My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Survey results for Linux gaming on Steam

steamValve published their monthly statistics on the Steam gaming platform.The February 2013 Hardware & Software survey results show that the adoption of Linux has doubled in the past month (click on the “OS Version” stats to see all Operating Systems, not just Windows).

While Ubuntu is obviously taking the largest part of the Linux pie, the total percentage of Linux Steam gamers is now somewhere between 2 and 3 (Slackware being hidden in the “Other” platforms). This means Linux as a gaming platform is about to overtake Apple’s OS (at least, for Steam). Who said that Linux users are freeloaders, not interested in anything that is not open source and gratis?

How are we doing as Slackware community? If you look at the Slackware Group page on the SteamCommunity site, you will see that we are about to pass the 100 members mark. I think that one month ago, that number was 13. So, the group is expanding fast, and it is good to see that Slackers are die-hard gamers too 🙂

I updated my steamclient package to the latest officially released version yesterday.

It’s still a 32-bit Steam client of course, and all Steam games are 32-bit, so either you have to run 32-bit Slackware, or install my multilib package set on top of your 64-bit Slackware  (multilib installation instructions here). The good news is that you do not have to install anything else to use the Steam client and play games. All the dependencies that I used to add to the steamclient directory are no longer needed. The necessary libraries are now all part of the “steam-runtime” included with the steamclient package.

It is highly recommended to have a NVIDIA/ATI powered graphics card inside your computer and use the proprietary binary graphics drivers for these cards!

Only if you want to be able to watch the game demo-video and promotional content in the Steam Store (inside the Steam client), you need to have the flashplayer-plugin installed. For 64-bit multilib systems that means, grab the 32-bit flash player plugin package, and use convertpkg-compat32 (part of my compat32-tools) to convert that package into a “compat32” package which can be used on a multilib Slackware64. Note that Adobe releases regular security updates for the Flashplayer, so be sure to check for updates to my package. You can keep an eye on the repository RSS feed if you don’t want to miss out.

Want to try? Install the steamclient, get Team Fortress 2 for free and start playing this adrenaline-powered multiplayer online game. And become the newest member of the Steam Slackware Group!

Have fun, Eric


  1. BroX

    I became the 100th member in the Slackware group! 🙂

  2. willian

    The X drop when I start steam in Slackware-current with multilib 64

  3. weput

    i’ll always be a free loader because i refuse to pay for something overpriced and full of bugs.

  4. alienbob

    Nothing against “freeloaders” myself – I am essentially one of them, seeking out the Open Source alternative wherever available.
    For games, it is different. Good games take an incredible amount of work, artistry & craftsmanship and I am willing to pay for that.

    Full of bugs? When I stop after a couple of hours of gameplay, I do not feel like having used a bug-riddled program.
    And remember, no progress without accepting the bumpy ride. Why else would someone want to run slackware-current on his computer?



  5. JKWood

    Just a couple of things:

    The link to flashplayer-plugin says flasplayer-plugin, so the link is broken.

    Do you have a list of the removed dependency packages? I didn’t think to turn my local copies into git repos until just now, so I’m not sure what was removed and what was kept.


  6. alienbob

    Hi JKWood

    Thanks for noticing the bad URL, I fixed that.

    Packages which I had as dependencies but are no longer needed by the steamclient and its games (which does not mean they are no good for other programs!):
    – OpenAL
    – json-c
    – pulseaudio
    – speex


  7. JKWood

    Okay, thanks! I finally dummied up a ‘comparison script’ to see what was in the current multilib directories versus what I had installed, and discovered I still had a compat32 package for hal! In any case, thank you for maintaining such fine software, and for being an all around nice guy (but not a pushover!)

  8. Janis

    My sad experience with ATI and NVIDIA binary drivers is that you can’t use 3.7 kernel. In case of NVIDIA the list stops at 3.7.4, ATI seems “died off” even earlier. In both cases errors are the same – installator says being not able to locate kernel sources (even if pointed to using specific cmd-line key). Did not tried 3.8 yet.

  9. JKWood

    I’m running the Nvidia 313.18 driver with 3.7.1 on Slackware 64 -current without any problems. I don’t know about the older ones.

    Do you actually have the kernel sources installed, Janis?

  10. Wild Wizard

    The current release nvidia driver (310.32) works just fine on 3.7.1

  11. Lag-A-Muffin

    @Janis For NVidia I’ve had to do something like this for years: sh ./ –kernel-source-path=/usr/src/linux

    @Alien Works a treat on my Slack 14 lappie but my 13.37 desktop says: line 672: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Operation not permitted

  12. Janis

    Don’t be ridiculous, JKWood, if i found ability of NVidia driver to “cooperate” with kernel version up to 3.7.4, which is not in stock of Slack64-14, it’s obvious that I know what means having kernel sources at hand (plus see the text in parenthesis of my comment above)

  13. ponce

    Janis, JKWood was trying to help, there’s no need to be harsh.

    nvidia drivers must be patched to support 3.7.x kernel sover a certain release, this is the patch

    you need an additional patch if you want to use them with a 3.8.x kernel

    I edited the nvidia-kernel.SlackBuild from SBo to apply them just before the “cd kernel || exit 1” line adding

    patch -p1 < $CWD/3.8_kernel.patch
    patch -p2 < $CWD/conftest_new.diff

  14. ponce

    I forgot, above is tested with the 313.18 version.

  15. Janis

    Thanks a lot, Ponce! I’ll try

  16. Lag-A-Muffin

    Ugh. Reading this, I remembered, I patched too.

  17. Gary James

    Hi Alienbob, Thanks for all the hard work you do for Slackers

    I would like your expert advice on multilib. I have followed your tutuorial and have multilib running nicely.

    Now i needed a 32bit version of OpenAl to play Dwarf Fortress.

    I edited LIBDIRSUFFIX as your tutorial suggested, compiled the package and all was good. Dwarf Fortress ran with sound.

    My only concern was the package created did not have a compact32 suffix? What if i need a 64 bit openal? Am I missing something, a simple step, or have I got the whole multilib concept wrong in my mind?

    I use so many of your contributions to Slackware so I must thank you again.

    Many Thanks

  18. alienbob

    Yeah, one really should rename the resulting package architecture from “x86_64” to “i486”. Slackware’s SlackBuild scripts do not make a distinction between the architecture of the compile-host (x86_64 64-bit) and the target (i486 32-bit).
    Suppose the package was called OpenAL-1.13-x86_64-1alien.txz but actually this is the 32-bit version, then you best rename the package to OpenAL-1.13-i486-1alien.txz before installing it.
    You can than use the “convertpkg-compat32” script to create a package which shows better that you are using a 32-bit package in a multilib setup. The resulting OpenAL-compat32-1.13-x86_64-1aliencompat32.txz package would be easy to recognize as a multilib add-on and it will not interfere with a 64-bit version of OpenAL when you need that.

    Perhaps I should make this clearer in the multilib guide.


  19. Arvo Part

    TF2 stopped working for me after march 5 update. Game starts without screen, desktop keeps showing. Startup sound and music are heard. Using old package from januari. Installing new package atm.

  20. BroX

    Now if only the catalyst-legacy driver supported xorg-server 1.13 🙁

  21. ponce

    FYI, just released nvidia driver 313.26 shouldn’t need any patch (I’m running it here with kernel 3.9-rc1).

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