Valve: Steam for Linux isn't being developed

By Matthew · 20 replies
Aug 23, 2010
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  1. Evidence of a Linux Steam client surfaces every few months, sprinkling hope throughout the neglected penguin gaming community. The proof is usually limited to a trace of Linux code in Valve's software or a seemingly related job listing. A pending Linux release seems plausible because Steam was recently brought to Mac OS X, but the developer's lips have been sealed until now. In a recent sit-down with, Valve marketing VP Doug Lombardi commented on the hearsay.

    Read the whole story
  2. edison5do

    edison5do TS Rookie Posts: 231

    Sad for linux User´s..... But what "this Gen" games are in linux anyways..., somebody tell me cause as I'm always reading reviews, and watchin videos about games and they never mention linux anywhere....
  3. Well, it is understandable. Linux isn't and will never be an attractive gaming sector. When 1 out of 10 developers makes a linux-compatible game, why would Valve waste resources on creating a Linux-compatible Steam? For what? To be like Onlive, as in, watching people play Windows, and Mac games from your linux Steam? Come on.

    I love Linux, but whenever their developers start WORKING (not changing the min,max,close buttons to the left; I see you Ubuntu!) on making certain distros fucntions to work as efficiently or better than their Windows/Mac counterparts, to think of a Linux-compatible Steam just seems so delusional as of now. And Valve nows this.
  4. DokkRokken

    DokkRokken TS Rookie Posts: 267

    Just purely on the basis of making money, expending time on Linux compatible software isn't in Valve's interest. Apple users do constitute a sizable user-base, so it's worthwhile for Steam to chase them, whereas Linux is still on the fringes. Also, I think a lot of people who use Linux still have a Windows OS for a dual-boot option, as they are a savvier crowd of users and would game using that install.
  5. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    would this allow ease in hacking? I heard a few things about PS3 taking away the option to install a Linux distro because people were hacking games which you played online... this could be complete bullcrap but it's the first thing that came to my mind.

    If anyone feels like informing me a little, I would appreciate the wisdom.
  6. posermobile89

    posermobile89 TS Rookie Posts: 72

    I hear sony removed the other OS option because famous iphone hacker geohot had used that option to game full system control, finally hacking the ps3, and sony couldnt have that.
  7. @trillionsin

    No it wouldn't. When you create a game compatible with a operating system, you make it as much secure as it is on another compatible operating system (of course, assuming it is not simply a port).

    Valve's move is a smart one. Linux, is not specifically built for gaming, and from the looks of its terrible developers, it seems it will never be.

    The problem with Linux is that it tries to be so different, that it becomes unlikeable to the masses, therefore making developers and companies like Valve, not to invest in it.
  8. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TS Booster Posts: 218   +11

    I wouldn't go that far. Linux doesn't have terrible developers. As a matter of fact, their anti-virus/anti-spyware that comes with the OS is superior to all of the other ones out there. Nobody seems to have been able to hack into a Linux machine. Given, there might not be much use in it. Regardless, it remains one of the most secure operating systems out there thus far, even above Windows 7. Linux is based off of Unix, and Unix was the OS of choice for IBM for a while. They've since moved on I believe, but it was their main platform for their servers and some of their mainframes. Don't knock Linux per se. The problem with it is that not too many users have a use for it. Mac OSX and Windows 7 are useful because they pander to the masses. They're intuitive, easy to use, and low maintenance.

    Linux is a lot of trouble. It can develop bad sectors on the hard drive, it doesn't dual-boot well, it needs constant updates and maintenance, it doesn't interface well, and it doesn't play games for you. What it does is the basics. Web surfing. Email. Productivity like typing papers or something. It still carries MANY of the business oriented features that were a big part of Unix. (Including high security). So many people are focused on games and media that Linux just doesn't find much of a place in the rest of the world, and it won't if they keep it the way it is. It's also why Steam doesn't want to make a client for the OS. It's not meant for gaming. Period. The only way gaming can happen is through Wine, or creating an non-Linux environment to play in like an XP environment. That's an awful lot of trouble just to play a few games.

    Steam just won't make a Linux client. Not until it gains massive popularity. Which it won't because people like what they're used to. And what they're are used to is Windows and Mac. And that's the end of the discussion.
  9. @IvanAwfulitch

    What the hell? You counter-argue my argument, by agreeing with everything I said? Wow, that must be new.

    And I've said this before to other people: Linux is not more secure than Windows or Mac, it's simply not targeted by hackers. And you can't really compare AVs, as they are not part of the OS, they are corporate software that are simply compatible with the OS.
  10. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TS Booster Posts: 218   +11

    You misunderstand me. I'm not making a counter-argument. I'm refining your argument. Some of your points went a little further than was logical. Linux doesn't have bad developers, and it's not unlikeable, and those were my main two points. Linux is a decent OS, it just doesn't do what most people want. They'd like it if it were more flexible in terms of interfacing. It's likeable, but you need to have limited expectations of it.
  11. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TS Booster Posts: 218   +11

    In addition, what you've been telling people about Linux's security is wrong. The way Linux works is it utilizes "an administrative (root) user that maintains and operates the system, and desktop users who only run the software on the system". Basically, it makes it so that the core operating system is protected even from your own actions. It's what made Unix the OS of choice for IBM for all those years. And it's why breaking into a Linux system is much more difficult than a Windows or Macintosh machine. It's not about the DESIRE to break into it. It's whether or not it's easy. And the answer is that it isn't easy. It doesn't matter if there aren't very many hackers who are out to break Linux machines. The point here is that Linux has a good defense in place.
  12. Decimae

    Decimae TS Rookie Posts: 78

    I disagree.
    I never heard about this before, but NFTS seems to have the same problem after a quick google search.
    That's just nonsense. I've had multiple XP(XP is still the biggest windows version) installations broken because I tried multibooting; when I installed Linux with them everything was solved. GRUB is just a lot better then Windows' boot loader.
    Windows does too, and it is more annoying about it.
    Sorry, I don't get what you mean with this. English isn't my first language though.
    I have to agree with this, but if steam came to linux, more developers and drivers would follow.
    And a lot more. GIMP, Blender, VLC, etc. With WINE you can add a lot more to that list
    Linux is fine for media. You have sufficient mediaplayers for Linux (VLC, XBMC, etc). The only problem is no game developers.
    No OS is meant for gaming. The only game-specific features in Windows are DirectX and some saved games folder. Linux has OpenGL as an alternative. Valve just doesn't want to make Steam for a low marketshare OS.
    [qoute]The only way gaming can happen is through Wine, or creating an non-Linux environment to play in like an XP environment. That's an awful lot of trouble just to play a few games.[/quote]
    And that's the only reason Linux has a low marketshare under consumers.

    It won't gain popularity because it doesn't have most games.
    I'm pretty sure a Windows user can switch to Linux. Windows to Ubuntu is easier then Windows to OS X imo, which is something happening a lot these days.

    So to conclude, not many gamers use linux because of the bad drivers and the low amount of games, and linux has bad drivers and a low amount of games because not many gamers use it.
  13. olibenu

    olibenu TS Rookie Posts: 23

    the os wars!
  14. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    Yep, it's definitely the OS wars. Whenever someone mentions the word Linux I swear everyone goes up in arms as if linux is the second coming.

    I like linux as much as the next girl, but I agree that their developers seem to focus on the wrong things (like someone mentioned, putting the min\max\close buttons on the left instead of the right - who seriously thought THAT was going to be a good idea?). It's little things like that which makes linux as whole look like it's not designed for how people work.

    There is a reason those buttons are on the right, and while having the OPTION to change it if you happen to be left handed is a very good and forward-thinking idea, making it the default and requiring a bunch of lines in the console to change it was just plain stupid. No other developers go so out of their way to make things inconvenient, and this is why Linux will continue to be a niche market, limited to hobbyists and folks who happen to get it bundled on a netbook.

    I don't blame Steam for not really moving on doing a version for linux.
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    There's a lot of empty rhetoric here and I think it is worth criticizing some of your talking points. My purpose here is to get you (and others) doing some critical thinking, because it sounds like you don't really understand *why* the things you've said are true.

    I strongly disagree. The only AVs that can *come* with Linux have to be license-free and are often open-source. That leaves ClamAV, which is actually a pretty bad virus scanner. For the longest time, it has had NO real-time protection and poor detection rates even against 'second rate' virus scanners (see AV comparatives for the details). I respect ClamWin though, but I'm just sayng it isn't even close to being 'better' than popular Windows alternatives.

    I won't hold this against Linux though, because viruses aren't really its own problem -- ClamWin only exists because of Linux-based email servers serving Windows clients anyway. ;-) I just wanted to correct you on this, because your statement seems very untrue to me.

    Just like movies 'based on a true story' have nothing to do with the actual events that occurred, being 'based on Unix' means absolutely nothing. Just about the only thing they have in common is POSIX. Since Unix has been pretty much defunct for over 15 years, Since that time, Linux has been effectively, completely rewritten from end-to-end many times over. There's pretty much nothing from Unix left, as evidenced by SCO's losses in court against the Linux community.
    That isn't Linux's problem, I think you're aware of that though.
    Linux's defacto boot loader (GRUB) is quite possible THE most capable and flexible boot loader that has ever existed. "Well" is obviously subjective, but show me where Windows' boot loader is superior.
    Ridiculously false. You make it sound like a technical limitation, but that's not true at all. Linux has support for many cutting edge 3D cards and complete support for OpenGL. There are a number of commercial 3D games that can run on Linux, but most of them are older like Unreal Tounrament 2004, Return to Castle Wolfenstein or World of Warcraft (with the help of Wine).

    The problem here is developers don't want to bother writing a huge, expensive game for a tiny, miniscule market share. 3D games these days take years to develop and its costs money. It just isn't worth it, but there's no reason it couldn't happen.

    Huh? What are these 'business features' you are talking about? If anything, Windows is a more business-oriented OS than Linux, in most respects.

    I'm able to make a living because Windows 7 isn't "low maintainence", but Windows definitely is easier to administer (not necessarily maintain, though).

    Honestly, that should have been your entire reply -- This is the truth! Mostly everything else was hog wash.
  16. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    Those of us that write code AND use Linux would argue with you on every point.

    Boy; this board ought to exclude Mac and Linux users as a courtesy, to shield them from those that just bash everything. OH! I forgot ...
    When the only tool in the toolbox is a hammer, EVERYTHING looks like a nail​
  17. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 612

    I don't even want gaming in my Linux in the first place, its for serious use not day to day crap.
  18. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I was reading with great interest, ready to post a detailed pro-linux reply, but to be honest, Rick and Jobeard pretty much sum it all up!

    Some real Linux hog-wash in this thread thats for sure!! (Sorry Rick, for the deliberate comment steal! ;) )

    In addition to the following comment from Rick though, I would like the add the following:

    I agree with his comment in regards to AV protection. In all fairness it really isn't that good - The only reason (most) Linux installs fair so well, as far as I understand it is because:

    1. Most virus' are written for Windows platforms (an obvious advantage to Linux!)
    2. Unless your very unlucky, its very unlikely you'll actually give it permission to run (the virus that is).

    I actually happen to think it would be weird using Linux as a gaming platform. GPU's generally are very well supported, and more than capable (along with the actual install itself) to run games, they just lack development in that particular area.

    I have to say I agree there. I use my W7 install for gaming (now I've started using it for that), and if I need to do something specifically with MS Office or a MS based application.

    For everything else, including day to day use, I use my Linux install. I find it much more efficient at getting the job done, well for what I need to do anyway. :)
  19. olibenu

    olibenu TS Rookie Posts: 23

    so tux boys can't have a little fun?
  20. bakape

    bakape TS Enthusiast Posts: 123

    To anyone who is getting the wrong ideas about Linux reading through this all, generally I'd also add it's much more flexible than Win and has a wider or perhaps just a lot easier to dig up variety of free software. And these are the two points that drove me in. You can roughly draw a parallel to internet browsers - Do you like Fire Fox or do you prefer to stick to IE? If you dumped the latter, give Ubuntu or any other distro a try from a flash stick, maybe you'll find something for yourself and who knows.
  21. Valve won't port Steam to Linux, until the dual-booters can convince them.
    They are doing it, but it's likely last on their priority list.
    Send an email to Valve, ask them to work on it.

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