These answers are my own opinion, let that be said first and clearly. These conclusions are based entirely on my experience.Are you only looking for Ubuntu users?
Valve probably is looking for Ubuntu/Debian users. They've likely made other options available in the survey to see where future development and package management will need to head.Will Steam work on XYZ hardware?
That's part of the the point of the beta. It's become common place to see beta phases function as just a preview of what's coming. Remember: beta testing is to see what does and doesn't work, as well as figure out what can and cannot work at the given time.Why do they keep saying 1000 linux users and why Ubuntu?
By limiting the beta to a finite number of players using a (mostly) unified software platform, they can sort out basic, fundamental bugs that are indicative of larger problems with their basic software and not smaller issues in distribution differences. Moreover, it allows for easier and faster statistical analysis. Of course, this brings up the following....But with only 1000 people, they might not find all the bugs!!
That's right. That's also not the point. The point is to find some of the more obvious, common bugs and get them sorted so that the smaller ones are detectable.Will ABC Title work on Steam/linux?
Ask the developer if they have a linux version. If there isn't one, figure out what game engine they used. Some engines just don't support linux yet. Some do. There are a LOT of promising titles coming out using the Unity4 Engine that rival some Triple-A titles.How will we know if we've been given access to the beta?
According to a post Frank made on 11/2/12:
We are currently in the process of choosing the participants. Stay tuned and thanks for your patience.
You will be getting an email indicating acceptance into the limited beta and instructions on getting started.
If you don't know which email you used for Steam, you may want to figure that out.What sort of bug tracking will be used during the beta?
According to a post made by rickmus on 11/4/12:
It will primarily be via a private forum that the beta participants will have access to.
Which makes sense because that is how Valve has traditionally handled betas (from what I'm given to understand). 1000 users in a forum is easy enough to handle without needing to add the undue complication of getting people to use your specific (and ideally hidden) bug tracker.
In order for them to hide the bug tracker, they'd have to integrate it to the accounts which takes more work than hiding a forum.Why not just use Wine?
Wine forces the usage of Win32 or Win64 DLLs which aren't, themselves, native to Linux. Because of this, the "native" windows experience isn't actually native and, moreover, actually introduces inconsistency and vulnerability to your machine WHILE using more resources than a native port. It also creates a pseudo-filesystem to function between the Win32 structure (C:\) and the traditional *nix structure (/*) which creates undue messiness that many linux users dislike.
The long and short: IT IS NOT NATIVE. It's not a native client and it's not a native game. The point of this all is a native experience.I can install Braid, Limbo, or VVVVVV but they don't run. Why?
These games are currently not supported by the Linux Steam client. For a complete list of currently supported games, see here
.Why does it take so long for a game to be put onto the Linux list for Steam?
Well, ask the developer. It is up to them to get the Linux version of their game.