Valve—It Really Does Love Linux

I've teased about Steam, speculated about Steam and even bragged about Steam finally coming to Linux. Heck, check out the screenshot for just a partial list of games already running natively under our beloved OS. Little did I know that the folks at Valve not only planned to support Linux, but they're also putting a big part of their future behind it as well!

Valve recently announced SteamOS, which is a Linux-based operating system designed from the ground up to play games. Steam games. The operating system will be free, and it also will be the OS running on Valve's next big thing, SteamMachines. Although the hardware won't be available until sometime in 2014, the OS should be out before then.

Will Valve be the company to bridge the gap between computer gaming and console gaming? Will PC games translate to a television screen smoothly? Will the SteamOS's "game streaming" technology effectively bring the entire Steam library to Linux? I've learned enough not to make any predictions, but I can tell you it's an exciting prospect, and it's even more exciting because it's all running on Linux!


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


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Great thing I will surely

Valentine Day's picture

I really love Linux distros,

How to make wine's picture

I really love Linux distros, It's completely beyond the Windows and unix systems.

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adam01time's picture

After reading the above comments. I really do believe this steam OS is need so people really do learn about linux. Because I have read above. Really has nothing to do with linux.
One of the top developers with slackware has been Maintaining a wonderful install
of steam. We edited the start up script so the need for pulse audio was not needed and I just listen to it on my surround sound system with Alsa and ESD controlled.

Ever since 1993 the first beta release of slackware it has been well known if it don't run in Slackware then the developer needs to fix it.

Steam runs great supper fast in Slackware 13.37 14.0 14.1. Every one has a bench mark of stability and Slackware has earned it only by the help of the users and the work of Patrick Volkerding.
I really do not care what packaging system they use. RPM,DEB,TAR. The kernel is Linux the programs are gnu. Some are not. All that maters is have fun.
And realize by using linux the community input to updates will be much faster.

Too bad they went with Shitbuntu

Anonymous's picture

Fuck Shuttleworth in his greedy little eyes.

Nowhere in the article does

Tiger25's picture

Nowhere in the article does it state that SteamOS is based on Ubuntu; in fact this article says "designed from the ground up to play games" AND there was another article that stated that SteamOS will not be based on Ubuntu. Do a search and you'll see that even Valve confirmed that SteamOS is NOT based on Ubuntu. So your rant makes you sound like an idiot.

If it wasn't for Canonical

Anonymous's picture

If it wasn't for Canonical there wouldn't have been a steam OS initiative in the first place. Canonical put Linux on the map as a viable consumer facing OS.

Sorry that Linux is no longer the preserve of basement dwellers.

I Agree

Hunkah's picture

I agree with you. At least go with a Red Hat or one of its derivatives! If you take the combined forces of the companies running one of these, you pretty much have all the major contributors and supporters (that have the money). Canonical is so little! They barely give anything back and the company is run by a small man with small man syndrome.

Redhat is not a benevolent

Anonymous's picture

Redhat is not a benevolent mega-corporate who really loves you. Look at how they are "fedorising" the Jboss community. They are the worst kind of money grabbers - Wall street money grabbers.

Whenever there is a key component they do not control they either launch their own project or buy the company involved instead of working with the community. Then they release the beta-version to the adoring community. Hardly They only joined open stack as their own initiative failed.

It seems to me its Canonical and Android that thas the major contributors and supporters behind it when it comes to those actually interested in consumer facing Linux.

Fanboyism leads to a myopic mind - Redhat would never cut it.

Anonymous's picture

Redhat gave up on the desktop years ago. Look at Gnome 3 and what they did with that. Not to mention wayland, which they did nothing with for years because its simply not in their interest as a server OS.

I might not think Ubuntu is the best Linux company out there, but it definitely has a better chance at Desktops, TV and phones than Redhat or its derivatives.

This ignorant fanboyism only plays into the hands of corporates not the community.

I'm not talking about

Hunkah's picture

I'm not talking about fanboyism. I am talking about the distro that has the movers and shakers backing it up. ...and when you base a fork on a certain distro, you're removing the loyalty to that distro, so your point is moot here.

My point is Ubuntu is run by a greedy little asshole that brags about how little he does for the overall community.

I would rather Steam base their distro on Debian, at least Debian gives back to the overall community. ...again, far fewer than the bigger companies, but they're still giving.

I always refer to Ubuntu as the Microsoft of Linux. Both companies are run by monkeys with too much money.

Valve has no need for desktop

r_a_trip's picture

Except that Valve doesn't need a desktop distro. They need a solid, minimal distro to run the Steam client in Big Picture mode. Unity is superfluous to SteamOS.

have you ever tried to use a

Anonymous's picture

have you ever tried to use a redhat distro to run any video intensive applications like a game? A games console is all about video drivers, graphic SDK and APIs. What has Redhat done for opengl etc. Please let me know what Redhat has done for graphics and video performance on the Linux platform.

I run Linux and Windows games

William Smoke's picture

I run Linux and Windows games all the time on Fedora. Heh, I remember the first time I tried to use Ubuntu (version 8 I think) there were graphics glitches on the desktop using the same hardware and NVidia driver that worked without issues on Fedora.

Here are a couple recent news items about Red Hat and graphics:

Redhat and Nvidia Team up to better Linux Graphics Performance

Red Hat Picks Up Another Graphics Driver Developer

Red Hat has been used on graphic workstations in the movie industry for some time,
so some large OpenGL applications like Maya are only officially supported on RHEL/Fedora.

Fedora is much better

Anonymous's picture

I love fedora for various reasons. Its friendly could be used in production as well as personal use. I use it personally on my laptop and have deployed it in hosting service too. I have deployed it in virtual environment and providing friendly environment to users with the best VPS hosting service.

Wow .. talk about being late

The Advocate's picture

Wow .. talk about being late to the party. This article is about 6-8 months late.

Linux needs to have better

mrk's picture

Linux needs to have better proprietary drivers from Nvidia, AMD. Optimizations on Linux specifically for gaming. Desktop needs to handle running games, especially full-screen ones, better than it is now.

Why proprietary?

xtifr's picture

Proprietary!? Sure, Nvidia seems unlikely to go any other way, but AMD is hard at work improving their open source drivers. 3.5 and 3.11 both saw huge performance jumps for the in-kernel AMD video support. From what I've been hearing, the main remaining advantage of the AMD proprietary drivers has to do with battery life, not performance, and that's being actively worked on as well.

tainted kernel

crusaderky's picture

I'm curious,
will they ship SteamOS with the proprietary video drivers preinstalled (tainted kernel, which is a blatant violation of the GPL), and thus face the ensuing legal battle, or force NVidia and AMD to finally release their damned kernel modules under GPL?

Try Option 3

CFWhitman's picture

There's nothing about this that will force any kind of change from the way some other distributions handle proprietary drivers. They will just make it so that proprietary drivers can be selected for installation during setup. They certainly can't force Nvidia or AMD to release their code.

Try Again

Anonymous's picture

"Better than it is now"

It is already better than Windows, in Valve's own benchmarks during development:

Knowing how much the linux

Anonymous's picture

Knowing how much the linux community has been wanting this, and how quickly turnarounds are when things are needed (not just wanted), this will quickly happen.


humtum's picture