Steam for Linux Now in Open Beta

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 19 2012 11:48 PM
Valve has some great news for the open source gaming crowd. The Steam for Linux beta program is now open to the public, meaning anyone and everyone can join. All that's required is that you download the latest Steam Linux client (or upgrade your current Steam for Linux client to the latest release) and you're good to go.

The new client introduces a few changes and improvements, including:
  • Linux -- Fixed excessive CPU usage by the Steam client when running Team Fortress 2
  • Linux -- Fixed overlay crash when starting Cubeman
  • Big Picture -- Improved back navigation behavior throughout user interface
  • Big Picture -- Added discount timers and other user interface to store

Steam Linux

This is really the beginning of what Valve's Gabe Newell undoubtedly hopes will be a revolution in gaming. Prior to the launch of Windows 8, Newell was convinced Microsoft's next generation operating system -- and specifically, Redmond's walled garden approach to Windows -- would be the death of PC gaming. He called Windows 8 a "catastrophe" for everyone involved in the PC space, and thus began the transition to Linux.

To be clear, Steam isn't leaving Windows, not unless it's forcibly pushed out (and that's unlikely to happen), but there is a major push towards supporting Linux. It begins with the Steam client itself, and at some point, Valve will launch a Linux-based "Steam Box" PC for the living room to compete with consoles.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Dec 20 2012 1:30 PM

Works great! My son and I played some fun co-op last night, with me on Linux and him on Windows.

Steam has built-in voice chat, but If you still might also want to grab the native versions of Mumble ( and TeamSpeak (, since a lot of people seem to prefer them.

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RWilliams replied on Thu, Dec 20 2012 2:36 PM

I'm excited, but I still haven't been able to give it a proper test. Ubuntu refuses to work well on the main rig, and the network card in the second isn't supported under Linux. I'll need to use a third PC just to get Ubuntu up and running to test this thing!

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OSunday replied on Thu, Dec 20 2012 4:25 PM

Having steam's big picture integrated with Linux means that HTPC's will expand further into not requiring Windows or typical OS's to run well, I'm really excited for that.

The fact that gaming and Linux haven't gone hand and hand has turned myself (and probably countless others) from using it as a primary operating system, I'm sure the transition of steam into being fully compatible with Linux is going to change that as well and open up a huge number of users to Linux as well as creating a vast market for steam from current Linux users

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realneil replied on Thu, Dec 20 2012 7:51 PM

Both of my Linux boxes are put away right now, but I'll be hooking up and trying this as soon as possible.

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