9 years ago Valve put out a Beta of Steam for Linux

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9 years to the day, Valve officially put up a limited Beta release of the Steam Client for Linux. It's safe to say it's been a rather bumpy but exciting ride.

Want to know the history of how things happened? Back in July 2021 we wrote up a detailed look into it all titled "Faster Zombies to Steam Deck: The History of Valve and Linux Gaming". Based on that we'll refrain from going over it all again, we suggest you grab a quick coffee and give that a read.

Now we're pretty much on the eve for the Steam Deck releasing (for some at least…ours comes in 2022), powered by the Arch-based SteamOS 3, we're about to see a real explosion in the amount of people carrying around a full Linux device. Exciting times ahead that's for sure.

We're also currently seeing the highest Linux user share on Steam in multiple years, fuelled by excitement surrounding Steam Play Proton and the Steam Deck. 1.13% might not sound like a lot of course, and compared with Windows it's certainly not, as it's at least 1,360,520 monthly active users based on the last time Valve mentioned their figures (January 2021).

At 10 years it will mark around nearly a year after the Steam Deck released, who knows what things will be like then.

Happy Birthday, Steam for Linux Beta.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam
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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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21 comments
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Vulphere 6 Nov, 2021
It is been a very exciting year for Steam gaming on Linux

All starts with something special nine years ago, that was time when Vulp just started dabbling with Linux as primary computing platform (including for gaming)

Hopefully, the upcoming Steam Deck can bring us to the new height of Steam gaming on Linux


Last edited by Vulphere on 6 November 2021 at 9:20 am UTC
jordicoma 6 Nov, 2021
9 years already?
Steam really helped gaming on linux. Before there where a few published games for linux, then came humblebundle with some more. But steam helped to have more much ports. Even more, when they release proton, that helped to be able to play many windows games... With wine it's not easy to make it work.
And moreover, apart for the steam store, valve helped improve wine. And now, with vulkan, we have extra performance even on windows games. Translating directx9 to opengl it's difficult and needs many cpu cycles.
Really valve it's helping for linux gaming (for they interest).
In a short time, or already is, will be better for playing windows games than windows (bloaded) os.

Ps. There it has been more than 2 years than I don't boot the windows partition, even for playing.
Frawo 6 Nov, 2021
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dvd 6 Nov, 2021
Seems like I'm getting old.
AussieEevee 6 Nov, 2021
It's amazing how far we've come since Gabe turned his attention to Linux. And while we're still not perfect, it is awesome having a viable alternative to Windows that mostly just works
Slackdog 6 Nov, 2021
9 years?! Made me check my account, seems I've had my account for 18 years... :O
ShabbyX 6 Nov, 2021
Liam, you should totally make some predictions for this time next year, and then we'll all have a laugh when they turn out totally wrong :D
Beamboom 6 Nov, 2021
Valve brought back gaming to me. No less. I had a PS3 way back, but grew tired of console gaming. Without their Linux client - and Steam Play - I actually doubt I'd be doing much gaming at all.
fabertawe 6 Nov, 2021
How time flies when you're having fun
Kimyrielle 6 Nov, 2021
I remember me reluctantly going back to dual-booting Windows for gaming after Loki folded and after I moved on from the only two other games I was playing that were running on Linux (Neverwinter Nights and - on WINE - Guild Wars 1).

I thought gaming on Linux was dead forever.

A decade later, I can play almost 100% of all games I'd ever want to play on Linux and my Win 10 partition is collecting virtual dust.

How times have changed! \o/
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