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Valve on Linux Plans

Ubuntu Vibes quotes (or paraphrases) Valve's Drew Bliss speaking at a Ubuntu Developer Summit in Denmark praising Linux as being amore viable gaming platform that Microsoft's just-released Windows 8. They summarize what they learned about Valve's Linux plans going forward in handy bulleted form:

  • Steam client is running nicely on Ubuntu and many developers have approached them with good game products.
  • Cooperation with Canonical has been good.
  • Ubuntu is preferred platform as it has a large user base and good community support with a strong company like Canonical behind it.
  • Linux has everything they need: good OpenGL, pulseaudio, OpenAL and input support.
  • New Source engine games will be available for Linux.
  • No firm time frame for Steam Linux release, but soon.
  • Copy protection is up to the game publishers.

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56 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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56. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 13:21 Smellfinger
 
I think Valve's intentions are clear. They want to mitigate the impact of Microsoft's DRM scheme on their DRM scheme. If Linux finally becomes a threat to Windows as a byproduct of corporate warfare, then I'll be more than happy.  
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55. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 13:18 Ant
 
http://www.valvesoftware.com/linuxsurvey.php is up, penguins!  
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54. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 13:06 Verno
 
I'm talking more broadly about the types of things the more average users need and expect when interacting with both an operating system and the software on it. It's easy to think that most people are at our level of knowledge about computers and applications but I think the reality is far different, even considering the Steam user base is comprised of PC users. The trouble with package managers is that people need to have an idea what they're looking for and won't stray far from familiar names and brands (Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc). We have a tendency around here to think every user is at our level but I would wager the majority of Steam accounts are not enthusiasts with the level of familiarity that would be required to maintain and potentially troubleshoot a Linux installation.

I think Ubuntu especially has made tremendous strides over the years and I run both Linux and FreeBSD systems but I'd be pretty wary of installing it for family again. The last time I tried the cheap Linux machine route, I setup a theme that was essentially Windows throughout and thought I had foreseen every possible problem. In the end I ended up back at the relatives place because they couldn't figure out how to attach files to an email because the process was slightly different (unfamiliar filesystem, etc).

Anyways to be fair this isn't happening in a vacuum, Valve can slowly transition people away through word of mouth and etc. If anyone has the swing to get other devs on board its Valve and there's a whole new generation of devs who aren't dependent on publisher backing. We're also less dependent on PCs than we used to be thanks to smartphones so maybe people could get by without installing XYZ big name commercial app. Either way it'll be interesting to see how it shakes out.
 
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Playing: Shadow of Mordor, Peggle 2, TIE Fighter
Watching: Capturing the Friedmans, The Jungle, Person of Interest
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53. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 12:23 LC
 
Verno wrote on Oct 31, 2012, 09:01:
I don't think a package manager for free software is really comparable to people installing commercial software on the Windows platform. People would expect every dumb little "app" on the planet to have a Linux version. Besides, the Linux experience for your average user breaks down when they need to dig deeper than the surface. They have enough problems on Windows as it is.

I don't follow. Could you elaborate on what's not comparable? You get working software downloaded and installed on your computer.

I can't say what people expect. I can only say I've been able to find everything I want/need. Besides there's a lot more software than what's on the official repositories, for example Sourceforge. Just what's on the official has been reviewed/inspected so if you want to play it safe stick with the official.

Dig deeper? Could you be more specific? All I can say is the only issue I had was the sound system kept defaulting to HDaudio on my videocard instead of the motherboard's. I had to go into the very Windows like Control Center>Sound>Hardware and right click and disable the videocard's audio. Horrible experience:)

I'm no fan of Canonical or more specifically Shuttleworth but the nice thing about using an Ubuntu based distro is the amount of documentation. Linux with training wheels I suppose. I'm trying to learn more on my own and I'll probably switch to something not based on Ubuntu when I have a better grip on the inner workings. Not that I don't like Mint's version of Ubuntu but I just expect more stupidity from Shuttleworth. Like turning it into adware although hopefully the Amazon thing has left a bad taste in their mouth.

Don't think I'm qualified to comment on the technical side of game development.

@Smellfinger Can you not use GIMP instead of Photoshop?

@Beamer I have to wonder why Valve is doing it too. Depending on what numbers you believe Linux is only used on 1-5% of desktop computers.

 
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52. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 11:35 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 14:30:
large company like Valve is willing to put their weight behind it but there is a lot that needs to be done, the lack of a unifying API like DirectX is particularly troublesome when it comes to games adoption on Linux despite the Win32 emulation advances.

Is Valve doing this because they believe in Linux or are they doing this because they believe a Windows 8 store has the potential to completely obliterate their primary revenue stream so they're diversifying and trying to lead their core audience to a new platform?

I'd lean towards the latter, though I think Steam is so well ingrained and has such a niche that they can offer many, many things Microsoft can't and doesn't want to. It may prevent Steam Applications from taking off, but Steam will remain the primary hardcore gaming store for the foreseeable future.
 
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51. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 10:59 Smellfinger
 
I don't know about Vista or Windows 7, but Ubuntu is easier to install and have running than Windows XP. The only real downside to Linux at this point is that commercial developers don't support it. This is where Valve steps in. If they can somehow streamline the porting process, we might not only see games but popular apps like Photoshop with native Linux support via Steam as well.  
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50. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 10:57 Smellfinger
 
Dupe

This comment was edited on Oct 31, 2012, 11:02.
 
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49. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 31, 2012, 09:01 Verno
 
LC wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 16:13:
I've tried Ubuntu, Mint(Ubuntu), Sabayon(Gentoo) and the Mandrivia forks PCLinuxOS and Mageia 2. All these have a user friendly GUI package manager plus something like Synaptic and finally you have the terminal. Packages are broken down by category and you can search by keyword. When you select a package it automatically downloads and installs the package and any required dependencies. Installed packages are also removed through the Software Manager. I don't really see how it could be made any easier.

I don't think a package manager for free software is really comparable to people installing commercial software on the Windows platform. People would expect every dumb little "app" on the planet to have a Linux version. Besides, the Linux experience for your average user breaks down when they need to dig deeper than the surface. They have enough problems on Windows as it is.

I think this type of thing is great marketed towards dedicated enthusiasts but I'm not sure Valve will see the uptake they're hoping for, there are too many hurdles that can't be ignored. Maybe they're taking the long view and essentially building another platform though, who knows. They bucked trends with Steam and look where it got them so maybe I'm wrong.

OpenGL, Pulse Audio, OpenAL. I'm far from an expert but isn't the majority of the hardware support built into the Linux kernal?

Devs are used to (and even depend on) DirectX and UE for the overwhelming majority of commercial games released. Many already scorn PC versions, let alone adding porting costs to the project.
 
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Playing: Shadow of Mordor, Peggle 2, TIE Fighter
Watching: Capturing the Friedmans, The Jungle, Person of Interest
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48. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 20:08 Krizzen
 
InBlack wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 05:42:
Because if EA, Activision and a few other big name publishers continue to develop games exclusively for Windows (read DirectX) Valve is fucked no matter how hard they try to support Linux.

Will be interesting if this experiment is Valve's foray into Linux is successful and they proceed by making/buying source of their own Linux-style DirectX along with good driver support. Could be a VERY good thing for everyone!
 
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47. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 16:13 LC
 
Right but the problems usually begin when a user wants to install "boxed" software. Package managers and whatnot are arcane voodoo to those people, the ones who want to run office, an antivirus application and get lolcat screensavers or whatever. I guess my point is that getting booted to a user friendly desktop is only half the battle. The kind of people who just want to game on Steam aren't necessarily all power users, far from it. I play Counter-Strike and other FPS games quite a bit with public communities, I am amazed most of the people I encounter actually managed to get themselves in game. Hell, back before UPNP and other advances many couldn't.

The PC market has a deceptive amount of casual users and those people need their OS preinstalled, I'm not sure if Linux has made any traction there recently but last I heard things weren't good.

I think it's promising that a large company like Valve is willing to put their weight behind it but there is a lot that needs to be done, the lack of a unifying API like DirectX is particularly troublesome when it comes to games adoption on Linux despite the Win32 emulation advances.
I've tried Ubuntu, Mint(Ubuntu), Sabayon(Gentoo) and the Mandrivia forks PCLinuxOS and Mageia 2. All these have a user friendly GUI package manager plus something like Synaptic and finally you have the terminal. Packages are broken down by category and you can search by keyword. When you select a package it automatically downloads and installs the package and any required dependencies. Installed packages are also removed through the Software Manager. I don't really see how it could be made any easier.

Mint's isn't the prettiest but it works the same as the rest.
[IMG]http://thumbnails105.imagebam.com/21777/e4530c217763882.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://thumbnails102.imagebam.com/21777/d75724217763885.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://thumbnails101.imagebam.com/21777/3c18fc217763890.jpg[/IMG]

The distros coming out now intended for the desktop come with a good selection of software. Web browser, email client, Libre or Open Office, movie player, music player, CD burner, etc... some will include one of each type others install multiple programs. What's included should be listed on the distro's website.

OpenGL, Pulse Audio, OpenAL. I'm far from an expert but isn't the majority of the hardware support built into the Linux kernal?
 
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46. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 15:47 Wikidd
 
Kitkoan wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 00:43:
Reading this gave me the belief that the BSD that it was similar enough to merit my statement.

Well, read the actual BSD license. Go on, it's only three paragraphs and two clauses. The reason why it's GPL compatible is because it places no restrictions on the use of the code beyond asserting the identity of the original author and a standard warranty disclaimer. That's compatible with anything.

The GPL, on the other hand, has seventeen sections detailing all the possible ways that you can distribute source and binaries. It's been designed to close up all the possible ways that people might take free code and make it non-free.
 
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45. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 15:27 Kitkoan
 
Wikidd wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 13:00:
Kitkoan wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 00:43:
As I said, last I knew, not it is this. From what I read it was, this is why Darwin code its available but why it can't be compiled into a working OS because only what its needed to be open sourced is.

Now, instead of acting like a little bitch, could you stop swearing at me and explain the differences and why Darwin is open sourced but not complete? Or do you have no idea? I took a quick look at the BSD license before my last response and from what I read, it works pretty much the same as GPL.

You deserve to get heat for not even bothering to look on Wikipedia.

You can compile the Darwin code to a working OS, but that OS is not MacOS. It's the plumbing that's underneath MacOS. Any POSIX compliant code should compile and run on the Darwin that Apple releases. As the code has a BSD heritage, Apple is under no obligation to release the code. That's why they've relicensed it as Apple Public Source License, which is a FSF approved but GPL incompatible license.

By saying you think the BSD and GPL licenses are similar, it sounds like you're trolling. The BSD says "here's the code, do whatever you want with it" whereas the GPL says "here's the code, if you distribute modifications you must also distribute the source code for those modifications".

I went and looked up BSD licenses http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses

Two variants of the license, the New BSD License/Modified BSD License,[1] and the Simplified BSD License/FreeBSD License[2] have been verified as GPL-compatible free software licenses by the Free Software Foundation, and have been vetted as open source licenses by the Open Source Initiative

Reading this gave me the belief that the BSD that it was similar enough to merit my statement.
 
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*automatically refuses to place horse heads in anyone's bed*
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44. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 14:30 Verno
 
LC wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 14:03:
Judging from the negative Linux comments most of you folks haven't tried it in awhile or not at all. I've used Windows for the last 13-14 years and found the transition very, very easy. A lot of the distros run 'out of the box'. Download a live CD and try it out, just keep in mind it'll most likely be a little sluggish running off CD or USB stick.

Right now I'm using Mint 13 with the Mate desktop. Added the Gion icon set and Win2K Borders and have mine looking about like Win2K Pro. For good or bad the desktop background is my doing so don't blame the Mint folks for that.
[IMG]http://thumbnails105.imagebam.com/21775/826690217744023.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://thumbnails106.imagebam.com/21775/93bf70217744029.jpg[/IMG]

Right but the problems usually begin when a user wants to install "boxed" software. Package managers and whatnot are arcane voodoo to those people, the ones who want to run office, an antivirus application and get lolcat screensavers or whatever. I guess my point is that getting booted to a user friendly desktop is only half the battle. The kind of people who just want to game on Steam aren't necessarily all power users, far from it. I play Counter-Strike and other FPS games quite a bit with public communities, I am amazed most of the people I encounter actually managed to get themselves in game. Hell, back before UPNP and other advances many couldn't.

The PC market has a deceptive amount of casual users and those people need their OS preinstalled, I'm not sure if Linux has made any traction there recently but last I heard things weren't good.

I think it's promising that a large company like Valve is willing to put their weight behind it but there is a lot that needs to be done, the lack of a unifying API like DirectX is particularly troublesome when it comes to games adoption on Linux despite the Win32 emulation advances.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Shadow of Mordor, Peggle 2, TIE Fighter
Watching: Capturing the Friedmans, The Jungle, Person of Interest
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43. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 14:03 LC
 
Judging from the negative Linux comments most of you folks haven't tried it in awhile or not at all. I've used Windows for the last 13-14 years and found the transition very, very easy. A lot of the distros run 'out of the box'. Download a live CD and try it out, just keep in mind it'll most likely be a little sluggish running off CD or USB stick.

Right now I'm using Mint 13 with the Mate desktop. Added the Gion icon set and Win2K Borders and have mine looking about like Win2K Pro. For good or bad the desktop background is my doing so don't blame the Mint folks for that.
[IMG]http://thumbnails105.imagebam.com/21775/826690217744023.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://thumbnails106.imagebam.com/21775/93bf70217744029.jpg[/IMG]
 
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42. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 13:00 Wikidd
 
Kitkoan wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 00:43:
As I said, last I knew, not it is this. From what I read it was, this is why Darwin code its available but why it can't be compiled into a working OS because only what its needed to be open sourced is.

Now, instead of acting like a little bitch, could you stop swearing at me and explain the differences and why Darwin is open sourced but not complete? Or do you have no idea? I took a quick look at the BSD license before my last response and from what I read, it works pretty much the same as GPL.

You deserve to get heat for not even bothering to look on Wikipedia.

You can compile the Darwin code to a working OS, but that OS is not MacOS. It's the plumbing that's underneath MacOS. Any POSIX compliant code should compile and run on the Darwin that Apple releases. As the code has a BSD heritage, Apple is under no obligation to release the code. That's why they've relicensed it as Apple Public Source License, which is a FSF approved but GPL incompatible license.

By saying you think the BSD and GPL licenses are similar, it sounds like you're trolling. The BSD says "here's the code, do whatever you want with it" whereas the GPL says "here's the code, if you distribute modifications you must also distribute the source code for those modifications".
 
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41. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 12:42 headkase
 
NetHead wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 10:12:
headkase wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 03:02:
Really. Check out my desktop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOE6fUQTjqs

I made that video, that's my voice, get a clue.

Sorry but those are the most useless features I've even seen being showed off, for anything not just Linux. I watched it twice just to make sure. All that shows is useless gimmicky features are being added instead of sensible usability.

In fact it's worse than that if anything, since you yourself in it state recording while simply using the OS slows things down.

Wow, impressive.

Oh and I just have to add, the video wraps around the cube? That's such a great feature, I'm going to watch all my videos like that from now on.

Oh my god.

http://i.imgur.com/PcUd3.jpg

So, FRAPS doesn't drop your frame-rate when you are recording a game? Get a clue: my frame-rate while recording a full HD 1080p desktop dropped a little from "silky smooth" to "barely notice lag." Also, what I showed in that video are the mouse functions. All that desktop management also is controllable from the keyboard. I mostly do use the keyboard to switch back and forth between applications and desktops.

Of course you wouldn't watch a video wrapped on a cube, idjit, that was a contrived example to show the integration of the 3D desktop with applications that run within it. There is no equivalent to Compiz - the 3D desktop - on Windows that I know of. The functionality somewhat exists on Mac, but don't let being totally ignorant of how other systems work - even if you did watch the video twice - get in your way.

http://i.imgur.com/IkWdY.gif
 
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40. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 12:20 Jay
 
Kitkoan wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 11:42:
Wintermute wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 07:24:
Kitkoan wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 00:43:
Last I knew, the BSD is GPL.
You've been told that you are wrong and yet you insist on pulling facts out ass?
The GPL is not the same as the BSD, and that is why Apple went with the BSD one. It suited them better.

As I said, last I knew, not it is this. From what I read it was, this is why Darwin code its available but why it can't be compiled into a working OS because only what its needed to be open sourced is.

Now, instead of acting like a little bitch, could you stop swearing at me and explain the differences and why Darwin is open sourced but not complete? Or do you have no idea? I took a quick look at the BSD license before my last response and from what I read, it works pretty much the same as GPL.

BSD: you can modify and add new features to existing open source project, close it off, and sell it.

GPL: you can't. your changes must be open and in same GPL licence.

that said: http://www.opensource.apple.com/
 
Avatar 54872
 
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39. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 12:18 DukeFNukem
 
This message is for BobbleHead
I think your going a little overboard on the negativity. I think what he was showing is that the UI has gone through major improvements over the years.

My computer used to slow down when using Windows 7 also until I upgraded the hardware. That's not necessarily a fault of the operating system as much as it is the hardware your running the OS on.

The fact is, Windows 8 is pathetic, and is pushing people to look for alternatives. I am starting to look at other options and Linux is making lots of progress, slowly but surely.

This comment was edited on Oct 30, 2012, 12:24.
 
Just because you aren't afraid of something doesn't it mean it can't kill you...
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38. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 11:42 Kitkoan
 
Wintermute wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 07:24:
Kitkoan wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 00:43:
Last I knew, the BSD is GPL.
You've been told that you are wrong and yet you insist on pulling facts out ass?
The GPL is not the same as the BSD, and that is why Apple went with the BSD one. It suited them better.

As I said, last I knew, not it is this. From what I read it was, this is why Darwin code its available but why it can't be compiled into a working OS because only what its needed to be open sourced is.

Now, instead of acting like a little bitch, could you stop swearing at me and explain the differences and why Darwin is open sourced but not complete? Or do you have no idea? I took a quick look at the BSD license before my last response and from what I read, it works pretty much the same as GPL.
 
Avatar 56087
 
*automatically refuses to place horse heads in anyone's bed*
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37. Re: Valve on Linux Plans Oct 30, 2012, 10:12 NetHead
 
headkase wrote on Oct 30, 2012, 03:02:
Really. Check out my desktop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOE6fUQTjqs

I made that video, that's my voice, get a clue.

Sorry but those are the most useless features I've even seen being showed off, for anything not just Linux. I watched it twice just to make sure. All that shows is useless gimmicky features are being added instead of sensible usability.

In fact it's worse than that if anything, since you yourself in it state recording while simply using the OS slows things down.

Wow, impressive.

Oh and I just have to add, the video wraps around the cube? That's such a great feature, I'm going to watch all my videos like that from now on.

Oh my god.

http://i.imgur.com/PcUd3.jpg
 
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56 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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