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Awesome.. never did get to play the original. Looks like I have a reason too now Thanks Valve!
I have to say that of FPS games, the original Half-life has to be the one which I've had the most enjoyment out of, all things considered. Great single-player campaign and of course the endless multiplayer Half-life/MOD skirmishes at LAN parties back in the day.
That said, Starcraft Broodwars will always be my number one game when all genres are considered, I've notched up a frightening number of hours playing that game, still do play it from time to time in a WM against buddies, it just never gets too old!
For those interested, you can just buy the Windows version to get access to the Half-Life (Beta) entry in the Linux library. That is what I did a few hours ago and have been enjoying the game since. Runs great for me on Kubuntu 12.04, only had a few minor issues. Mostly an occasional glitch in the overlay text where there are random letters missing, similar to what happens with TF2 just much less frequently. Also got stuck in a wall when loading an area once, but that is likely a bug that isn't specific to the Linux port.
Some folks have complained about missing sound fx when not using Pulseaudio. It doesn't effect me as I am using Pulse, but apparently it is a dependency at this point. Others have had issues with looking up and down with the mouse, not sure what is causing that as I haven't run into that one. Also seen a few reports of rare instances of missing textures in certain areas, still haven't seen that one personally either. After I stopped playing a little bit ago the game updated though, so some of these issues may already be cleared up.
I can only assume it will be the same type of command to launch other HL1 based mods, the command is very similar to how we used to launch mods back in the days on windows to go straight into the mod, instead of going into HL first, then click mods and selecting your mod.
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=~/.steam/bin:. LD_PRELOAD=gameoverlayrenderer.so ./hl_linux -game cstrike -console
Then you can try "cl_showfps 1". It did not start on my netbook with 1024x600 fullscreen due to a bug, but just edited the hl.conf that is created on start and set it to windowed, then it gave me over 30 fps. That's really nice...