Valve’s Linux Steam Blog

July 17th, 2012 by Crusader

’nuff said:

A blog by the Valve Linux Team: Steam’d Penguins:

For some time, Gabe has been interested in the possibility of moving Steam and the Source game engine to Linux. At the time, the company was already using Linux by supporting Linux-based servers for Source-based games and also by maintaining several internal servers (running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu server) for various projects. In 2011, based on the success of those efforts and conversations in the hallway, we decided to take the next step and form a new team. At that time, the team only consisted of a few people whose main purpose was investigating the possibility of moving the Steam client and Left 4 Dead 2 over to Ubuntu.

Why Ubuntu? There are a couple of reasons for that. First, we’re just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster. Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. This doesn’t mean that Ubuntu will be the only distribution we support. Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future.

After successfully porting L4D2 to Ubuntu, interest grew within Valve and, as a result, the team and projects we were working on also grew. Currently, our focus is on the following projects:

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

10 Responses to “Valve’s Linux Steam Blog”

  1. Maquis196 Says:

    I own all the valve titles on steam but damn, I’d gladly pay for them all again for the Linux versions.

    How many of us dreamed that one day we’d get to play Half Life native on Linux… Only to be told that Gabe is a Windows man and wants Linux dead

  2. c3rb3rus Says:

    Actually, if they don’t change policy you don’t have to buy the games again. “Steam Play” allows to buy the game once and play it on Windows and Mac OS X and hopefully then on Linux as well!

  3. Maquis196 Says:

    Yeah I know :). Seems almost silly that is all I meant, I’d be happy to pay them all again for them. Hell, give me a special edition DVD Linux boxset lol.

  4. drakpofoley Says:

    Linux games are in trend nowadays and I am a very big fan of mobile bingo games.

  5. Thunor Says:

    “Operating system Windows 8 will be a “catastrophe” for PC game makers, according to Valve Software’s boss.”

    “The [built-in] Windows Store could dent the success of Valve’s own online market, Steam, through which players buy games.”

    “Mr Newell, who worked for Microsoft for 13 years on Windows, said his company had embraced the open-source software Linux as a “hedging strategy” designed to offset some of the damage Windows 8 was likely to do.”

    Microsoft is attempting to close its operating system, is going to force users to buy software through its built-in store and will take a 30% cut of everyone’s profits, so Valve are forced to move into other markets.

  6. 2nd_floor Says:

    In response to the comment by Thunor: What a laugh at what Valve is doing. I’d like to see them explain the 13-15 year “absolutely no interest or even mention of Linux”. Yet they power Steam, their billion dollar business using Linux servers. And now they are all into Linux, by word anyway, they haven’t released a single product for Linux yet. A year or so of delays with Linux internally for them?. With their resources, Valve should have had most of their games and Steam running on Linux by now. (I think this is in tune with what you are saying Thunor).

    Bravo and best of luck to the small companies and individuals who have quietly, without trying to gain obvious popularity, over the years supported Linux!! Id, S2 games, xatrix, numerous other independent developes., lokigames (awesome with Loki)

  7. xteraco Says:

    The enemy is at the gate and many people will welcome them in with open arms and wallets; they will get what they deserve. Its a pity that EVERYONE has to suffer for it though.

  8. Says:

    this might be the end of linuxgames as we know it

  9. hwyckoff Says:

    I live in a world where people MUST get paid for the work they do if they hope to survive in a world where everything costs money: food, utilities, medical expenses, taxes, etc. Volunteer effort is fine, but how does Stallman expect independent software companies to create software for Linux unless their employees can get paid and the expenses can be paid? I’d love Stallman offer a solution where customers can get AWESOME software for free — without pirating.

    Besides, every biography I read about Stallman and descriptions of free software said that “free” was defined as “free as in speech and not as in beer.” So long as it’s open source software (free speech), why should he care if the software creators need to be compensated (the beer isn’t free)?

  10. timperoinen Says:

    I believe there is some confusion in your statement. Mr. Stallman doesn’t care if the software creators get compensated or not. It is like you said:

    “free” was defined as “free as in speech and not as in beer.”

    Which in practice means there is nothing wrong with software being commercial or costing money (like beer!), so long as it’s free as in you distribute the source code with it. Obviously, different kind of licencing schemes can be used (like the software framework Qt used to have) for non commercial and commercial licencing or what ever. The biggest challenges here for the gaming industry are that they’d have to forsake any and all DRM and ofc. all of their competitors could see how they implemented that cool feature X (then again if they don’t want to break the law they’d have to buy the commercial licencing to use it in their game). All in all it sounds like a very scare step to take. Perhaps someone will take it one day and show us how to turn it into a commercially viable option.

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