Linux Gaming News

Steam on Linux external beta will be happening in October


Valve has been working on a port of the Steam client for Linux for quite a while, going public with the project in April this year. Since then we have learned that Valve intends to release Steam on Linux before 2012 is over. However, it will initially only be supported on Ubuntu 12.04. The first Valve game to run on Linux,Left 4 Dead 2.

Posted on September 26, 2012 by Valve Linux team

Things have been going well. We will be having an internal beta starting next week, and a private external beta for 1,000 users sometime in October.

The private external beta will include:

  • Steam
  • One Valve game
  • Support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above

It will not yet include:

  • Big Picture mode
  • Additional Valve games

For existing Linux users, the external private beta is a good release for seeing where we are in running our games on Linux. We will be using a sign up page for the external beta. Information about the sign up will be announced in a future post.

For those new to Linux, we recommend waiting for a subsequent release where more features are implemented along with improvements to the user install experience.

The reason for the external beta is because Valve want to test Steam on a wide variety of hardware configurations to work out the bugs. They also want to keep access to the external beta as fair as possible. You won’t get preference for owning any Valve games or for already using Steam. Instead, a sign-up page will appear in the coming days or weeks where you can make your interest in participating known. Valve will then choose 1,000 people based on some unknown criteria.

The beta won’t include the recently launched Big Picture mode or support any Valve games beyond L4D2. You’ll no doubt have to run Ubuntu 12.04 for it to work properly, but owning L4D2 seems unlikely. Valve will probably just make it available to beta testers for the duration of the external beta.

There will be no shortage of Ubuntu users eager to take part in the testing of Steam on Linux. So the server running the sign-up page is going to be hammered. As soon as it goes up we’ll let you know.


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