The Steam for Linux client is out of beta and has arrived for download on the Ubuntu store.

Valve has been pushing a move to Linux as a potential answer to what it sees as an increasingly closed platform on Microsoft’s Windows.

The highly-anticipated Steam Box will run on Linux, and the company has been working with hardware manufacturers and the people behind Linux’s most popular distribution Ubuntu to make sure.

“The introduction of Steam to Ubuntu demonstrates growing demand for open systems from gamers and game developers,” said David Pitkin, Director of Consumer Applications at Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical.

Though there are some serious issues with Linux from a developer’s perspective, it’s hard to shrug off an opportunity for exposure to a massive new audience.

“We’re huge fans of Linux. It’s like the indie OS–a perfect home for our indie game,” said Alen Ladavac, CTO of Croteam, creator of the Serious Sam franchise of games.

Though Steam is officially supported only by Ubuntu, the Linux community has been working overtime to ensure the platform works on other distributions.

Develop has heard reports of Steam installations working on Linux Mint, Fedora, and even the highly customizable build-from-source Gentoo.

Ubuntu alone has a user base of millions, which grew from 13 million in 2009 to 20 million in 2011.

Though Valve’s decision to move to Linux is certainly big news, it’s not the only high-profile company to embrace Linux gaming.

It’s easy to forget that Android is a Linux based system, so millions of smartphone users are already Linux users and will soon be joined by adopters of the Ouya console.

Even so, this is a big day for fans of open-source operating systems, and to celebrate the entire catalog of Linux games on Steam has had prices slashed by 50-75 percent.

Developers interested in getting a look at Linux can probably get Ubuntu running in under an hour. To download Steam, simply go to the Ubuntu Store or type “Sudo apt-get install steam64” (for 64-bit users) in the terminal.

From Linux Game News:

It seems like everywhere I go now, everyone is talking about Steam on Linux. And justly so, we are finally at a point where the fine folks at Valve have made it official.

Honestly, one of the things I have personally appreciated is the ability to play older Valve games natively. Half-Life 1 is a solid example, the keys are very sensitive for movement with my mechanical keyboard, but I know the game offers many many hours of solid gameplay for the current sale price of $2.49 USD.
Hence the current 96 Metacritic rating.

Also in the mix, Counter-Strike Source. Yes, I have been playing CS-Source quite a bit lately. What is interesting, the lack of lag I experience in-game. Seriously. Having optimized my sysctl.conf file with the necessary speed settings to ensure smooth and fast web surfing, it also applies to far better gameplay. Another thing to take note of, the detail in graphics when playing Counter-Strike Source in native 1080p. Everything looks perfect and plays exceptionally smooth.

artesianwell

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