Valve has launched the Linux version of its digital distribution platform Steam. To commemorate the launch, the company is offering a huge sale on more than 50 games from the Steam for Linux library. Some of the highlights of the sale include Serious Sam 3: BFE for $7.99 instead of $39.99, World of Goo for $2.49 instead of $9.99, Amnesia: The Dark Descent for $5 instead of $19.99 and Bastion for $3.74 instead of $14.99.

Steam for Linux hit open beta back in December. Along with that, the Linux version of the platform also saw an expansion of its catalogue with games including Killing Floor, The Book of Unwritten Tales and Amnesia. As of now, the only distribution of Linux that Steam officially supports is Ubuntu.

Other changes made to the Steam for Linux beta included a fix for excessive CPU usage by the Steam client when running Team Fortress 2 and an improved interface for the Big Picture mode. You can get more details on the Steam Linux community page.

Steam Logo

Now Linux gamers can get in on the fun!

The closed beta for Linux for Steam had been kicked off back in November. Valve had announced that the studio has received over 60,000 entries for its request for testers.

Steam Linux operates on Ubuntu 12.04. “An overwhelming majority of beta applicants have reported they’re running the Ubuntu distro of Linux,” Steam Linux team member Frank Crockett wrote. “We intend to support additional popular distros in the future, and we’ll prioritize development for these based on user feedback.”

Valve had stated on a survey page—originally started to select candidates for the closed beta—that it was primarily interested in experienced Linux users. The survey needed you to have a registered Steam account and asks a number of questions to judge your expertise as well as the configuration of the Linux-based system you intend to run Steam on. The variety and specificity of the questions in the survey are probably so that Valve gets to beta test the client on a wide variety of hardware and software combinations.

The company had mentioned in its initial announcement of the Linux client that it was focusing on having a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. Valve stated that the reason it picked Ubuntu is because it wants to first work on a single distribution, as it reduces the variability of testing space and makes early iterations easier and faster. Another reason for picking Ubuntu is because it is one of the most popular distributions of Linux and “has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities.”

Valve had stated that on a considerably high end computer, Left 4 Dead 2 runs faster on Linux than on Windows. “Running Left 4 Dead 2 on Windows 7 with Direct3D drivers, we get 270.6 FPS as a baseline. The data is generated from an internal test case,” Valve said in a blog post.

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