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After lots of talk and months of beta testing, a Steam client for Linux is now available, Valve announced today. Could this be the beginning of a new era in gaming? It's far too early to know for sure, though Valve's Gabe Newell has let it be known in no uncertain terms that he's not happy with the direction Microsoft has taken its Windows platform, which ultimately led to Valve fast-tracking its Steam client for Linux.
Valve opted to focus its efforts on Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution available and arguably the closest to being a mainstream distro. You can find the Steam client in the Ubuntu Software Center.
"The introduction of Steam to Ubuntu demonstrates growing demand for open systems from gamers and game developers," said David Pitkin, Director of Consumer Applications at Canonical. "We expect a growing number of game developers to include Ubuntu among their target platforms. We’re looking forward to seeing AAA games developed with Ubuntu in mind as part of a multi-platform day and date release on Steam.
To celebrate the release of Steam on Linux, over 50 Linux titles are now 50-75 percent until Wednesday morning (10AM PST). Included in the sale are titles like Serious Sam 3 ($7.99), Counter Strike Source ($4.99), World of Goo ($2.49), Crusader Kings II ($9.99), and lots more.
The free-to-play title Team Fortress 2 is also available on Steam for Linux, and for a limited time, Steam users who play the game on Linux will receive a free in-game item (Tux, the Linux mascot).