Valve announced that the limited access beta for its new “Steam for Linux” client has begun.
The Steam for Linux Beta client supports the free-to-play game Team Fortress 2. Approximately two dozen additional Steam titles are now also available for play on Linux systems. Additionally, the Steam for Linux Beta client includes Big Picture, the mode of Steam designed for use with a TV and controller, also currently in beta.
“This is a huge milestone in the development of PC gaming,” Gabe Newell, Valve President and co-founder, asserted. “Steam users have been asking us to support gaming on Linux. We’re happy to bring rich forms of entertainment and our community of users to this open, customer-friendly platform.”
The Steam for Linux Beta client is currently available for installation on Ubuntu 12.04. “An overwhelming majority of beta applicants have reported they’re running the Ubuntu distro of Linux,” Frank Crockett, a member of the Steam for Linux team, explained. “We intend to support additional popular distros in the future; we’ll prioritize development for these based on user feedback.”
Within its first week, Valve received over 60,000 responses to its request for participants in the Steam for Linux Beta. The first round of beta participants has been selected from this group of respondents.
The Steam for Linux Beta client will become available to a widening group of users over the course of the beta. Subsequent participants will be chosen among survey respondents, and once the team has seen a solid level of stability and performance across a variety of systems, the Steam for Linux client will become available to all users of Steam.