Valve plans beta test for Steam on Linux
Valve's Linux Team has announced that development on the Steam client for Linux has been progressing well and that a beta release is forthcoming. The company is planning to start internal beta testing on the client next week and will launch a closed external beta test in October.
The external beta test will include 1,000 users who will receive one Valve game and a test build of the client, which is supported for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and later. Valve did not announce which game will be included but it is likely that the unnamed title will be Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) as Valve has already spent considerable effort porting that game to Linux. The Big Picture mode that changes the client's look and feel to something akin to a gaming console and lets users play Steam games with a game pad is not included in the Linux version at this point.
Valve says that it will announce details of where interested users can sign up for the external beta test on its Linux Team blog at a later date. Testers who want to take part should be experienced Linux users; the company suggests that newcomers to the platform should wait for a subsequent version which will include more options and an easier installation.