NVIDIA releases new Linux drivers; Steam Linux beta begins

Last week, Valve started taking sign ups for its Linux Steam beta tests. Today, Valve announced that the first outside beta test of the Linux Steam client has been released to a limited number of outside beta testers.

The company said that the test includes a Linux version of Valve's multiplayer shooter Team Fortress 2. Valve said that 24 other games available on Steam can be played with the Linux beta as well. Currently, the beta supports Ubuntu 12.04, but Valve said it will "support additional popular distros in the future."

At the same time, NVIDIA has announced it has released a major new update of its GeForce R310 graphics drivers for Linux. The company said it has worked in collaboration with Valve and others on these new drivers, which NVIDIA says have double the performance of its previous Linux software, along with reducing game load times.

Valve's vice president Doug Lombardi stated, "NVIDIA took an unquestioned leadership position developing R310 drivers with us and other studios to provide an absolutely unequalled solution for Linux gamers."

Recently a Valve employee, Drew Bliss, claimed at a Ubuntu developer summit in Denmark that Linux was going to be more viable for PC gaming than Windows 8.

Source: NVIDIA | Image via Valve

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13 Comments

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Will be intresting to see the PC vs Mac vs Linux comparisons...

The PC vs Mac ones for some of the main games currently isn't too crash hot from what I looked at Was early days back then tho..

brent3000 said,
Will be intresting to see the PC vs Mac vs Linux comparisons...

I would be interested in that actually. Windows is all generic but mac is tailored to their systems and specs like gentoo is and whatnot, so I'd imagine on the same system mac might run better than ubuntu but not gentoo or whatnot, who knows though.

n_K said,

I would be interested in that actually. Windows is all generic but mac is tailored to their systems and specs like gentoo is and whatnot, so I'd imagine on the same system mac might run better than ubuntu but not gentoo or whatnot, who knows though.

Games usually run like crap on OSX, thanks to not often updated drivers and a complete inability to upgrade hardware. I expect games offered on Linux to run much better.

brent3000 said,
Will be intresting to see the PC vs Mac vs Linux comparisons...

There was a Phoronix news post (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.p...ge=news_item&px=MTE1MjI, also fix your damn URL comment syntax Neowin...) saying Valve had L4D2 running faster on Linux than Windows... With that said, I think that's more to do with OpenGL being faster than DirectX than the OS involved; I wouldn't be surprised if Win32/OGL was a little faster than Linux/OGL, but probably not by much.

aionaddict said,
I am sure everyone is going to switch to Linux to play Steam games. The typical consumer doesn't even know what linux is.

I have a feeling the majority of PC gamers would. I would assume the console crowds to be the ones clumped in the general consumer category.

nvllsvm said,

I have a feeling the majority of PC gamers would. I would assume the console crowds to be the ones clumped in the general consumer category.

hardcore gamers maybe but that number is still very slim compared to the masses that use steam and hardly even know how to work their windows pcs.

aionaddict said,
I am sure everyone is going to switch to Linux to play Steam games. The typical consumer doesn't even know what linux is.

The thing is that there is a large chunk of linux users out there and many only have a dual-boot of linux/windows to play games. Some MMOs can run in Wine (Windows binary translator for Linux) however that more of a hack than anything. This will bring linux more mainstream to the masses as a lack of gaming options would no longer be a factor. Many Distributions are approaching that "it just works" level of function where many major projects have drivers already included.

Some companies already provide linux drivers for their hardware as well. We may find more OEMs selling custom computers with various Linux distributions as an option with either a small amount of the money being donated to a foundation or to the distribution that you chose or maybe just to get some $$$ off the system price.

With Linus calling Nvidia out, losing that large Chinese contract (due to linux driver support) and Steam... they may be reversing and doing better support of linux for now.

Jason Stillion said,
With Linus calling Nvidia out, losing that large Chinese contract (due to linux driver support) and Steam... they may be reversing and doing better support of linux for now.

Yes and I'm glad to see it. It was their own fault they got slated though, they have the tegra processor for android which should be very similiar in design/architecture if not the same as their desktop GPUs. Better late than never!