Linux users are used to getting short shrift when it comes to popular applications and games making the transition to their favorite open-source platform, but it turns out the folks at Valve are not only big fans, they're extremely committed to porting Steam and its Source Engine in a big way.

The folks over at Phoronix headed to Valve's offices in Bellevue, Wash. for some face time with co-founder Gabe Newell, the man paving the way for the arrival of Steam on the Linux platform.

Not only does the company already have a team of Linux developers already hard at work on the port, they continue to hire others in an effort to accelerate those efforts.

Word began to spread in 2010 of a Linux port for Steam and its Source Engine, but many gamers dismissed it as too good to be true - until now.

Linux or bust

As Valve's managing director, Newell only recently became personally involved with the project, which will likely be released first in beta form and initially limited to Left 4 Dead 2.

Phoronix's Michael Larabel got a hands-on look at Valve's progress on the Linux port and walked away quite impressed.

"This Linux work just is not some half-assed attempt by [Valve] to make it look like they are a Linux-friendly organization," Larabel explains.

"Gabe's vision to support, embrace, and promote Linux are amazing, assuming they execute, which looks to be very high probability at this point."

Less enthusiastic about Windows 8

It turns out that Newell is an enthusiastic supporter of Linux - but he was far less excited about the course Redmond is currently charting with Windows 8.

"[Newell's] level of Linux interest and commitment was incredible while his negativity for Windows 8 and the future of Microsoft was stunning," the report reveals.

"I plan to try out Windows 8 simply to see if it's as bad as Gabe states and because he's curious about my opinions of this latest Microsoft operating system."

Via Phoronix