Steam for Linux limited beta launching in October

By on September 27, 2012, 4:00 PM

Valve's efforts to port Steam over to Linux is still a work in progress, but apparently it’s far along enough that the company is ready to start beta testing its digital distribution platform on the open-source operating system. According to a blog post by the Valve Linux Team, an internal beta will begin sometime next week, with an external beta limited to 1,000 participants set to open its doors as soon as October.

The private external beta will include support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above as well as access to one Valve game. There was no mention of which game will be featured in the beta, although it’s most likely Left 4 Dead 2. The company has been using that game to test out Steam for Linux internally and has actually found the game to run a bit faster on Linux with OpenGL than on Windows with either OpenGL or DirectX.

Valve will provide a sign up page for the external beta in the coming weeks and select participants based on the hardware they’re running -- the idea is to test Steam for Linux on as many different hardware configurations as possible. Owning a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 will not affect eligibility for the external beta.

The company first confirmed it was working on a Linux port of both the Steam service and Source engine back in April. Apparently, the project had been in the works for way longer than that, but only recently Valve CEO Gabe Newell decided to throw more resources into it. The thinking is that the company might be looking into Linux to power its "open hardware platforms", which they recently expressed an interest in.




User Comments: 7

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ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

This is going to be sick. Does anyone know if buying a game would get you access to the windows and linux versions of it?

gobbybobby said:

This is going to be sick. Does anyone know if buying a game would get you access to the windows and linux versions of it?

I would assume so, seeing as MAC/PC versions cross, it would not make sense if it doesn't.

yorro said:

With the advent of Windows8, this could take the world by storm. All they have to worry about is execution.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

With the advent of Windows8, this could take the world by storm. All they have to worry about is execution.

That'd be really nice if it did. I think if it got enough attention, they could probably refine a linux distro well enough to serve to the general public. Of course I don't know how long it'd stay free if they started getting a large market share of computer users.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

That'd be really nice if it did. I think if it got enough attention, they could probably refine a linux distro well enough to serve to the general public. Of course I don't know how long it'd stay free if they started getting a large market share of computer users.

A paid-for version will fail. No doubt.

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