Valve’s Steam for Linux finally enters public beta testing

steambox

Open source operating system enthusiasts rejoice! Valve’s Steam and its growing love affair with the Linux operating system continues to grow. The company announced on Wednesday that the Steam for Linux Beta is now public and available to any and all Ubuntu OS users to check it out.

Valve first announced that it had started up the eleven-person Valve Linux Team back in July. “The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. We’re made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available,” read the initial announcement, “We’re still giving attention and effort to minor features but it’s a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing.”

Limited closed beta testing opened to a larger number of people at the beginning of November. Over 60,000 people applied to act as testers, the majority of them Ubuntu users, but Valve didn’t close out the possibility of supporting other Linux platforms. “We intend to support additional popular distros in the future; we’ll prioritize development for these based on user feedback,” said Valve Linux Team member Frank Crockett.

The number of Linux-ready games on Steam grew from 25 at the beginning of November to 39 as of this writing, including some of Valve’s most popular games like Team Fortress 2, big shooters like Serious Sam 3, and some well respected indie titles like Trine 2 and Aquaria. 

Why bring Steam to Linux now? For starters, Valve isn’t happy about the current state of Microsoft Windows. Co-founder Gabe Newell has publicly denounced the Windows 8 operating system multiple times in 2012, singling out the closed nature of the platform compared to past versions of Windows. Valve is also developing its own commercial PCs meant for living room gaming. It’s likely that the company will make it a Linux-based machine since it’s so dissatisfied with Microsoft’s current platform.

Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Product Review

The Division 2 feels more like a revision, but fans will love it

If the private beta is any indication, The Division 2 is shaping up to be a better version of the original, rather than a brand-new experience. That said, the game is looking quite great.
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.