Recently, Valve had started a survey through which the company aimed to select candidates for the beta for Steam on Linux. According to PCGamer, Valve has announced that the studio has received over 60,000 entries for its request for testers, and an increasing group of players will get access to the Steam client of Linux.
Steam Linux operates on Ubuntu 12.04. “An overwhelming majority of beta applicants have reported they’re running the Ubuntu distro of Linux,” Steam Linux team member Frank Crockett wrote. “We intend to support additional popular distros in the future, and we’ll prioritize development for these based on user feedback.”
The Linux client has a library of 25 games
Valve has stated on the survey page that it is primarily interested in experienced Linux users. The survey needs you to have a registered Steam account, and asks a number of questions to judge your expertise as well as the configuration of the Linux-based system you intend to run Steam on. The variety and specificity of the questions in the survey are probably so that Valve gets to beta test the client on a wide variety of hardware and software combinations.
The company had mentioned in its initial announcement of the Linux client that it was focusing on having a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. Valve stated that the reason it picked Ubuntu is because they want to first work on a single distribution, as it reduces the variability of testing space and makes early iterations easier and faster. Another reason for picking Ubuntu is because it is one of the most popular distributions of Linux, and “has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities."
The beta for the Linux version of Steam will include Steam itself, 25 games, and support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above. The games that the beta testers will get include Team Fortress 2 and Serious Sam 3: BFE.
According to a report by Ars Technica, Valve Developer Croteam stated in a post on Facebook that Serious Sam 3 would also be available during the Linux beta, alongside Valve games like Portal and Team Fortress 2.
Valve had stated that on a considerably high end computer, Left 4 Dead 2 runs faster on Linux than on Windows. “Running Left 4 Dead 2 on Windows 7 with Direct3D drivers, we get 270.6 FPS as a baseline. The data is generated from an internal test case,” Valve said in a blog post.
The blog reports that originally, the initial port of Left 4 Dead 2 was only running at 6 FPS (frames per second). They then had to optimise the code to work better with the Linux kernel and OpenGL; they even had to optimise the graphics driver. After these modifications, the blog reports that Left 4 Dead 2 is running at 303.4 FPS on their high end testing machine. The tests were done on a machine running on Intel Core i7 3930k with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 GPU and 32GB of RAM. On the software side, they used Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit and Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit.