about the UID of their /. accounts, but I've been here for a very, very, long time. I'm not going to invest the time and energy refuting all of your points, but suffice it to say, I've reached the limits of what tinkering with my OS can teach me. I'm all about "getting things done" now and if I have to read a lengthy HOWTO to achieve something that "just works" somewhere else, sorry, but the "just works" is going to win. I hope that Linux does get to the point where it can claim

    • ...about the "year of Linux desktop" never happening because it that has already happened, if you look at things from different perspectives.

      There is a case to be made [zdnet.com] that this past year, 2012, is the "year of Linux on the desktop" in a sense. When you factor in mobile devices, in this past quarter, Android computing devices shipped in higher numbers than Windows computing devices (NT-kernel based and otherwise) INCLUDING THE TRADITIONAL PC. So, when you set your phone or tablet on a desk at least, Linux

  • Seriously. Why do distros have to ship with every possible FOSS package under the sun? Why not let the user decide which packages to install after they get the base system installed?

    A word processor is not necessary to make a working system, yet every bloody one of them ships with Open Office as part of the default install, which then costs time in removing it. If I want a word processor, I'll install it later.

    Same thing with Steam. It's awesome that Valve is doing this, but at the same time, it's not neces

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Nobody's talking about putting Steam in the base install of any distro. If you want users to be able to easily install it, it has to be in the repository. That's what we're talking about.

  • Linux Mint comes with Dropbox. And that is a good thing.
  • The license says you can't redistribute it without permission. Valve will likely give permission to any distribution worth mentioning. Metadistributions won't be permitted to redistribute without permission, but they can simply link to the original distribution's repo and/or packages.

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