Gabe Newell now famously referred to Windows 8 as a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," which could work out great for Linux users. Based in part on fears that Microsoft will erect a walled garden around Windows 8 and lock out developers who don't want to play the Windows Store game, Valve has been hard at work trying to port Steam over to Linux, and the first beta run will kick off in October.
The private beta is only open to 1,000 users, so it's a pretty exclusive club if you can manage to get in. It will include Steam on Linux, a single Valve game, and support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above. It will not include the recently launched Big Picture mode , which is a revamped interface tailored for big screen TVs (check out or How To guide for enabling this optional feature), nor will there be any additional titles offered in the beta.
Valve hasn't said which game it's including, but we're willing to bet it's Left 4 Dead 2. The company has been working on porting L4D2 to Linux and even managed to get it running on Ubuntu 12.04 with impressive results.
If you're new to Linux, Valve suggests waiting for a subsequent release with more features before diving in. For everyone else, Valve will announce at a later date when sign-ups are to begin.