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Steam for Linux entered Beta five years ago today

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Five years ago on this day, Valve released Steam for Linux in a limited Beta form for a lucky bunch of users. It's been quite a ride, hasn't it?

For those who weren't around or don't remember, Valve started by putting up a survey to gather testers for the upcoming Beta release. What they didn't expect, was over 60K people signing up to become a tester. The initial release only had around 30 games available for Linux, but look at us now at around 3.8K (give or take a few that show up, but haven't actually released). This month alone, we've already seen around 20 games release with Linux support and we're only on the 6th!

We've got masses of indie games, a few AAA titles (and hopefully more big titles to come!) and all sorts of genres available on Linux. With thanks to the likes of Virtual Programming, Aspyr Media, Feral Interactive, Ethan Lee, Ryan Gordon, Aaron Melcher and many more helping to bring titles to Linux. There's plenty of junk released for Linux now too as well, but thankfully now there's a lot of choice when it comes to good games.

Going by the date of the limited Steam beta for Linux, we've published close to nine thousand articles. We've actually hit over nine thousand right now, but the amount we put out increased dramatically since Steam arrived. There's just so much to report on for Linux gaming, it's truly crazy.

In a few days, on the 10th of November, it will also mark two years since SteamOS, Steam Machines and the Steam Controller were officially released. I still remember how completely underwhelmed I was by the launch, as I'm sure many of you were as well. You can pry my Steam Controller from my cold, dead hands though as I love it.

It still remains to be seen what Valve intends to do with SteamOS and Steam Machines, hopefully some sort of re-release. I think if they did a Steam Machine themselves where they controlled the pricing and everything else, it could go down a lot better than the wildly varying machines we've seen previously. There's probably a lot of issues with doing it that way though, for it to pay off Valve would need to market it a lot better and there would need to be more timely game releases for bigger titles (and more!).

While Steam Machines didn't go the way we hoped, they've obviously moved Linux gaming further along than anything else ever did.

What are you most looking forward to for Linux gaming over the next year? How do you feel about the current situation? Open up the in the comments, but please do remember to be respectful to your fellow users.

Let's also never forget Steam for Linux bug #3671.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Steam
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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crt0mega 6 Nov, 2017
Five years ago I discovered GoL because I was searching news regarding Steam for Linux :D F*ck, I'm getting old.
Imants 6 Nov, 2017
Quoting: crt0megaFive years ago I discovered GoL because I was searching news regarding Steam for Linux :D F*ck, I'm getting old.

Same here :D
Mohandevir 6 Nov, 2017
That's the day I became a gamer. Before that, the only game I was playing was LotRO, through Wine... Thanks Valve!

Edit: About Steam Machine re-launch, when you think about all the work that is done by Valve regarding Mesa and RadV, I'm wondering if Valve is not, somehow, involded in the upcoming Ataribox. Probably not, but still...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 6 November 2017 at 3:18 pm UTC
Eike 6 Nov, 2017
I had joined the beta in early Decembre. At the end of Decembre, I wrote a blog post. Citing:

Yesterday, for the first time I have bought a professional game for Linux. If gaming on Linux would establish itself, after all the time I used Windows solely as a gaming platform, I could finally delete my Windows partition.

Of course, this is illusory at the moment. There are about 40 games for Linux on Steam, and I don't even know most of them. But who knows... maybe, a start has been made.


I did delete my Windows partition at April, 8th 2014.
Liothe 6 Nov, 2017
Quoting: Imants
Quoting: crt0megaFive years ago I discovered GoL because I was searching news regarding Steam for Linux :D F*ck, I'm getting old.

Same here :D

Same! Thanks GoL for taking us through this ride
Tchey 6 Nov, 2017
Happy us
ageres 6 Nov, 2017
Back then I didn't have Linux on my main computer and I had given my laptop with Windows 7 + Ubuntu dualboot to my brother, so I could try Steam for Linux only few months later (on said laptop). And I made this screenshot:

Does anyone remember TF2 Tux hat?


Last edited by ageres on 6 November 2017 at 3:03 pm UTC
Eike 6 Nov, 2017
Quoting: ageresDoes anyone remember TF2 Tux hat?

Wasn't it the only incentive ever of Valve for Windowsers to try Linux? :)
razing32 6 Nov, 2017
QuoteLet's also never forget Steam for Linux bug #3671.

QuoteMoved ~/.local/share/steam. Ran steam. It deleted everything on system owned by user. #3671

That's not a bug , that's an atom bomb.
Liam Dawe 6 Nov, 2017
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: ageresDoes anyone remember TF2 Tux hat?

Wasn't it the only incentive ever of Valve for Windowsers to try Linux? :)
If my memory serves me correctly, it was not a hat, but something attached to your belt?
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