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10 years ago Steam released for Linux

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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?

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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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shorberg Feb 15
Quoting: KohlyKohlI still remember seeing Quake in a game store in 1999.

Before Steam it was very difficult to get games running under Wine. I remember breaking my system many times, especially in the early 2000s, trying to compile the right libraries and still not being able to get most games working right.

Cedega existed to try and make it easier to run Games (and software but that was an even worse experience) and even that only worked slightly better than manually trying to get games working.

In the end, I mostly just played Blizzard games because those were the ones that worked mostly out of the box with Wine.

It is really impressive today that I can play just about any game I want without having to do anything to make it work under Linux.

Yeah, those were the days alright. Some games like City of Heroes though ran better under Wine in Linux than on Windows for me. When I discovered that I would always reboot into Linux before starting a session of crime fighting.

There is this strange sense of nostalgia and adventure whenever a game requires fiddling with Wine to function these days. Digging through stack dumps and logs, hours spent digging through forums and Microsoft documentation... Ok, it wasn't great. But it was educational!
shorberg Feb 15
Quoting: mr-victoryAs I read the comments, a few things make me feel weird:
1. Most of you are Linux users for a long time, while I use Linux since 2020 and play on it since 2022.
2. Despite only recently starting gaming, it was nowhere near an OOB Just Works experience. I dealt with forcing games to use Nvidia GPU, any Vulkan application freezing due to a driver bug, Apex Legends stuttering even with GPL and mod problems with HOI4. I even patched Proton (only a week ago!) so Paradox Launcher would well behave.
3. In 2 Steam accounts around only 5 games were purchased in total (and only 1 pirate game which I can't acquire in a different way) while everyone else here has hundreds if not thousands.

Welcome! Glad to have you amongst us!

Regarding 2, yeah things are relative for us old-timers, our lives were so miserable back when that things like nVidia driver bugs and the occasional launcher misbehaving makes us feel like OOB experience. (especially when one remembers that was the case on windows as well back in the early to mid 00's)

There is still much improvement to be made and if a newer generation never have to learn about DLL-hell or launch date driver bugs, then that would be just swell!
tfk Feb 15
I loved tinkering with WINE back I the days. Took weeks to get something working. Writing how to posts on AppHQ. Steam made things a bit boring.
hardpenguin Feb 15
Ah yes, I remember adding those Humble Indie Bundle keys to my Steam account 👴

And the rest is history...
Termy Feb 15
Quotewhat have been your favourite moments?

Being able to ditch multibooting Windows in 2015 i guess? ^^
mr-victory Feb 15
Quoting: shorberglaunch date driver bugs
Isn't this still a thing with AMD for GPU launches and both AMD and Nvidia for new games?
Quoting: tfkWriting how to posts on AppHQ.
I went that route too😂
It's been a great ride bros. Here's to 10 more!
Bogomips Feb 15
To me, 10 years is not that old considering I'll have my "20 Years of Service" badge from Steam in September
For the occasion I remember the first game my parents bought for me was 007: Licence to Kill with one 5"1/4 floppy disk for each graphics configuration (VGA, EGA).

Those 10 years have been really nice especially when it ended my journey, from MS-DOS 5 to Win7, to start a Linux only one (at least at home).
grigi Feb 15
I think a discussion about things that happened "long ago" will just bring out the old people like me and we just can't resist talking of the "good old days".

Although not necessarily good, I think we were just less old and had more free time.
Or maybe we expected less from our computers.

I mean it was the era of having turbo buttons that slows down your PC, or just hard-resetting your PC multiple times a day because it randomly hung again.
Or opening up your crappy old VGA monitor that was getting too dark, so you could up the voltage on the tube so you could actually SEE stuff again. And then being surprised that the monitor caught on fire a month later...
I suppose one cant really get that achievement though. I didn't get that dialog though ive been from the start.
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