PC gaming comes to Ubuntu Linux with Steam client release

No longer a pipe-dream or a beta, the Steam gaming client is now available for Ubuntu. What was that about there not being any games for Linux?
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Since the dawn of the Linux penguin there has been one constant user compliant: "Linux won't run my games!" Those days are now over. Today, February 14th, the Steam gaming client for Ubuntu Linux has arrived.

Big-time PC gaming is now available on Ubuntu thanks to Canonical & Steam.

According to the Canonical blog, "users can now install the Steam Client with a few simple clicks in our Software Center, the fastest and safest way to install thousands of paid and free applications on Ubuntu. Canonical and Valve have worked closely together to make Ubuntu the best performing open platform for gaming and now the ultimate entertainment platform is fully supported."

If that wasn't big enough news for gamers, Steam is also putting every Ubuntu-enabled title on sale for 50-75% off until Monday, February 21 at 10:00am PST. Their initial game offering consists of 60 games including such popular titles as Half-Life, Counter-Strike and the free to play Team Fortress 2. For hardcore Linux fans, "as a launch giveaway and for the hardcore gamers who need every item in Team Fortress, for a limited time when you play Team Fortress 2 on Ubuntu you will get a Tux penguin item to keep or trade."

Valve Software has been working on bringing its Steam game engine to Ubuntu Linux since last summer. Eventually, Steam is expected to bring their own Ubuntu-Linux powered gaming console to market. This is expected to compete with other gaming consoles such as the Xbox, PS/3, and Wii.

Valve decided to bring Steam to the Ubuntu Linux distribution first because "working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster. Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. This doesn’t mean that Ubuntu will be the only distribution we support. Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future.”

At the same time, don't look for many more Steam-powered games on Windows 8. Valve president and co-founder, Gabe Newell, recently said, "Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."

In a statement, Valve said, "We welcome all the new Steam users who can now upgrade to Ubuntu. Steam Big Picture running on your Ubuntu computer connected to the living room TV is a great way to experience the future today. Canonical looks forward to the steady progress of games from all our partners on Ubuntu on the desktop and soon on the Ubuntu phone and tablet in due course."

The client, and the games are indeed available now. When you first download the client, you'll get a notice about a beta-installer, but just continue on. In addition, before you can play any game you'll need to download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash. Once this is done, you'll be ready to play.


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