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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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What I don't get...
By Motoman on 12/20/2012 9:54:03 PM , Rating: 2 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 (, 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:

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).

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