VALVE Opens Up Steam Linux Beta Testing
October 29, 2012

VALVE Opens Up Steam Linux Beta Testing

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Late last month, video game creator Valve announced they´d be releasing a version of their social gaming platform in beta for a select few Linux users “sometime in October.”

With only 2 days to spare, Valve has finally opened the doors on this beta testing, but not without a few stipulations. First, Valve will only allow 1,000 Linux users to beta test Steam. In order to make the selection process easier for the team, Valve has said they´re only looking for “experienced Linux Users.”

Experienced is such an objective word, of course, so prospective testers must first fill out a survey.

The very private external beta test will allow those hand-selected Linux users access to Steam, one Valve game, and support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above. The Valve Linux team also mentions that this private beta will not include their new Big Picture mode, Valve´s new product which allows games to be streamed from the PC to television.

“For existing Linux users, the external private beta is a good release for seeing where we are in running our games on Linux,” reads the September Valve Linux blog, announcing this new beta.

Valve is also serious about leaving this private beta up to those users who are comfortable swimming in the deep end of the Linux pool, even taking care to ask those new to Linux to just sit tight until further releases are shipped.

Existing Valve Linux users can head over to the Valve Web site, log in with their Steam account, and begin the sign up process today.

Based on the responses to the September blog, Valve is being very intentional with their decision to choose only 1,000 users. According to some of the responses to questions from the users, Valve will also be looking for beta testers with varying hardware rigs in order to make the final release of Valve for Linux available to as many as possible.

“One of the reasons for an external beta is being able to test Steam for Linux on as many different hardware configurations as possible,” writes a member of the Valve Linux team in response to a user with the name “synth3tk.”

Valve also makes several comments about the ease of installation. According to these comments, the company is very concerned with not only working on different configurations, but also making the installation a breeze.

“One of our main goals is to make the Linux Steam installation as easy as possible,” reads another response from the Valve Linux team, this time to a commenter by the name of “RaQin.”

“We´re hoping that the feedback we receive from our beta programs will help us to create a quality install and play experience,” says the team.

The Valve Team also confirms in the response section to their September blog that Linux users with a Windows copy of any game will be able to play it in Linux, thanks to their feature called Steam Play. Steam Play allows users to purchase games on one platform and play them on a host of others without any extra cost.