Valve’s much-ballyhooed expansion of the Source
engine and Steam to the Linux world just took a major step forward with the announcement of a private external beta. If you’re running Ubuntu, you could be one of the lucky 1,000 users to take Steam and a Valve game for a spin sometime in October. Of course, if you’re really lucky, you’re probably gearing up for the private internal beta, which starts next week.
Mere mortals can watch the Valve Linux team blog
for the sign-up sheet, which has yet to be posted. In a blog post today, the team says that, while Big Picture mode won’t be available in the beta, you’ll have everything you need: Steam
and a Valve game. The team doesn’t say which game that will be, but given that it has been working with Left 4 Dead 2 lately, that seems to be a likely candidate.
Left 4 Dead 2, which Valve has been focusing on as it moves Steam and Source to Linux.
You’ll be responsible for having a system with Ubuntu 12.04 or newer and for knowing what you’re doing with Linux. The team will make a 64-bit version of the software available at some future date (and hasn’t said that it will be part of this beta) and also plans to have an improved user install at some point down the road. The team stresses that Ubuntu
won’t be the only Linux distro as things progress, but that it wants to stick to Ubuntu for now, to make testing and changes more efficient.