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Valve has confirmed that Steam will launch on Linux, with an Ubuntu port of the 'iTunes for PC games' download service set to roll out alongside zombie thriller Left 4 Dead 2. The company used the first post on its new Valve Linux blog to reveal that it is currently refining the software, optimising L4D2 to a suitably high frame …

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Re: Maybe they could rename the zombies 'windows users'....

Wrong!!! That should read:

Maybe they could rename the zombies 'windows (l)users'....

Perhaps a bit of editorializing also, the 'good guys" being represented by Penguins, and the "bad guys" being represented by that `windblowZE logo`. Every time a "bad guy" gets hit, the `windblowZE logo` shatters.

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Awesome

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

'iTunes for PC games' ???

I think you'll find that actually iTunes is Steam for music...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'iTunes for PC games' ???

A quick bit of research shows that iTunes came out before Steam, so at least chronologically speaking the author is correct.

Having said that, comparing them is somewhat like comparing apples and orange boxes.

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Happy

@AC "comparing apples and orange boxes"

Saw what you did there, nice one.

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Linux

Re: 'iTunes for PC games' ???

> I think you'll find that actually iTunes is Steam for music...

...except programs actually have a reason to be associated with a single quasi-monopoly vendor. Music does not. Programs by their very nature have to be associated with a particular platform or vendor.

Music is an industry standard that got turned into a single-vendor proprietary standard by Apple.

The proprietary and DRM aspect of games only reflects the status quo that has existed since the dawn of computing.

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MJI
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Black Helicopters

Re: 'iTunes for PC games' ???

Err the title that is not a good example - we are techies, I would say more of us know about Steam than Itunes, now someone has said that Itunes is like Steam for music, that makes a little more sense, but I bet the Steam client is lot better and you get more entertainment out of it.

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Re: 'iTunes for PC games' ???

Except that, ironically, iTunes has offered DRM-free from music for years now, while Steam has nothing of the sort.

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I could be utterly wrong here, but is lack of direct x going to be an issue?

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Only for developers allergic to OpenGL.

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MJI
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No DirectX

No it won't Id for example use OpenGL.

Only Windows and the DirectXBox use DirectX

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Boffin

Well, Macs don't use direct x, and there's a Steam client for it.

I'll bet that the Linux version of Steam is actually a port of the Mac version, given how Macs are pretty much Unix boxes with lipstick anyway. Sure, it uses a BSD kernel instead of the Linux kernel, but uses most of the same core libraries that Linux does (including zlib) - even using OpenGL. The only difference is the low-lying sound layer and the low-lying video layer. They'd need to change from PortAudio to ALSA and QE to MESA. Which shouldn't be too much work.

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MJI
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MESA

Is that Black MESA?

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Anonymous Coward

EA Games puts their base price up to $70 per game and Valve gives us news that they are working on Steam for Linux.

I think I like Valve more than I like EA....

(I wonder if this is the first step towards a Linux powered Steam console device.)

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Anonymous Coward

You've only just got there?

Here's what playing an EA title is like:

Lag..lag..dead..lag...lag...dead..lag....lag....hey! I shot that guy in the head!...dead

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Yay!

my only reason for running windows will soon be gone!

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MJI
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What is an Itunes for games?

I have no idea.

I haven't even been to their web site.

However as a Steam user this is interesting, need another PC and don't want to pay MS tax

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MCG
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Sod Steam. Every time I decide to play a Steam game it decides it's time to update either the Steam platform or the game. Every. Sodding. Time.

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Anonymous Coward

You can disable that. Then again, perhaps subconsciously you enjoy suffering.

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Well, if you only open Steam (which updates every 8-12 weeks) twice a year to play Team Fortress 2 (which has an update about quarterly) then yes, it's going to need updating "Every. Sodding. Time." If you open it when you boot, and let the thing sit in the background sucking up its 0.2% CPU occasionally and squatting on 32MB of your 8 GB of memory, then everything's ready when you actually want to play.

The real point, IMHO, is Steam means that Valve games can be updated. Things get FIXED. Games get new material. New hardware with new drivers don't end up rendering your game permanently incompatible. Gosh, that's horrible.

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Anonymous Coward

I do wonder though

Idle question. When I buy a game like Civ 5 it comes on a DVD but the first thing the installer does is connect to Steam and (re?)download the game files -- all 1Gig of them. Which makes me wonder: WTF is on the disk then??

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Boffin

This is why I start up Steam as soon as I get to my PC, then I let it run in the background while I go browse El Reg for a bit. Then when I'm ready to play, the update's either done or almost done :P

I have no problem with that actually. It's no different from other online games I have.

But yes, as pointed out before, you can disable updates on a per-game basis. Just don't complain when a server refuses to let you on when you want to play multiplayer, because you're running an outdated version of the game.

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"The real point, IMHO, is Steam means that Valve games can be updated. Things get FIXED. Games get new material."

Then there are the sales.

Bought Portal 2 for $4.99 on the weekend. You can't complain about that.

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Re: I do wonder though

Usually because the installer is a little rubbish. See https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=5357-FSQM-0382 for how to install games from disc.

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Re: I do wonder though

"Idle question. When I buy a game like Civ 5 it comes on a DVD but the first thing the installer does is connect to Steam and (re?)download the game files -- all 1Gig of them"

You think Civ5 is only a gig? When I install a Steam game from DVD, it installs everything on the DVD, then goes and gets me the latest updates from Steam as part of the install. If there's been a GOTY release in shops since the game came out, Steam normally gives it to me for free. (I got UT3 Black Edition on Steam by registering a standard edition code, for example).

That download was likely a ton of extra content and patches.

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Given even the disparity of games available for OS X vs Windows, I'd be surprised to see a major move to Linux.

Especially when you realise that a decent number of those 'Mac' games are already using a WINE derivative anyway.

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Stop

Really? Source please

That's an interesting claim. Can you cite some sources please?

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Re: Really? Source please

The games I have installed on my Mac partition, other than the indie bundle type games, all the big names are run through a WINE wrapper. Even big names like The Witcher, for example.

There are not many big name games that are done as separate entities (except GTA's Mac ports which are true ports done by a separate company and thus appear twice in the main library for good measure)

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Happy

Re: Really? Source please

Wow. Just...wow. You are absolutely right. I don't know whether to be awestruck by Wine having come so far or depressed that Mac games aren't true Mac games.

OK, I'm over it. I'm awestruck.

<goes off to spend the rest of the week ignoring spouse, children and sleep whilst reacquainting self with old-skool *nix awesomeness>

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"When Steam for Linux does go live, it'll be available on Ubuntu 12.04"

Please don't tell me this is more shite I'll have to uninstall? I've been avoiding that malware ever since it came out and I don't intent to create an account for it now.

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WTF?

Ummm?

What?

I appreciate a good spleen venting as much as the next guy but really, it would help if the people you are venting at were given a small clue as to what has kindled your ire to the point that you need to rant about it on teh intert00bs

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Re: Ummm?

Try and buy a PC game without it and you'll see what I mean. I do not want another forgettable, hackable username and password creating just to play with a toy. I will not risk some third party's servers fucking up and denying me access to software I've paid for and I resent the accusation that I'm a pirate and I need to be proven innocent first.

It's bad enough on Android with the perpetual "license error" bugs. If I'd have known that paid apps on that platform were basically Steam-ish shite by another name, I'd have not paid for them. Just another thing driving me towards root and the 'bay.

Ya hear that, Valve? Google? EA? Ubisoft? The lot of you fucking retards? Paying customer here, or I could be. Get rid of your invasive malware or I will make unauthorised, ironically malware-free copies out of principle as much as practicality. There is a bloody big difference between copy protection and the shit you are pulling.

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Interesting rant, obviously never tried it

Steam is most probably the least invasive game-controlling environment I have ever tried.

- it does not run a hidden service that runs whether you play or not (looking at you, EA Games)

- it does not require that you re-download your entire game collection if you restore your Windows system (looking at you HARD, EA Games)

- it does not even require that you reinstall Steam if you wipe your OS partition and reinstall Windows (I'm bloody sick of looking at you, EA Games) - if you install the same OS in the same version as before, obviously

- Steam has weekend deals that are sometimes astounding (got L4D2 for €5, can anyone top that ?)

- Steam allows me to play my games without bothering with a bloomin' disk

- unless the game I play uses an online server, Steam allows me to play offline (hear that, Blizzard ?)

- most importantly, the games on Steam play on the PC I have - yes I know, that's obvious, but it is also true of titles that were WinXP or before, like Evil Genius, or Supreme Commander, or, say, SimCity 4 - games that I have but did not succeed in installing on my Win7/32 configuration

- my Steam games have always been available to me when I wished to play them, not like LotRO or Diable III

- there is no such thing as a license error on Steam

So your rant against Steam seems perfectly unreasonable to me, and if your rant actually concerns DRM control or whatnot, then you must have stopped buying games since Y2K, because most major titles since 1995 have had some form of (annoying) DRM control embedded into them which seem to bleed onto the PC and take control of it. Why I remember a certain Lemmings II that wouldn't run anymore if I so much as chose a different boot option in the bad old days of DOS 5. And I also remember Painkiller, which I bought in a lovely box set and brought home only to find that it simply wouldn't install, since its paranoid DRM didn't believe that its own install disk was genuine. I was forced to go find a pirate copy to be able to play the game I bought - and I'm sorry, but I do not for one instant feel like a pirate for doing so.

On the other hand, Steam has survived two OS versions and I don't remember how many OS reinstalls and has never bothered me more than to ask for my login and password after the fact. It has even survived partition change and disk swapping without complaining. My game library is intact from day one, unless I feel like uninstalling something to free some disk space. And I can re-download whatever is in my library whenever I want. Heck, I can even install Steam on two or more PCs if I feel like it and access my same game library. Of course I can't play on two computers at a time, but I can have my home configuration and my laptop configuration for when I'm traveling - and that one can be offline, remember ?

To sum it up, Steam is great. It is the best game-selling platform there is. You may not appreciate that your are being checked when you play, and I basically agree with you on that point, but you're not really being given a choice anymore - well, not outside of indie titles, that is. So you might as well choose Steam, because there is nothing better.

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Re: Interesting rant, obviously never tried it

"- Steam has weekend deals that are sometimes astounding (got L4D2 for €5, can anyone top that ?)"

In the last sale I got every GTA game ever released for PC, with all expansions, for £5. I worked it out at something like 66p per game.

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Re: Interesting rant, obviously never tried it

So...

I can use Steam without creating an account? Or hoping that Steam's servers don't fuck up for the activation of a game I've bought? In fact can I play a game without somehow activating it, like Micriosoft's insidious and just as awful WGA abortion?

Ah. I can't.

Sucks, then. Sorry. No, I haven't tried it. I just have to see other people trying it to know I don't want it. There are games out there that don't demand installation of malware though, fortunately. They are few and far between... but they get my money. Valve does not. If it's not as simple as "install and play", I am not interested. It's a toy, for fuck's sake.

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