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Steam for Linux is now live

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Steam is now available on Linux, Valve announced today.

Linux users can download the free Steam client from the Ubuntu Software Center, the most-used Linux distribution center. Steam for Linux client is compatible with Steam's Big Picture mode, allowing users to play their Linux games on the television using a game controller.

To commemorate the launch, Steam is offering 50 Linux-compatible titles between 50 and 75 percent off until Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. ET. Available games include Counter-Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life and Team Fortress 2, the latter of which is also running an exclusive promotion. For a limited time players on Steam for Linux will receive Linux mascot Tux the penguin as an item that can be carried by characters in-game.

"The introduction of Steam to Ubuntu demonstrates growing demand for open systems from gamers and game developers," said Ubuntu developer Canonical's director of consumer applications David Pitkin. "We expect a growing number of game developers to include Ubuntu among their target platforms. We're looking forward to seeing AAA games developed with Ubuntu in mind as part of a multi-platform day and date release on Steam."

"We're huge fans of Linux," added Serious Sam developer Croteam's CTO Alen Ladavac. "It's like the indie OS-a perfect home for our indie game. And who better to lead the charge into Linux gaming than Valve?

"With Steam distribution on Windows, Mac OS, and now Linux, plus the buy-once, play-anywhere promise of Steam Play, our games are available to everyone, regardless what type of computer they're running," he added. "That's huge."

Valve announced it was developing Steam for Linux last spring. The program went into closed beta through Ubuntu in November before opening to everyone a month later.