On the Eve of Half-Life 2: A Linux User’s Lament

September 17th, 2003 by jvm

If you’re a gamer with a pulse, you’ve probably heard about the impending release of Valve’s Half-life 2, sequel to one of the most beloved games of the past half-decade. As a gamer and a Linux user, I get a little stirred up about the whole Half-life situation, and the result was an article lamenting the state of things.

Read it here.

So, how are you, our readers, going to react to the release of Half-life 2? Play it in Windows? Try to run it in WINE or WineX? Wait for the Xbox version? And, if there never is a Linux client, will you still run a Linux dedicated server for Half-life 2?

48 Responses to “On the Eve of Half-Life 2: A Linux User’s Lament”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    i just won’t play it, hype or no.

    doom3/quake4 will be better anyway.

  2. Hallie Says:

    Like other games.

    No client, no server

  3. Anonymous Says:

    This is what I have a seperate Windows XP box for. HL2 is going to rock!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Buy Savage , HDB , Doom 3 or Rune and please Shut up !
    How can a company manage a business targeted 200 maybe 500 users ?

    Shit ! Mountain King Studio told me that Raptor for Linux was a disaster and Mac games were sold 20 times more than the Linux equivalent.

    Please stop trolling and go buy Linux games, wherever they are !

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Valve will not release a HL2 client for 2 reasons: 1) they are a company founded by a pair of Microsoft millionaires (one headed up the Windows development group at one point) and they seem to be towing the Microsoft company line pretty closely with no interest in doing much else. 2) It’s unlikely that Valve is interested in putting the extra work into a client because the vocal part of the Linux gamer community are a bunch of ingrates. Epic does a client port of UT2K3 and the ingrates say “It’s obvious that the Linux port means less because they put more work into the DirectX renderer and the OpenGL renderer sucks!” No, “we’re lucky they supported our platform” no, “thanks for showing us some support, Epic”. All they get is a big middle finger for some percieved slight. I doubt that BioWare will ever again make the mistake of putting out a Linux client for any of their games again after the horror that was NWN.

    You want more support? Show more gratification for what you’re given. Or keep that Windows box handy.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    It’s kinda dumb to ask Linux gamers if they will run a HL2 server if no client is made… It’s not like we’re the ones who run all those Linux servers out there… It’s not us, it’s the Windows users. People do run Linux for servers because that’s what they think it’s only good for. That’s why so many companies only port the server-side of their games. It’s not to sell their games to people like me, it’s to give a nice stable server to the Windows gamers, who also happen to know enough about Linux to run theig game servers for extra stability. Like, geez, do you think a Linux gamer goes “Hmm, Half-Life 2… No client, so the game is useless to me… I think I’ll run a server anyways, just to chew up my bandwidth and CPU cycles and to be nice to the Windows gamers out there” ?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    “Half Life 2 came out? Hmmm, didn’t know that.”

  8. SQLBoy Says:

    If Half-Life 2 was released for Linux, it would probably be the single most common reason an end user would switch from Win32 to Linux over the nxt 2 years. I mean, I could see hundreds of thousands of users mirgrating simply because HL2 is available. Gabe used to work at Microsoft and he damn well knows the implications of HL2 on Linux and he is not going to release a port.

    Nevermind the millions of lines of code Linux hackers wrote for HL mods, addons, utilities, and tools, the millions of gigabits of bandwidth donated over the years, and the sheer amount of money spent on hardware to run Linux based Half-Life servers.

    I think someone owes us a client and I think its been paid for with the blood, sweat, and tears of the Linux/HL community.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I cancelled my HL2 preorder when Steam was released. I believe Valve wants to be like Micro$oft with the progression of Steam. With their ‘subscription’ service that it now optional, how long will it be before Valve takes Microsoft’s “software-as-a-service” approach and licenses their games on a monthly/yearly basis. You’ll no longer own the game, but simply own a right to play the game for a certain amount of time. Already you’ll have to have an internet connection to play lan and single player games (according to the FAQ). This has gotten a lot of gamers protesting and there are a few posts with Valve backing away from this policy (even though its not technically possible with the current Steam).

    Thus the preorder being cancelled. Their continued ignorance of gamers’ anguish over Steam (no one wants or likes it) and, to a lesser number, ignorance of what they do want (linux client, cs 1.6 standalone), cost them my $50. (Which I was willing to part with up to a certain point)

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll probably just skip it. I wish I could say the same for IL-2 Sturmovik and BF1942. I still boot to Windows for those games, and it sucks every time

  11. Anonymous Says:

    “If there’s no Linux client, why do we care?”

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Half Life 2 looks really nice, a guy at work has shown me some movies of it and I was very impressed with the quality of the physics and also the graphics.
    I used to play a lot of CounterStrike with the HL1 engine, originally in Windows, but then through Wine. It really was a lot of fun, and I only stopped playing it because of the Tribes2 port, which was a vastly more engaging game.
    I would really like to give Half Life 2 a try, but I probably won’t, not really because of the principle, but mostly because I don’t have the means to play it, of the four or five PCs in the house, none of them have Windows on.
    So the Half Life guys lose a sale because their market focus is very narrow. I’m sure they’ll all make a bundle off it anyway, so good for them.

    From what I hear from smalltime Mac games porting people I know, game sales on OS X aren’t as exciting as people were expecting, but that they are getting better than expected sales on phone/pda platforms, and with Linux things, which tells me the market is ok for people wanting a quick little game to toy around with for a few minutes while not working, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as avid hardcore gamers who want a $50 adrenalin rush.

    Linux isn’t significant in the home market right now, it’s there and you can make a few bucks on it, but you aren’t going to be buying $400 office chairs on it….yet.
    We’re already moving into the corporate desktop, that’s only going to get bigger in the next 5 years. Think about where the Linux desktop was 5 years ago, we’re talking fvwm95 and a few motif programs. Even now I think it’s kicking some arse, so in 5 years I expect it will be bloody amazing, which puts a [b]whole[/b] new spin on the home desktop market.

    I guess what I’m saying is, sucks that we don’t have lots of new game ports right now…..but we will :)

  13. Anonymous Says:

    It will probably just suck like HL1… go there, do that. Sorry, but Shogo was like 10 times more immersive and was released at the same time. Why bother with HL2? It will probably be just another HL1 with pretty graphics.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    From what I have heard, Half-Life 2 relies heavily on DirectX 9 shaders, so much so, that there has been rumblings of no OpenGL mode (as HL has always had). You also have to look at the fact that both nvidia and ATI have been working hard to promote their cards running HL2 with the latest and greatest DirectX 9 features. Valve may not want to do a port for other reasons, but if there is not OpenGL support built in, I think the technical headache would be a reason all in itself for no Linux port.

    I am still hoping that Valve will come through with a Linux port. That day will be the day I delete my windows partition for good.

  15. theoddone33 Says:

    I plan to cry, but the world does not contain enough tears…

    Actually, if I had an XBox and $50 to waste maybe I’d pick up HL2. I enjoyed the parts of Half-life that I played but it soon became like one of those songs on the radio that gets played every two minutes, but everyone puts up with it because they think that everyone else likes the song.

    As it stands I have a literal stack of games to play before even trying HL2… most of which will probably be more fun.

  16. Gore Says:

    Do Linux users enjoy lamenting over the games not available? Why don’t they just concentrate on and enjoy the games already ported and ready to go?

  17. Anonymous Says:

    FYI, almost all games listed on runs in Linux. Those without a native Linux client are working with WINE or WineX:

    BF1942 series:
    MOHAA series:
    JK II:

    The only game listed on the stats page that doesn’t work in Linux is Vietcong.
    I’m absolutely sure that the WINE guys (or WineX, but the WINE DirectX implementation is almost as good as WineX today) will get HL2 working too :)

  18. Anonymous Says:

    and I’ll probably never play HL2. What the hell is the hype over a stupid shooter? I have my choice of many shooters right now: Quake (1-3), Unreal Tournament (and 2K3), Tribes 2, RTCW, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, mods for Quake/Unreal, Soldier of Fortune…

    Valve can go screw themselves, and now Epic is a bunch of sellouts (M$ gets to publish their games now). At least we still have id and S2. I would say Bioware also, but there is no linux port for KotoR planned.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I saw a bit of UT2K3 tossed around and have to counter that with NeverWinter Nights. Sure it took extra time to be released, sure it’s kinda buggy, but it works and it works damned well and PLAYABLE even with an onboard GeForce 4 MX, nevermind a Radeon 9600 Pro. I don’t have UT2K3 but some fellow tuxers complained about the FSAA implementation and low frame rates. Epic did do a half-assed job and get the middle finger they deserve. Bioware although they lied through their teeth delivered a playable package in the end and after the middle fingers they got their free beer.

    HL2 would be a great release for linux and I imagine more than a few people would start to consider it a viable gaming/home platform if such a big name got released. Sadly the hardcore gamers are small in number and the gamers who are tuxers even lower. Valve imo was kinda dumb to not to HL2 in OGL but when DX9 is simply more effective than the current implementation for eye candy who can blame them. Then again Doom 3 looks really effing impressive so the DX9 being better than OGL argument is out the door. This most likely is just another round of lazy devs who want to go with what’s popular rather than what’s standard.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    There are more than enough first person shooters for Linux as it is, so I’ll probably spend time playing some of the vast number of other high quality new linux games that have been coming out (not that you’d know it from the newsticker.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll skip HL2 too, which is sad because I’ll believe its better than average shooter.

    Luckily we have guys like Carmack who release games for linux/mac just because “it’s right thing to do”, not to mention guys @ (and ;) )

    Wine/WineX just ain’t cutting it for me to buy a new game. Might only use it to play some old games I have allready.

    Sad thing is that Valve propably ain’t missing my 50$:)

    And boycotting HL2 PC version, but bying X-box & HF2 just sounds so stupid that I wont even comment on that:)

  22. freakyc Says:

    I bought HL1 when it first came out, and I won’t be buying HL2 because of the refusal to port EITHER game to Linux.

    I held off on buying BF1942 for as long as I could (ended up being a game that the people I play online with decided to stick with and it is pretty cool). It and Galactic Civilizations (mmm, GalCiv port….hell, I’d put up with it running under Wine) are the only things I’ve been using Windows for lately.

    Although BF is fun, it has had some of the lamest bugs since it came out that for some reason, don’t get fixed (eg. Going from one server to another in the ingame browser crashes the game. Scrolling through your weapons sometimes skips certain weapons. Etc…)

    Anyways, back to the point. I’m certainly going to try my best to only buy games that run in Linux from now on. Doom 3 definetly. Savage is fun (beta tester here). The Majesty demo was cool. These games DESERVE my money.

  23. urlord Says:

    Here is my policy:

    One: Support Linux Gaming
    I purchase every halfway decent commercial game for Linux, whether I plan to play the game or not. To this day, Terminus, Heavy Gear II and Tycoon II are still in shrink wrap. But I don’t give a fuck; I support Linux. Period.

    Two: Don’t support Windows gaming
    My girlfriend has a Windows machine. I play games that I can’t puchase for Linux and don’t work under Winex (like Carmageddon 2 and Outlaws) on her machine. But I do NOT pay for these games. I pirate them. Period. If I can’t copy them for free from a friend, I don’t play them.

    Any company that plays the “release a server but no client” game should get punished. I plan on pirating Half-Life 2 and distributing free copies to as many people, ftp sites and P2P networks as I can.

    Oh, I’ll play Halflife 2. And so will ALL my friends. For free, courtesy of Valve. Bastards.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    I have been enjoying id games for some time now and recently started playing Enemy Territory.

    I bought HL1 for windows some time ago, I even tried to play CS, but since I changed to linux I haven’t bothered.

    I don’t find HL2 minimally exciting to justify the hassle of installing a new OS just to play it onlyne.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    I didn’t particularly care for HalfLife, and I’m not that interest in HL2. I’ve got plenty of great Linux games to play already, as well as Gamecube and Dreamcast stuff. I’m not too heartbroken.

    However, I’m of the opinion that it is silly to write a server program and ignore a client program. Id may not make loads of cash on its Linux ports, but they at least open the opprtunity to license Mac and Linux ports because they design multiplatform code. Linux may not be the most viable gaming platform at the moment, but what if a company wants to sell a game 3 years from now, based off of your DirectX-only game engine? Nobody can predict what will happen with Linux games, but I can agree that we’ve not had a shortage of good games – even after Loki’s demise. In fact, Linux ports seem to be increasing. Valve may very well be shooting themselves in the foot, even if the benefits won’t be immediately evident.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Savage recently went gold, It has supported Linux from the start. S2 Games, the company that made savage, runs all the official servers on Gentoo linux. Savage supports linux out of the box and the system requirements say, “Bindowxxx, bugdowzxxx, or Linux” Why complain about companies that do not support our patform, and start praising companies that do.

    s2 games rocks. They are kickass dudes, and have made a kickass game.

    Valve, on the other hand, make kick ass games, but want us to be their slaves. Fuck that.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Since when + where..?!!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Why worry about HL2 if DooM 3 will be awesome? ;-)
    Id Games, Icculus and many others makes Linux fun and we all have to thanks to them. Its problem of Valve, the Linux Community will prefer ET, DooM 3 and they will lose money.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    hi gents/gals..

    any company that does not support native linux gaming can KMG..savage did it..bioware did it ( well after a fashion but hey its done and its great! ) and icculus is doing it bless his heart and LGP is doing it bless them too and the list is NOT going to stop anytime soon..

    me use a HL2 server but have no client..they can kiss my grits!!


  30. Svartalf Says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m biased (after all, I port games over to Linux…), but I can’t see supporting a company by buying a game from them that only has a Linux server for it (Unreal 2 did not get bought, but UT2k3 DID as did Unreal/Unreal Tournament- anyone from Epic may want to note this little tidbit of info…).

    Ergo, I can’t see myself paying money that could be spent on games that DO support Linux either unofficially or officially- S2, Id, and, to a lesser extent, Epic come immediately to mind.

    Budget permitting, I plan on getting Savage. Budget permitting, I plan on getting DooM3. Budget permitting, I plan on getting the NWN expansions (Yes, I’m VERY dissapointed with the incompleteness and the lateness- but it works rather well in all the really important areas).

    I have absolutely no plans for any Valve offering at this point in time or in the forseeable future- they don’t appear to have any desire whatsoever to support anything but Windows.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Redundant but I never really got into Halflife cause I was already into linux at the time. Sooo, Doom3 for me.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    I have this quite simple rule, “no client, no server” and I wish that all linux users would have that too.

    I have a UrbanTerror server up as there is a linux client, wouldn’t think of support any HL/HL2 based games as it’s today.

  33. mercybeat Says:

    To the guys doing half-life.

    I don’t have windows… I have not had windows for years… I only have linux. So I actually have never even seen your game. Maybe a screenshot on the box. But I only buy games that run on linux.
    I have bought every fps that runs native on linux. Thats cash baby……


  34. Anonymous Says:

    is this an expansion for savage??

  35. Anonymous Says:

    That reminds me. I forgot to buy Savage! It’s been a long month..

  36. Anonymous Says:

    i thought it was the add-on counter-strike and [b]not[/b] just halflife, which made it a top-seller
    so [b]why the hype[/b] about hl2?

    otherwise: lets break the neck of hl2 and valve:D

  37. RayNET11 Says:

    I’m not sure I see the big deal, great games get my money because I want to be entertained, isn’t that the purpose? I own many Linux and Windows based games and there are some Linux based games that I passed over because they didn’t appeal to me and there are windows games I passed over. I also have a PS2 which also serves me well.. If you play a game on X plateform it doesn’t mean you are anti-linux.. Consumers play games to be entertained, devolopers produce games to make money, who cares if they don’t port it to Linux, X-BOX, PS2 , or your PDA.. If something get’s ported to Linux that’s great, if given the choice I would rather purchase the game for my favorite OS. If the game isn’t ported and it’s still a great game that isn’t going to detour me from buying it and playing on a windows partition… Disk space is dirt cheap , people cry and wine to much about dual boot (used to be me..) Shut up and play, let Linux take it’s course, in the end if it every game produced has a linux port we win, if not I’ll play it on what ever, I’m not waiting..


  38. Anonymous Says:

    the hype around this game is just pathetic. the original hl wasn’t anything groundbreaking, just your regular fps with your regular story (doom had a similar story), and just a few twists here and there.
    now system shock 2, that was a GREAT fps.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    I Steam is appauling, trust me on this. I tried to get into a cs server through steam about 30 times last night and no joy. HL2 is going down….

  40. Anonymous Says:

    They don’t sell linux games in Sweden…

  41. bdove Says:

    no windows copy, wont see a dime from me without native linux.

    No client, no server also applys for me.

  42. azote Says:

    I will never buy again a game that is not linux native…
    Not even run a server …

    I Recommned all of you guys to get SAVAGE from is the best game engine out there…

  43. azote Says:

    I will never buy again a game that is not linux native…
    Not even run a server …

    I Recommned all of you guys to get SAVAGE from is the best game engine out there…

  44. Dougst3r Says:

    Thats my policy if there is no linux client. I don’t buy any Windows-only games for full price. If/when HL2 hits the bargain bin for $9.95 then I will buy it and see if it runs in Wine, load it on my seldom used Windows partition, whatever. I’ve been burned too many times by buying some supposedly really great game only to discover it either sucks or else has so many bugs its almost unplayable.
    [br]Really good games for Linux are Quake3 (w/ Urban Terror and Quake3 Fortress 2), Jagged Alliance 2 is a fantastic strategy combat game, Duke Nukem 3D is loads of fun, and don’t overlook venerable Quake with its loads of expansions and mods and its great new client: QuakeForge.

  45. Anonymous Says:

    This game is the only reason I’ll be booting into WinXP for the next couple of months. Until WineX supports it running in DirectX 8 mode that is. I think that Transgaming would be nuts to ignore it considering it’s popularity. It’s a pain that this will be the only way to play such a ground-breaking game – but it’s only a matter of time before Linux users make up a more substantial portion of the PC gaming market. At that point game developers will no longer be able to ignore Linux as a valuable gaming platform. If OpenGL 2.0 is a reasonable competitor to DirectX 9 then developers could make games (such as HL2) cross-platform from the beginning.

    My 2 cents . . .

  46. zealotasd Says:

    Half-Life 2 will be ported to Linux, despite the Valve developers’ objections. :D

    Someone stole the sourcecode ;(

    but hey, Linux port! :D

    but whoever gets caught with the Linux port will receive death by rocket from the DMCA — kinda like the punnishment potsmokers and unlicensed pharmacists received in the game “Narc”. ;(

    but hey, I only live once! :p w00t! :p

    (Information references…,,

  47. Anonymous Says:


  48. Anonymous Says:

    Hi there

    I have been given the task of getting links for our websites that have good page rank on the links directories.
    In addition we have many categories so your site will be place on an appropriate page.
    If you would like to trade links please send me your website linking details.
    Our apologies if you do not wish to take part in a link exchange.

    Best Regards,

    Laura Tillman

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.