Valve has announced that they are ready to begin an external private beta starting October in their latest Linux blog post, but don’t get too excited, Linux users. The beta will be limited to 1,000 users and only include one game without Big Picture mode. The release will be for Ubuntu 12.04 and subsequent versions.
The game that will be included isn’t detailed in the post, but will most likely be Left 4 Dead 2 as they have released information on the port already. Seeing as how the Linux port of Left 4 Dead 2 has been confirmed to outperform the Windows version, using it in the beta would be the smart thing to do. In the comments of the blog post, the Valve Linux Team stated that getting into the beta will not require Left 4 Dead 2 ownership.
Apparently the install isn’t simple as Valve recommended users new to Linux wait for a later release with improvements to the “install experience”. It’s no mystery that installs and drivers on Linux can be a pain at times, so it will be interesting to see what Valve can deliver to entice the less patient to switch platforms. Nothing yet has been detailed.
The Valve Linux team will have a future post with a sign up page on their blog if you’re Linux-savvy.