Steam opens its Linux beta to the public two months after its closed launch

Steam opens its Linux beta to the public two months after its closed launch

There’s good news for Linux-based gamers and further evidence that Steam’s Linux beta program is…gathering steam, after the project was opened to the public two months after its closed launch.

It was back in September that the company announced plans to bring its hugely popular platform to Linux and, after opening the beta up to 1,000 ‘experienced’ Linux users in October. Now, the gates have swung open, as a post on the Steam community section explains.

The company’s “holiday gift” requires users to download or upgrade to the the latest Steam Linux client. The company is turning to GitHub to track bugs and issues, explaining that the service “provides a better interface for tracking bugs than the forums used in the closed beta”.

Participating testers are encouraged to use GitHub to create, edit and track new and existing bugs, as the company continues the process of ironing out problems with the platform. Details can be found in the repository here.

The company is leaving the sub forums open for discussion, rather than bug squashing, and it has opened a mailing list for updates to the installation package. All the details can be found on the Steam community page here.

Steam’s Linux project was long anticipated and the open source move could be related to Value’s plans to enter the hardware space with its own devices. Running Linux-based systems — like the rumored Steambox — would make a lot of sense for the popular games firm.

Steam hit 5 million concurrent users in January 2012, that’s almost one year ago and we’re due for an update on how it’s progressing.

Image via Shutterstock / Steven Mann

Read next: Executive reshuffle at Twitter sees Ali Rowghani shift to COO, Zynga's Mike Gupta is new CFO