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I've noticed most Linux apps and games are free, whereas, Steam is causing Linux games and apps to become more and more non-free.

Do you think that Steam really deserves to be allowed on our software respositories? Even though Steam is causing a major uprise in the amount of Linux users, does it really follow the Linux idea that the apps and games on Linux are meant to be open-source?

Free as in freedom,
Open as in open to editing and customization.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by vasa1, Kevin Bowen, Warren Hill, psusi, Eric Carvalho Sep 17 '13 at 14:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Questions like this that are open ended should be posted in the Ubuntu Forums, please see the FAQ for what is on-topic here, thanks! –  Kevin Bowen Sep 17 '13 at 6:03
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It's not necessary to suggest posting open-ended questions in the Ubuntu Forums :) People have been seeking genuine support and receiving it as well over there :) I'm not sure there's some sort of understanding that such egregiously "opinion-generating" questions be routed there. What about ubuntu-discourse.org ? That site could do with some traffic so that when it goes official later most teething bugs are squashed. –  user25656 Sep 17 '13 at 7:50
    
@KevinBowen apparently, by the amount of answers/comments, it goes pretty well without turning into a long discussion. Seems that most people believe that my answer assets the main points the question without turning it into something that is my opinion; but the policies around Steam, Ubuntu and open-source. –  Braiam Sep 17 '13 at 12:02

2 Answers 2

Is Steam for Linux an open-source application?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Steam is a closed source application that it is included in the non-free repositories. The non-free repositories include all applications that one or other way, don't fit the FOSS philosophy and policies. That said, since Linux/Ubuntu is an open source anyone can install, modify and redistribute the software as they see fit, following the licences imposed over the code.

Does it deserve to be on Linux?

Do you think that Steam really deserves to be allowed on our software repositories?

Short answer: As you see fit.

Long answer: As said previously, openness means that you can accept almost anything, not that you are tied to a single thing. If you don't like Steam, just don't use it. If you don't like non-free applications, just don't use it. People have the freedom to select what they use or don't use in any open-source operating system. It applies for what they want and what they don't want.

does it really follow the Linux idea that the apps and games on Linux are meant to be open-source?

Short answer: As you see fit.

Long answer: I don't know from where you got that idea. Linux was meant to be freely distributable, modifiable and viewable (from the source code perspective). Who and how they use the core, unless they are infringing some licensing, is entirely up to the end user/developer. If the user wants Steam, and the company behind sees a market, why shouldn't they develop an application and distribute it as the see fit?

If you don't like their ways, just uninstall the program and delete the non-free repository. Nobody will blame you for anything. You are in your right to decide what to run or not in your system as they are in their right to develop for the same system.

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Edited it now. Good comprehensive answer –  minerz029 Sep 17 '13 at 4:46

Yes, because it's bringing business to Linux. Gaming should really start to move away from Windows 8, but not toward Macs. So what's left? Linux. They can't give games away for free, and you're paying for great content. What's not to love?

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Steam is in the 'non-free' repositories and is not free. It is also not open source. –  Thomas W. Sep 17 '13 at 4:02

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