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FF4m3

@bhn.net

Where's Valve going with Linux?

Where's Valve going with Linux? By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes - September 5, 2012:

The word now is that Valve's official Linux push will kick off February 2013, and that this is when a beta of the Steam client for Linux will land. Hit titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and Half-Life 2 will be available alongside Left 4 Dead 2.

So, what's Valve up to?

Two things spring to mind. First, rumors and job postings suggest that Valve is working on gaming hardware. Given the harsh criticisms of Windows and Microsoft, it's unlikely that any Valve-branded hardware is going to run Windows. That leaves a Linux distro as the obvious alternative because Valve would be free to tweak and customize the operating system to their heart's content.

If Valve plans to use Linux as the base OS for a games console, it needs to get its games working on Linux. All this desktop Linux talk could just be a handy smoke screen.

Another possibility is that Valve is planning to offer a customized Linux distro that users could install on their PCs either standalone or as a dual-boot OS. The idea of a streamlined OS dedicated to playing games appeals to me because a day-to-day Windows installation is not the ideal platform for gaming because of all the unnecessary detritus -- unnecessary to gaming at any rate -- running in the background.

Success of failure seems to hinge on how many Linux-compatible games Valve can come up with. Valve has some popular titles, but I don't see the likes of Left 4 Dead 2 et al being enough to encourage people to buy a Valve console or use Linux as a gaming platform.

Whatever the plan, Valve needs the support of other game developers. If Valve can get that -- and if there's one company that can herd the gaming industry, it's Valve -- then maybe Microsoft needs to start worrying, because while the most important sector for Microsoft as far as Windows revenue is concerned, is the enterprise market, it's not the most influential.

The sector that drives the greatest innovation, and which offers the OEMs the best chance of selling hardware with a decent profit margin is the gaming sector. And Valve could be getting ready to disrupt that sector.



firephoto
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I guessed some hardware could be in the works when the rumors about steam and linux were floating around months ago.

said by In May... :
Re: Gaming and Linux
One thought I've had on this is that they might be interested in some dedicated hardware for their games and building on a Linux platform might suit their desires. It would kind of give them a lock in and at the same time get some love from the Linux community in general if the games would work on standard Linux installs. It really would be a cheap way to enter a sort of a console market even if it's designed around a software solution where you bring your own hardware to offer some flexibility.
--

Pre-installed Linux for any purpose is pretty easy to support and if it's on hardware with with a set purpose then there's no need to support 5 billion combinations of hardware.


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said by firephoto:

Pre-installed Linux for any purpose is pretty easy to support and if it's on hardware with with a set purpose then there's no need to support 5 billion combinations of hardware.

I like the idea of a Linux-SteamBox, but I'm curious how you figure hardware support would be part of the equation on Linux.

I don't see a whole lot of hardware support on Windows from Valve, and least nothing beyond basic client support, the same would apply to Linux PC running a Steam client, unless I'm missing something.
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firephoto
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Valve isn't selling hardware with Windows. If they or someone sells hardware with Linux then that hardware will come working with Linux, no issues, full performance, because it's their hardware.

It's one thing Apple has done right over the years by not just just selling software but selling the hardware and including the software with it. Granted in more recent years they have enough variations in hardware that some models have peculiar behavior due to the hardware being used but it is a trait shared by all of those specific models because they all use the same hardware rather than a generic spec that meets the rules with software to bridge the gaps and make it (supposedly) all work the same and we call those pee cees.
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said by firephoto:

If they or someone sells hardware with Linux then that hardware will come working with Linux, no issues, full performance, because it's their hardware.

For sure, and this would apply perfectly to a Steam Box running Gabenix (am I allowed make up two terms in a single post? )

I guess what I curious about, is what do you think Valve will offer to PCs running a Linux Disto with the Linux Steam Client?

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firephoto
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They can sell hardware that is off the shelf parts or similarly compatible which would allow enthusiasts to build their own version if they wanted something different than what was offered but capable of the same performance or better. I'd guess their goal is to preserve the idea of the "pc gaming desktop" while the corporate focus ignores the decades old desktop computing thing to try to make the quarterly numbers fat with glass rectangles covered with smudge art.
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El Quintron
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This is also being discussed on the fron page and one theory was going to be AMD/ATI with OpenCL and direct hardware access, what do you think about that?
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said by El Quintron:

This is also being discussed on the fron page and one theory was going to be AMD/ATI with OpenCL and direct hardware access, what do you think about that?

I find this really hard to believe. They would need to massively increase the resources (aka people paid to work) they have in driver development on linux to make this a reality. This is especially true of their open source drivers. Don't get me wrong, I love amd, but the effort they're putting into linux is despicable.


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reply to FF4m3

I'd like me some portal 2 on linux.

I'm still in the wait and see crowd. I hope they port some decent, recent titles.



firephoto
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said by El Quintron:

This is also being discussed on the fron page and one theory was going to be AMD/ATI with OpenCL and direct hardware access, what do you think about that?

The only way that would be the hardware is if AMD was throwing piles of cash at the project to get their foot back in the door by leveraging the software to be optimized for their hardware stack.
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BBBanditRuR
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said by Snakeoil:

I'm still in the wait and see crowd. I hope they port some decent, recent titles.

As am I. I would love also getting up to date re-ports of some games that started out as UT2K4 mods (Killing Floor for example) that ran on Linux, but were dropped. Tripwire Interactive could give the catalog a boost.


FF4m3

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reply to FF4m3

Steam for Linux has appeared on CDR Database:

...the beta for Steam Linux has made its way to the CDR Database, which is an open list of all items available on Steam.

This marks a big step forward for the future of gaming on Linux machines.



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reply to FF4m3

Games are the only reason why I still run Windows at home. If they could get games to run well on Linux, it would be great.
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Snakeoil
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reply to FF4m3

Nice. I'd love to replace the windows version of seam that I have running with wine, with a natural linux version of seam.

I used Playonlnux to install Steam [windows version] on my Ubuntu box. To date, I have been unable to get any of my steam games to run. Mainly because I haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get them to run.
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said by Snakeoil:

I used Playonlnux to install Steam [windows version] on my Ubuntu box. To date, I have been unable to get any of my steam games to run. Mainly because I haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get them to run.

I've used playonlinux to install steam, and have had good successes running Valve games, without much hassle. They run normally with a few quirks usually.

Were you able to get anything like L4D or HL2 running?
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Snakeoil
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No. I tried getting L4D 2 to run [I went as far as to install the game through steam.] It wouldn't run, and I haven't taken the time to figure it out.



El Quintron
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What error does it give you when you try to run it? (I don't know if you're still interested in getting this up and running but I am curious)
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Snakeoil
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I'll try it now and see.



El Quintron
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OK cool, I've had it running before, what version of Ubuntu are you running?
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Snakeoil
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I started up Steam, looks like I had to let left for dead finish downloading. So I let it finish.Then I tried running it and got a error message:
Steam servers are busy: Error (2)
And gives me an html link:
»support.steampowered.com/kb_arti···=english

quote:
Common Error Codes
Incomplete Installation (2)

Many of these issues were tied to FAT32 drives which has been corrected in a Steam update.

Some users have also reported moving the Steam installation to the default C:\ Drive will correct this issue.

If the issue persists, please contact Steam Support.


Oops, I forgot to mention Ubuntu version: Natty norwhale.. 11.04

Which I am stuck at.
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Is that the same error you were getting previously, because it could just be that you need to change your steam server.

quote:
Start Steam
Go to Steam > Settings > Downloads tab
Under Download region, select a different but relatively close region.
Try launching or installing the game once more

I hope this isn't redundant, as I haven't gotten that error in Ubuntu. (yet)
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Snakeoil
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1 edit

k. I'll give that a whirl.

I changed the server, restarted. Hit "play" for Left4Dead.
A pop up occurred, said completing instillation 1% .

It "froze" there for a minute and then another pop-up occurred saying "Steam servers are busy" error code 2.

I'm going to uninstall/delete left4dead. I'll try installing Team Fortress 2, as well as re-downloading/installing Left4dead. Maybe the file got corrupted over time?



El Quintron
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said by Snakeoil:

I'm going to uninstall/delete left4dead. I'll try installing Team Fortress 2, as well as re-downloading/installing Left4dead. Maybe the file got corrupted over time?

Maybe the client doesn't like it because it was done at an earlier date? That's a pretty tough one.

Assuming you can (or can't) intall TF2 that should sort out whether it's steam or the game itself.
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piper
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reply to Snakeoil

said by Snakeoil:

k. I'll give that a whirl.

I changed the server, restarted. Hit "play" for Left4Dead.
A pop up occurred, said completing instillation 1% .

It "froze" there for a minute and then another pop-up occurred saying "Steam servers are busy" error code 2.

I'm going to uninstall/delete left4dead. I'll try installing Team Fortress 2, as well as re-downloading/installing Left4dead. Maybe the file got corrupted over time?

In the steam folder (with steam closed of course) delete "ClientRegistry.blob" and then in steam/bin folder delete "vgui2_s.dll" and then restart steam

Games I am playing at the moment are Prey, The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Half-life, Half-life 2, KingPin
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markofmayhem
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reply to FF4m3

Wearable computing... Valve is working on wearable computing.

Valve’s most striking recruiting campaign is a recent move to establish a hardware group to develop technologies that can enhance the playing of games. The company posted a job listing for an industrial designer, hinting that it planned to get into the computer business itself. “We’re frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space, though, so we’re jumping in,” the listing read. “Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years.”

Valve also recruited Jeri Ellsworth, an inventor and self-taught chip designer, whose pinball machines decorate Valve’s offices. Ms. Ellsworth recently gave a tour of Valve’s hardware laboratory, proudly showing off 3-D printers, a laser cutter and other industrial tools used to cobble together hardware prototypes. While interviewing for the job, she said, she was dubious about Valve’s interest in hardware.

“At one point, I said a hardware lab could be very expensive, it could be like a million dollars,” she recalled. “Gabe said, ‘That’s it?’ ”

A DRIVING force behind Valve’s most far-out hardware project, wearable computing, is being led by Michael Abrash, a veteran of technology and game companies who helped Valve get off the ground in the 1990s by licensing its important game software from his employer at the time, Id Software. To Mr. Abrash, glasses that project games in front of players’ eyes are an obvious next step from today’s versions of wearable computers, smartphones and tablets.

While Google’s glasses will display texts and video conferences, Valve has greater technical challenges to overcome with augmented-reality games. It has to figure out how to keep stable an image of a virtual object (say, a billboard) that is meant to be attached to a real-world object (the side of a building) while a player moves around. Otherwise, the illusion would be shattered. Source: NYT

Augmented reality headgear for sight and sound.
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Snakeoil
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I tried that, still got the error message. So I deleted Left4Dead2 and am re-downloading it, and letting it install.



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said by Snakeoil:

I tried that, still got the error message. So I deleted Left4Dead2 and am re-downloading it, and letting it install.

That's weird I thought for sure his solution upstream was going to get you going.
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Snakeoil
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I deleted Left4dead, deleted the other files. Redownloaded left4dead and am still getting the error. So I deleted it again. Now I'm trying Team Fortress 2.
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said by Snakeoil:

I deleted Left4dead, deleted the other files. Redownloaded left4dead and am still getting the error. So I deleted it again. Now I'm trying Team Fortress 2.

The problem is most definitely with the steam client in this case, have you switched download servers (before you go through another run) ?
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Snakeoil
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I've tied that as well.