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Steam for Linux Beta released by Valve

Steam for Linux’s limited closed Beta has begun, with approximately 25 games available for the select few

The build up for the release of Steam for Linux has taken one step further, with the first wave of applicants gaining access to the Beta. This announcement came after Nvidia spoiled the surprise, with patch notes for an update yesterday detailing how it would benefit Steam games on Linux.

Currently, the client is only available for Ubuntu 12.04 (although distros based on it will likely work, like Linux Mint 13), and will grant access to Team Fortress 2 and two dozen other titles, all of which can be viewed on the Steam Store.

Valve Ubuntu Linux
Big Picture mod is included in the Beta

“This is a huge milestone in the development of PC gaming,” said Gabe Newell, Valve President and co-founder. “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.”

Newell has been very vocal about his distrust of Windows 8, usually the flagship operating system for the Steam client. The Linux Beta also contains Big Picture mode, the recent 10-foot display version of Steam for TV displays, which leads to some speculation over the future of a Steam box if Steam for Linux takes off.

More participants will be added over the coming months, although there’s no word on when this will be, or when it will be available for everybody.