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Valve encouraging gamers to try Linux

Valve encouraging gamers to try Linux

Valve is actively encouraging gamers to download and try Canonical's Ubuntu Linux operating system as an alternative to Windows, advertising it on Steam's About page.

It's no secret that Valve founder Gabe Newell doesn't like Windows 8, and the fact that he's a fan of Linux is clear: as well as driving efforts to port the Steam digital distribution service and a raft of games to the open-source platform and using the software as the basis for the impending Steam Box console, his company has recently started advertising the previously-closed Steam for Linux beta.

Designed as part of his company's efforts to reduce its dependence on Microsoft, Steam for Linux ports Valve's digital distribution service - previously exclusive to Windows, before slowly making its way to Apple's OS X platform - to Linux. While the company's efforts are currently limited to Canonical's Ubuntu, the community has been hard at work making sure the Steam for Linux client runs on other Linux variants with notable success on other Debian-based distributions as well as Fedora and Arch Linux.

Thus far, however, Valve's Linux plans have been limited to hoping fans of its software come to them: the previous closed beta for the Steam for Linux client was limited to a mere thousand applicants, and even when the beta opened up to all Valve did little to promote the software - likely as a crude means of preventing the servers from being overwhelmed at too early a stage in the porting process.

Now Valve is really bringing out the big guns: this week, the company started openly advertising the existence of Steam for Linux to users of its software on all platforms, inviting them to join the beta test and see what gaming without Windows is all about.

As well as a Linux tab on the main Steam Store screen, which provides immediate access to the games currently available for the platform through the Steam for Linux beta, the company has updated its About Steam page to focus on Linux. As well as a picture of Tux, the Linux mascot, the page includes links to the Steam for Linux community group, the full list of Linux-compatible games available through the service and access to a feedback forum.

Interestingly, the page also includes a link to download Ubuntu 12.04, Canonical's long-term support (LTS) version of its Debian-based Linux distribution - meaning Valve is actively encouraging gamers on Windows and OS X systems to download and try out Linux, which is available free of charge under an open-source licence.

While the Steam Box itself may be a year or so away, it's clear that Valve is interested in laying the foundations well in advance - and with Newell confirming that the Valve Steam Box, distinct from versions offered by third-party manufacturers who licence the name, will be based on Linux, expect to see plenty more in the way of Linux marketing from Valve in the near future.

82 Comments

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sniperdude 22nd January 2013, 11:50 Quote
Tried Linux

didn't like it...now what valve?
Hg 22nd January 2013, 12:06 Quote
There is a serious lack of games available on Steam for Linux.
I have steam installed on my Ubuntu based netbook just to check how much of my game library is available and this is a big problem.
Valve should talk to one of the many companies who offer game wrappers to run windows based games under linux, such as CodeWeavers, Wine etc, to allow non native linux steam games to be easily run under these conditions
Parge 22nd January 2013, 12:12 Quote
I have literally zero interest in running Steam on Linux unless there are some tangible benefits.

The two things that will change this are:

100% of my games run
Some of the above 100% run better.

Until this happens, almost no one will switch.
Gareth Halfacree 22nd January 2013, 12:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hg
There is a serious lack of games available on Steam for Linux.
It's a beta - what do you expect? The Steam Box isn't due to launch until 2014, which is likely when Steam for Linux will leave beta status. How many games were available for the Xbox 360 a year before its launch?

As I mentioned in another thread: compare the number of games available on the Steam for Linux Beta with the number of games available for the recently-launched Wii U - and while you're doing so, remember that the Wii U is not in beta, and does not have a year to go before its official launch.
blacko 22nd January 2013, 12:29 Quote
Average Joe and Linux don't go together.
loftie 22nd January 2013, 12:32 Quote
I've broken Ubuntu too many times to want it as anything more than to see how it's coming along. Until I understand the OS better at least - which is never going to happen!
XXAOSICXX 22nd January 2013, 12:36 Quote
The problem, for me at least, is that I have no desire to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu on my main PC in order to do what I can already do in Windows.

If you're in Windows, playing a Windows-only game, and your mate comes online and says "hey, fancy a game of <insert-title>?" I'm not going to say "SURE! Let me just reboot my PC into Linux first, brb!" when I could just launch it through Steam in Windows with no fuss.

Of course the solution, then, is NOT to dual-boot, and to run Linux as my one-and-only OS, which really isn't practical tbh. I've got far too much running in Windows to want to make a wholesale shift and until Linux brings me actual benefits over and above "it's free" then I just won't be making that kind of change on my main gaming rig.
CrazyJoe 22nd January 2013, 12:59 Quote
Are there any real advantages of running games through Linux instead of Windows?
Hg 22nd January 2013, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hg
There is a serious lack of games available on Steam for Linux.
It's a beta - what do you expect? The Steam Box isn't due to launch until 2014, which is likely when Steam for Linux will leave beta status. How many games were available for the Xbox 360 a year before its launch?

As I mentioned in another thread: compare the number of games available on the Steam for Linux Beta with the number of games available for the recently-launched Wii U - and while you're doing so, remember that the Wii U is not in beta, and does not have a year to go before its official launch.

Yes i understand its a beta but Valve are pushing people to try the beta and many will not if they are unable to play there favourite games in said beta.
The only game i would be able to play would be Team Fortress 2 and i will not dual boot just to play this single game.
If Valve want people to try it out at least give them a few popular titles to try.
ShinyAli 22nd January 2013, 13:34 Quote
If Linux gets the work it needs to make it more appealing to the main stream and especially gamers it may well be because of some form of outside financial involvement like the Ubuntu Linux Amazon integration which didn't go down too well.

Would people be prepared to have Steam and game/driver developer ads and specific search engines in Linux if it helped to pay for continued development and support of Linux, Linux has come quite a way with Ubuntu and Mint but will it ever be truly game compatible if some big gaming names don't get more involved?

If Linux is not taken up by enough users to make it viable for developers, etc, they will abandon it, you can't really expect companies to spend time and money on software/drivers for Linux if it's not worthwhile, trying to convert windows users to Linux is very difficult so maybe if new PC's were sold as dual boot with windows/Linux then people could "safely" explore Linux and it would attract more users especially those that actually pay for their copy of windows, in the future they might be more inclined to go for Linux than buy the latest windows OS, I can see MS going ballistic already at the thought of new PC's with dual booting :(
Lazarus Dark 22nd January 2013, 14:18 Quote
yes, yes people. It's been a chicken and egg scenario for years. Gamers dont use Linux because there's fewer games. Developers don't use Linux because there's few gamers there. Basically, no ones been willing to take the time to invest in a long term strategy for Linux gaming, wherein there may be little to no profit (or even some loss) for the first year or more, but in the longterm Linux gaming can be grown to rival Windows. If you're not willing to invest the time in Steam beta, don't worry about it. Plenty of others have been waiting years for this, we'll get it up and running so you can switch in a year or so.
CrazyJoe 22nd January 2013, 14:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
Plenty of others have been waiting years for this, we'll get it up and running so you can switch in a year or so.

Are there any advantages for me in switching, even when a decent number of games become supported?
ShinyAli 22nd January 2013, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
yes, yes people. It's been a chicken and egg scenario for years. Gamers dont use Linux because there's fewer games. Developers don't use Linux because there's few gamers there. Basically, no ones been willing to take the time to invest in a long term strategy for Linux gaming, wherein there may be little to no profit (or even some loss) for the first year or more, but in the longterm Linux gaming can be grown to rival Windows. If you're not willing to invest the time in Steam beta, don't worry about it. Plenty of others have been waiting years for this, we'll get it up and running so you can switch in a year or so.

Good, because it takes people that know what they are talking about to evaluate Steam beta properly, a load of people just screaming "It don't work" is pointless, and Steam/Linux really has to be working well when launched because there are few second chances if it fails to impress and it will be years again before many people will bother with it.
aoakley 22nd January 2013, 14:44 Quote
I've tried it. So long as you completely ignore its persistent prompts to update your graphics card drivers and stick to the ones officially supported by your distribution's primary repositories, it's fine. If, however, you start down the path of installing cutting-edge drivers... well, my results range from "the cutting-edge drivers failed to install so I reverted to the distro ones" to "the cutting-edge drivers failed to install so I followed various Steam forum threads, completely broke my graphics card installation and had to revert to non-accelerated drivers", to "I completely broke X and had to re-install my entire operating system from scratch". The visual difference between Torchlight on distro-supported "old" graphics drivers and the cutting-edge drivers I have on my MS-Windows box is precisely bugger all, so I don't really understand why Steam For Linux keeps nagging about graphics drivers. At minimum, there should be an option to turn off driver update nags. Modern Linux updates are handled by repositories, there should never be any need to manually install drivers. Even if special cutting-edge drivers are required, they should be provided by a PPA (optional repository), and not by manual installation, and that PPA should be stable against the distribution it is targeted at. To be fair, this is as much the fault of AMD/ATI & Nvidia as it is Valve. I share Linus Torvalds' opinion of closed-source graphics card manufacturers.
damien c 22nd January 2013, 14:48 Quote
I won't try it simply because the games I play don't work on Linux.

I have asked some of the game developers on Twitter and via email if they are going to support Linux with the future releases of games and never once got a reply.

While it appears there are some benefits performance wise in games when using linux compared to windows, Valve need's to be able to show the main games that get played using Steam having such a improvement.

The other issue is that most people, don't know what the performance difference for regular stuff such as video or photo editing is on linux compared to windows.

Hopefully they can get the likes of Call Of Duty, Battlefield, Crysis, Need For speed etc working on Linux and then I will try it.
law99 22nd January 2013, 15:59 Quote
I'd like a console that you can upgrade the graphics on that is similar to a computer.
Snips 22nd January 2013, 16:05 Quote
Err..........No!
dyzophoria 22nd January 2013, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
I've broken Ubuntu too many times to want it as anything more than to see how it's coming along. Until I understand the OS better at least - which is never going to happen!

this.. in its current form linux is still.. well for hardcore users only, there where numerous times I wanted to explore it and just ended up breaking it, linux is honestly too fragile for the average joe, but is extremely powerful to enthusiasts, unless your solution is to limit the roles/permissions of user accounts. (which almost every other OS is doing/trying), good luck with convincing people with that,lol, quite frankly Valve is just pushing people to go linux just to stop the Windows 8 bandwagon (well the Windows AppStore to be specific), if their reason was much more like "linux is now sooo user friendly and sooo easy to develop and integrate for everybody", well they have bought me,lol
Jimbob 22nd January 2013, 17:04 Quote
Yes, I would love to switch from my stable, well supported operating system to one which lacks decent hardware support and has by comparison a tiny library of software and games just because erm, I have no idea what advantage.

Valve just has a pissy on with Microsoft ATM, there are very few good reasons for most people to switch.
tonyd223 22nd January 2013, 17:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by aoakley
I've tried it. So long as you completely ignore its persistent prompts to update your graphics card drivers and stick to the ones officially supported by your distribution's primary repositories, it's fine. If, however, you start down the path of installing cutting-edge drivers... well, my results range from "the cutting-edge drivers failed to install so I reverted to the distro ones" to "the cutting-edge drivers failed to install so I followed various Steam forum threads, completely broke my graphics card installation and had to revert to non-accelerated drivers", to "I completely broke X and had to re-install my entire operating system from scratch". The visual difference between Torchlight on distro-supported "old" graphics drivers and the cutting-edge drivers I have on my MS-Windows box is precisely bugger all, so I don't really understand why Steam For Linux keeps nagging about graphics drivers. At minimum, there should be an option to turn off driver update nags. Modern Linux updates are handled by repositories, there should never be any need to manually install drivers. Even if special cutting-edge drivers are required, they should be provided by a PPA (optional repository), and not by manual installation, and that PPA should be stable against the distribution it is targeted at. To be fair, this is as much the fault of AMD/ATI & Nvidia as it is Valve. I share Linus Torvalds' opinion of closed-source graphics card manufacturers.

agreed. I've played with Ubuntu for years and EVERY time I break it over something so simple like hardware that I end up uninstalling. And yes, I run it on a spare hard drive rather than a virtual machine - just don't go there. I want a real alternative to Windows (just like I want a real alternative to Intel chips) and I now have one - Android.
BLC 22nd January 2013, 17:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
Average Joe and Linux don't go together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
I've broken Ubuntu too many times to want it as anything more than to see how it's coming along. Until I understand the OS better at least - which is never going to happen!
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
The problem, for me at least, is that I have no desire to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu on my main PC in order to do what I can already do in Windows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyJoe
Are there any real advantages of running games through Linux instead of Windows?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyzophoria
this.. in its current form linux is still.. well for hardcore users only, there where numerous times I wanted to explore it and just ended up breaking it, linux is honestly too fragile for the average joe, but is extremely powerful to enthusiasts, unless your solution is to limit the roles/permissions of user accounts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbob
Yes, I would love to switch from my stable, well supported operating system to one which lacks decent hardware support and has by comparison a tiny library of software and games just because erm, I have no idea what advantage.

Valve just has a pissy on with Microsoft ATM, there are very few good reasons for most people to switch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
agreed. I've played with Ubuntu for years and EVERY time I break it over something so simple like hardware that I end up uninstalling. And yes, I run it on a spare hard drive rather than a virtual machine - just don't go there. I want a real alternative to Windows (just like I want a real alternative to Intel chips) and I now have one - Android.

From the way I look at it, these comments - as well as many other comments made many other times in many other places - seem to somewhat miss the point. Valve aren't making all this effort with Linux purely out of their own goodwill, to further any open source goals or to get people to stop using Windows altogether; they're doing it to make Linux a viable platform on which they can make money. If they can release a product where they own the whole ecosystem - hardware design, distribution platform, sales, etc - then they'd be crazy to miss that opportunity (yes I know they would not "own" the OS, but the OS is purely a means to an end). Canonical are unlikely to object because it gets their product used by more people, even if those people never see it or even realise that it's there. Valve have already pretty publicly stated their opinion on Windows, so to suddenly go back on that and base a product on Windows would be PR suicide. Happily, Linux doesn't come with added licensing cost either; so long as Valve follow any open source licence agreements that come with the code, they can do pretty much whatever the hell they want with it.

If someone buys a Steam Box do you really expect them to have to install the distro themselves or muck about "under the hood" with the OS? Valve are going to want the software as tightly integrated as they can possibly get it: you switch it on, see a Valve/Steam boot logo (possibly a "powered by Ubuntu/AMD/Nvidia/blah" logo too) and it then boots straight into Steam "big picture mode", where all your games and - more importantly for Valve - the game store are easily available via a nice friendly interface. Joe Average never needs to worry about what goes on in the background and they won't be expected to muck around with the underlying OS; bar maybe the occasional prompt that says "There are new graphics drivers available; would you like to install them now?". Their biggest market is going to be those that honestly don't care: does the average Xbox owner really give a crap or have to worry about the OS that runs everything? If Valve want a console-like experience and want this to make money for them then they can't shoot for anything less than a tightly integrated and intuitive user experience. This doesn't mean that they have to make it a totally closed platform either; Linux nerds/enthusiasts like me who me who may want to get their hands dirty or even wipe the OS altogether will be able to do so. Nerds such as those I have quoted above who have their doubts about Linux will probably stick to Windows, and Valve still get their money either way.

The point of getting a beta version out now is so that new features, fixes, tweaks, etc, can be used, tested and verified ready for the final product. It isn't going to be perfect and it isn't going to have an endless selection of games. Steam on Linux isn't going to be an overnight revolution for Linux gaming, and it probably isn't going to do anything to convince anyone who's perfectly happy with Steam on Windows - I can't see Valve losing any sleep over that either, as long as you're still buying games from them. For those of us who have been crying out for more game support on Linux however, it's practically mana from heaven; to mix my metaphors somewhat, Steam releasing their own hardware and making the whole experience more user friendly is just icing on the cake.

Of course they have a lot to do; it remains to be seen whether they can convince big developers/publishers to buy into the platform and switch from DirectX to OpenGL. I honestly have my doubts that you're going to get the really big guys like EA, Blizzard, etc to buy into it and release their "triple-A" games on it (yes, I know that those two examples have their own distribution platforms - I'm simply using them as an example of the sort of scale I'm talking about).

I can say one thing for certain however: Valve stand an infinitely better chance of getting buy in from developers than the Ouya guys do.
PCBuilderSven 22nd January 2013, 18:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hg
Valve should talk to one of the many companies who offer game wrappers to run windows based games under linux, such as CodeWeavers, Wine etc, to allow non native linux steam games to be easily run under these conditions

As much as I'd love to say all Windows titles run perfectly under Wine/CrossOver, it doesn't. While some games do (especially older ones), performance is often not great and bugs can limit enjoyability. For example while Oblivion should run without problem, Skyrim faces many bugs and isn't labelled as usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
it remains to be seen whether they can convince big developers/publishers to buy into the platform and switch from DirectX to OpenGL

Or, if they can find a way to port DirectX to Linux. Theoretically speaking, if Valve managed to convince AMD/Nvidia to join in, or where to somehow gain enough knowledge on the working of their graphics cards, it could be possible to port the DirectX library and create a graphics driver to allow DirectX calls from Linux, reducing a large amount of the overhead and compatibility issues Wine creates by relaying calls to OpenGL. It wouldn't be easy/cheap/quick, and wouldn't solve all problems or be as efficient as OpenGL, but could be used to make some progress.
CrazyJoe 22nd January 2013, 18:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Valve have already pretty publicly stated their opinion on Windows, so to suddenly go back on that and base a product on Windows would be PR suicide.

You mean like how they did with the PS3, look how that turned out.
BLC 22nd January 2013, 18:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCBuilderSven
Or, if they can find a way to port DirectX to Linux. Theoretically speaking, if Valve managed to convince AMD/Nvidia to join in, or where to somehow gain enough knowledge on the working of their graphics cards, it could be possible to port the DirectX library and create a graphics driver to allow DirectX calls from Linux, reducing a large amount of the overhead and compatibility issues Wine creates by relaying calls to OpenGL. It wouldn't be easy/cheap/quick, and wouldn't solve all problems or be as efficient as OpenGL, but could be used to make some progress.

As much as I'd like to see this happen, I doubt very much that it would be an official effort by Valve or hardware manufacturers. They stand to lose far too much if Microsoft were to step in at any point and ask, "Hang on a minute chaps, just what the hell do you think you're playing at?". I have no idea what the licensing situation is for DirectX, but I can almost guarantee that Microsoft aren't going to be happy with a concerted effort by major players to reverse-engineer it and make it work on a platform they don't like or support. It'd have to be an unofficial community effort, and that would indeed take a *long* time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyJoe
You mean like how they did with the PS3, look how that turned out.

I'm afraid you'll have to enlighten me; though I have seen the "PS3 Users" blurb in the Steam login dialog, I don't tend to follow console news (I have enough trouble keeping up with PC hardware news!)

Either way though you kinda missed another point I made further down, in a section you didn't quote; Linux won't cost Valve, or their customers, a penny. Basing a Steam Box on Windows however would incur additional cost that would have to be factored in and eventually passed on to the consumer. Why do you think Chinese manufacturers can knock out Android tablets at £40/£50 a pop?

Valve can do whatever they want with Linux: they can make whatever changes they want to suit their needs and it doesn't involve any cost whatsoever. You'd be fooling yourself if you think it isn't all about money; however friendly, cuddly or touchy-feely Valve may appear to be, they're still a business and businesses exist for one reason only: to make money.
abezors 22nd January 2013, 19:00 Quote
I'll make the switch to Linux the instant that Steam releases some big names on it. Windows is a neccessary evil that I put up with to play games, will be so glad to see the back of it. Every time I boot my W7 drive I die a little inside
schmidtbag 22nd January 2013, 19:49 Quote
There seems to be an immense amount of ignorance and arrogance in this topic. First of all, treat Linux like Windows and you'll hate it. It isn't Windows and doesn't intend to be. That being said, a "this is a Windows replacement" mentality will make your experience more difficult and negative. Also, Linux has no reason to have the full support of Windows games, just as any new platform. Again, LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS. Suppose the new Xbox won't be compatible with old games (which, AFAIK, it isn't). Is that a reason to not get it? Just because Linux can use the same hardware as Windows it doesn't mean it is OBLIGATED to do what it does.

When it comes to not preferring how it's used or finding difficulty in it, there's more than just Ubuntu... And besides, if Valve releases their own console, it likely won't have a familiar interface. I'm sure it'll boot straight into Big Picture Mode.

Secondly, Linux hardware support is fine. It had better hardware support than Vista (and still might) and has much better hardware support than Mac. In terms of devices that work but not as great as they do in Windows, those are starting to fade.

Many common problems people encounter with Linux get fixed within a year. Nearly everything I had to complain about since I first used it 5 years ago is now eliminated. As for there not being a decent collection on Steam, there's a few dozen games that Steam doesn't have yet but should eventually. Every other week I hear about a new game coming to linux or steam.
S1W1 22nd January 2013, 19:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyJoe
Are there any real advantages of running games through Linux instead of Windows?

It's free :D
Although that's not much help to those of us who already have Windows which must be about 99%...
AmEv 22nd January 2013, 20:01 Quote
Someone send me a wireless card that works with Linux that doesn't die, I'll gladly get back into Linux again!
Sloth 22nd January 2013, 20:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
It's a beta - what do you expect? The Steam Box isn't due to launch until 2014, which is likely when Steam for Linux will leave beta status. How many games were available for the Xbox 360 a year before its launch?

As I mentioned in another thread: compare the number of games available on the Steam for Linux Beta with the number of games available for the recently-launched Wii U - and while you're doing so, remember that the Wii U is not in beta, and does not have a year to go before its official launch.
That really puts things into perspective. In many ways we're spoiled by Steam, cheap games and a persistent library to download from at any time makes it easy to look at even a hundred games, more than any person could realistically play in a reasonable about of time, and consider it a tiny list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyJoe
Are there any real advantages of running games through Linux instead of Windows?
Perhaps I'm alone in this since no one seems to ever bring it up, but money is a huge advantage for Linux. Check the article recently posted on Bit about Windows 8 upgrades costing $120 for the standard version, more for a non-upgrade or Pro copies. Getting to cut off this cost is great for Valve when considering something such as a Steam box (they'd pay less per license, but it's still savings) and even better for enthusiasts building gaming PCs. Who wouldn't like to put the money of a new copy of Windows towards better hardware instead by running Linux for free?

While Windows 8 is brought up, consider how many people are/were in a fit over that. Say you really dislike the latest offering from Microsoft and, gasp, they stop selling older versions. What ever will you do? Well, Valve's got you covered. Pick up a Mac or install Linux, all of their games will run and a growing number of games from other devs on Steam will as well. Cross platform support is great, even if you (currently ;)) intend to continue gaming on Windows.
BLC 22nd January 2013, 20:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmEv
Someone send me a wireless card that works with Linux that doesn't die, I'll gladly get back into Linux again!

Even my Virgin-branded WNDA2000 USB dongle works out of the box, despite the fact that it's one of those awkward dual-mode "USB device and virtual CDROM drive in one" things. Last time I tried it on a recent Ubuntu variant (Lubuntu) I didn't even need to reboot to use it. It even worked on the Raspberry Pi! (Although it draws too much USB power for the Pi to handle, thus causing instability; works fine on a laptop/desktop though).

Wireless device support has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth

Perhaps I'm alone in this since no one seems to ever bring it up, but money is a huge advantage for Linux. Check the article recently posted on Bit about Windows 8 upgrades costing $120 for the standard version, more for a non-upgrade or Pro copies. Getting to cut off this cost is great for Valve when considering something such as a Steam box (they'd pay less per license, but it's still savings) and even better for enthusiasts building gaming PCs. Who wouldn't like to put the money of a new copy of Windows towards better hardware instead by running Linux for free?

Er, I did - twice actually, in this very thread! :p

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Happily, Linux doesn't come with added licensing cost either; so long as Valve follow any open source licence agreements that come with the code, they can do pretty much whatever the hell they want with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Either way though you kinda missed another point I made further down, in a section you didn't quote; Linux won't cost Valve, or their customers, a penny. Basing a Steam Box on Windows however would incur additional cost that would have to be factored in and eventually passed on to the consumer. Why do you think Chinese manufacturers can knock out Android tablets at £40/£50 a pop?
schmidtbag 22nd January 2013, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmEv
Someone send me a wireless card that works with Linux that doesn't die, I'll gladly get back into Linux again!

Perhaps this would help:
http://wiki.debian.org/WiFi#Install_Driver

Debian is a bit outdated so I'm sure there's a lot more support than these. The most common wifi adapters are supported out of the box.
Gareth Halfacree 22nd January 2013, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmEv
Someone send me a wireless card that works with Linux that doesn't die, I'll gladly get back into Linux again!
I've yet to find a USB wireless dongle that doesn't work out-of-the-box with Ubuntu. On the keyboard in front of me I have a ZyXEL NWD2105 and an Edimax EW-7711UMn: both work absolutely fine. I used to use a no-name 802.11b-only adapter with an ancient wireless-less laptop, which also worked, and whatever the adapter was that came free with my old 3Com OfficeConnect router also worked.

I'm not saying wireless NICs that don't work with Linux don't exist; just that I've been lucky enough not to buy one.
will_123 22nd January 2013, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by abezors
I'll make the switch to Linux the instant that Steam releases some big names on it. Windows is a neccessary evil that I put up with to play games, will be so glad to see the back of it. Every time I boot my W7 drive I die a little inside

Me also. The sooner DOTA2 comes over to linux the better!
schmidtbag 22nd January 2013, 21:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I've yet to find a USB wireless dongle that doesn't work out-of-the-box with Ubuntu. On the keyboard in front of me I have a ZyXEL NWD2105 and an Edimax EW-7711UMn: both work absolutely fine. I used to use a no-name 802.11b-only adapter with an ancient wireless-less laptop, which also worked, and whatever the adapter was that came free with my old 3Com OfficeConnect router also worked.

I'm not saying wireless NICs that don't work with Linux don't exist; just that I've been lucky enough not to buy one.

wifi used to be one of the greatest weaknesses of the linux desktop several years ago (I say desktop because corporate servers don't tend to use wifi). Perhaps AmEv was one of those people who tried linux, happened to encounter 1 thing that failed, and gave up. Sometimes all it takes is 1 defective piece of hardware or a bad first impression of just 1 DE for people to decide to give up on linux. But I suppose that's a good thing - linux is best for those who are patient and like to tweak things. If you want something that just simply works, get a Mac.
CrazyJoe 22nd January 2013, 21:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I'm afraid you'll have to enlighten me; though I have seen the "PS3 Users" blurb in the Steam login dialog, I don't tend to follow console news (I have enough trouble keeping up with PC hardware news!)

"PS3 is a waste of everybody's time"

"The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels"


Then he was on the Sony stage at E3 praising PSN and the openness of the PS3, saying:

"I'd like to thank Sony for their gracious hospitality and for not repeatedly punching me in the face"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
You'd be fooling yourself if you think it isn't all about money; however friendly, cuddly or touchy-feely Valve may appear to be, they're still a business and businesses exist for one reason only: to make money.

Yeah, I don't get the people that think Valve are the greatest company ever and they care about the gamers more than money, they are just another company that wants to make money.
AmEv 22nd January 2013, 22:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I've yet to find a USB wireless dongle that doesn't work out-of-the-box with Ubuntu.
I'm using a Linksys WUSB300N. Has some 32-bit Linux support, but with NDISwrapper. ZERO 64-bit support.

Tried Googling official Linux support on the Marvell 88W8362 chipset in it. Diddly. Squat.

PS: It's the ONLY working USB WiFi card in the house. Or garage. All others have died, and I had to scrape a microtrace for adding solder to resurrect this card.

PPS: I can install DD-WRT on a spare router I've got, but I need a TTL adapter for that... -_-
djzic 22nd January 2013, 22:22 Quote
double post sorry
djzic 22nd January 2013, 22:23 Quote
In the long term, this will be great for developers, geeks, and your average joe. The developers will be satisfied with hardware that isn't actually 4 years out of date when launched (I also hear there will be hardware upgrades available), linux geeks such as myself could tweak the OS and possibly even install another, and your average consumer should be able to pick it up and just bloody use the thing in big picture mode. Backwards compatibility with Windows shouldn't be a great problem if they can convince big companies to port their engines to linux, even if this means no backwards compatibility at least newer games could be run on Linux. Also, with the point brought up about DirectX, an open source equivalent library or 'compatibility layer' such as OpenJDK vs Oracle JDK could be developed.
Gareth Halfacree 22nd January 2013, 22:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmEv
I'm using a Linksys WUSB300N. Has some 32-bit Linux support, but with NDISwrapper. ZERO 64-bit support.
Blimey, you're right. Must remember not to buy any Linksys wireless gear!

I'd be tempted to splash out on a new dongle, to be honest: the aforementioned Edimax only costs £9. That's £9 you don't have to spend if you stick with Windows, granted - and I've always been adamant that people should use whatever operating system works for them. I use Linux, other people use Windows, still others use OS X, and a handful even use UNIX or one of the BSDs - and we all get on with the job in hand, which is actually using the machine.
AmEv 22nd January 2013, 22:54 Quote
Yeah, sucks to be in a low-budget family....


I'd love to use Linux, as I prefer it, and have little Windows dependency... Other than the wireless card.
schmidtbag 22nd January 2013, 22:56 Quote
Based on what I saw, most articles relating to your wifi driver not working in 64 bit were pretty old (old in linux terms is like 2 years). Worst case scenario, you could just stick with 32 bit. Most proprietary linux software is 32 bit x86 and if you have more than 4GB of RAM, the PAE extension has a miniscule performance impact.
GravitySmacked 22nd January 2013, 23:09 Quote
When Valve move some more games over I'll be more than happy to dual boot again (which has become more of an issue since my UEFI install of Win 7).
adidan 22nd January 2013, 23:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
It's been a chicken and egg scenario for years.
The chicken came first. The chicken produces the OC-17 protein that is involved in egg shell formation.

Anyhoo...

I've tried linux, I've liked some of them - in parts. The one reason I didn't stick with any distro is because I like to game and, at for the time being, that means I run Windows.

Steam are taking a first step, I would happily change in the future but for the time being I won't be joining (I have very few Steam games anyway). I will keep an eye on how it goes and good on them for dipping their toe in.
djzic 22nd January 2013, 23:20 Quote
Fedora boots nicely with secure boot, but it is not as painless to install Steam.
mute1 22nd January 2013, 23:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
The chicken came first. The chicken produces the OC-17 protein that is involved in egg shell formation.

Anyhoo...

Actually the egg came first. Chickens evolved from creatures that also laid eggs. After all, lots of different animals lay eggs...
SexyHyde 23rd January 2013, 02:59 Quote
I have Ubuntu 12.04 and steam on its own SSD and it was totally painless. Install Ubuntu>update>go to steam webby>download & install. Had some issues with 12.10 and Linux mint, so ditched them off (I could have got steam working but I'm doing this n00b mode). TF2 works fine with the steam recommended driver, love the fact I can quickly pick which one i want to use and just run it - this is much easier than the uninstall / install / reboot you would have to do in windows. If your new to Linux use the supported Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

I have W7 on another drive just for windows games, which i can access via bbs otherwise it boots straight into Ubuntu. Anyone bitching about Linux not being ready or usable for the average user is either trolling or smoking crack. Some Linux distros are not ready for the average user - but then they probably weren't made for the average user. Anyone that says its hard to learn/use needs to STFU, as Ubuntu and Mint (Mint especially - I'll move over to Mint once Steam works on it fine with little to no input) are a lot easier to pick up and use then Windows 8. It also does what most users want web/word/fb.

Are there any benefits to running Games on Linux/OpenGL over Windows/DX? Valve had L4D2 running faster in OpenGL than DX - not by much, but the fact that they got it running faster while still in house with testing amazes me. Especially when you think how much testing and feedback it'll have had on Windows/DX plus everything from L4D too.
docodine 23rd January 2013, 05:11 Quote
newell has two Ls at the end, misspelled in the first sentence
Adnoctum 23rd January 2013, 07:51 Quote
Bunch of babies.
You aren't being forced to use it, it is an OPTION for those who use, or would like to use, Linux in general or Ubuntu in particular.

Don't like it? Don't use it.
Don't understand it? Don't use it.
Can't use it? Don't use it.
Your favourite game hasn't been ported? Don't use it.
Hardware not supported? Don't use it.

There are plenty of games out there that have been ported to Linux or Mac OS, or can easily be ported in the future. It is not going to be for everyone. I am a Linux user, I am typing this on a Linux system, but even I am not going to entirely abandon Windows for gaming.

If you want easy, buy a console.
Or stick with Windows, be happy with your completely valid choice of OS, and leave this to those who are interested in Steam on Linux.
But if you wish to give it a go, and bring with it a spirit of exploration and enthusiasm, you will find that there are plenty of people who will also expend effort to help you.

PS. I will modify my own snotty attitude when the level of discourse regarding Linux is raised a notch.
fdbh96 23rd January 2013, 08:26 Quote
I don't really see the problem. Ubuntu is about as close to windows as it can possibly get, and the only reason I use windows is because its easier. If games ran quicker or easier on linux, I would probably switch. Its not like they're stopping support of windows (that would be stupid).
adidan 23rd January 2013, 08:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mute1
Actually the egg came first. Chickens evolved from creatures that also laid eggs. After all, lots of different animals lay eggs...
...Well, I'm just going by the scientific research currently out there including that of fossilised dinosaur eggs, it's pretty easy to google it if you fancy a look.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Bunch of babies.
Great way to get people on board with Linux, keep it up mate. ;)
Andy Mc 23rd January 2013, 09:07 Quote
Yay........ Another Linux vs Windows pissing contest. Why do all articles on Linux seem to end up this way on BT lately? I really do not care whose OS has the biggest penis. I use steam on both windows and Linux and each has their appeal and use. Over time I can see the Linux client actually being better than the windows one, providing steam can get the devs on board. This is something I wouldn't rule out.

Using the Linux beta and have found it to be really good. I'm using an Asrock Ion 330 nettop (the same one BT reviewed a few years back) and it runs great, I have 1 issue with a game not working so far, but then this is a beta.
The games that do run, perform much better than they do under windows on the same hardware.

The only issues with the actual steam client I have found are the steam overlay does not like desktop announcement popups from Lubuntu and the big picture feature runs like treacle, but then it runs badly on my main windows desktop too.

The choice of games is smaller than that of windows or Mac, but it is not unexpected considering that it is a beta and has only been really going for a year at most.

With regards to the complexity of using Linux, specifically Ubuntu, My late 70 year old mother-in-law had no issues with it and it caused me a lot less hassle with support compared to her previous windows XP system.
Tangster 23rd January 2013, 10:24 Quote
Gabe...pipe down and get on with Half-Life 3.
Nikumba 23rd January 2013, 10:38 Quote
The problem I see with this "steam box" is its not going to be cheap its probably going to cost on the same level as a mid range PC, so people are going to expect it do more things than play steam and comparing it to console is silly.

Consoles at the moment can do a lot more, you have streaming media, you can have them access NAS for media, Netflix, iPlayer etc.

Now Steam would need to include all this I think for them to make any headway but as soon as you put that in Steam, why should I change out my windows based media PC in the lounge.

Most people who will buy the Steam box will put it in their lounge as another console rather than putting them on their desk.

In terms of people bitching about problems with Linux I can see your point, I have stuffed mine up enough in the past when I was using my 8800GTS Ubuntu would not install would just go to a black screen, ok that card is a bit old now, but problems like that hamper the use of Linux.

Yes things have got a lot better, effectively having an App store built into the distro is good but still if something goes wrong you are back to scraping around in a command line and using google and hoping you find a post that is not written by some self-proclaimed linux god who thinks you should know all this.

So I think Steam for Linux will fail for all but a niche market of people, and the Steam box will work to a certain extent but its release will be coming out after the next gen of consoles so would be thinking what market is really there?

Kimbie
XXAOSICXX 23rd January 2013, 12:21 Quote
I look forward to the day when the majority of titles are released for Linux....where the Steam Box sells in the millions and Big Picture mode becomes the de facto interface for PC gaming, where game controllers have become the standard control system for PC gaming and keyboard and mouse control becomes even more of an after-thought....

No...wait.....
Icy EyeG 23rd January 2013, 12:45 Quote
To all those that said that have broken an Ubuntu installation, I'd love to hear details about it.

I say this, because, unless you start haking into it or following random guides at the internet, without paying attention/knowing what you are doing, it's very difficult to break Ubuntu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc

With regards to the complexity of using Linux, specifically Ubuntu, My late 70 year old mother-in-law had no issues with it and it caused me a lot less hassle with support compared to her previous windows XP system.

Exactly, I've installed Xubuntu on many of my relative's PCs (ages ranging from 15 to 67) and they didn't have any problems adjusting. Besides, they just love how their PC/laptop is so much faster. I've installed it on six different machines so far, and none of them has problems has of yet (almost after 2 years and a smooth upgrade to 12.04).
Andy Mc 23rd January 2013, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
Gabe...pipe down and get on with Half-Life 3.

HL3 would make for the ideal launch title for a steam box.
impar 23rd January 2013, 13:12 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc
HL3 would make for the ideal launch title for a steam box.
Released two weeks before on Linux than on Windows or Mac. :D
ShinyAli 23rd January 2013, 13:17 Quote
I HATE STEAM..there said it, an unnecessary layer of software for no other reason than to make money for the middlemen, don't use Steam on windows or Linux and don't intend to, so f-ck em all :D
Andy Mc 23rd January 2013, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyAli
I HATE STEAM..there said it, an unnecessary layer of software for no other reason than to make money for the middlemen, don't use Steam on windows or Linux and don't intend to, so f-ck em all :D

Where else is convenient to get your games from? I'd rather buy from steam and then be able to instantly start my download, than order from amazon and have to wait for delivery.

Also with regards to the "middleman" comment, just about everything you buy goes via someone else first, Why hate on just a single instance?
Do you buy your groceries direct from the farmer, or from your local supermarket? If the answer is supermarket, then why not go to the producers directly and cut out the money making middlemen?
PCBuilderSven 23rd January 2013, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
They stand to lose far too much if Microsoft were to step in at any point and ask, "Hang on a minute chaps, just what the hell do you think you're playing at?". I have no idea what the licensing situation is for DirectX, but I can almost guarantee that Microsoft aren't going to be happy with a concerted effort by major players to reverse-engineer it and make it work on a platform they don't like or support. It'd have to be an unofficial community effort, and that would indeed take a *long* time.

Having done a bit of searching, it turns out a community effort is already underway with ReactX (from ReactOS), which, apparently, is entirely legal and structured to avoid lawsuits. However, progress is apparently limited by a lack of developers. While not likely at all, Valve could support the project, perhaps not openly to avoid being attacked by Microsoft.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Blimey, you're right. Must remember not to buy any Linksys wireless gear!

Really? I've had no problem with Linksys wireless cards (WRT-600N I believe) on openSuse 64bit and Ubuntu (I think 64 bit, may have been 32 though). I didn't need any drivers at all.
Sloth 23rd January 2013, 20:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC

Er, I did - twice actually, in this very thread! :p
I reject your reality and substitute my own! :D

One other person out of the many different Linux themed threads. It's still a very small number of people who seem to note cost as a distinct advantage. I think people just forget how much an OS can cost since it's something an average person only buys once every few years. Valve are surely well aware of the costs looking at a potential for hundreds of thousands of licenses.
velo 23rd January 2013, 22:01 Quote
I've no interest in dual-booting any time soon - tried it for a long, long time and no longer see the benefits - but knocking ~£75 off the price of building a console-replacement is no bad thing. Even if it doesn't make it cheaper than the next generation of consoles will be, bringing the price of a mini-itx Linux box closer to that point might make it worthwhile as a bit of fun.
ShinyAli 24th January 2013, 00:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc
Where else is convenient to get your games from? I'd rather buy from steam and then be able to instantly start my download, than order from amazon and have to wait for delivery.

Also with regards to the "middleman" comment, just about everything you buy goes via someone else first, Why hate on just a single instance?
Do you buy your groceries direct from the farmer, or from your local supermarket? If the answer is supermarket, then why not go to the producers directly and cut out the money making middlemen?

Maybe hate was the wrong word,"Despise with a vengence" would have been a better choice :D
Seriously, is it that inconvienient to buy your games from other sources than Steam, we all got along just fine without it before and there are other sites to buy and d/load games from without being tied into the Steam system and most gamers are quite capable of patching games when needed without Steams "help".

My biggest problem with Steam is that many new games require Steam activation, it can only be done once and that wipes out a large part of the the used game market in one stroke, I know because I've tried to reactivate a used game I bought quite legitimately and Steam made it very clear that they never do this under any circumstances, so if you can't afford to buy a new copy of a game how are you supposed to ever play it?

Game makers claim that Steam activation helps reduce piracy but from what I've often read online it actually encourages it because some people won't bother to buy a used game as there is no point so they just pirate it, of course the game makers have no interest in the used game market as they make no money from it.
fdbh96 24th January 2013, 00:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyAli
Maybe hate was the wrong word,"Despise with a vengence" would have been a better choice :D
Seriously, is it that inconvienient to buy your games from other sources than Steam, we all got along just fine without it before and there are other sites to buy and d/load games from without being tied into the Steam system and most gamers are quite capable of patching games when needed without Steams "help".

My biggest problem with Steam is that many new games require Steam activation, it can only be done once and that wipes out a large part of the the used game market in one stroke, I know because I've tried to reactivate a used game I bought quite legitimately and Steam made it very clear that they never do this under any circumstances, so if you can't afford to buy a new copy of a game how are you supposed to ever play it?

Game makers claim that Steam activation helps reduce piracy but from what I've often read online it actually encourages it because some people won't bother to buy a used game as there is no point so they just pirate it, of course the game makers have no interest in the used game market as they make no money from it.

I suppose in a way steam combats second hand sales but offering a fair discount in the sales. So instead of waiting to buy a game second hand, I now occasionally wait for a game to be in the sales.
SexyHyde 24th January 2013, 01:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
I suppose in a way steam combats second hand sales but offering a fair discount in the sales. So instead of waiting to buy a game second hand, I now occasionally wait for a game to be in the sales.

What this man said! I got 5 games for £20 in one sale. Oh and who supports their games as long as Valve do? do they do it for free like Valve? The only thing that comes close to Steam is XBOX Live and Microsoft charge you £40 a year, how much do we pay for Steam?
mdshann 24th January 2013, 01:55 Quote
I think it's funny that publishers complain about used game sales. Any time I have sold used games it was so I could afford to buy a new game that just came out.
Adnoctum 24th January 2013, 05:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Bunch of babies.
Great way to get people on board with Linux, keep it up mate. ;)

My mistake, because for a moment I thought we were on a site for gaming and computing enthusiasts, the sorts of people who like to tinker and experiment. People who WANT to be be first adopters, and put up with the trials and tribulations that this means.

Quite frankly, I hope my attitude (which I freely admitted in my post was snotty) does put people off gaming on Linux, especially those people who shouldn't be playing around with it.
Linux is easy to use (if you come with an open mind), but gaming is going the be a challenge because it is a demanding activity and not many companies support the platform like they do with Windows. Unless efforts are made by the developers to make the game work on Linux, gaming can be fraught.

Who do I (imperiously and arrogantly) think shouldn't be playing with Linux for gaming purposes?
  • People who are too impatient to deal with the slightest of life's frustrations.
  • People who aren't willing to learn new things, or who give up when confronted with their first problem, or who complain loudly when somebody hasn't spent (uncompensated) hours/days working on their issue/problem, or who are unable to deal calmly and politely with other human beings trying to help them.
  • People whose technical skills stop with the ability to toggle an option in a control panel from On to Off.
These people should stick to well supported Windows or consoles. Linux isn't ready for them yet.

The great thing about modern gaming and computing is that it has gone mainstream, everyone games and everyone is a computer user.
What is missing a lot lately from gaming and computing is the spirit of adventure and experimentation we used to get when we were minority "nerds" and "geeks". Now it is expected that everything will work without effort, and believe me, I like that a lot as well. But there is also a reluctance to tinker and explore, and a lack of resilience to failure and frustration.

Linux has gone mainstream. It is easy to learn and use and it is robust. I've converted my family to Linux, including my computer illiterate father and my ingrained-Windows-user mother. If they can potter along using Linux without borking the installation and killing components then any of the enthusiasts on Bit-Tech should.
Gaming on Linux hasn't gone mainstream, and it isn't ready yet. It is still for enthusiasts, and we shouldn't be encouraging shallow (experience and knowledge-wise, not emotionally!) computer users to try it yet, because they will be vocal in expressing their discontent with Linux in general.
Adnoctum 24th January 2013, 05:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
The only thing that comes close to Steam is XBOX Live and Microsoft charge you £40 a year, how much do we pay for Steam?

Too much. I'm afraid to go back and total up how much Valve extracted from me over the Christmas/New Year period. I have a feeling that it was more than I should have.
"Set a budget!" I hear someone say.
Pfft!! Budgets are for things like utilities, and housing payments, and food, and sexual favours. Not for such essentials as computer bits and Steam Sales!
Andy Mc 24th January 2013, 07:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyAli

Seriously, is it that inconvienient to buy your games from other sources than Steam, we all got along just fine without it before and there are other sites to buy and d/load games from without being tied into the Steam system and most gamers are quite capable of patching games when needed without Steams "help".
Well back in the day I would have been able to walk into town and be able to buy a PC game from one of 6 different high street stores. Today in my nearest town there is not a single place I can think of that actually stocks PC titles (let alone have a good selection).
As such I have to use Steam or buy online. Steam wins here. I would gladly use other download sites such as Desuria and GoG. I have an Origin account but it is nowhere near as good or usable as Steam is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyAli

My biggest problem with Steam is that many new games require Steam activation, it can only be done once and that wipes out a large part of the the used game market in one stroke, I know because I've tried to reactivate a used game I bought quite legitimately and Steam made it very clear that they never do this under any circumstances, so if you can't afford to buy a new copy of a game how are you supposed to ever play it?
This will soon be a thing of the past as a recent EU ruling made secondhand sales legal. There was an article/forum post on BT about it a few months back. Steam have already honored distance selling rules with regards to a purchase of a game that someone changed their mind about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyAli

Game makers claim that Steam activation helps reduce piracy but from what I've often read online it actually encourages it because some people won't bother to buy a used game as there is no point so they just pirate it, of course the game makers have no interest in the used game market as they make no money from it.

With Steam there is no reason to pirate, as the game will undoubtedly be on sale at some point for a fraction of it's RRP. Also due to the heavy reliance on multiplayer for most games, piracy becomes incredibly difficult as at most the pirate only gets a very limited portion of the game. The only way they can get the full experience is to either run a hacked server, which is normally full of hackers and cheats, or to steal a legitimate users login credentials.
Gareth Halfacree 24th January 2013, 08:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Quite frankly, I hope my attitude (which I freely admitted in my post was snotty) does put people off gaming on Linux, especially those people who shouldn't be playing around with it.
And this is the sort of thing I hate: superior types who think that their choice of operating system defines them as a person, and makes them better than those who use 'lesser' platforms. Linux users who look down their noses at the idiots who need their hands held to do the simplest tasks; Windows users who look down their noses at the idiots who spend hour faffing with kernel compilation for no good reason; OS X users who look down their noses at the uncreative types with their ugly, clunky operating systems.

Stop it. All of you.

Everyone should, within reason, be permitted to try every operating system. Linux is not for scientists any more - hell, my mother uses it. Windows isn't the clunky Mac OS rip-off it used to be. OS X has long since dropped its image as the Fisher Price My First Operating System.

It happens everywhere and with every OS, but it just so happens that Adnoctum is in the former camp: "I use Linux, so I'm clever, and everyone can suck it." That's not helpful. I want people who don't know what they're doing to use Linux, 'cos only then will Linux developers start addressing usability problems still extant in the platform - and as these problems are resolved, Linux becomes a better platform for it. As a Linux user myself, that's a good thing from my perspective.

In short: sit down, shut up, and let people use whatever operating system lets them get their tasks done the fastest and with the least fuss.
XXAOSICXX 24th January 2013, 11:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Snippety-snip

Well said G-man :)
ShinyAli 24th January 2013, 12:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
What this man said! I got 5 games for £20 in one sale. Oh and who supports their games as long as Valve do? do they do it for free like Valve? The only thing that comes close to Steam is XBOX Live and Microsoft charge you £40 a year, how much do we pay for Steam?

Depends what you mean by "supporting games" most game companies support their games with updates and patches free of charge, what makes Steam so different?
Only time will tell just how long Steam supports games, I can still play Tomb Raider 1 on windows 7 and that was released in 1996 and it still has some value whereas any game requiring Steam activation suffers 100% depreciation as soon as activated and is then worthless and useless to anyone else.

A lot of people like to play old games I doubt that will be possible for many games released in the future, many older games are also supported by their fan base that produce patches/installers etc, that may well not be possible (legally) with newer games that require a lot of the game content to be d/loaded when the game is activated.

Just hope Steam keeps making money because if it stops operating a lot of people are going to be very upset and will wish they simply had a game on a DVD with no middlemen.
ShinyAli 24th January 2013, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
I want people who don't know what they're doing to use Linux, 'cos only then will Linux developers start addressing usability problems still extant in the platform - and as these problems are resolved

Well said that man, most Windows users don't know what they are doing but can still use it and that's just how Linux has to be, A nut has a kernel and windows are for looking through and that's it as far as most computer users are concerned and as they are the majority of users they are the one's that should really matter to OS developers/sellers.
Adnoctum 24th January 2013, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
And this is the sort of thing I hate: superior types who think that their choice of operating system defines them as a person, and makes them better than those who use 'lesser' platforms.

Your assumptions regarding my "superiority" is misdirected and inaccurate. I have no opinions of superiority about Linux. I don't hate Windows (with the exception of the W8/not-Metro combination. W8 is otherwise fine).

They are tools which I use selectively.

I have converted my Mum to Ubuntu because I got tired of her elderly computer grinding to a halt with XP. No more problems with that. I got my Dad on Ubuntu as his first computer experience because . . . why not?
I'm not a Linux advocate. If someone expresses an interest, I'll tell them about it and my experience, but other than that I'm not emotionally invested. If they want to genuinely dip a toe, then I'll help them patiently and helpfully.

What I hate are people who think converting to Linux will come easily and who show no resilience when confronted with a problem and then spam the Internet with "Linux sux". In other words, people who preconceive that it should be Windows then complain when it isn't. It didn't suit you, OK. If you don't like Toyotas, drive a Honda and be happy.
Do you think getting my Mum (who has used XP for a decade, and nothing before that) to use Ubuntu came easily? Do you think there weren't voices raised as she got frustrated? Do you think a snotty attitude would have helped matters? I get snotty when people who should know better express the same old arguments that I thought we had bludgeoned to death in a suicidal orgy before moving on. Or was that another forum?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Everyone should, within reason, be permitted to try every operating system. Linux is not for scientists any more - hell, my mother uses it. Windows isn't the clunky Mac OS rip-off it used to be. OS X has long since dropped its image as the Fisher Price My First Operating System.

Damned straight. Testify, brother! You can't see me, but I just raised my fist in solidarity.
Although I am interested in your qualifying statement "within reason".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
It happens everywhere and with every OS, but it just so happens that Adnoctum is in the former camp: "I use Linux, so I'm clever, and everyone can suck it." That's not helpful.

If you read what I wrote (either of my posts), you'd see I didn't say any of that. I didn't say any of that, because I don't believe it to be true. My "babies" comment (and the associated YouTube link you excised) was meant to be a humorous dig at our seriousness and quite self-deprecating at my own seriousness as well [Note 1]. I'll be sure to keep my sly sense of humour at home [Note 2].
I neither said nor implied that I was clever (although I am, as my framed certificate from an online IQ test proves. 52 is always a passing mark, so suck it Bit-Tech!), a brilliant Linux ace (I am self-classifying myself as "competent"), or that Linux users are inherently cleverer than Windows users. Who cares and is it relevant?

I have a friend (in his 20s) who is a big gamer. He is very proficient with Windows, he grew up with it. I wouldn't dream of encouraging him to try Linux to game on. That is a train wreck I can see coming, for which I have no time and no patience. There are some people (see previous comment re: criteria), as nice as they are, who should not be encouraged to pick up Linux for gaming purposes. For now.
I have an older friend (in his 60s) who is a late-life born-again computer enthusiast and comfortable in Windows (not a gamer). I introduced him to Ubuntu as the easiest way into Linux. He tore into it with enthusiasm and curiosity, he tinkered, he asked questions that challenged me, he screwed around and broke lots of things. I am always happy to spend the time to help him. He makes it worth it, and I'm a more informed Linux user because of it.

I said that gaming on Linux isn't ready for the mainstream. People are going to try it, find all manner of barriers and write off Linux. It was the same at one point for Linux as desktop replacement, until there was a concerted effort to make it more accessible. The process of making Linux a viable mainstream gaming choice is really only beginning.


Note 1: I hate LOL. Nothing ruins humour quicker than hanging a hearty LOL on it. And I'm not overly fond of :hyperactive attention grabbers: either. It may help with non-written subtext in written conversations, but and :( and . . . ?
Note 2: I'm not using slang to imply my sense of humour is gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that. LOL.
Gareth Halfacree 24th January 2013, 13:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
My "babies" comment (and the associated YouTube link you excised) was meant to be a humorous dig at our seriousness and quite self-deprecating at my own seriousness as well [Note 1]. I'll be sure to keep my sly sense of humour at home [Note 2].
I'm often told - usually by those at which it is aimed - that my sarcasm is the lowest form of humour. I posit that posting a link to a completely unrelated and expletive-filled video - with or without an NSFW warning - on an open section of the forum designated for serious discussion regarding the topic of the site's news posts, blogs and articles is one of the few forms that could fairly be described as digging yet deeper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
I said that gaming on Linux isn't ready for the mainstream. People are going to try it, find all manner of barriers and write off Linux. It was the same at one point for Linux as desktop replacement, until there was a concerted effort to make it more accessible. The process of making Linux a viable mainstream gaming choice is really only beginning.
And without the input of the gaming masses, who do not yet know Linux, it will never progress. Remember that Valve's goal here is to get gaming on Linux to the point where it's basically Linux Live Arcade: choose a game, wait for it to download, play. If the only people who try Steam for Linux are those who already know Linux, they won't see "oh, and then vi /etc/defaults/steam/config/main.config to change the line that says default_render_target to xrandr unless you've got an Nvidia card in which case..." as being the problem it clearly is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Damned straight. Testify, brother! You can't see me, but I just raised my fist in solidarity. Although I am interested in your qualifying statement "within reason".
My qualification was more to do with being able to try different operating systems, but not forced to try different operating systems, only badly phrased by my pre-coffee brain. Some operating systems should not be tried by certain individuals: the average Windows or OS X user (or, for that matter, Ubuntu Linux user) would be utterly horrified if they were given a Gentoo boot disk and told to get on with it; those involved in audio production will find the parlous state of Linux audio makes it almost completely useless for professional work without a serious amount of effort; those interested purely in gaming shouldn't bother with OS X until all major studios release ports of their games at the same time as the Windows versions. And so forth, and so on.
BLC 24th January 2013, 14:15 Quote
Haven't we been having these arguments for years now? Amstrad vs. C64 vs. ZX-81, Atari vs. Amiga, Nintendo vs. Sega, Sega vs. Nintendo vs. Sony, Sony vs. Microsoft, Mac vs. PC, Windows vs. Linux, Intel vs. AMD...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
If the only people who try Steam for Linux are those who already know Linux, they won't see "oh, and then vi /etc/defaults/steam/config/main.config to change the line that says default_render_target to xrandr unless you've got an Nvidia card in which case..." as being the problem it clearly is.

I know exactly what that means and I can still see a problem with it: the fact that you would actively choose to use vi when nano is so much easier! :p And it'll probably need a sudo at the start of the command... :D
SexyHyde 25th January 2013, 01:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyAli
Depends what you mean by "supporting games" most game companies support their games with updates and patches free of charge, what makes Steam so different?
Only time will tell just how long Steam supports games, I can still play Tomb Raider 1 on windows 7 and that was released in 1996 and it still has some value whereas any game requiring Steam activation suffers 100% depreciation as soon as activated and is then worthless and useless to anyone else.

A lot of people like to play old games I doubt that will be possible for many games released in the future, many older games are also supported by their fan base that produce patches/installers etc, that may well not be possible (legally) with newer games that require a lot of the game content to be d/loaded when the game is activated.

Just hope Steam keeps making money because if it stops operating a lot of people are going to be very upset and will wish they simply had a game on a DVD with no middlemen.

How much does the average game get patched and updated after a year or two? If you play old games then your going to have to download all the updates it may have, as the disk will only have the release day code. Patching and updating games is tiresome and I can recall one game where I had a 500+ MB patch that had to be downloaded thrice before I got a working patch. With steam all my games are up to date, playing on other computers is fine, installing on other computers is fine - and I don't need to have the disc or code, I can see what my friends are playing and join them if I fancy, I can gift games to friends quite easily (which I have) they can gift games to me (which they have) and steam can give me extra copies of trials and games
so I can gift them (and they have, despite always sending off the inset reg cards for boxed games, I never got an extra copy to give to a friend).

If steam go out of business (which looks extremely unlikely in the short-mid term) I can back up my games, and don't think that all the fans that code extra content for games wouldn't get a hacked steam running to play your backed up content.

I've used steam since the beta - when it was rubbish and didn't work. What Steam is now is excellent, works well, easy to use, great discounts, great functionality and they don't charge you a penny for it.

I don't moan when I go to the cinema and cant sell the experience on again. If the lack of resale of games bothers you so much just wait till the game is at a price your willing to pay, [full price] - [expected resale price] = [price you buy game, without moaning about lost resale], It's what I do.
ShinyAli 25th January 2013, 13:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
How much does the average game get patched and updated after a year or two? If you play old games then your going to have to download all the updates it may have, as the disk will only have the release day code. Patching and updating games is tiresome and I can recall one game where I had a 500+ MB patch that had to be downloaded thrice before I got a working patch. With steam all my games are up to date, playing on other computers is fine, installing on other computers is fine - and I don't need to have the disc or code, I can see what my friends are playing and join them if I fancy, I can gift games to friends quite easily (which I have) they can gift games to me (which they have) and steam can give me extra copies of trials and games
so I can gift them (and they have, despite always sending off the inset reg cards for boxed games, I never got an extra copy to give to a friend).

If steam go out of business (which looks extremely unlikely in the short-mid term) I can back up my games, and don't think that all the fans that code extra content for games wouldn't get a hacked steam running to play your backed up content.

I've used steam since the beta - when it was rubbish and didn't work. What Steam is now is excellent, works well, easy to use, great discounts, great functionality and they don't charge you a penny for it.

I don't moan when I go to the cinema and cant sell the experience on again. If the lack of resale of games bothers you so much just wait till the game is at a price your willing to pay, [full price] - [expected resale price] = [price you buy game, without moaning about lost resale], It's what I do.

Good for you, you've obviously embraced "The Steam lifestyle", you only have to look online to see there are many people that are not as easily pleased as you are, "Patching and updating games is tiresome" right, it's such hard work and your obviously computer illiterate which is why your posting on a PC tech site and a lot of people have complained that Steam patches and updates mess their games up.

So, if I don't want to abide by the Law of Steam and buy a game that is worthless after activation then I should wait until the price comes down so I won't lose so much resale value, how does that work exactly, it's still worth nothing after activation regardless of what you payed for it and it doesn't sound very fair to me in fact it sounds like discrimination, DON'T LIKE THE STEAM WAY, THEN YOU CAN F-CK OFF, nice..

I object to Steam being the only option to buy and activate a new game when game makers use it that way, one company having so much control over the game industry and becoming a monopoly is not a good thing...time will tell.
fooboi 7th February 2013, 09:36 Quote
I find this broke linux thing hillarious, considering it is near impossible to do so. I mean I've done some really bad things and fixing it was usually as simple as pie, I haven't reinstalled my linux since moving to fedora 4 years ago upgraded from 14 through to 18 no reinstalls, In that time my Windows gaming rig has been reinstalled at least twice a year and it only gets switched on for gaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyzophoria
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
I've broken Ubuntu too many times to want it as anything more than to see how it's coming along. Until I understand the OS better at least - which is never going to happen!

this.. in its current form linux is still.. well for hardcore users only, there where numerous times I wanted to explore it and just ended up breaking it, linux is honestly too fragile for the average joe, but is extremely powerful to enthusiasts, unless your solution is to limit the roles/permissions of user accounts. (which almost every other OS is doing/trying), good luck with convincing people with that,lol, quite frankly Valve is just pushing people to go linux just to stop the Windows 8 bandwagon (well the Windows AppStore to be specific), if their reason was much more like "linux is now sooo user friendly and sooo easy to develop and integrate for everybody", well they have bought me,lol
Kasvain 5th December 2013, 20:07 Quote
As a long-time newbie linux user I have to say that Steam works best on Ubuntu machines because it always does have the newest libraries, newest versions of programs and software is needed by Steam. The Ubuntu is based on Debian linux, but Debian does not have the amount of developers Ubuntu does have and that is what makes Ubuntu more often updated than Debian.
I have managed to install older version of Steam on a Debian machine once, I had to get the needed packages and software manually. After days of fighting with hundreds of packages, I managed to get it work.
schmidtbag 5th December 2013, 20:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasvain
As a long-time newbie linux user I have to say that Steam works best on Ubuntu machines because it always does have the newest libraries, newest versions of programs and software is needed by Steam. The Ubuntu is based on Debian linux, but Debian does not have the amount of developers Ubuntu does have and that is what makes Ubuntu more often updated than Debian.
I have managed to install older version of Steam on a Debian machine once, I had to get the needed packages and software manually. After days of fighting with hundreds of packages, I managed to get it work.

Eh, not quite. Yes, Ubuntu is a debian derivative, but there are 3 core reasons why Steam isn't so debian friendly:
1. Ubuntu is like an adopted child - it has the same characteristics as it's "biological" parent (debian), but Canonical, the "foster" parent, shaped it to behave completely different. You might be able to find a package of a program that is the same version on both debian and ubuntu, but it doesn't mean it will work, because canoncial modified it to their liking.
2. Steam was explicitly (originally) intended to be for ubuntu only. The fact that it doesn't easily work on other distros is exactly why Valve never bothered supporting all of them. While I'm not saying canonical has made all the right decisions with ubuntu (meaning, ubuntu isn't exactly qualified to be a linux standard), its repository is the most popular and ubuntu is the only free distro with commercialization in mind.
3. Debian is intended to be stable, and by their definition that means old. Ubuntu is more cutting-edge

Personally, I don't find steam to be any better or worse on linux than it is with windows. It seems to take up less disk space (which is weird considering how much space it wastes on temporary files and 32 libraries) and you don't have to wait to install games, but it overall has an equal experience in my opinion.
Assassin8or 6th December 2013, 23:01 Quote
I see Steam on Linux[SoL] as a minority pursuit in the long run. It is for the current and future crops of Linux guys or those that are already part of the SoL Beta and have been since they could get accepted, or since general availability earlier this year.

For those that want a fairly flawless console/MS Windows like experience, well that's what Steam OS should become, eventually.

And here's a reality check for those wanting Windows games on Steam OS/SoL. Just as the XBone and PS4 can't play each other's games discs or downloads, even though they pretty much share the same architecture, you should not expect Steam OS/SoL to play MS Windows games, even if you can run the OSes on the same machine.

The slight benefit of Steam that I see is that Valve are pushing for Steam Play, so you should buy the game once and play anywhere; whether that be Windows/Mac/SoL or Steam OS. It is one of the reasons that I have a reasonable collection of games on Steam; the support.
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