Eight years ago today, Steam for Linux went into Beta

Steam has been available in beta on Linux for at least eight years and has come a long way.

What started with the limited beta, which initially registered more than 60,000 people for testing, enabled Valve to quickly reach a full audience in December 2012 and again in February 2013.

In this period we have seen many ideas grow and fall, including steam engines and SteamOS, but Valve still works with Linux. They continue to work with different companies and individual entrepreneurs on different projects. Here’s a little example of what they did:

  • Work on improving Mesa graphics drivers connected to ACO (AMD Shader Compiler) this year for smoother gameplay. They have also hired developers to work on other parts of Mesa’s graphics drivers and have continued to hire them for this purpose.
  • They continue to participate in the development of Vulkan’s graphical API and help several of their subcontractors create new extensions.
  • There’s a powerful layer of proton compatibility for Steam Play, which they’re working on with CodeWeavers and other individual developers, and a love of DXVK and vkd3d proton.
  • Shader pre-cache system with shader background editing, which (if enabled) should ensure smoother playback from the moment you press play.
  • There is also a Steam Linux Runtime Container, developed with Collabora, which makes it possible to run games in a closed environment so that older games can run for a long time and the developers have a stable environment for testing. Information about this can be found here, and they recently posted a code for this in the GitLab.
  • Valve developer Pierre-Louis Griffet also worked on the Gamescope game, which they presented at the XDC 2020 and which also looks promising. The idea of having such complete control over the display of the game is very exciting, and I hope that Gamescope will be properly implemented in 2021. Recently, one of the readers took a look at his proposed zoom.

There are a lot of other things I probably forgot because they do a lot of things, and they are just things that are clearly Linux-specific. The valve is always active behind the scenes, because they always run Linux games from different angles.

As for the real games, Steam now seems to list more than 7000 games that support Linux. Already in April we wrote that there are more than 6,000 of them, and it seems that they are still increasing in the last few months and that several hundreds are being added. If you keep an eye on the compatibility level of Steam Play Proton, there are a few thousand others that can be played on Linux (but are generally not supported).

Steam itself has undergone a slight development in the past 1-2 years: a huge library of steam updates and remote games together, a new messaging function for curators, chat filtering, the possibility for developers to give users of steam access to betas with Steam Playtest, many small things from the steam laboratories, such as filtering storylines, etc.

As for the percentage of Linux users in Steam, it is constantly increasing.

Congratulations on the eighth anniversary of the Steam For Linux beta.

This article is from GamingOnLinux.com.

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