It's been an important day for the Linux community at large as Valve's first limited external beta of Steam is released.
Much to my disappointment, I didn't make the first cut for beta testing. The odds weren't great - 60,000 people vying for just 1,000 places - and with just a primitive entry form to go by, selection of candidates must have been nigh on impossible. For what it's worth, I expect expansion of the programme will be relatively swift.
That aside, I did manage to get a copy of the beta anyway. Installation was obviously elementary, as one expects with superior package management systems. The Steam client itself runs smoothly (again, as one would expect), and looks very similar to Steam running under WINE. Sync with existing Steam accounts, push notifications, downloads, library, steam URIs - it all just works.
Running the beta outside of the official beta program seems to pose a problem in terms of downloading Steam beta's poster child, TF2, through the client. Other purchased titles aren't a problem however.
Some people have been impressively quick off-the-bat. directhex has composed an early attempt at a game compatibility list, to which the addition of more testing experiences is clearly welcomed.
To get my own testing ball rolling, I went ahead and purchased Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
I'm unable to "get into the game" as of yet, since the inevitable resolution switch is proving rather messy (to say the least) on my multi-monitor setup with Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers & 12.10/Cinnamon. It's going to take a little work before I get things running acceptably - and that I'll have to leave for another day.
From first impressions - it certainly starts quickly, and seems likely that it'll run smoothly once I've ironed out my resolution wrinkles.
So far, things look rosy. More to come.