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  (Source: geek.com)
For those who want to participate in the Steam for Linux beta program, download the most recent Steam Linux client or upgrade

Valve Corporation has announced that the Steam for Linux beta program is now open to the public.

Up until this point, the Steam for Linux beta program was closed to the public, but making it available itsn't the only Steam-related news. Steam for Linux beta client bugs will be tracked through GitHub, which is a change from the use of forums in the closed version. Anyone can access the Steam for Linux repository with a free GitHub account in order to create, edit and track new issues as well as search others in the database.

There are a few other changes as well, such as the Steam installer package repository, and fixes to excessive CPU usage by the Steam client during Team Fortress 2 as well as overlay crash in Cubemen and better back navigation behavior/added discount behaviors in Big Picture.

For those who want to participate in the Steam for Linux beta program, download the most recent Steam Linux client or upgrade your current client to the latest version.

Back in October, Valve announced that it was allowing users to apply for the Steam for Linux beta. Valve said it was specifically looking for experienced users familiar with Linux and are running Ubuntu 12.04 or above. There were only 1,000 spots available in the registry.

Source: Steam



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Whos still using Linux?
By Mitch101 on 12/20/2012 8:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ive got to ask because even my buddies who are Linux admins/engineers use Apples out of the office. Even then they don't recommend Ubuntu. Not sure who uses Linux outside the office. If so what flavor or Linux are you using and why?




RE: Whos still using Linux?
By vol7ron on 12/20/2012 9:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ubuntu LTE


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By drycrust3 on 12/20/2012 10:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even then they don't recommend Ubuntu ... If so what flavor or Linux are you using and why?

I'm not surprised they don't recommend Ubuntu, I certainly don't. I was a keen advocate for Ubuntu until they brought out the Unity desktop, which is one of the worst desktops I have ever encountered. I must admit, it does look better than DOS, but it may as well be DOS because you can only run one program at a time.
I use Linux Deepin, which is from China.
Why? Because it's got nice colours, because it's the only version of Linux that I could find that uses the Ubuntu distribution OS (which, if you got rid of Unity, seems to be the best) and it shows it has a desktop in the style of Gnome 2. The importance of a desktop in the style of Gnome 2 is that along the top is where YOUR OWN selection of important programs are located, and the concurrently running programs are DISPLAYED along the bottom of the screen (you may have to activate the bar along the bottom of the screen, but it isn't difficult and you only need to do it once). This arrangement IS THE MOST EFFICIENT ONE AROUND, and as such to use any other style of desktop is asking for inefficiency.
I would recommend any person wanting to start out in Linux to get a distribution that comes with a desktop in the Gnome 2 style as a default, e.g. Gnome 2, MATE (a fork of Gnome 2), Gnome 3 - classic, etc. I don't see why a beginner should be expected to download and install a better desktop, the responsibility should be on the distribution to provide the best available ... and no, UNITY IS DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST DESKTOP AROUND.
The desktop I actually use is Gnome 3 - classic, which has some slight differences to Gnome 2, but it looks and operates mostly the same.
Lastly, to those within the Linux community, I don't like to knock Linux community in public, but I have spoken my mind so many times within the community, and so have thousands of others, and no one listens. What more can I do? The guy asked a legitimate question and wanted to know why it was no one recommends Ubuntu.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By B3an on 12/20/2012 10:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but it may as well be DOS because you can only run one program at a time

Is that true?? I've not used Ubuntu in ages but if thats true thats just ridiculous.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By BrotherPointy on 12/21/2012 5:25:26 AM , Rating: 1
Drycrust is one of those guys who won't accept anything other than Windows XP era user interfaces. I'm sure you know the kind. There are many of them around, I would take their comments with a grain of salt, they're usually full of FUD and hatred against anything that is out of their comfort zone.

Of course it's not true, Unity can multitask at least as well as OS X, it handles running apps in a pretty OS X-ish way. Without being too familiar with OS X I'll take the risk of saying it probably does it a little better than OS X.

Unity is a fine UI and maybe even superior to the others, but you do have to step way out of your comfort zone for more than 5 minutes and get used to something different which is what a lot of people isn't willing to do.

The serious problem with Unity IMO is that it's bloated, and I mean BLOATED. If it was faster I'd totally use it though.

By the way, I do recommend Ubuntu if it suits your use case and you have a supported/beefy machine.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By drycrust3 on 12/21/2012 3:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unity can multitask at least as well as OS X, it handles running apps in a pretty OS X-ish way.

It does multitask really well? I'm afraid I've no idea what you mean by "OS X-ish" because its so long since I've used a Mac. Does Unity let you see which apps are running, and then you can change from the one you're working on to another by simply clicking a mouse? And say you get some new email, does it alert you to this? If it does then the Unity desktop must have improved immensely since I last tried it. Can you please put a video of it doing all these things so efficiently on Youtube and then post the link here?
quote:
but you do have to step way out of your comfort zone for more than 5 minutes and get used to something different which is what a lot of people isn't willing to do.

So ... maybe it doesn't do all the multitasking stuff one normally expects of a desktop ... can you clarify what this "something different" is? Could it be, for example, that you have to actually TYPE in words to find the program you want to run? Or "Alt-TAB" to switch programs (which is how I got RSI)? If that is so ... wouldn't that sort of sound like an inferior type of desktop compared to most modern desktops, like Gnome 2, KDE, Cinamon, Gnome 3, Gnome 3 classic, etc?
quote:
The serious problem with Unity IMO is that it's bloated, and I mean BLOATED. If it was faster I'd totally use it though.

Oh ... I see ... so when the guy asked for people to recommend a Linux Distribution people could use ... you would recommend Ubuntu even though it is "BLOATED", not user friendly (well isn't that what "get used to something different which is what a lot of people isn't willing to do" means?), get people using bad keyboard habits, and that you yourself don't use it? Well that is very helpful.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By BrotherPointy on 12/21/2012 5:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
1. I won't post a link that's your homework, but yes, Unity at least since 12.04 does all of those.

2. It does do the multitasking stuff one normally expects of a desktop, what I mean by "something different" is the Dash. It does't *make* you type to get to a program, you can do that with the mouse just fine but unlike a menu the Dash does more than launching programs so you can't compare them. Look up Unity Lenses.

You don't have to Alt+Tab to get to another running program.

3. The bloat doesn't matter if you have a needlesly powerful computer which a lot of people today does, it just so happens I don't.

If your definition of "user friendly" is "exactly what I'm used to" then no it isn't user friendly, but my definition of user friendly is "helps the user perform his tasks without asking too much from him" and Ubuntu does that for many use cases, that most people have to get used to it first has nothing to do with it. Otherwise we can just as well say that OS X is not user friendly because it would also ask people like you to step out of the comfort zone.

I do not use Unity day to day but my use case doesn't reflect that of many other people and there is a HUGE gap between not using something and claiming it is "one of the worst desktops I have ever encountered".

I do use Unity recreatively when I have the time.

"Well that is very helpful."

More than your comments, yes.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By drycrust3 on 12/22/2012 8:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I won't post a link that's your homework, but yes, Unity at least since 12.04 does all of those.

The videos I looked at did not show any examples of multitasking, nor did they show any evidence you could see what programs were concurrently running.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By hughlle on 12/24/2012 7:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
Seems to me you ought to try the thing so you can at least base your argument from experience ;)


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 5:41:24 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Of course it's not true, Unity can multitask at least as well as OS X, it handles running apps in a pretty OS X-ish way. Without being too familiar with OS X I'll take the risk of saying it probably does it a little better than OS X.


So you're saying that it does multitasking REALLY well? Its clear that you aren't too familiar with OS X given that multitasking, sharing assets between applications, and working with multiple virtual desktops are the UI strengths of OS X. Superior multitasking and window/workspace management are the main reasons I use OS X as my main work environment and use Windows only for games.

Unity does not sound very good for multitasking compared to other operating systems, but then again I haven't used Ubuntu since they switched to Unity so I wouldn't know.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By BrotherPointy on 12/21/2012 6:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
"I haven't used Ubuntu since they switched to Unity so I wouldn't know"

Unity has improved a lot since it came out. Many people say 12.04 is the first real Unity.

I may not be TOO familiar with OS X but I am intimately familiar with intense multitasking. I use 16 virtual desktops when I'm working just so you have an idea, and I can tell you that in the couple times I used OS X in recent times I wasn't impressed with it. I thought it was much inferior to my workhorse setup. I also think Unity is inferior in this regard to my work rig but I recognize that most people doesn't have my requirements and for them it is fine. As I said I'd even give it a spin for work if it wasn't so bloated.

Windows is not in the competition in this front, it isn't even capable of having real virtual desktops or at least it wasn't last I checked.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 6:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
What used to be Spaces and Expose in OS X is now Mission Control, and whether it is through side mouse buttons, keyboard shortcuts, or trackpad gestures, it is really excellent for managing work between windows and multiple virtual desktops. It is a huge reason why so many developers I know will use OS X as their main desktop and run VMs through that. There is a slight learning curve but nothing huge.

You're correct about Windows though, it is a joke when it comes to that sort of thing, which is bizarre given that Microsoft makes so much money selling operating systems. It is good for games though, but that's thanks to third parties like Valve and Blizzard. Microsoft's own services for PC gaming like GFWL is a disaster.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By BrotherPointy on 12/21/2012 8:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Gotcha, I think the Mac I used was still running the version before Lion. I'll try to try the latest one whenever I have a chance.

Those features you mention don't sound like anything Unity doesn't pull off, however. Except trackpad gestures but that's just Linux lagging behind in general.

At any rate even if it's better than Unity I really don't see it being superior to Plasma Desktop with 8 desktops on every Activity which you can create/customize/pause/resume on the fly. Prettier definitely, cooler maybe too, but anything less than Plasma Desktop is not what I would call "excellent". ;-)


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 8:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I'm familiar with Plasma. Some of its features were actually taken from OS X going all the way back to 2005. Either way, it is less about flash and glitz and all about raw functionality. It is a great environment for multitasking, and if you're willing to go deeper then there is scripting via Automator or commands via Terminal.

They're both very good, and far better than what Windows or Unity has to offer.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By drycrust3 on 12/22/2012 1:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
So what sort of set up do you have then?


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By Visual on 12/21/2012 6:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
Of course it's not true. That info came from someone who then said they based their choice of distro on "got nice colours"... and I stopped reading.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By drycrust3 on 12/21/2012 4:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
So what do you base your choice of distro on? How good it does a job as a desktop?


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By mfenn on 12/20/2012 11:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
Try Linux Mint, which comes with Mate (a fork of Gnome 2)


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By Schadenfroh on 12/20/2012 11:08:16 PM , Rating: 3
I use (Fedora and/or Red Hat) Linux for everything but gaming. I find it much more suitable for software development than Windows.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By faust_67 on 12/21/2012 12:56:29 AM , Rating: 2
I use Mint for my personal needs and Windows at work (I have no choice). Linux offers me everything I need: tons of languages/compilers and frameworks, mySQL/Postgres, Apache, Eclipse, Firefox(with firebug)/Chrome, VirtualBox, the Gimp, etc. for work and Skype, VLC for other stuff. I hate Unity in Ubuntu and even more Gnome 3. They seem to want to do what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8. The only thing that Linux does not offer is gaming, but since I am not a gamer, it is not a deal breaker. I am kind of sad of the lack of adoption of Linux by the public, but I know it is not harder to use nowadays than any other OS: I gave a laptop with Ubuntu (10.04) to my mother who is 71 years old. That was the first she used a computer, but with my help (I remotely controlled her system) she grasped it very fast and now enjoys browsing on line. If she can do it with a supposedly "geeky" system, anybody can do it.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By ResStellarum on 12/21/2012 11:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
I am, and I never left. Specifically, I use Arch Linux. I'm currently running Team Fortress 2, and it's a blast ;)


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By tecknurd on 12/22/2012 2:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If so what flavor or Linux are you using and why?

I use Calculate Linux. It is Gentoo based that uses the Portage tree and its own Overlay tree. It is not like Sabayon Linux that uses a different set of tree for its package. I use Gentoo because it goes for stability at a cost of bleeding edge. Being bleeding edge is a consequence because it goes for features over functionality or stability.

At home, I use Linux for e-mail, web, DVR, and just anything people do with their computer running Windows or Mac. I do not play games, so Linux works well for me. Windows costs too much to buy, so I only have the money to run Linux. Macs are good if you have the money. Making a hackintosh can not be done anymore with out a real Mac.

I do not recommend Ubuntu unless using the long term edition. Linux Mint is better than Ubuntu. Pre-compiled distributions have issues with proprietary drivers and a higher chances of having instability setup. Installing programs by compiling is still the best way to use Linux. Gentoo and Arch makes it easy to install programs by compiling them.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By herrdoktor330 on 12/23/2012 10:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Making a hackintosh can not be done anymore with out a real Mac.


*DISCLAIMER - Using MAC OSX on a "Not Mac" violates the EULA and makes you a bad person. So don't be bad and only run Mac on a Mac. Unless you're a turd burgler. Then, by all means, burgle turds and violate EULAs to your liking.*

Not true, actually. You can run an OSX 10.8 VM Image and mount Flash memory inside that VM to create your appropriate Hackintosh OS Install Disk. So you could technically do this on Linux and Windows, assuming you have the VM image, an OS disk (10.8 works pretty well), and the appropriate fixes for VM Ware in place to do it.

But I'm with you on Mint Linux. It's Ubuntu done properly. I run Maya on my g41/Intel C2D 7300 file server/media center. I've never used Gentoo or Arch. But if automates your compiling and grabs dependencies you need, then that's worth checking out.


RE: Whos still using Linux?
By inteli722 on 12/23/2012 12:12:26 AM , Rating: 2
I'm using a distro based off of Ubuntu (not Unity, Gnome) called Linux Mint on my laptop. It's not powerful enough for stuff like games, so I might as well. On an SSD it's got in there, it cold boots to the login screen in 15-20 seconds. Very fast. Linux is much lighter weight, and once Game developer support is much Higher i'll consider moving my desktop to it.


Dawn of a new Day
By vol7ron on 12/20/2012 9:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
A big advantage, in my humble opinion, that Microsoft had over the other OSes was its monopoly over online gaming - let's face it DirectX is nice from visual, audio, peripheral management, etc. Steam has really been making great changes in becoming available on OSX and (hopefully) Linux; though, I think it's still OpenGL-based, rather than Direct3D/X.




RE: Dawn of a new Day
By inighthawki on 12/20/2012 9:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Linux; though, I think it's still OpenGL-based, rather than Direct3D/X.

And never will be because DirectX is a propriety and core component of windows. DirectX is not just a user level API, but works hand in hand with the graphics kernel in Windows, which is why the newer versions are so hard to get working in WINE just to simulate it.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By TakinYourPoints on 12/20/2012 10:48:42 PM , Rating: 1
DirectX is a proprietary graphics API that is exclusive to Windows and the XBox 360. Games for OS X and Linux use OpenGL.

On the plus side, OpenGL optimizations have been going very well for Valve. In the two years since Steam launched for OS X they got Source to run very fast on it, and they currently have Source games running faster under Linux than they do in Windows. Granted, 315fps in Linux vs 270fps in Windows gives no practical benefits since it is already so fast, but it is still worth noting.

In the end, this is great and very forward looking for Valve, especially given that the future of their business partly lies in DOTA 2. Getting DOTA 2 to run very fast on cheap hardware (remember, DOTA 2 is huge in China and Brazil) on a free OS like Linux is one place they'll benefit for sure.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By inighthawki on 12/20/2012 11:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On the plus side, OpenGL optimizations have been going very well for Valve. In the two years since Steam launched for OS X they got Source to run very fast on it, and they currently have Source games running faster under Linux than they do in Windows. Granted, 315fps in Linux vs 270fps in Windows gives no practical benefits since it is already so fast, but it is still worth noting.


I'm still very suspicious of this claim, since they've released no details. Is it one particular scenario, one particular configuration of hardware. Did they use DX9 or DX11. If DX9, then LOL of course OpenGL 4.2 will be better. Lets compare a brand new API to one that's 10 years old...


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By TakinYourPoints on 12/20/2012 11:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect, they released all of those details. Hardware was a GTX 680, Intel i7-3930k, and 32GB of RAM, and the operating systems were Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04. All current Source engine games use DX9, not DX10 or 11, so that part is irrelevant. The version of OpenGL being newer is also beside the point, it took months of optimizations and custom driver work to get L4D2 on Linux to go all the way up from 6fps to what they're running now.

Either way, I'm all for cross-platform to work. It has been in Microsoft's best interests to make sure that the best gaming experiences are on their platforms, despite the fact that OpenGL ports and original games on Mac, PS3, and iOS (through OpenGL ES) have been solid for years.

Valve (and Blizzard) are mostly responsible for keeping PC gaming viable in the first place, so if they want to open things up to platforms other than Windows or Mac, I'm all for it.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By inighthawki on 12/21/2012 12:59:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Incorrect, they released all of those details. Hardware was a GTX 680, Intel i7-3930k, and 32GB of RAM, and the operating systems were Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04

Sorry I should have clarified, I worded that very poorly. I meant whether or not it only did that well on one hardware configuration, or others as well? What were their OTHER tests. They could have easily tested it on 100 machines and cherry picked the one that worked best. They could've had dozens of lower end systems that run significantly worse.

quote:
Source engine games use DX9, not DX10 or 11, so that part is irrelevant.

That doesn't mean they don't have internal builds with different rendering engines. Knowing what they tested against is incredibly relevant.

quote:
The version of OpenGL being newer is also beside the point, it took months of optimizations and custom driver work to get L4D2 on Linux to go all the way up from 6fps to what they're running now.

No I think that's great, but when you claim "OpenGL runs better on Windows 7 than DirectX" you need to know which one you're referring to, because DX11 is much more optimized than DX9.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 3:07:20 AM , Rating: 1
I didn't say that OpenGL is faster than DirectX, I said that they got Left 4 Dead 2 running faster in OpenGL, huge difference. :)

I don't expect this to be the same for everyone. For example, I wouldn't automatically assume that Blizzard would get similar results with Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3, it all depends.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By inighthawki on 12/21/2012 12:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
Again, poor wording, I apologize. I was using "you"generically to mean Valve, not literally you.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 6:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
No worries!


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By ResStellarum on 12/21/2012 11:26:14 AM , Rating: 1
Actually OpenGL a big advantage over Direct3D:

It's available on every platform in some form or another. GNU/Linux, OS X, Android, iOS, Ouya (when it's released), Wii, Playstation, and of course Windows too.

Direct3D on the other hand is only available for Windows and XBox. That's a huge limitation. It's also proprietary, which means Microsoft controls the keys. That would worry me as a game developer given their past history.


RE: Dawn of a new Day
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 5:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it is a big advantage for cross-platform development. It is a huge reason why John Carmack and a few other developers who are into portability and openness of code prefer to work in OpenGL.

It also appears that there is a DX/MS fanboy around here downvoting any posts mentioning these completely objective points. Funny.


What I don't get...
By Motoman on 12/20/2012 9:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
...is how all the games themselves are going to run on Linux. Have they honestly re-optimized and recompiled all the games? Or is Steam running them through Wine or some other emulation layer?

In any event, I'm sure that the dozens of Linux users worldwide will be thrilled with this development.




RE: What I don't get...
By inighthawki on 12/20/2012 10:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't, it will only run games ported to Linux, which means at launch there will pretty much be a couple of Valve's games and a handful of others. Not a large collection by any means.


RE: What I don't get...
By ResStellarum on 12/21/2012 11:35:38 AM , Rating: 2
The Source engine, the basis for Valve's games such as Team Fortress 2, Left for Dead 2, Half Life 2, Portal, and Counterstrike just to name a few (http://www.valvesoftware.com/games/), has been ported, so it's only a matter of time until valve brings its own catalogue of games to GNU/Linux.

In fact, even from the start of the Beta, TF2 and Serious Sam 3 were available, as were other games already available on Linux.

Here's the Linux front page for steam if you want to see the available games on it as of right now:
http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/?snr=1_...


RE: What I don't get...
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 5:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Other companies like Blizzard have been releasing games for the Mac since the original Warcraft, and most of those involved OpenGL ports. Porting from OS X to Linux doesn't seem like it would be a massive undertaking if they decided to do it since some of the groundwork has already been made.

Another thing to note is that OpenGL development is as big as it ever was, between native OS X games, the PS3 and Wii, and all of the mobile games out there (native OpenGL ES on iOS and OpenGL ES through Java on Android). That is a lot of OpenGL development out there, and a good deal of it are ports made between D3D and OGL on the 360 and PS3, something proven to be more challenging than ports made between operating systems. Note that it took Valve longer to get Source performance on the PS3 up to snuff than it did to do the same with L4D2 on Linux.

Deciding to support native games on Linux is completely viable, and there is already a decent library there from the Humble Bundles. All Valve needs to do is prove that there is a market for it.


RE: What I don't get...
By inighthawki on 12/21/2012 8:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wii and PS3 games do not use OpenGL.


RE: What I don't get...
By TakinYourPoints on 12/21/2012 8:36:50 PM , Rating: 2
Wii and the PS3 use customized versions of OpenGL, absolutely. Again, this speaks to relative ease of porting to other desktop operating systems given that developers are already doing DX ports from Windows/XBox to the PS3, the Wii, and even the iPad/iPhone (ie - The Walking Dead).


lols
By NellyFromMA on 12/23/2012 6:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
The Linux community is always so interesting. It's not hard to see why its always had a hard time legitimizing itself in any organized way in the work place or the consumer market. Look at how the 'fans' interact with one another. Every one thinks they are tech-prodigies because their OS of choice is custom tailored with the most obscure software possible. lol I try to be open minded, but just reading the bashing that goes on among people who supposedly have that in common is just great, really.




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