Steam for Linux was finally launched by Valve, although for now it’s just the Beta client and only a handful of people have access to it.
When Valve first announced that its Steam client would be available for Linux, a lot of users have asked themselves whether there would be any significant differences between this version and the other ones released on Windows and Mac OS.
The short answer is no. There are no major differences between the Linux version and the Windows version, for example. The interface is pretty much the same, with the same functionalities.
Valve initially announced that the recommended Steam platform is Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), but the application seems to be running just fine in Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal).
Users have also reported that Steam also runs pretty well in Arch Linux, Linux Mint, and a few other Ubuntu and Debian-based distributions.
Valve also said that other distributions, such as Fedora for example, would be able to run Steam, but the implementation would be done based on user feedback.
The Beta trial is expected to last at least a month, so if we’re lucky, a final version will be made available by the end of the year.
So far, over 20 games been announced for Steam on Linux, although users are reporting that not all of them work. Unfortunately, there aren’t any major games in the list, with the exception of Team Fortress 2 and Serious Sam 3.
The client also features Big Picture, a Steam mode designed for use with a TV and controller, also currently in beta. Interestingly enough, the Big Picture mode was not supposed to be available in the Beta version.
Along with the client, in the same day, Nvidia has announced a new series of drivers, which are supposed to double the performance in Linux games.
We’ll be keeping you informed with any new development of the Steam for Linux front.