Valve just followed up its SteamOS announcement from earlier this week by unveiling what it calls "Steam Machines," a new category of living room hardware designed to get you playing PC games on the big screen. There will be different hardware to choose based on your needs and budget, details of which will be unveiled at a later time. In the meantime, Valve has designed a high-performance prototype and plans to ship 300 of them to beta testers, free of charge.
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has been very outspoken in his criticism of Windows 8. He viewed the OS as the beginning of the end of PC gaming, in particular because he feared Microsoft's walled garden approach could eventually be used to shut out the competition. It's not really surprising, then, that the first of Steam's big three announcements this week is the introduction of a Linux-based SteamOS.
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell turned a few heads earlier in the week at the LinuxCon 2013 conference by saying the next step for his company is to release some work it's been doing on the hardware side of things. Many speculated he could be referring to an official Steambox, though even if that's the case, it won't be the only thing Steam is cooking up for next year. Valve will make three announcements next week.
Gabe Newell calls Linux the “future of gaming” while pillorying closed platforms
Be it the launch of the Steam for Linux client or Big Picture Mode, Valve has been steadily laying the groundwork for its long-announced invasion of the living room. Although it seems the next logical step would be for the company to show off some dedicated hardware, it isn’t known how far along in the development of the “Steam Box” it is at this stage. But going by some of the comments CEO Gabe Newell made during his recent keynote at LinuxCon, it appears that some sort of dedicated hardware from Valve could show up as early as next week.
Tiny PC supports a variety of open source platforms
Teeny tiny PCs like the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone are finding fans among the modding community, which in turn is leading to some interesting and unique projects. It's also fostering competition in the fun-size PC market. One of the newest entries to the of field mini computing is SolidRun and its CuBox-i line of open source systems starting at $45. That gets you the CuBox-i1 with a 1GHz single-core ARM processor.
Free antivirus software closes the door on open-source support
We somehow missed this one when it was first announced, but Avira, makers of the popular free antivirus software named after itself, is discontinuing AV solutions for Linux systems on June 30, 2016. Products to be discontinued include Avira AntiVir Professional Linux, Avira Server Security Linux, and Avira Free Antivirus Linux. Avira Endpoint Security and Avira Business Security Suite will both still be offered indefinitely, though without Linux support.
Looking for a job in the game development field? If so, and if you happen to be well versed in Linux with a minimum of 2 years of professional software development experience, Crytek would very much like to make your acquaintance. That's because the German video game company is hoping to port its CryEngine 3D engine over to Linux, further underscoring the growing importance game makers are putting on open source platforms.
We show you how to build an affordable Linux gaming PC
The free Linux operating system has been around for ages, but its inherent complexity and limited support has always relegated its use to extreme enthusiasts, programmers, and other hardcore types. That might be changing, though, as a lot of loyal PC enthusiasts are less than pleased with Windows 8, and gaming juggernaut Valve has thrown its hat into the ring by launching a Linux version of Steam, its popular online content delivery service. Given the lackluster reception of Windows 8 and the renewed popularity of Linux, we decided to build a Linux gaming box to see for ourselves whether the OS, at this time, could be a reasonable alternative to Windows for gaming.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March issue of the magazine.
Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced on Thursday that Ubuntu Linux bug #1 – "Microsoft has a majority market share" – is now officially closed. Rather than boasting about his victory, he gives much of the credit to iOS and Android. “Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux, but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both practical and economic benefits to users and industry. So we have both competition, and good representation for open source, in personal computing.”
The newest version of Ubuntu promises dramatic graphical performance enhancements.
Canonical's pretty good about keeping its Ubuntu Linux distro up to date with frequent releases, the latest of which is Ubuntu 13.04, otherwise known as Raring Ringtail. Now available to download to desktops and servers, version 13.04 is being billed as the "fastest and most visually polished" build to date. Canonical said it particularly focused its attention on fine tuning performance on lightweight systems as it gets ready to launch Ubuntu to a range of mobile devices.