Getting Steamy with Desura

I remember the first time I tried to install Quake on Linux. I was so excited to have a native "real" game to play, that I couldn't grab my installation CD fast enough. Unfortunately, I didn't really take good care of my media, and the CD was too scratched to read.

I suspect something similar happened to the inventor of Steam for Windows. Having a permanent on-line archive of your video game library is awesome. Unfortunately, Linux users not only don't have Steam, but it seems like every game we do have installs in its own unique way. Some have binary installers; some are in the package management system; some must be compiled.

Thanks to the fine folks at Desura, Linux users finally get to play with the cool kids! Although obviously a clone of the Steam idea, Desura does an incredible job of simplifying management and installation. It has a built-in game store offering free and for-pay games, and it even supports "codes" for activating games purchased elsewhere. (My favorite "elsewhere" is the awesome Humble Bundle site that periodically sells Linux-compatible games.)

If you're a gamer and a Linux user, you owe it to yourself to give Desura a try. You can download it at And if you like Linux-compatible games, be sure to check out from time to time.


Shawn Powers is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal. You might find him chatting on the IRC channel, or Twitter