Steam for Linux is now in public beta

Valve has rolled out a public beta of Steam for the open-source Linux operating system.

For the uninitiated, Steam is a digital download service for video games and other content that Valve routinely offers to Windows and OSX users. While Steam for Linux is currently available to all, please note that it is still considered beta software and may not work perfectly.

There is no indication of when the software will leave beta mode, but Steam for Linux is believed to be very close to full release.

As you may recall, the closed beta for Steam on Linux began last month when Valve selected 1,000 Linux users to begin testing the software. Not long after the initial 1,000 users were chosen, Valve opened up the private beta to an additional 5,000 testers.

“This is a huge milestone in the development of PC gaming,” said Valve co-founder Gabe Newell. “Steam users have been asking us to support gaming on Linux. We’re happy to bring rich forms of entertainment and our community of users to this open, customer-friendly platform.”

39 games for Linux have arrived on Steam in honor of the beta, including Team Fortress 2, World of Goo, Killing Floor, and others. One of the more notable games available on Steam for Linux is Dungeon Defenders, which is first native, commercial Linux game to use the Unreal Engine 3. 

Another popular game that’s been ported  (by Robert Beckebans) to Linux is Doom 3 BFG Edition. This is the re-released version of Doom 3 with improved graphics, optimized audio support and revamped 3D display handling.