Earlier today, PCGamesN was looking around in the Steam Content Description Record Database and found an entry for a Linux based beta of the Steam client. Entries in this database usually become live projects shortly after being posted. This is creating a lot of buzz in the gaming community and would be a big step forward for Linux gaming.
This would be pretty amazing and it gets me thinking about Linux, and I have to say that I personally use Linux from time to time but it is not my preferred OS. I have a pretty good understanding of the environment and can manipulate pretty much anything I want or need to. I have used Kdevelop to write applications have spent hours tweaking things and playing around but I can’t seem to move completely over to a Linux based OS no matter what distro I try out.
There it is, the problem is exactly what I just mentioned, I personally believe that there needs to be a greater unification of Linux distributions in order to really streamline and push the platform into the main stream . I am by no means saying that we should just demolish all the current flavors of Linux, just offer one version that’s massively supported and I think it will improve the Linux environment in it’s entirety. The bottom line is greater Linux support needs to happen, we need another strong competitor in the OS market and I think it’s time to push Linux harder than we ever have before.
With touch support and solid performance numbers, there is really no reason why Linux can’t have a greater presence in today’s mobile and gaming world. Android has been very successful and it’s a Linux based OS. In a world where Apple seems unshakable, Android is a pretty good measurement of success and shows the possibilities of Linux. Video game developers have done some testing on Linux and have actually found that there are some pretty strong performance gains when running on Linux based machines. Even hardcore Linux users must admit that having more support would be nice and that no matter what happens on the front lines, there could always be a smaller niche distro that they could stick to if they don’t like the direction of the newly unified OS.
I have to stop and ask myself there are any possible negative impacts that could arise from an unification effort and mainly I see issues with an open platform becoming less open and seeing what makes Linux unique start to become a bit watered down. With any rise in popularity you can also see a rise in malware to go with it, as malware developers target operating systems that are likely to affect a larger audience.
Either way I am excited to see where this goes and will be keeping an eye on this projects progress.
The official entry in the Content Record Database can be found here.