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Left 4 Dead Demo Includes Linux Steam Client Libraries 217

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 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:Oh yes! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nathrael ( 1251426 ) <nathraelthe42nd@@@gmail...com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:12PM (#25925281)
    RtCW: Enemy Territory?
  • by kcbnac ( 854015 ) <kcbnac@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:36PM (#25925445)

    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 appliance' will do?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:48PM (#25925553)

    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 two systems.

  • 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...

  • by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:12PM (#25925767)

    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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:20PM (#25925857)

    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?

    The main reason not to reboot into Windows to play a game, at least for me, is the incredible inconvenience.

    For a while I was running Ubuntu as my main desktop, with a separate Windows partition for gaming.

    My email, bookmarks, address book, documents... All of that was under Ubuntu. If I was playing a game in Windows and needed some piece of information I'd have to exit out of the game (hopefully after saving somewhere) and reboot into Linux to get at what I needed. Then reboot again to get back into Windows to play some more. It became a major inconvenience.

    Running a game under WINE it is trivial to simply pause the game and look up whatever it is that I need. Sure, there's a performance hit to the game... And it would be better to have native Linux support... But it's certainly less annoying than constantly rebooting.

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:44PM (#25926085)

    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 wouldn't argue that in the USA, if Windows is the most used OS, then second place would probably go to OS X on Macs with Linux a fairly close third. However, such is not the case for Europe and, I suspect, much of the rest of the world - Linux is definitely second place to Windows. Therefore, outside the USA, there's probably a bigger potential market for commercial games on Linux than on Macs.

    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.

  • 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 mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:20PM (#25926431)

    Why? Because D3D is better than OpenGL in the majority of ways, enough that targeting the minute market of Linux...

    ...and Mac OS, and PS3, and Wii...

  • by Kent Recal ( 714863 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:10PM (#25926813)

    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 BAILOPAN ( 694545 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:01PM (#25927167) Homepage
    +1, This article is silly. You can find that file in every Valve Linux dedicated server (HL1, various HL2 versions, etc).
  • 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.

  • Re:Just in time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @06:00PM (#25927987)
    Does this mean I can now kill a Linux system's performance and stability with the DRM sh*t too? W00t!
  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:43PM (#25930041) Homepage

    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 become a very targeted market.

  • 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..

  • Re:How about OS X? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday November 30, 2008 @12:37PM (#25933811) Homepage Journal

    I say "under the best conditions" because it's a re-implementation of the Windows APIs. There's all sorts of opportunities for them to rewrite things less efficiently and end up with less stable code.

    It's a reimplementation of Windows APIs and you don't see the opportunities to reimplement things more efficiently, and end up with more stable code?

    In fact, the real challenge is emulating the many flaws in the Windows APIs, which have also been known to have unnecessary delay loops in the published APIs, yet not in the ones that Microsoft uses...

Programmers do it bit by bit.