Valve has been doing a lot of work for the past couple of years to improve the gaming experience on Linux-based operating systems. Their SteamOS is based on Arch Linux, and it’s nice, but not as nice as their latest effort for the incoming Steam Deck.
I’ve been following the updates since day 1, but somehow I’ve missed a lot more since the new hardware they are releasing is the fruit of the work they have put into Linux support.
I’ve been gaming since I was a kid, and I’ve been trying to game on Linux using an infinite amount of methods like Winetricks, Lutris, PlayOnLinux, among others. I can’t count the number of times I had to do a fresh reinstall because I messed up with my system, recalling this when I was 16 years old and my Linux knowledge was comparable to a script kiddie.
For this and other reasons I usually play games on Windows. Almost all games are supported, and I appreciate the effort of the game developers to provide a Linux build that works.
But now Valve is involved, more than ever. They forked Wine and started to add an insane amount of patches to make games work on Linux, no matter if they didn’t have a Linux build. It’s been 4 years since its release. Four years of hard work from a commercial company benefiting all the gamers and users that want to use Linux as their daily driver.
Here we are today, waiting for the Steam Deck. Read news about how Valve wants to make all the games available on Steam compatible for their hardware, which runs on Linux.
There have been great efforts to improve performance in the Linux Kernel, as well as negotiations with other companies to bring their games into Linux. For example, Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye.
Looks like we are finally getting there. Hopefully 2022 is the year of gaming on Linux. But I hope too that everyone that uses Linux as their daily driver benefits from all the effort Valve and the insane amount of contributors have put into getting here.
Valve is now being kept in a very special place in my heart, I like the direction they are taking, the community they are creating around gaming and their product, and the contributions to the Linux community.
Thank you Valve, and I hope your competitors learn a thing or two about how to build things.