Finally, after several months of closed, followed by open Beta testing, Steam for Linux has been released in the Ubuntu Software Center and on Valve’s website. Having used it since midway through the closed beta testing, several months ago, I have seen it come a long way, in terms of stability and usability, and games available. Right from the start, Team Fortress 2 was available, along with titles like Serious Sam 3 and Red Orchestra Osfront 41-45, and several others. But since then, more than 100 games have become available, including the original Counter Strike, Counter Strike Source, The original Half-Life, Faster Than Light, Killing Floor, and many others. Valve has announced that they are working on porting Left for Dead 2, and so far are seeing very good results. They have also announced that they are working on bringing other Valve titles over to Steam for Linux. We already have Team Fortress 2 working well on Ubuntu, and it would be great to see titles like the Portal Series come in the near future.
On February 14th 2013, Steam launched the Steam for Ubuntu Linux client to the public, along with 50-80% discount sales on all games currently available on Steam for Linux. Ubuntu has long been my favorite Linux distribution, and now that Steam is aboard, I find myself using it even more than I used to, now that I don’t need to restart and boot to Windows to do some casual gaming. Steam for Linux only officially supports Ubuntu 12.04, because it is the Long Term Support (LTS) edition and because it has better support for hardware accelerated graphics cards than Ubuntu 12.10 does. However, I have been running it on Ubuntu 12.10 since I first received the private beta version, and I have never had a problem with it caused by the OS version that I was running.
However, that said, if you plan on playing graphically intensive and resource heavy games on Ubuntu with Steam for Linux, I highly recommend that you use Ubuntu 12.04, instead of 12.10, because of its better support for hardware accelerated graphics If you have wanted to try Linux, there is no better time than the present, as the installation process is dead simple, and with Steam for Linux boasting a larger catalog of games for Linux by the day, Linux is becoming a more and more useful and capable platform.
It is often said that a platform is nothing without a thriving app ecosystem, and with a large company like Valve backing Linux, and Ubuntu in particular, the future of the platform is looking brighter and brighter. Download Steam for Linux here, and Ubuntu 12.04 here. Steam for Linux is available in 32, and 64 bit configurations.