Steam for Linux beta available for Ubuntu
Game support—or a lack thereof—has been one of the big barriers that has prevented me from ditching Windows completely and moving to Linux full-time, in spite of all the other great reasons to do so. When it comes to gaming, it’s a Windows world. But as 2012 draws to a close, that may all be changing. Valve Software has recently ported their hugely popular Steam client to Linux, and the beta was released to the public last week. The revolution has begun.
For those of you who might not be gamers, you should know that Steam is the single most important digital distribution platform for PC games. Since its official release in 2003, Steam has taken the world of PC gaming by storm. It offers a feature-filled and convenient way to purchase and manage games, keep them up-to-date, and connect with friends, all while offering colossal sales such as the one going on right now.
Currently, the beta offers you a fully-functional Steam client that’s officially supported on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (although it will run on other distros, and you’ll probably have great luck on any of the ‘buntus or Linux Mint). Currently, Steam for Linux features 40 native Linux games in its storefront, including Valve’s own Team Fortress 2 (which is free-to-play). That number will certainly expand in the future.
You can download Steam here. Simply run the .deb installer, which will then open Ubuntu Software Center. Proceed with installing the package as usual. (Note: I encountered a security warning while installing Steam. This can be safely ignored.) Steam will then update itself, and you’ll be prompted to log in with your account.
Expect to encounter a few bugs here and there—it’s a beta, after all. However, I’m actually very impressed with how stable Steam is. In my experience, Steam runs much more smoothly on Ubuntu 12.04 than it does on 12.10.
If you’re looking to buy anything, virtually every Linux game is currently on sale. Personally, I would recommend Solar 2, an indie game currently on sale for $3.39. There are a bunch of other ones I’d like to check out, though.
Expect to see more posts highlighting Steam for Linux in the future. Until then, enjoy!