Steam for Linux officially launched
With beta testing now officially completed, Valve Software has released the Linux client for its Steam game delivery platform. The software is available to download from the Ubuntu Software Centre and Valve has provided a downloadable deb package. The company has only recently relicensed the client with provisions that allow it to be included in Linux distributions. Valve recommends Ubuntu, but support for other distributions has been further improved during public beta testing, which started in December.
Valve has Half-Life, Counter-Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Source and the free-to-play Team Fortress 2 available on Steam for Linux. For a limited period, Linux gamers playing TF2 will receive the Linux mascot Tux as in-game free content. To celebrate the launch, Valve is offering between 50% and 75% discount on Linux titles bought in Steam until 21 February.
Users who purchase a game on Steam can play it on all available platforms ("buy-once, play-anywhere"). Around 60 games are currently available for Linux; these are marked with a penguin and are listed on a dedicated Linux page. In many cases, however, the system requirements for specific games are missing. The spectrum of the available games ranges from mini-games for whiling away a few minutes to large scale adventures and first-person shooters. Still on the to-do list, however, is Left 4 Dead 2, which Valve announced had been ported last year.
More information about Steam on Linux can be found in the Linux Steam game hub, where Valve has collected announcements, user contributions, screenshots and videos.