It's Official: Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!

[Phoronix] It’s Official: Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!](")

Me thinks Linux usage will be increasing soon…

Cool, all we need now are games that run under Linux, sound that actually works (and keeps working after a system update), and for devs to stop introducing useless opensource graphics drivers that screw up the real drivers!

Got it made I’d say :sarcastic:.

Its good to read, but unfortunately one of the links in the article, may also bring to light something many of us have known for a while, which is the Linux graphic drivers lag behind their MS-Windows counterparts.

That is this post in particular:
[Phoronix] Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?](

From the conclusions of the provided URL:

Well, that is part one of our Ubuntu 10.04 LTS vs. Windows 7 testing. As much as we would have liked to see Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx handily beat Windows 7, this was not the case, but to some extent the opposite. Windows 7 in some of the tests possessed definitive leads over Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with the OpenGL performance when using the proprietary ATI/AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers, which have largely shared code-bases between Windows and Linux. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS also had its leads in some areas while in many of the tests the differences between the two operating systems were insignificant.

What these results do show is that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” is very capable of being a comparable gaming platform to Microsoft Windows at least as far as the quantitative performance is concerned. This is good news as Valve’s Steam client and the Source Engine come to Linux and the first of the Unigine Engine games (likely Primal Carnage) are released. The exception to this, however, is if using Intel graphics. As these tests conclusively show, the Intel Linux graphics driver is no match to their Windows driver. The Intel Windows driver is significantly faster than the open-source Linux driver at this time, and with Intel’s integrated graphics processors not being the best, every frame-rate really counts when it comes to making a game playable.

If switching from the proprietary ATI/NVIDIA Linux drivers to the open-source ATI/NVIDIA Linux drivers that are available, you too will take a performance hit, but at least the Radeon and Nouveau (NVIDIA) developers are embracing Gallium3D, which has shown to be faster than a classic Mesa driver like Intel’s implementation. With ATI/NVIDIA hardware, you also have the choice of which driver to use, where as with Intel there is only one option and that is the driver that offers humiliating performance.

This article will also hopefully dispel all sorts of myths and FUD that has come up for both operating systems. Here’s just a recent example that was mentioned on our Facebook page, “Linux drivers even proprietary ones have a long way to go, nvidia has improved vastly and ATI is still lagging far behind but none are close to their Windows equivalent, at least nvidia bought VDPAU which ATI is yet to implement, except for graphics, I expect Ubuntu to outscore Win7 on other tests.
For users like me, whose only game I play with my PC is chess, graphic performance is not so demanding, as the movement of chess pieces does not exactly stress the graphic driver! Users who like to play games with their PC, likely have a different view here.

Plus, even a user like myself would like to see a superior implementation of the offloading of decoding of codecs to the GPU (from the CPU) and even encoding of codecs on the GPU would be desireable. To a greater or lesser extent, this is something that the MS-Windows drivers and selective applications have had for some time, that Linux (with the exception of VDPAU) has been lacking.

Even though linux performance may not be quite as good, as long as it’s good enough, I think you will see people use it. The hardcore gamers won’t because of the performance, as well as availability of titles. However, it’s a great step in the right direction.

Well, with Steam coming to Linux, there will be more encouragement for graphic drivers to improove. But to be honest, the Linux drivers aren’t all that bad, at least on the Nvidia side of things. They aren’t quite as good with ATI, and with Intel they are kinda crappy, but they are crappy with windows as well LOL.

Check this out [Phoronix] Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?](

And this [Phoronix] Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Benchmarks](

It’s not looking too bad after all.

The reason I say that ATI aren’t up to the Nvidia drivers are from personal experience. I have a Radeon 4850 with 512 RAM and a GTS 250 also with 512 RAM (equivlant cards) the difference on Linux is a bit of a joke. But either way you look at it, they are both getting better and this should just help.

I think this will go some way towards helping Linux distributions keep their user base. With a bit of luck, this move will encourage other game developers to think about cross platform support.

they are lagging behind I agree, but it’s not as bad as it sounds, via wine (so another layer in between) I have good performance playing LotRo, Dragon Age, RoM. Games I play directly on Linux like the Penumbra series or stuff from LGP also have very playable framerates.

All this will do (if its true) is give Nvidia and ATI more stimulation to make their drivers faster and better. Lets face it, if it was not for games the current GPU’s would not nearly be as powerful.

Although this doesn’t take Linux all the way to parity - it is a huge step in the right direction.

Ultimately the adoption of Linux in the mainstream will have more to do with the step-by-step progression of addressing common shortfalls than the flag-waving and in-fighting that sometimes occur in the F/OSS community.

Between this, more inter-disto collaboration, and improvements throughout the F/OSS stack…the future is looking brighter and brighter.

Well even if Windows 7 seems to be the winner for them, I cry foul as linux has made great progress and personally on my tests linux outpaced windows 7 in non gaming performance.
The open drivers have come a long way as has the proprietary drivers, I think the two will beat microsoft out quite soon.
As for sound drivers I think pulse might yet surprise us, as will alsa.
For me things are looking up, it just depends on the hardware.

Does steam on linux means that we`ll able to install games from there? I mean games for Linux platform,without wine?

Yup. According to the above articles, Valve have ported the source engine to linux, confirming the lack of wine :slight_smile:

Awesome! And When we`re gonna see it?

Well, by the release of Portal 2 supposedly?

Well they promised me cake too…

ns89 adjusted his/her AFDB on Sat 29 May 2010 23:56 to write:

> Well they promised me cake too…

The cake is a lie…!!!1!!

Caveat emptor
Nullus in verba
Nil illegitimi carborundum

There might be some issues trying to see how the DRM that is Steam could fit with many of the systems in the OS that are already licensed under GPLv3.

While I am glad that we have very good proprietary drivers (Nvidia) I wouldn’t be that glad that Linux would allow DRMs to be installed in the system.

Perhaps Valve will accept to make some alterations to Steam.

Now that I think of it, I am not sure if adobe reader (the one with the DRM) is already installable here? :\

I was going to edit my last message with this, but I wasn’t allowed (more than 10 min)

Edit, I checked… Adobe Digital Editions is not available for Linux (There aren’t any DRMs installable here… Fortunately!) So that must be the issue with Steam.

this changes the original post by phoronix though:

[Phoronix] Valve’s Linux Play May Lead More Games To Follow Suit](

If there were a port of Steam for Linux, we’d almost certainly do a Linux client, too, but at the moment there isn’t one outside of those poking around the Steam binaries on the Phoronix forums, so we haven’t even started looking at a Linux client.

i was on another forum with a guy who (atleast claims) works with valve and he said the first native linux game will be portal 2, but they are apparently porting over some of the more popular titles as well such as orangebox

Hmmm, while I am extremely hopeful of this, I have yet to see anything actually from Steam themselves so I am still not holding it as definite. What Linux needs is an open source graphics system comparable to Direct X (but better of course) that is tweaked more for gaming. OpenGL is great for creating graphics but I think it leaves a little to be desired for displaying them I think.