Some time ago, Valve announced that they were releasing a Steam Client targeted at Linux systems. At the time, it was rumored that their first Linux playable game internally (other than independent titles that already had Linux versions) was Left 4 Dead. Although we have not seen the rumored L4D port, we do now have a full blown Steam client for Ubuntu Linux (at least that is the officially supported distribution, however, I have seen clients working in Mint, Fedora and OpenSUSE). Here, we are going to talk about the installation and configuration of the client, along with some of the ‘gotchas’ involved. We will then talk about a couple of the games available and some of the lessons learned during the client use and subsequent gameplay.
There are several ways to end up with a satisfactory experience on the desktop with Ubuntu despite their recent confusion of the user interface. We will discuss some of those another day (KDE vs. Gnome vs. Cinammon vs. Unity). Today we are going to talk about setting up your desktop environment for multiple monitors. This article assumes you are running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 12.10, however, the process should work equally well back to version 10.04 LTS unless otherwise noted.
Assuming you have installed Ubuntu and are successfully sitting at the desktop (the window manager at this point is irrelevant), a couple of questions will now come to mind. What am I going to be using my linux desktop environment for? If you are going to be running office applications, email, basic web browsing and the occassional movie, you might be done. The default (read: Open Source) binary video drivers for both AMD (radeon) and Nvidia (nouveaux) are perfectly acceptable for all of those things. In fact, recently, they both have picked up some compositing support (so you can run the nifty 3D window effects in Compiz or KWin) as well as support for gaming. However, that support is spotty and performance still leaves a lot to be desired.