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Old 05-19-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Linux Thread

With Steam now available on Mac OSX, the GNU/Linux community is now eager to see a native client. This thread is for those of us who wish to express our desire for such a client and to discuss GNU/Linux gaming in general.

TROLLS BE WARNED: We will not hesitate to report any of this nonsense on sight, and we have had the support of the forum staff for this thread for over a year. Do not waste your time here.

First, let's take care of some myths...

Myth: Steam will never come to Linux!
Fact: Steam for Linux has already been announced, along with a native port of Left 4 Dead 2 and more games to come! You can keep track of Valve's progress on the Valve Linux Blog.

Myth: Nobody uses Linux!
Fact: Millions of people use it, it's just not the several hundred million users that Windows has.

Myth: There are no games for Linux!
Fact: flibitijibibo has taken the liberty of creating a wiki to disprove this in the case of Steam games. Check out The Big List of Steam Games on GNU/Linux!

Myth: Nobody plays games with Linux!
Fact: We have not only proven that we care about games with projects like Wine, but we have also demonstrated that we buy more games/pay more for games than the typical Windows/OSX user in every single Humble Indie Bundle.

Myth: Supporting Linux isn't worth it!
Fact: Not only has the Humble Bundle shown otherwise, but other developers have seen this too. Check this post by the developers of Osmos, this post by the developer of Mystic Mine, and this post by the developers of World of Goo.

Myth: Supporting all the Linux distributions is too hard!
Fact: We have POSIX for a reason. While packaging tends to suck (.deb, .rpm, etc.), this largely does not affect games. Games can be installed with a simple and (mostly) universal .run binary file that installs the game's binaries and content in a single folder, and the necessary libraries (such as OpenAL) can typically be installed from the distribution's repositories. This has been seen primarily with id Software's games, as well as several games in the Humble Indie Bundles.

In fact, even a .run file would be largely irrelevant for Steam games. Steam itself could be installed with a .run and the games would simply be downloaded just like they do now. It's the equivalent of .tar.gz packed games, which are compatible with all maintained distributions.

As for actually developing the games on the platform, it's not any harder than supporting the Mac. In fact, if you use some of the newer features of OpenGL (such as tessellation in OpenGL 4), supporting Linux is actually easier than supporting OSX.

Myth: Linux hardware support is garbage!
Fact: As of 2011 this is now limited to wireless drivers and more esoteric, outdated hardware. Even graphics card drivers are now up to speed, even if they are generally proprietary software.

Myth: Wine sucks!
Fact: Wine... well, yeah, it kind of does. That's why we would like native support, see?

Myth: You shouldn't use Linux for games, just use Windows like everyone else.
Fact: Hey, wait, that's not a myth! That's just a bad suggestion!

Not only do GNU/Linux users just prefer the OS over Windows, but in some cases Windows is just too expensive, particularly if you do not live in the United States. We feel that we should not be forced to purchase an operating system to play games, especially when we could be putting that money towards more games...

So! With that now out of the way, here are some links and resources...

We want Linux client!, a Steam group for GNU/Linux gamers.
The Big List of Steam Games on GNU/Linux, a wiki that lists native games as well as lists of games compatible with Wine according to...
The Wine AppDB, the official database for Wine program compatibility.
The Humble Indie Bundle, probably the biggest public support for Linux games there is right now.
Desura, a client for distribution of games (like Steam).

Thanks to...

flying sheep, for Steam4Linux Answers
flibitijibibo, for The Big List of Steam Games on GNU/Linux

Last edited by madrang: 08-13-2012 at 12:32 PM. Reason: added new info
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