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Valve was officially formed on August 24th 1996, so today Valve turns 20 years old. The company was founded by both Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington and who knew the kind of impact they would have on Linux gaming.

Steam wasn't officially released years later in 2003, so it did take them a long time to get where they are today. I bet they didn't imagine just how big a behemoth Steam would truly become at the time.

I had no idea Valve was this old! Here's a rather quick look at what they have done for us.

I'm going to be honest, I was sceptical about Steam coming to Linux despite the reports from Phoronix at the time. Due to how long it was hinted at, it didn't seem like it would ever actually happen.

In 2012 they opened the Linux blog about their adventures in porting to Linux, but it's still sad to see it never really gained many posts. It was nice to get some insight into what was going on.

Feb 14, 2013 is probably one of the most important dates to remember, as the Steam client was officially released for the Linux desktop. It was a turning point for us, after being ignored by people for so long a lot of eyes were finally looking at Linux.

In June 2014 I personally interviewed Feral Interactive, where the stated very clearly they decided to bring games to Linux thanks to SteamOS and Steam Machines:
QuoteThe catalyst has been the Steam OS and the Steam Machine. That convinced us that Linux could support AAA games.


I also personally interviewed Aspyr Media in July 2014, where they specifically stated they got into porting games to Linux due to SteamOS:
QuoteWe have over 17 years of experience in OpenGL development on the Mac, so when Valve decided to enter the market with SteamOS we knew we would be well positioned to service a small but growing community with our expertise and strong publishing partnerships.


We have a lot of bigger titles thanks to both Aspyr Media and Feral Interactive, so it's clear SteamOS had already had a big impact even before the official release.

In November 2015 Valve officially released their Steam Machines, Steam Link and the Steam Controller into the wild. It remains to be seen if Steam Machines ever truly take off, but I remain positive about their impact on Linux gaming.

It is fun seeing titles like Disgaea 2 PC specifically state "Steam Machines" as a new feature. Quite a few games state SteamOS or Steam Machines specifically, so it's good to see it is still having an impact even with the wider press claiming it's a failure.

It goes without saying that we really do owe a lot to Valve right now, there is no way we would be having such a major push in Linux gaming without them.

Since Valve pushed into Linux we have been given thousands of games, better graphics drivers and so much more it's hard to even remember.

Happy Birthday Valve! You may not be a perfect company, you certainly do have a lot of issues, but thanks for all the fun. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Steam
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Mike 24 Aug, 2016
Prior to the Steam client on Linux I was dualbooting with Windows. Since 2013, I use only Linux to work and play. Even if barely 25% of my Steam library is available on Tux's OS, those 56 games are enough to keep me entertained.

What is clear also is the quality increase in game porting since 2013. First games needed way more horsepower and were often half-broken. Nowadays, newer game engines allow for a more comfortable user experience. Of course, some developpers are still using wrappers of all sorts, but I feel even this runs faster than before.

I also wish to thank Feral Interactive for their continuous support.

The future looks brighter than ever for us!

I wish Steam a happy 20th birthday!


Last edited by Mike on 24 August 2016 at 12:46 pm UTC
fabry92 24 Aug, 2016
Thx gabenone
Segata Sanshiro 24 Aug, 2016
Quoting: GuestI would just like to point out that Gabe was the one who turned Windows into a gaming platform too. He himself coded part of Windows and pushed it into gaming.
He has been a very important person within the whole industry from the very start, not just for Linux!

Yeah, good point! But now he wants to undo it, and there's no better man for the job.
barotto 24 Aug, 2016
I remember playing Half Life on my 3dfx Voodoo Graphics. I could say "those were the days" but actually today things are much better: faster, easier and way cheaper.

I also remember the popular uprising against Steam at HL2 launch in 2004. And look at where we are now...
Hal_Kado 24 Aug, 2016
Nice writeup! Happy birthday steam! :D

We still don't have all the AAA titles windows gets, but in the last year I think the tipping point was reached where there is enough entertaining linux titles out there that gamers no longer need dual booting, big thanks to steam and valve for this!
liju 24 Aug, 2016
Happy birthday Valve! Thank You Gabe! Thank You Feral! Thank You Aspyr, Ethan Lee and any other todays and future Linux supporter!
I did not use any dualboot for more than 10 years myself, but I had a PS1,2,3,4. Last year built Steam Machine and realized I have enough titles to play under linux not to need sony anymore. Sold it and live happily with SteamOS as a console platform (ok, still have WiiU, for Kids oriented games though).
skinnyraf 24 Aug, 2016
Quoting: barottoI remember playing Half Life on my 3dfx Voodoo Graphics. I could say "those were the days" but actually today things are much better: faster, easier and way cheaper.

And yet I miss those days a little. In the '90s each year was a breakthrough, and some years were true milestones. Doom in '93, Warcraft in'94, Descent in '95, Tomb Raider & Quake in '96, Diablo in '97 and Half Life in '98. Can you imagine it was only two years between the first Quake and Half Life? Yet these were games from different eras.
skinnyraf 24 Aug, 2016
Quoting: HalKadoNice writeup! Happy birthday steam! :D

We still don't have all the AAA titles windows gets, but in the last year I think the tipping point was reached where there is enough entertaining linux titles out there that gamers no longer need dual booting, big thanks to steam and valve for this!

2016 is the year of Linux gaming backlog for me :D
Liam Dawe 24 Aug, 2016
Quoting: skinnyraf
Quoting: HalKadoNice writeup! Happy birthday steam! :D

We still don't have all the AAA titles windows gets, but in the last year I think the tipping point was reached where there is enough entertaining linux titles out there that gamers no longer need dual booting, big thanks to steam and valve for this!

2016 is the year of Linux gaming backlog for me :D
Hah, such a true comment!
haagch 24 Aug, 2016
Quoting: Segata SanshiroYeah, good point! But now he wants to undo it, and there's no better man for the job.
The man spends most of his time at Valve with his windows-only VR team though.
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