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Valve moves forward with Steam for Linux

Valve has confirmed that it is building a version of its Steam gaming platform for Linux.

The company made the announcement on a newly created blog that will chart the progress of Steam for Linux.

"The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04," the Valve Linux team wrote.

The first game to be featured on the platform will be Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2).

"Since the Steam client isn't much without a game, we're also porting L4D2 to Ubuntu," the team said. "This tests the game-related features of the Steam client, in addition to L4D2 gameplay on Ubuntu. Over the last few months, excellent progress has been made on several fronts and it now runs natively on Ubuntu 12.04."

Going forward, Valve will focus on improving the performance of L4D2 on Linux in an effort to have it perform on Linux as it would on Windows. The team is also looking to port other Valve titles, though it did not elaborate.

Valve is focusing on Linux because "working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting." Ubuntu is also popular among gamers and developers, so it makes sense, though Valve stressed that Ubuntu won't be the only distribution it supports.

"Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future," Valve said.

A port for Steam and the Source engine for Linux have been in the works for awhile. Last month, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said in an email that Valve for Linux would become a reality before the end of 2012, and he is apparently true to his word.

In the blog post, the Valve for Linux team said Newell has been interested in Steam for Linux "for some time," and took steps to create a new team within Valve last year.

The news comes amidst Steam's annual summer sale, which runs until Monday. Last week, Valve announced that a new program, dubbed Steam Greenlight, will allow users to vote on the games they'd most like to see released by Steam.