A new post
on a brand new "Valve Linux Team" blog, offers the first official explanations of the studio's Linux plans, confirming reports that a Linux version of Steam is indeed in the works and that Left 4 Dead 2 will be the first Source Engine-powered game to make the transition.
According to the blog, Valve's Linux team consists of 11 people, who's mission directive is to simply "strengthen the gaming scene on Linux". They currently have three stated objectives: bringing a full-featured Steam client to Linux, getting Left 4 Dead 2 running as well under OpenGL on Linux as it does in Windows, and porting additional Valve titles.
The post goes further to explain that the Ubuntu distro is their initial target platform, but that they expect to support other distributions as the project matures.
The goal of the Steam client project is a fully-featured Steam client running on Ubuntu 12.04. We’ve made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available. We’re still giving attention and effort to minor features but it’s a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing.
Beyond the mention of a "near future" internal beta, no other dates or timeframes were mentioned.