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When tech guru and Linux fan Michael Larabel visited Valve yesterday, he promised more info and pics than simply saying Steam was coming to Linux. Looks like he's come through.
Larabel has posted images of Left 4 Dead 2 running natively on Linux, and says a release of Steam itself - likely in the form of a beta at first - should be later this year.
In addition to Left 4 Dead 2, selected because of its "stable code base", he says Valve will be bringing other titles to the platform as well.
We're still waiting to hear back from Valve for an official comment on the matter.
It seems like Valve is committed to bringing its prized digital distribution service Steam to Linux users at some point in the relatively near future. Recent news indicates that Valve has not only hired Linux developers to help port Steam and the Source engine to the OS, but Valve's Gabe Newell is now overseeing the port.
Phronoix.com's Michael Larabel recently spoke with Newell about the porting process, and claims that Steam will become available for Linux in the next few months.
"Gabe's vision to support, embrace, and promote Linux are amazing, assuming they execute, which looks to be very high probability at this point," Larabel said. He goes on to state that although Linux development has been going on at Valve for some time, Newell's personal involvement in the project (including relocating his desk to the Valve Linux Development camp), bodes well for the project reaching critical mass more quickly.
As far as the Source Engine port goes, Left 4 Dead 2 is being used as the test case, largely due to the solid nature of the game's code. Despite a few snags, Larabel asserts that the project is moving along at a good clip, and notes that the developer's flat management structure is at least partly responsible for contributing to delays in the port's development.
Larabel also claims that Newell isn't a big fan of the nearly ubiquitous operating systems like Windows or OSX, or the upcoming Windows 8, in particular. "His level of Linux interest and commitment was incredible while his negativity for Windows 8 and the future of Microsoft was stunning," Larabel said of his meeting with Newell.
While it's reasonable to assume that a number of folks will be excited about finally getting some Steam in their Linux, the port of the OS could have larger implications. For example, one needs only look as far as the news that Valve has been exploring the possibility of creating some new gaming hardware and wearable computers.