We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Steam for Linux closed beta begins and Nvidia release a patch doubling the performance of its cards with the free OS


It’s a great day for Linux users: as Valve and Nvidia tempt them out into the light of gaming with a plate of Steam for Linux closed beta seasoned with a significant Nvidia patch. The limited access beta will let the lucky few allowed in to play Team Fortress 2 and a number of other games on a platform previously limited indie games.

More after the break.

Valve’s press release reveals “The Steam for Linux Beta client supports the free-to-play game Team Fortress 2. Approximatelytwo dozen additional Steam titlesare now also available for play on Linux systems. Additionally, the Steam for Linux Beta client includes Big Picture, the mode of Steam designed for use with a TV and controller, also currently in beta.” The release is currently only available for Ubuntu 12.04 because“An overwhelming majority of beta applicants have reported they’re running the Ubuntu distro of Linux,” according to Frank Crockett.

And, according to Nvidia’s ownpress release the patch is “The result of almost a year of development by NVIDIA, Valve and other game developers,” and it “double[s] the performanceand dramatically reduce game loading times for those gaming on the Linux operating system.” The patch affects cards as far back as the 8800 series, so if you’re running Ubuntu on an aged rig you aren’t out for the count.

The beta is currently fairly select and if you want in you’ll need to put your name in the hat like everyone else.