Good news for PC gamers who like to run alternative operating systems: in a recent picture from Valve’s headquarters, a Linux-based computer is seen running Steam, that company’s popular online game distribution system.

While a Linux-based Steam client has been rumored for years – and promptly denied by Valve – it finally looks like we’ll see the popular program hit Linux systems later this year. Michael Larabel, a software engineer who has developed benchmarking software and is heavily involved with the tech industry in general, snapped a few pictures from his afternoon at Valve and posted them on his Phoronix blog.

Larabel claims that Steam for Linux was easily able to boot up and play Left 4 Dead 2 without a hitch. Even better, it didn’t require any painful driver conversion tools, like Wine. Instead, the system natively loaded AMD’s Catalyst Linux drivers.

As of now, Left 4 Dead 2 is the only game that has been confirmed to work with Steam for Linux. Larabel does say that Valve plans to port some of its other releases to the freeware operating system eventually. It’s also pressuring other PC game manufacturers to start converting their games to Linux.

Valve hasn’t commented on the report yet, but tech industry insiders are hopeful for a Steam for Linux release later this year.

Advantages of Steam for Linux – a faster PC

If you want faster, smoother PC performance, then it’s tough to beat Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu. They use a miniscule amount of system resources and perform all of the same tasks as other leading operating systems – like Windows and Mac OSX. However, one area where Linux has been lacking is in PC gaming, which is why Steam for Linux could be such big news.

Put simply, using Linux is one of the easiest ways to maximize your current hardware’s performance and squeeze as much speed as possible out of your PC. To read more about Larabel’s journey to Steam headquarters, click here.

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