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10 years ago Steam released for Linux

By - | Views: 47,475

I'm starting to feel old. I remember a time before Steam for Linux, back in the dark days even before the first set of Humble Indie Bundles, it's truly crazy how far Linux has come overall as a platform for gaming. 10 years ago today, Steam for Linux left Beta and released officially and what a difference it made!

Many issues along the way, a number of missteps from Valve directly too (hello Steam Machines), but we got there in the end didn't we? Linux Gaming is no longer a thing that people will constantly laugh about. It's here, it's a thing and many people now with a Steam Deck likely don't even realise they're using Linux — that's just how good it can be.

Life changing of course for me too, GamingOnLinux is my job and 99% of that is thanks to Valve's effort.

I'm not going to rehash everything, since I've gone over many milestones before like my previous article Faster Zombies to Steam Deck: The History of Valve and Linux Gaming from 2021, which is worth a read if you're somewhat new to Linux gaming (and Steam Deck!).

Happy 10 years, Steam for Linux! Cheers! Here's to the next 10 and many more.

What do you expect over the next 10 years and what have been your favourite moments?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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. Find me on Mastodon.
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dpanter Feb 14
Steam ended pirating games for me, that was a big thing.
1xok Feb 14
I only found out about it by chance at the end of 2014. Before that, I hadn't played commercial games for over 15 years. I've been using Linux since the mid-90s and at some point I got tired of the dual boot installation. It was a weird feeling for me at first to pay for a game. My first game was Tropico 5, which I even bought at full price. I can still remember hovering over the buy button for a while, wondering whether I should really do it.
Soulprayer Feb 14
Great to see, that Linux has evolved over the years.
So much, that I decided to came back and can still use 99% of all games.
Quoting: 1xokBefore that, I hadn't played commercial games for over 15 years. I've been using Linux since the mid-90s and at some point I got tired of the dual boot installation.

Hah, yeah, that was more-or-less my experience as well. There was the occasional Introversion title to buy, and I'd spent some time on Minecraft by that point. I think the first few Humble Indie Bundles had been out by that time as well, which was kind of exciting, but not having games available on Linux was a pretty nice way to Not Have To Exercise Self-Control in regards to buying games. For the most part I just didn't 'cause it was an awful lot easier to not have to jump through hoops (dualboot, then-less-globally-useful-Wine, etc).

It's a bit of a shame that what seems to have really broken the floodgates was Proton. I was cautiously optimistic for awhile that we were headed into a renaissance of native ports, but that proved to be mostly short-lived. Ah well! I'll take what I can get. :)
Xpander Feb 14
Iirc closed beta started in October 2012 and open in November or December. But yeah Official release was in February 2013. Its been a long time. I didn't even use Steam much before as it was a hassle to launch it with wine.
grigi Feb 14
Whom here remembers happypenguin.org ?
That was awesome some 15 years ago...
Lofty Feb 14
Quoting: liamdawewhat have been your favourite moments?

From a gaming perspective for me, was when i concluded that Linux could finally play very graphically advanced native games That i had previously imagined only windows would get releases for. And this was before proton,

the game was Dying Light.
Solitary Feb 14
And in September it is going to be 20 years for Steam overall.
WorMzy Feb 14
Happy birthday, Steam on Linux!

Over the next 10 years I'm hoping for a 64-bit build with the Gtk2 dependency swapped out for Qt6. Also, they could drop the legacy 'ubuntu12' name from the runtime path.
drlamb Feb 14
Quoting: dpanterSteam ended pirating games for me, that was a big thing.

Same, though I'll always be fond of the hours spent tinkering in PlayOnLinux/Lutris whilst digging through the WineHQ forums trying to get the latest cracked games working. Essentially my middle/high school experience.

Wolfenstein (2009) sticks out in my mind.
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