Steam for Linux

Steam for Linux

Totoro Dec 20, 2013 @ 6:31pm
Steam - Linux and hardware
As someone who's PC's have all left the Windows world, I would really like to see a couple of things. First, I'd like to know up front and early if games are going to run on my machines. I'd love to have a button that says "Hey Steam store, only show me Linux games and offers."

It's a real big PITB to sort through all these sales and offers, blah blah blah, only to find out that a game I get really excited about won't even run except on Windows.

Next, since the Steam client is in fact a real honest to goodness application running on my servers (3 of them here at Chez Totoro) it should bloody well know if a game I am about to buy will or won't work or isn't recommended for my hardware.

Two examples. I just bout Metro: Last Light. It only runs on nVidia cards. Great, somehow with an 8 core AMD CPU and ATI 6890 I didn't even think that mattered, but it turns out of the three computers here not one will load it. Another example is a game I was looking at that said it required OpenGL Shader 2. Like I really know where to find this out? The game and Steam client should warn me in advance. I don' even want to learn how to find that out. There's an app running in my box all the time from Steam, ask it. :)

Related to this, I would not mind if Steam actually kept an inventory of my PC's and their OS and version numbers if that was going to help me shop. It would be great to know if a game I wanted would ron on my Home Theater PC but not my desktop, or vice versa.

Thank you,

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Showing 1-8 of 8 comments
Spawn of Totoro Dec 20, 2013 @ 6:33pm 
There is a linux section you can look through with nothing but linux games:

The issue with cards is that Nvidia has supported Linux better then AMD has. As Last Light was designed with the Steam OS in mind, and they are still working on ATI card support with the SteamOS, it makes sense that Last Light would have the same issue, as well as it being updated around the same time as the SteamOS is.
Last edited by Spawn of Totoro; Dec 20, 2013 @ 6:36pm
Totoro Dec 20, 2013 @ 7:13pm 
Yeah, I know how to use the filters, but it's really not good enough as it's still rather unfriendly. For instance, there's a lot of sales going on right now during the holidays. Steam knows who I am, it knows what machines I have. Yet, when I go through the store, I'll see an ad for Game X. I think, wow, that's great, now how many more clicks will I have to make before I find out it wont' run on Linux AND/OR ATI? As for the Linux support I really don't care WHY nVidia comes before ATI. I bought MLL the same way I normally do. I have other 3D immersive games which are not so picky about graphics cards. So now I have to go and ask for a refund, or try to find out if and when ATI will be officially supported in MLL.

As a Linux user and consumer, I'm asking for all of this to be made a lot easier than it is now. I think that's fair. Yes, there are workarounds, yes, I can read the requirements more carefully, yes, I can click, click, click, then click again, to try to find a game I want to buy during the holidays, but given Steam's Linux friendly attitude, I'd like the store to be a lot better to me than this.
Spawn of Totoro Dec 20, 2013 @ 7:29pm 
And that will come. Until then all we have are work arounds.

I don't know about you, but I'm used to waiting when it comes to using linux, let alone gaming on it. I either wait or try and fix it my self.

Valve is just getting started in trying to expand this market. These things will come, but in the meantime Windows is still the money maker and their top priority.
Blacklisted Dec 20, 2013 @ 8:24pm 
typically under linux its not so much ati nvdia or intel as which open gl your card supports.. If you can do open gl 2x 3x and 4x with the supproted features its going to run... How well depends on the video card itself... I have seen games run just fine on a intel gma 960 that wouldnt run it under windows....Use the linux tab just keep in mind the specs for the game so long as you meet the requiments u should be ok... Provided its not a♥♥♥♥♥♥port... Thats another story.. :P
Games are pretty much hardware-independent, that's the idea OpenGL and DirectX were invented for. User-level apps don't have direct access to hardware for a long time already. It's video-driver's and kernel's duty to handle game's calls. At the moment Nvidia drivers seems to have better support for Linux than ATI.
Metro LL's hardware requirements are on it's Store page, and they mention Nvidia card. Probably, because MLL uses Nvidia's PhysX, the extension ATI cards don't have. However, if you disable it MLL should run on ATI too. Probably, some people already tried MLL on ATI, you can check around the internet for their reviews.
Besides Store page, many game developers have sites, blogs, etc. It's possible to contact them directly about hardware. I don't think Valve checks all Steam games on all possible hardware to figure out what's best.
Last edited by Supper Snipper Spyz; Dec 21, 2013 @ 2:00am
Totoro Dec 21, 2013 @ 7:52am 
Kranky, IMHO that is exactly how games SHOULD Be. However, if they were that independent, SteamOS would already support ATI cards, but they do not so clearly something is going on. Also, on my system, MLL won't even start so there is no way for me to get to the options page to disable PhysX. It segfaults immediately.

Spawn, Interesting you shoujld say that. I went looking around the internet and discovered some comments made by Linus Torvalds regarding how working with nVidia sucked.

FYI, about 20 years ago, long before AMD could afford to buy ATI, I worked for a graphics driver company. I'm not sure nVidia was even around back then, but we had a similar issue with two graphics card manufacturers that a client of ours, AutoCAD was having. One company wouldn't talk to us becuase we weren't a real customer. When I called ATI, within about 8 minutes I was talking to one of ATI's developer's. That's another reason why I am happy to buy from ATI, and I don't give a rat's wedding about whether the drivers are proprietary or not.
Totoro Dec 21, 2013 @ 8:00am 
Excuse me, the client was AutoDESK, but if memory serves the issue was not with AutoCAD but something else they made at the time. This was all around the days of Windows 3.1. Sorry, I should save those stories for Holloween.
Originally posted by Totoro:
Kranky, IMHO that is exactly how games SHOULD Be. However, if they were that independent, SteamOS would already support ATI cards, but they do not so clearly something is going on. Also, on my system, MLL won't even start so there is no way for me to get to the options page to disable PhysX. It segfaults immediately.
It's not SteamOS (or Linux) who should support ATI's drivers. It's ATI/AMD should make an effort to get their cards working on Linux by providing drivers, or code, or documentation on how to write such drivers. In our "intellectual property rights" world it might be kinda difficult to write something for a device whose manufactuter opposes it or even simply isn't much interested in its support. "Proprietary drivers" mean (beside other things) that you just can't change anything in them, even for better: they're binary and hmm... copyrighted. You totally depend on the manufacturer.

Yes, Mr.Torvalds said that Nvidia sucks in cooperating with Linux world, and his position is very reasonable. But in that very talk he added that "many other companies are not perfect either". The talk was about the situation in general.
But at the moment I personally believe that Nvidia makes (relatively) more effort to maintain their cards on Linux, than ATI. However, I didn't try ATI cards myself, I'm judging from forums talks.

Anyway, this is only how it should be. Practically, if MLL doesn't go on your ATI -- so, it means it doesn't... Maybe it's possible to debug this problem somehow, maybe it's not related to ATI at all. Though, some have problems with MLL and Nvidia cards too...
Last edited by Supper Snipper Spyz; Dec 21, 2013 @ 9:23am
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Date Posted: Dec 20, 2013 @ 6:31pm
Posts: 8