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Valve urges users to get Ubuntu and join Linux beta for Steam

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Valve has been working on Linux support for some time, first with a Steam beta program for Linux and now with Linux-based Steam Box hardware. The latter is receiving more attention right now, but the company is still quietly pushing Steam for Linux, even for those who don't actually use the operating system. On the "About" page of its site, the service urges users to get a copy of Ubuntu 12.04 if they're "not running on Linux yet" — it's a nice bit of evangelism for the platform, albeit one that's completely cost-free for Valve. The Steam beta, meanwhile, also works on other Linux variants besides Ubuntu.

The page seems to have been up for some time, possibly since the open beta, and it appears for everyone, not just the Windows users Newell is attempting to woo. While it's certainly a way to get people interested in Linux, it also doesn't do a lot to explain why new users would want it, and the still-limited game selection likely won't convince them either. A Linux-based Steam Box could offer a free and open operating system out of the box, and making Linux more familiar to people beforehand can only help. But the hassle of installing it on most current-generation computers — despite the user-friendly changes we've seen in the past few years — still makes it a losing proposition for many users without a clear reason to switch.