A new Steam for Linux Beta client has been released by Valve, following a very busy schedule of development releases that have been made available during the course of this week.
The Steam client doesn't just get updated from one version to another, like any regular application. Instead, the Valve developers have a different approach, which is somewhat similar with the way Linux distributions are developed.
Between stable builds, the developers release a large number of Beta versions, which integrate a lot of new features. This has two advantages. For one, most of the users will not receive a broken feature that hasn't been tested enough, and secondly, if something does go wrong from one version to another, it's a lot easier to spot if you only implemented a small number of changes since the previous Beta.
The current Beta version of Steam for Linux is not an impressive one, but it does feature a lot of smaller changes that will probably make it into the stable release.
A SteamGuard UI problem that was preventing users from logging in, in a few very rare configurations, has been corrected, and the launching games dialog is no longer getting stuck in "Preparing to launch..." state. This latest issue might sound like a Windows problem, but it has also been reported on Linux for several titles.
The Big Picture feature also got a couple of improvements. According to the changelog, a bug found in Web browser where big pages would be erroneously clamped has been fixed, and the Big Picture UI is now showing the correct info for pre-loading games.
In-Home Streaming Beta is a much newer option for Steam and it's still not available for most of the users. The audio function is now muted when the client is minimized, controller support has been added for Euro Truck Simulator 2, Fallout 3m and Bioshock 2, the correct bandwidth estimation at the beginning of the stream and during loading screens is now displayed, and the FPS (frames per second) reporting for loading screens in D3D11 games is working as it should.
The last category covered by the changelog is Steam Music Beta, which also got a couple improvements. The Library Setup has been simplified and the Steam Music API has been integrated and ready for the first SteamWorks SDK update.
Keep in mind that this is a Beta version and you might experience some problems with it. In order to get it, you have to enroll in the Beta program, from Preferences.