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Author Topic: It's official: Steam is coming to Linux  (Read 2770 times)
Edvard
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« on: May 14, 2010, 11:29:02 AM »

OK, I admit, I'm not a gamer.
I've played a few games on Linux and there's fun to be had, rest assured, but if I had a dime for every time I've heard somebody say "I'll totally switch to Linux when I can play my favorite games on it.", I would be a VERY rich man..
So now this news comes along and despite a lack of personal excitement, I know this IS going to be a big deal for the Linux universe.

REALLY big.

First a little history...

Guess what happened this Wednesday?

The UK Telegraph broke the news of Valve porting the Steam client to Mac OSX.
OK, whatever, BUT in a sentence at the bottom of the announcement we read:
Quote
Valve has also confirmed that it will make Steam available to Linux users in the coming months.
ohmy tellme

Phoronix nearly wet themselves with excitement and now the news is everywhere:
http://www.google.com/sea...mp;q=linux+steam+official

w00t!!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 11:30:33 AM by Edvard » Logged

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Deozaan
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 03:39:40 PM »

Better create your Steam account now and take advantage of the Portal Giveaway while it lasts.

Of course, as can be seen from the just-launched Mac version of Steam, just because the Steam platform runs on Mac doesn't mean all the games available on Steam do. I imagine that it will be similar with Linux.

Still, with Portal being (IMO) one of the best PC games ever, there's no reason not to take advantage of the giveaway, on the off chance you'll ever be in a position to play it.

And by the way, you can run Steam right now in Linux using WINE/PlayOnLinux, though I haven't tested it so I don't know how well it works. Undoubtedly the made-for-Linux application will run a lot better than the WINE version.
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 04:25:39 PM »

Wow great news! It's too bad most games on the steam store don't have a Linux version ready to go, still pretty good news all around.
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 07:07:19 PM »

Nice to see Steam is looking farther down the road than some.

I'm not superhyped about the games per se. But what I am hoping for is better manufacturer sound and video card driver support since those guys usually go where the gamers are found. An unintended consequence perhaps if it comes to pass. But in this world, sometimes it's better to just take what you can get regardless of how it came.

Fingers crossed  Thmbsup

 
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 07:10:03 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Edvard
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2010, 02:58:32 AM »

Quote
Of course, as can be seen from the just-launched Mac version of Steam, just because the Steam platform runs on Mac doesn't mean all the games available on Steam do. I imagine that it will be similar with Linux.
At first, yes. But with the combination of the Source and Unigine game engines and Valve folks hiring Linux developers, that door's gonna bust wide open real soon.
We already have World of Goo, Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Doom 3 that can run native on Linux, and if the lineup will be at all similar to the initial Mac offerings, we'll see Counter Strike, Half Life 2 and Team Fortress 2, just for starters.
Basically, any game that uses OpenGL can be ported, and with Valve in the backing now, probably will be.
Quote
Undoubtedly the made-for-Linux application will run a lot better than the WINE version.
Yes, and hopefully put an end to the "it runs well enough in WINE, so why port?" crap.
(Eve and W.O.W., I'm lookin' at YOU...)
Quote
I'm not superhyped about the games per se. But what I am hoping for is better manufacturer sound and video card driver support since those guys usually go where the gamers are found. An unintended consequence perhaps if it comes to pass.
Yes. Although nVidia has been doing a lot of work making decent accelerated drivers for Linux, as well as contributing LOTS of code to OpenGL, so they're already in the game.
(Personally, I'd like to see more support for high-end sound gear, being a (somewhat) musician).

I think the bigger consequence will be all the Linux-savvy Windows users itching to jump ship will now have one less barrier to doing so.
While I do not predict the demise of Windows any time soon, this may be a tipping point for Linux adoption.
 tellme
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2010, 12:31:49 PM »

What about DirectX though?
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2010, 12:54:50 PM »

I think the bigger consequence will be all the Linux-savvy Windows users itching to jump ship...

Just out of curiosity - do you see many such people where you are?

I'm a big FOSS advocate and long time Linux user. But even so, I'm not so anxious to jump ship as I am about knowing there will be a place to jump to if it ever comes to that. And most of the savvy-NIXers I know are in the same boat. Our attitude is: Why pick when you can mix & match the best from both?

I'm running about 50% open and 50% Windows right now. (I was closer to 80% Linux prior to Win7.) So I see the future of Linux more in terms of being "co-adopted" rather than becoming a replacement for Windows. And I believe that will be the case as long as copies of Windows remain available.

Your thoughts? smiley

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Edvard
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 03:56:23 PM »

What about DirectX though?
That's the reason all the games I've heard of being ported to Mac and Linux are based on OpenGL.
I don't think DirectX games even run very well in WINE, though there may be a way...


Just out of curiosity - do you see many such people where you are?

I'm a big FOSS advocate and long time Linux user. But even so, I'm not so anxious to jump ship as I am about knowing there will be a place to jump to if it ever comes to that. And most of the savvy-NIXers I know are in the same boat. Our attitude is: Why pick when you can mix & match the best from both?

I'm running about 50% open and 50% Windows right now. (I was closer to 80% Linux prior to Win7.) So I see the future of Linux more in terms of being "co-adopted" rather than becoming a replacement for Windows. And I believe that will be the case as long as copies of Windows remain available.

Your thoughts? smiley

Personally, I run Linux 100% at home because it simply fills all my needs.
The only reason I would have for running Windows is out of curiosity, which may happen this summer when I plan on buying a new laptop.

That said, I totally agree that multi-boot or virtual machine setups are a good enough solution for many folks who are either curious about Linux, or see the benefits of running Linux applications in a native environment rather than a sketchy port.
Like you said, "why pick one when you can mix & match?"
THAT segment is here already, no need to worry about them, they're doing fine.

To answer your question, I have seen this particular sentiment on various forums, tech article replies, etc. enough times to conclude that a fairly large contingent of people WOULD completely jump ship (for philosophical and/or technical reasons mostly), but the gaming aspect is one of the roadblocks, and a major one at that.
It usually goes something like:
"I would totally dump Winbloze if Linux ran [insert game here]/had [insert software here]/supported [insert hardware here]"

A major player in the Games market making a concerted effort to bring commercial games to the Linux platform eliminates (or greatly reduces) at least one of those hurdles, and with the gaming industry making more money than Hollywood, this has a potential to be BIG.

No, the Windows barge won't be sailing for the coast anytime soon, but for those itching to mutiny, Linux will have a lot more bath toys pretty soon...
 Wink
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zridling
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2010, 07:05:34 AM »

Unless I can play Wolfenstein 3D, then to hell with it!  tongue

No, no. I welcome our gaming overlords every chance I get. Especially on Linux.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 07:17:25 AM »

You can actually play Wolfenstein 3D. For the time being you will probably need to grab a Linux build of DOSBox, since the Steam version only includes the Windows build, but I don't see any reason for id/Valve not making it a cross platform game.
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zridling
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2010, 07:52:44 AM »

Thank you, Lashiec. You just made the world a better place.
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Edvard
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 03:14:26 PM »

@40Hz:
Here's just one example of what I have been hearing:
http://www.technewsworld....149073&wlc=1274211458
Quote
"AWESOME," wrote CasualFriday, for example. "If CS:S and HL2 run well in Ubuntu, I now have no reason to keep my Windows partition."
That answer your question?

Quite an exuberant article, by the way, and the DirectX vs. OpenGL is a valid one.
DirectX has consistently improved, pretty much making the gaming experience what it is today.

There are a couple factors that may mitigate matters, however:
1- The original intent was to port games to the MacOS, which also relies on OpenGL.
Any game software company that cares AT ALL about getting on the Mac platform WILL make the effort to port to OpenGL, which paves the way for Linux porting as well.
2- nVidia has all but adopted OpenGL as it's pet project, heading up much of the development and greatly extending the OpenGL 3.0 spec, with full support in all it's drivers since around late 2008.
nVidia is not a 2nd-rate player in this game, so OpenGL should no longer be the 'also-ran' it once was.

So now we wait...
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Deozaan
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2010, 02:30:21 PM »

I think the bigger consequence will be all the Linux-savvy Windows users itching to jump ship...

Just out of curiosity - do you see many such people where you are?

I don't know if I'm ready to jump ship as soon as all my games work in linux, but each time a new version of Ubuntu is released I test it out and quickly realize I'm never going to use it (regularly) because all my games are stuck in Windows and it's a bit of a pain to reboot into another OS just to play a game. If there comes a point in time when all the PC games I currently play (and all future PC games I might want to play) work just as well on Linux as they do on Windows, then my chances of making the jump would be extremely high, especially when faced with the upgrade cost of the new version of Windows at that time.
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