As promised, Valve has entered the next phase in its effort to port the Steam digital distribution platform to Linux. Starting this week the company is taking submissions from Ubuntu users eager to try out the service. There are only 1,000 spots available and Valve says it is 'primarily interested in experienced Linux users' to fill those.
The only requirements are having a Steam account and Ubuntu 12.04 or above. Other than that you’ll have to complete a beta tester application designed to weed out less technical users and less experienced gamers. Valve is also expected to 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.
Those offered a spot on the beta will be provided with a copy of the Steam for Linux client. Although it’s still a work in progress, the client should include all the basic functionality of the Windows and OS X variants, such as the ability to purchase and download titles, track progress and communicate with friends.
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 executive has been critical about Windows 8 and is supposedly looking into Linux to power "open hardware platforms", which they’ve expressed an interest in.