Valve, the well-known gaming company behind the popular Steam platform, is currently in a dispute with Canonical’s Snap version of Steam on Ubuntu Linux. This clash highlights the ongoing obstacles faced by the Linux gaming community as it strives to deliver a smooth gaming experience for its users.
Linux has been gaining ground as a gaming platform in recent years, offering an alternative to traditional Windows-based systems. This trend received a significant boost with the launch of the Steam Deck in February 2022, a handheld gaming device powered by SteamOS. As more gamers switch to Linux, developers and distributors must address compatibility issues and ensure a seamless gaming experience.
Canonical, the creator of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has been actively promoting its Snap package format as a convenient way to distribute software across different Linux distributions. As a result, the Snap version of Steam comes pre-installed on Ubuntu. However, Canonical advises users to report any issues they encounter with the Snap version directly to them, which has caused confusion among gamers used to seeking support from Valve.
Valve has responded to the increasing number of bug reports related to the Snap version of Steam on Ubuntu. They have made it clear that the Snap version is not officially supported and strongly recommend that Ubuntu users install the Debian package of Steam instead. Valve developer Timothée Besset even suggests that Ubuntu users choose the Debian package.
The concerns about the Snap version arise from Canonical’s repackaging of the Steam client on Snap, which has led to compatibility issues and bugs. Valve has been flooded with bug reports stemming from the Snap version, negatively impacting the overall user experience. To handle the growing number of reports, Valve may implement a warning system to inform users about the unsupported nature of the Snap version of Steam on Linux.
While Valve recognizes the importance of user freedom, they may have no choice but to implement the warning system if the situation worsens. This move would serve as a precautionary measure to inform users about the potential issues with the unofficial Snap version and help Valve better manage the influx of bug reports they receive.
For Ubuntu variants like Kubuntu or Ubuntu Cinnamon, as well as the Debian Linux distribution, it is advisable to install the Debian package of Steam to avoid compatibility issues. Although the Snap package comes pre-installed on Ubuntu, users should be aware that an official Debian version is available and recommended by Valve.
The clash between Valve and Canonical reminds us of the ongoing challenges faced by the Linux gaming community. As Linux becomes more popular among gamers, collaboration between developers and distributors is crucial to ensure a seamless gaming experience. The compatibility issues between the Snap version of Steam and Ubuntu Linux highlight that there is still work to be done in this regard.
In conclusion, the clash between Valve and Canonical regarding the Snap version of Steam on Ubuntu Linux sheds light on the challenges faced by the Linux gaming community. While Canonical promotes the convenience of its Snap package format, Valve emphasizes that the Snap version is not officially supported and urges users to install the Debian package of Steam. As Linux continues to gain traction as a gaming platform, developers and distributors must work together to address compatibility issues and provide a seamless gaming experience for users.