Steam for Linux

Steam for Linux

reaVer Jan 6, 2013 @ 8:10am
My initial steam experience
Alright, this might actually end up being a long one. As you might expect, Linux steam currently has only one game available to me, which is TF2. Once DotA2 and CS:GO get ported, I will start playing those as well. But for now the scope is retained to steam and TF2. The distribution/window manager is Arch x64(kept up to date) with awesome wm and because I have a GTX 275 I have nvidia propriety drivers installed.

The steam client seems to work quite alright, but there's some bugs:
Dropdown menu items aren't always clickable(when hovering over them you will also be unable to select the items).
Mouse pointer goes berserk over here. Rather than pointing neatly to the left, after starting steam it will neatly point to the right. Not just steam, but everywhere. Closing steam will not fix this.

Now those were the bugs I found at first glance which don't concern me that much at all. Here's what does bother me: bad performance and bad responsiveness. There is a memory leak in there that seems to get triggered by playing and quitting games, so over a period of 2 days, people will hit their swaps on steam for no reason. This is of course ignoring the amount of time it takes to start the game, which is well over a minute, I don't know where this horrendous waiting time is coming from, but in my opinion, this has priority.

Thirdly, there seems to be some misconception about who your audience is. We are Linux users, most of us here stopped or are avoiding to use windows because windows isn't just crap as far as implementation goes; it's concepts are a pain in the ♥♥♥ too. We consider ourselves responsible for keeping the system up to date and in our case, our propriety drivers will get updated as well. Having the menu option there is not directly harmful, but it is indicative of what you expect from us. The other clear giveaway is that after the game is finished, or when launching the game we get nice little popups with stuff we definitely don't want. Please imagine that I just quit the game and I want to switch to the next thing, like irc, and BAM!! pop up in my face, which many people here then have to use the mouse to remove from their view again. Please do not do this, it is really annoying and reasonable cause for anyone to grab an axe and behave like our favorite arsonist on the streets.

On to Team Fortress 2:
I found a couple of minor glitches(which is a good thing :D):
When doing something as you're about to get forced respawned, causes that animation to continue and loop after you have respawned.
If the scoring comes up(where either side receives a point) the losing side will get its score reset to 0.

Now, the bad stuff:
It takes over a minute to start the game and get into the main menu. I do not know what you're doing there, but if I were to deliver a webpage loading this slowly to my boss, he would send me back to fix it. And again, I do not know what you're doing here, as character loadout will retrigger a load(for the class model).
It takes over 2-3 minutes to connect to a server, this is excluding the search time(which seems to work just fine). During this load, the most common place it is hanging is at "Retrieving server info", with the runner up of "Sending client info".
When in the game I get confronted with sudden and unexplainable hangs, they last for about 3-5 seconds which means that if I was in a fight, I just lost that fight.
Then there's the issue of disconnecting, if I disconnect from a server within a few seconds after connecting it(because the auto connector connected me to a server I just left because the players were ♥♥♥♥ing idiots) I can go grab my ♥♥♥♥ and double click for porn, because that's about as long as it will take for TF2 to become responsive again.
The process of quitting the game itself can also be so slow that it becomes very tempting to just go to wherever I launched steam from, control+C or kill it from another terminal and start steam again. I'm sure that this is not desired behavior from your players, so please deal with this.
Next to steam, this game also seems to try to hit my swap(which isn't there, haah!). In contrast to windows however, which memory leaks just by doing nothing, I got 3 GB available to the game and I can't think of any point in the game where more than that would be required. Please have a look into this.

Last but not least, another userbase issue: When I open the game and switch desktops, I do not want my game to minimize or pause. I tend to do other stuff when the game is busy or when I'm in the specbench for whatever reason(I mentioned earlier). What I expect is for the game to keep running and doing whatever I asked it to do.

So I hope you will enjoy this and will find it helpful. I really hope that steam for Linux will get somewhere and that I can finally throw any windows related garbage into /dev/null.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 comments
msw1 Jan 6, 2013 @ 8:26pm 
I have absolutely no bugs whatsoever with Steam itself, but that is likely because i am running Ubuntu which Steam is primarily designed for. Besides HORRENDOUS lag in tf2 (likely caused by AMD drivers (apparently they hate linux gaming)) I have no issues with it either. As for the who the users are, amen to that.
Last edited by msw1; Jan 6, 2013 @ 8:27pm
blackout24 Jan 7, 2013 @ 12:16am 
I use arch with the GNOME 3 fork cinnamon. Never had any issue with the client or the games using an nvidia card.
Bucky <csgo[noun].com> Jan 8, 2013 @ 12:12pm 
Am I the only one who is genuinely sick of hearing people whine about the advertisements!?
You can turn them off![i48.tinypic.com]
reaVer Jan 9, 2013 @ 1:13am 
Noone here is complaining about advertising itself, I don't even mind that as much. The fact I get it popped into my face is what's the problem here.
CaptainSarcastic Jan 9, 2013 @ 3:37am 
I run both Windows and Linux, and I like my cross-platform apps to be transparent and identical to one another. Demanding a special and unique Steam client for Linux runs counter to the entire concept of "cross-platform." Steam is running just fine for me in openSUSE 12.2 x64 with KDE as my desktop environment.
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Date Posted: Jan 6, 2013 @ 8:10am
Posts: 5