Mmm, Steam'd penguins. Sounds delightful, doesn't it? Good news, Linux
fans -- the developers at Valve
are hard at work cooking up a version of the Steam
game platform to serve up to the open-source community, along with a side dish of the Source game engine (and Left 4 Dead 2 specifically), both of which it plans to port over to Ubuntu
. We know that last bit will elicit some groans from die-hard Linux users who'd rather not touch Ubuntu with a ten-foot pole, but hey, it's a start.
"Why Ubuntu? There are a couple of reasons for that. First, we're just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are," Valve stated in a blog post. "Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. This doesn't mean that Ubuntu will be the only distribution we support. Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future."
How far in the future is not something Valve disclosed, nor did it say when it hopes to have Steam ready for Ubuntu. What Valve did say is that it has three goals in mind, which include getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality (no half-baked ports, in other words), optimizing a version of Left 4 Dead 2 running at a high frame rate with OpenGL, and porting additional Valve titles.
"Since the Steam client isn’t much without a game, we’re also porting L4D2 to Ubuntu," Valve added. "This tests the game-related features of the Steam client, in addition to L4D2 gameplay on Ubuntu. Over the last few months, excellent progress has been made on several fronts and it now runs natively on Ubuntu 12.04. We’re working hard to improve the performance and have made good progress (more on that in a future post). Our goal is to have L4D2 performing under Linux as well as it performs under Windows."
If you want to keep an eye on Valve's development, be sure to bookmark its brand new Valve Linux blog