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Valve's Gabe Newell Talks Linux Steam Client, Source Engine

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  • Added to what I said earlier, I have some grievances with the circumstances. Why would Valve choose such an awkward way to introduce its Linux support? Why aren't they posting something official on their website, or commiting themselves to any time schedule? I've seen people on these forums ride on the term 'Valve Time' as they find comfortable and as it fits their arguments. But the fact remains that Valve chose to import their alleged Linux support using this channel, and that says a lot about them.

    Given this site's reputation, it basically means they chose to play safe. If it backfires on them and they change their minds, or for whatever reason, we'll all have Phoronix to blame (and rightly so) -- which hasn't been exactly known in the past to deliver reliable information. If they actually do introduce Linux support in whatever form, they'll be the one to be praised (and rightly so), not Phoronix which's been pushing this like mad for so long.

    In other words, well played, Valve. You've got yourself covered. But this only means, unfortunately, that their commitment to Linux is probably not so set in stone as Phoronix would like it to be.

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    • Originally posted by Kamikaze View Post
      You think they'd support Steam on BSD before Steam on Linux? That just seems nuts to me.. they already have an immediate and much larger market for Linux, and in regards to your "other secret sauce" comment - according to various sources Gabe is interested in keeping an open platform. Custom (forked Linux) kernel like Android??? It's possible, but I highly doubt it as existing games would need to be ported to ARM and it's graphics stack.
      Pretty sure they'd rather make their life and the life of the hardware manufacturers easier by releasing on a well maintained and supported platform, for example GNU/Linux.

      (edited for clarity)
      You must have a poor grasp of English and the BSD license. If Valve makes a game console based on off the shelf x86 hardware instead of custom parts and use BSD+proprietary secret sauce OS they can get a console on store shelves inside of 6 months.

      There have been lots of rumors of Valve building a console as there is App store pressure from massive companies like Apple, Microsoft and Electronic Arts as well as from smaller competitors like Desura.

      Think if they partnered with AMD, the Pile Driver version of the FX4100+an HD7970 or 2 in a single board running a custom BSD, they'd be able to easily compete with the XBox and Playstation as well as be able to cut costs on console production yearly and offer near infinite backwards compatibility. As for controllers, use standard USB and Bluetooth, have the official ones made by Logitech but allow anyone to get any old controllers or Keyboards and mice.

      The only obstacle they would face is getting other game companies to get on board, but if they already have a game on X86 or on PS3 or Wii porting becomes far less of an issue and every indie developer would likely jump right on it due to the low barrier to entry.

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      • Originally posted by susikala View Post
        Added to what I said earlier, I have some grievances with the circumstances. Why would Valve choose such an awkward way to introduce its Linux support? Why aren't they posting something official on their website, or commiting themselves to any time schedule? I've seen people on these forums ride on the term 'Valve Time' as they find comfortable and as it fits their arguments. But the fact remains that Valve chose to import their alleged Linux support using this channel, and that says a lot about them.
        In regards to 'Valve Time', if you read their leaked employee handbook (I've only seen partial bits of it) and Mike Abrash's blog post that Phoronix linked to, you'll see that "Valve Time" really exists due to the flat structure of the organisation. No one there really has a "boss" and deadlines routinely don't get met because staff are encouraged to work on what they feel like at the time, as this encourages innovation.

        Originally posted by susikala View Post
        Given this site's reputation, it basically means they chose to play safe. If it backfires on them and they change their minds, or for whatever reason, we'll all have Phoronix to blame (and rightly so) -- which hasn't been exactly known in the past to deliver reliable information. If they actually do introduce Linux support in whatever form, they'll be the one to be praised (and rightly so), not Phoronix which's been pushing this like mad for so long.

        In other words, well played, Valve. You've got yourself covered. But this only means, unfortunately, that their commitment to Linux is probably not so set in stone as Phoronix would like it to be.
        Unfortunately you're probably completely right about that. I personally feel like people should give Michael a little bit more credit if it does pan out though - he clearly just over hyped the information he went off back in 2010 and people are not letting him live it down (steam for linux is coming this summer!! hehe). If Valve announce that they are pursuing a Linux steam client and source engine, I sincerely hope most people that keep attacking him for that incident just cut him some slack.

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        • Originally posted by Kamikaze View Post
          Unfortunately you're probably completely right about that. I personally feel like people should give Michael a little bit more credit if it does pan out though - he clearly just over hyped the information he went off back in 2010 and people are not letting him live it down (steam for linux is coming this summer!! hehe).
          Actually he's been claiming Steam For Linux since May 7th of 2008 http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ce_linux&num=1 and it is brought up several times that year alone as being confirmed... Even though it was only data that pertained to the Linux server for the game, since tons of Windows only online shooters have Linux servers.

          Originally posted by Kamikaze View Post
          If Valve announce that they are pursuing a Linux steam client and source engine, I sincerely hope most people that keep attacking him for that incident just cut him some slack.
          No. And even if it does pan out he deserves no credit for it. As I said on the April 1st "STEAM 4 T3H L!|\|00KZ [email protected] LOLOLZ" thread, its just as likely Valve is pulling the greatest troll in the history of the internet on Larabel, theres still 4 more days for that to be the case.

          Yeah, my skepticism runs deep as the marrow, but then I've been into tech and politics since I was 12 and as such have learned to base everything on evidence, reality and the past actions of those involved rather then blind faith and ideals.
          Last edited by Kivada; 04-26-2012, 04:35 AM.

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          • Haha, the server got slashdotted hard. Think of all the lost ad impressions!

            Maybe it's time to start using cloudflare or similar?

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            • Just saw Half Life 2 for sale in a leaf market last weekend for 2?. I almost bought it, because i've always been kinda meaning to try it out, but then i thought i'd wait to see if they make a native linux port. I guess it'll be a while even if they make one, but what's the hurry anyway.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                You must have a poor grasp of English and the BSD license. If Valve makes a game console based on off the shelf x86 hardware instead of custom parts and use BSD+proprietary secret sauce OS they can get a console on store shelves inside of 6 months.
                I never said they couldn't use BSD as a base, I just don't think they would due to lack of hardware support, and less of an established market. They are clearly doing testing against AMD cards at the moment according to the screenshots we've seen, and I do not see any proprietary fglrx support for FreeBSD. Add this to the e-mails we've seen where valve employees mention Ubuntu and AMD/NVIDIA blobs. IF they deliberately wanted to close their platform, perhaps they could go that route - however that's in direct contrast to Valve's recent statements regarding open platforms (refer to the previous links in my earlier post which you even quoted, but then chose to completely ignore)

                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                There have been lots of rumors of Valve building a console as there is App store pressure from massive companies like Apple, Microsoft and Electronic Arts as well as from smaller competitors like Desura.
                Yes, so those rumours are more believable then Steam coming to Linux are they? Not saying I don't think they'll go that way, but there's been much more evidence regarding linux client binaries over time than evidence for a console.

                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                Think if they partnered with AMD, the Pile Driver version of the FX4100+an HD7970 or 2 in a single board running a custom BSD, they'd be able to easily compete with the XBox and Playstation as well as be able to cut costs on console production yearly and offer near infinite backwards compatibility. As for controllers, use standard USB and Bluetooth, have the official ones made by Logitech but allow anyone to get any old controllers or Keyboards and mice.
                6 months for that? Possible, but again unlikely when you take into account: Hiring experienced OS/kernel guys, actually coding up whatever custom kernel modification they may want (assuming they need to), getting support from AMD for it and for them to code up/port existing drivers to support it, testing of said drivers, testing of the platform, manufacturing, partnering with distribution centres, getting it to market. For a company with a flat structure without managers driving deadlines I don't see all of that happening within 6 months from start to finish.

                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                The only obstacle they would face is getting other game companies to get on board, but if they already have a game on X86 or on PS3 or Wii porting becomes far less of an issue and every indie developer would likely jump right on it due to the low barrier to entry.
                And another point - GNU/Linux already has a number of games that are supported out of the box, and more coming. Plenty of engines already support GNU/Linux too.

                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                Actually he's been claiming Steam For Linux since May 7th of 2008 and it is brought up several times that year alone as being confirmed... Even though it was only data that pertained to the Linux server for the game, since tons of Windows only online shooters have Linux servers.
                The first link is about the source engine - not steam. The second does show a link regarding Steam Client "confirmed".. and I do vaguely remember that one re-the L4D .so fiasco. I'll give you that... I can't believe it's been that long. The terminology was clearly way over the top - "confirmed" should never have been used there. Again though, Phoronix is a blog site, and Michael was clearly excited at the prospect of steam on Linux. Do you routinely visit blog sites and start attacking the posters for anything they get wrong? Actually that might explain a lot

                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                No. And even if it does pan out he deserves no credit for it. As I said on the April 1st "STEAM 4 T3H L!|\|00KZ [email protected] LOLOLZ" thread
                Wow, with a thread name like that I can't believe I didn't read it!!
                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                its just as likely Valve is pulling the greatest troll in the history of the internet on Larabel, theres still 4 more days for that to be the case.
                lol, yes that's it, they invited the owner of Phoronix(?!?!) to Bellevue to pull the greatest troll in history on him. I'm sorry random internet person for not believing you sooner.

                Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                Yeah, my skepticism runs deep as the marrow, but then I've been into tech and politics since I was 12 and as such have learned to base everything on evidence, reality and the past actions of those involved rather then blind faith and ideals.
                We have some evidence (the photos). Many of us have also seen the dev version of the steam client when it was accidentally available from http://store.steampowered.com/public...m_client_linux which clearly has specific Deny rules setup as it still shows a 403. What are Valve hiding there? Obviously it's just part of the gigantic troll on Michael Larabel and the linux community.

                BTW I give up now, anything further you post - I agree with. There's no point arguing further and I'm just perpetuating the thing I hated most when I was lurking on these forums - which is the derailment of threads here. Apologies to everyone for the giant post, I will stop now.

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                • Kivada has a point with his skepticism, which I mentioned before and must ephasise here: why invite someone as unreliable as Phoronix instead of just posting a news item themselves? Can you see anything at http://www.valvesoftware.com/news/? Because I can't. The only logical explanation for this is that Valve are being very cautious, and using Phoronix as a possible scapegoat. The fact Phoronix doesn't see that itself speaks a lot for the quality of the site, but I assume that's just what Valve were thinking too.

                  So yeah, Valve didn't pull a gigantic hoax here, they pulled a very clever tactic move that keeps them secured while leaving all options on the table and commiting them to nothing. Just like professionals.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by susikala View Post
                    Kivada has a point with his skepticism, which I mentioned before and must ephasise here: why invite someone as unreliable as Phoronix instead of just posting a news item themselves? Can you see anything at http://www.valvesoftware.com/news/? Because I can't. The only logical explanation for this is that Valve are being very cautious, and using Phoronix as a possible scapegoat. The fact Phoronix doesn't see that itself speaks a lot for the quality of the site, but I assume that's just what Valve were thinking too.

                    So yeah, Valve didn't pull a gigantic hoax here, they pulled a very clever tactic move that keeps them secured while leaving all options on the table and commiting them to nothing. Just like professionals.
                    Quite possibly.

                    I do think for the time being they certainly are holding off on announcing anything officially just in case any nasty problems turn up in their development (performance and the like) to the point where they decide it's too hard and forget about it.

                    Still, I have high(ish) hopes. It's a start.

                    Comment


                    • Whilst it's plausible if valve wanted to sell consoles directly and make money from that, they could be using BSD I'd suggest that they'd see this as an opportunity to drive steam as a platform, and their games, as opposed to making money directly from hardware sales. This is like how google basically gives android away, it's a way to ensure that they survive when the likes of Microsoft and Apple would rather replace them in the market. If thats the case, a linux based console makes sense.

                      I think we'll see valve play the long term game:

                      A linux client
                      Nudge developers into supporting linux via discounts, or something.
                      Try to grow those linux numbers, and more importantly the amount of games supported.

                      Beyond this point, a linux console will be a way to combat increasing control exerted by apple, microsoft and sony, which would see steam locked out of their platforms in the long term unless steam finds a way to protect its customer base. It doesn't particularly matter if the steam console, or linux client wins, they just need to splinter the market with a viable alternative so it's worth more money for the other platforms to keep them around.
                      Last edited by ownagefool; 04-26-2012, 06:55 AM.

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