Steam for Mac code reveals Linux compatibility in the works

By on April 23, 2010, 3:36 PM
The folks over at Phoronix have found compelling evidence that Valve has plans for a Linux-friendly version of Steam. After rummaging through the bash launcher used by Steam for Mac OS X, the site discovered code referring directly to Linux -- something that isn't present on the Windows version of Steam. You can view the script after the break.

Phoronix says the launcher "checks the platform so that the appropriate library path can be added to the respective environmental variable for loading Steam's shared libraries needed by the client." It then launches the Steam library, which prompts another conditional platform check.

The site added that such an addition to the OS X version of Steam would be pointless if Valve doesn't have plans to run it on Linux. "This script could have been more easily hard-coded to be specific to Mac OS X, but it was not, and boasts Linux compatibility." Further proof can be found here.

So how about it? Is Valve's friendly neighborhood game distribution center finally headed for Linux?
#!/bin/bash

# figure out the absolute path to the script being run a bit
# non-obvious, the ${0%/*} pulls the path out of $0, cd's into the
# specified directory, then uses $PWD to figure out where that
# directory lives - and all this in a subshell, so we don't affect
# $PWD

STEAMROOT=$(cd "${0%/*}" && echo $PWD)

#determine platform
UNAME=`uname`
if [ "$UNAME" == "Darwin" ]; then
PLATFORM=osx32
# prepend our lib path to LD_LIBRARY_PATH
export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH="${STEAMROOT}"/${PLATFORM}:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH
elif [ "$UNAME" == "Linux" ]; then
PLATFORM=linux32
# prepend our lib path to LD_LIBRARY_PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="${STEAMROOT}"/${PLATFORM}:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
fi


if [ -z $STEAMEXE ]; then
STEAMEXE=steam
fi

ulimit -n 2048

# and launch steam
cd "$STEAMROOT"

STATUS=42
while [ $STATUS -eq 42 ]; do
${DEBUGGER} "${STEAMROOT}"/${PLATFORM}/${STEAMEXE} $@
STATUS=$?
# are we running osx?
if [ $STATUS -eq 42 -a ${PLATFORM} == "osx32" -a -f Info.plist ]; then
# are we running from in a bundle?
exec open "${STEAMROOT}"/../..
fi
done
exit $STATUS




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
gobbybobby said:

If steam was to make a Linux Frindly client I was concider Dropping windows! More developers across all industrys should support Linux.

Guest said:

If they do that, I might consider using Steam. :)

Guest said:

this is what linux needs to get into the gaming market..if this happens microsoft better start worrying,i mean they know linux is competition but once you start getting games to run easy on linux its goodbye windows

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Now if only there was better support for Ati video cards in Linux I'd seriously consider switching.

Guest said:

Yeah, but only 32-bit linux? Who uses 32-bit systems anymore? You have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get 32-bit programs to run, and it's not always successful.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My long awaited dream of a Linux game console comes one step closer to reality... muahahahaha(cough)hahaha

Midgetmax Midgetmax said:

Microsofts share just went down 5 points lol

tragicallyhip said:

It's no secret that despite all the positive thing's Linux bring's to the OS table there has really been no real compelling reason to adopt.With the launch of Ubuntu One and the up coming music store in Lucid,Linux gaming might just be the final piece that will complete the adoption Trifecta.(cloud computing and data storage,media access,and gaming) For myself and many other's,gaming has been the one thing that has kept me anchored to Windows, and now I am hopeful that Steam will finally free me from the shackles of Microsoft.Let's hope Mark Shuttleworth share's my reasoning and will work with Steam to bring this a reality.

Guest said:

Guys, one thing..

Linux desktop spec isn't "finished", meaning it's always in a state of flux with dependencies all over the place.

Now I know some of you think it's justaroundthecorner

http://tmrepository.com/trademarks/justaroundthecorner/

But it's not. Listen, I like Ubuntu as much as anyone, but OSX and Windows just work and all the parts are documented.

BTW there is a TM for that:

IfItWerentForGamesIWouldDitchWindows?

http://tmrepository.com/trademarks/ifitwerentforgamesiwouldd
tchwindows/

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Guys, one thing..

Linux desktop spec isn't "finished", meaning it's always in a state of flux with dependencies all over the place.

There are plenty of distros that are "finished" as you put it. By your own definition, Windows and Mac's OS aren't "finished" either, since they are always getting updated. Constant updating and refining of a product doesn't preclude something like games being developed for them - odds are, the graphics would be using OpenGL, which doesn't "flux" much. And if someone wanted to do something like optimize a Linux kernel for gaming, they could very easily "finalize" it quickly for distribution - just added tweaks for drivers as hardware moves forward would be necessary... Just like happens in every other OS out there.

Theoretically, with the flexibility and tweaking possible with Linux, you could create a very tight and efficient gaming kernel that would be much faster than something bloated like Windows or OSX... I'd still love to see a "gaming console" type of Linux system

Guest said:

"odds are, the graphics would be using OpenGL, which doesn't "flux" much"

Yes but what about X layer itself? What about alsa vs pulseaudio soundsystem? Ever seen certain apps that work fine one day then sound breaks on the next dist-upgrade?

It's been argued before, I know how much "you want to believe":

http://tmrepository.com/trademarks/iwanttobelieve/

The difference is that in Windows you can *still* run tons of binary software going WAY back to windows95 on windows 7. The changes between windows releases are finalized and stay consistent for 3-5yrs vs 6months for say Ubuntu?

I like Linux, but I'm a Pragmatard and realize Linux is good for some things but not others.

Feel free to debate at link below, but be prepared. We work with Linux everyday to know it's strengths and weakness, hence the site:

http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/

Guest said:

<Trolling>

You do realize that when you aren't contributing anything to the topic, you're just a troll, do you?

"The difference is that in Windows you can *still* run tons of binary software going WAY back to windows95 on windows 7. The changes between windows releases are finalized and stay consistent for 3-5yrs vs 6months for say Ubuntu?"

Tell that to my Halo 2 for Windows *Vista*. Or is it Vista older that 95?

Btw, I find it amusing how the MS fanboys always claim how they use Linux on daily basis, while at the same time showing complete ignorance even regarding Windows. Is there a TM for that?

</Trolling>

On topic: AFAIK Steam if just a distribution platform. In order to distribute something, that something must exist -- and I don't see all those developers with 10+ years of DirectX experience moving to OpenGL.

Guest said:

It can be used as a distribution platform. However with a steam port would come a source port (like with Mac OS X). Source is their game engine and it is where a lot of famous games come from (portal, left 4 dead, half life 2) and porting it would mean that windows would no longer have a monopoly on almost all of the most famous games.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yes but what about X layer itself? What about alsa vs pulseaudio soundsystem? Ever seen certain apps that work fine one day then sound breaks on the next dist-upgrade?

Ever seen a program that works fine until something (driver or otherwise) gets updated in Windows and it's suddenly broken? It happens the computer world over, not just relegated to the realm of Linux. But I don't expect rational and balanced argument or observation from a self-professed "linuxhater" here.

I use Linux all the time myself, both at work and at home, and have found it stable and reliable (and MUCH less resource intensive than Windows) when you know what you are doing.

But, by all means, keep up the trolling attempts. It's really pretty amusing.

Guest said:

"But, by all means, keep up the trolling attempts. It's really pretty amusing. "

Just keep using what works for you and so will I. I guess it's ok if people post "Windo$e resource intensive! MS share going down 5 points!, I'm going to dump windo$e if they add gamingz!".

As soon as you criticize Linux and how a vendor like Valve could *possibly* support so many distros, let alone forks of distros and 6month platform cycles, it's OMG you're da ebil trollz!

And it's nice to see you use the typical "WindowsIsBloated?"

http://tmrepository.com/trademarks/windowsisbloated/

Ever try installing Ubuntu 10.x on a Pentium III with 128 megs of ram? Do you honestly think Ubuntu 10.x will run (as fast) as a quad core cpu with 4gig ram?

p.s., halo2 for windows7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWXX45S-cfU

Now if he he can get it to run, I'm sure you can too "if you know what you are doing"

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Heh, the more you open your mouth, Guest, the more you give yourself away as a Windows troll... And someone who has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Windows is a fine product, don't get me wrong. I use it every day. But, see, I don't feel the need to jump to its defense and rabidly jump down the throat of anyone claiming other platforms might actually be able to do gaming too... That type of attitude is just shortsighted and ignorant. See, we're talking about what COULD be if someone put the effort towards it, and if the right tools were available for it to make sense. Doesn't call for a "no way Linux sux" diatribe from the peanut gallery.

And, for the record, I've run Linux very well on extremely limited systems that would choke on Windows. The low overhead makes it possible, hence the "bloat" comment - just calling a spade a spade. And how fast it ran on a system would all depend on what you're testing with... You wouldn't expect to run Windows 7 with any kind of efficiency on that Pentium III with 128 megs of RAM, so why would you even ask the question about Ubuntu? Of course, to make Linux look bad... Leave out the fact that there are several distros of Linux available with tiny kernels that can run on something like that just fine.

But hey, trollz will be trollz, right?

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