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Valve Writes About Their Linux Client Plans

Valve

Published on 16 July 2012 09:09 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve
108 Comments

Finally some non-Phoronix exclusive information about Steam/Source Engine on Linux ;) Valve Software has begun to write about their Steam Linux client initiatives on their public blog.

Over at blogs.valvesoftware.com/Linux is the start of the Linux blog! This should be linked to from the main Valve Software blog in the near future, I'm told (I was just pinged by them this evening about the soon-to-go-live blog post). The first post is entitled "Steam’d Penguins"; the post's author isn't displayed but I would assume it was written by Mike Sartain.

It's pretty much what I confirmed back in April when at Valve and in updates since then with communicating with Valve, but here's the main highlights of the first Valve Linux blog post:

- "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."

- Valve is currently beginning all development work on Ubuntu Linux. "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."

- The current projects being focused upon include getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality, optimizing a version of Left 4 Dead 2 to run at a high frame-rate with OpenGL, and porting additional Valve titles to Linux. Left 4 Dead 2 is the game I was showing native on Linux back in April.

- Valve has Steam on Ubuntu 12.04 working with all major functionality. "The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. We’ve made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available. We’re still giving attention and effort to minor features but it’s a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing."

- They want the same level of performance as in Windows and Linux. "Our goal is to have L4D2 performing under Linux as well as it performs under Windows."

- They have setup a valvelinuxteam@valvesoftware.com email address.

Aside from that first post, here's some other interesting tid-bits from their side-panel information:

- "Our mission is to strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers. This includes Linux ports of Steam and Valve games, as well as partner games."

- Valve is investigating some interesting open-source Linux possibilities. "We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers."

- "The Valve Linux team is currently 11 people and growing. Our mission is to investigate open source development with a specific focus on supporting Steam and other Valve products on the Linux platform. The Linux background of our team varies from those who have a deep knowledge of Linux development to those who have just scratched the surface. However, one thing we all share is a great passion for supporting all things Valve on Linux." Wow! In Valve Picks Up Another All-Star Linux Developer last weekend I only knew of eight or nine people in the team, but now they appear to have on a few more and they're still building this team.

Read the post and expect more good things out of their official Linux blog soon! As Gabe said, it should be available this year. Perhaps they decided to go public now with their own blog in response to the recent success of Ouya for Linux gaming?

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