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Seven years ago today, Steam for Linux went into limited Beta

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Sometimes it only feels like it was a year or two ago but no, it has been seven years to the date since the valve was opened a little to let some Linux users get some Steam.

In that time, Valve have done a huge amount for Linux gaming. Sure, the whole Steam Machine and SteamOS idea didn't quite work out but thanks to the initial push we're still here. Not hard to imagine where Linux gaming would be without Valve, hardly any others really stepped up and took interest.

Likely thanks to their push, just over a year after the full public release of Steam for Linux in February 2013, GOG also entered the scene announcing their own support of Linux.

Valve have contributed to the Mesa graphics drivers, they helped push the Vulkan API, they fund DXVK and D9VK for translating various version of Direct3D into Vulkan, teamed up with CodeWeavers to bring Wine and everything together into their new Steam Play and so much more.

Truly incredible some of the games we have available now, despite being a minority platform. Going by Valves own survey, we're currently less than 1% (0.83%). When Valve last gave out their monthly active users count back in January, they said it was 90 million which puts the monthly active Linux gamers somewhere around 747,000. Every time I take a look at my own Steam library taking that into account, it's pretty amazing. Hopefully there's many more to come, both users and games.

Who knows what's coming in future. Perhaps something called Steam Cloud Gaming? Happy sort-of birthday, Steam for Linux. Thanks for all the fun Valve.

I hope you like my little joke achievement pop-up there, that took me way longer than I would care to admit.

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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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Cheeseness 7 Nov, 2019
Some of my earliest articles here were following Valve's early Linux progress before the Steam for Linux beta (more a factor of my time zone/work schedule putting me in a good position to do most of GOL's Steam for Linux coverage than anything else!) . It was great to be on the ground floor in those early days of Steam for Linux, sifting through blog posts, interviews, articles, and databases to find and share relevant/interesting bits of information.

For me, seeing the community transition from Linux users who primarily play Windows games to being Linux users who primarily play Linux games has been the single most exciting time in Linux gaming history. While it's been slow, the growth and increase in accessibility of Linux-relevant skills/knowledge within the broader game development community (which Steam and Valve have definitely been a big participant in) has been the single most valuable outcome for the future of the platform itself.

I'm super happy to have shared the journey so far with everyone and look forward to seeing where things go from here <3

P.S. Seems like a couple of people are into the achievement icon. Sources, etc. can be found here. For anybody who's curious, it'll be 8 years old next month, and I made it with the hopes of creating something that would fit in the kind of spaces that projects like Steam might need. It never ended up being used by Valve, but it has shown up in some interesting places ^_^
chris.echoz 9 Nov, 2019
Woah, feels like yesterday.
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