Rejoice Linux users, soon you’ll no longer need Wine to play games (for 5 minutes before they inevitably crash). On Monday Valve announced Steam for Linux by opening their new development blog detailing their work and plans for the OS.
The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. We’ve made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available. We’re still giving attention and effort to minor features but it’s a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing.
The first title released for the Steam variant will be a port of Left 4 Dead 2 which will run natively on Ubuntu 12.04 instead of relying on virtual support. It’s worth adding that Left 4 Dead 2 has already been successfully ported and tested, right now the team at Valve are optimising the title for a release much like Portal in the MAC update. So far Valve are working on three projects for the Linux release, these being:
- Getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality
- Optimizing a version of L4D2 running at a high frame rate with OpenGL
- Porting additional Valve titles
These days it seems the Linux community has been left in the dark when it comes to gaming, to an almost unfair degree I might add. It’s great to see big business breathing life back into a forgotten community and I can’t wait to see how far it goes. Valve’s venture into the world of Linux will create a significant marker that may or may not popularise the OS by removing a flaw that held many back from making the switch to Linux. Whether other major developers acknowledge the existence of Linux remains to be seen, at least now we know something other than indie games will make their way onto the OS. If you’d like to learn more about the project you can check Valve’s development blog here or the Phoronix articles here and here.