Steam Gaming On PC-BSD
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 14 December 2014 at 08:26 AM EST. 18 Comments
VALVE --
While Valve doesn't provide any official BSD binaries of Steam nor are any of the Steam game titles listed as supporting BSD, it doesn't stop some from trying to get their gaming fix on FreeBSD/PC-BSD.

For PC-BSD gamers interested in using Steam, posted this week to the PC-BSD blog was a videeo about how to get wine running 3D games with Steam on PC-BSD. Through Wine they are running the Windows version of Steam but nothing to do with the Linux client. While PC-BSD/FreeBSD has the Linux binary compatibility layer for gaming at great speeds, I'd have to guess that it doesn't work with Steam on Linux given they're resorting to using Wine.

If you do any BSD OpenGL gaming, you'll be best off with the proprietary NVIDIA driver. On BSDs the GPU driver situation is even worse off for gamers with there being no AMD Catalyst for BSD, Nouveau isn't mainline on any BSD platforms, and the Intel/Radeon DRM drivers generally lag well behind their current upstream position within the Linux kernel. NVIDIA ships their binary blob for FreeBSD x86/x86_64 that's built from a shared code-base with their Linux and Solaris drivers and thus of very good quality.

The description to the video about Steam gaming on PC-BSD with Wine read, "This is a how to video to show you how to get steam up and running on your PC-BSD based system. You must have a NVIDIA video card for this to work. Wine can still run steam with AMD / Intel graphics, but your game success rate will be terrible."

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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