Difference between revisions of "Steam under Linux"

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(With Play On Linux (POL))
(Step 1: setting up Wine: copying fonts no longer needed)
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==== Other distributions / manual installation ====
==== Other distributions / manual installation ====
:There are packages for several other Linux distributions and a source tarball available on the [http://www.winehq.org/site/download official download page]. You might also find a lot of good information from [http://wiki.jswindle.com/index.php/Installing_Wine Wine's official wiki pages].
:There are packages for several other Linux distributions and a source tarball available on the [http://www.winehq.org/site/download official download page]. You might also find a lot of good information from [http://wiki.jswindle.com/index.php/Installing_Wine Wine's official wiki pages].
=== Installing required fonts ===
:Steam uses the font ''Tahoma'' which is included in all Windows versions, but is not available on Linux. This will result in invisible text when running Steam without installing ''Tahoma'' first.
:The easiest way to work around this issue is to put a copy of <code>tahoma.ttf</code> from a Windows installation (<code>%WINDIR%\Fonts</code>) to <code>~/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts</code>.
=== Troubleshooting ===
=== Troubleshooting ===

Revision as of 13:15, 30 September 2009

This should become a comprehensive guide to install and use Steam under a Linux environment.

Please note: Games run with these methods will be slower than running them on Windows because the games are not native executable files. To get the best performance we will need to wait for Valve to release a native Steam client (which is now rumoured to be happening).

To do: Add a guide to get Steam running and additional information.

With Play On Linux (POL)

One "easy" method of installing Steam is with Play On Linux (http://www.playonlinux.com/en/). First download the latest version of PoL


and install it. Then run it by typing: "playonlinux" in the console and click on "installer", select "jeu" or "game" and next, select steam, next, say yes for all next steps, and here it is, Steam Is installed ! Enjoy.

POL does install Steam but the Tahoma truetype font is not installed correctly therefore not allowing you to view the normal text on the screen. I have just tested it on Fedora 9. I can view the default Steam webpage and the community page no problem. But the login text is invisible, the My Games screen text is invisible. NOTE - Tahoma font installs properly on Backtrack 4 Pre Release. (Tested 6/15/09)

With Wine-Doors

Wine doors seems to be another simple solution for installing steam.

Step 1: Install Wine-Doors
navigate to the downloads page, and install your installation type. I had the easy route and could install from an RPM.
Step 2: Run the program from your main menu Applications--> System --> Wine-doors. This was for Fedora 9, I did not try any other distro's yet.
Step 3: Fill in some basic username information that is in regards to YOUR computer.
Step 4: choose which programs you would like to install. I Choose Steam, the Tahoma truetype font, and the DirectX 9 runtime stuff.
Step 5: Hit apply
Step 6: Programs are downloaded and installed automatically.
Step 7: VERY IMPORTANT!!! Restart your os. For some reason it took me two or three restarts but I have a fully functioning steam client.

At first I was disappointed because my steam client didn't show up with the tahoma font, but now everything is visible. Also something of note, I installed the adobe flash player before trying to run steam. I'm not sure if it affected it or not, but if your superstitious, reboot 3 times, install adobe flash player (rpm) and then open steam from main menu Applications --> Other --> Steam.

Any questions can be e-mailed to [email protected] I would be happy to help out.

Step 1: setting up Wine

First of all you have to set up a working Wine installation.

Installing Wine

TODO: Add install guides for other popular distributions. Am I doing this right?

Arch Linux

See from Arch Linux wiki pages.


See from Wine's Howto pages.
See from http://wiki.debian.org/HalfLife2


See from Fedora wiki pages. Red Hat users must turn to their support provider.


Install Wine with emerge wine. In order to get the most recent Wine version you have to put app-emulation/wine ~{arch} into /etc/portage/package.keywords. Replace {arch} with the architecture of your Linux installation, e.g. x86 or amd64. (This step maybe has to be done for possible dependencies as well.)
For more information about installing wine on Gentoo see Gentoo wiki.


See from openSUSE wiki pages.


See from Ubuntu community documentation.

Other distributions / manual installation

There are packages for several other Linux distributions and a source tarball available on the official download page. You might also find a lot of good information from Wine's official wiki pages.


If you are having problems you might want to take a look Wine's official wiki pages. If this doesn't help try find what kind of live support method does your distribution provides. You might find the solution for your problems from the distributions official forum, IRC channel or mailing list very efficiently. Try looking the distributions home page for more information.

Step 2: installing steam

Download the installer, open a terminal and change to the download directory. Run wine start SteamInstall.msi and follow the instructions. After that Steam is installed in Wine's "virtual" Windows drive, usually ~/.wine/drive_c/Programs/Valve/Steam.

Alternatively, you will need to use msiexec to run the Steam installer. Therefore, run wine msiexec \a SteamInstall.msi and follow the Steam installer instructions.

Note.png Note: With newer versions of Wine you have to copy tahoma.ttf to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts/
Note.png Note: The login window doesn't have keyboard focus when starting up. You have to right-click into the login field first.


Wine-doors is a easy-to-use tool to install several Windows-applications under Linux using wine. It also supports to install Steam with only two clicks. It's available as Debian/Ubuntu package or Tarball.

Steam:// protocol links

A fix for using steam:// style protocol links with Firefox can be found here: [1]. The author says it will work under Ubuntu, but it may work under other flavors of Linux.

Known issues

Minimizing steam

Minimizing Steam causes the X server to ignore your mouse / keyboard input. Don't minimize Steam to work around this issue, instead close the window and open it with the Wine Systray. If you accidentally minimize Steam you either have to restart the X server / computer or you can log-in from another computer (e.g. SSH) and kill steam.exe processes.

This is a known bug in Wine versions prior to 0.9.31. This bug has been fixed in Wine 0.9.31 and newer, so if you are using the latest Wine version (the one you should use anyway), you can safely minimize Steam.

Wine, Steam & ntfs-3g

ntfs-3g is a powerful user-mode driver for Linux which is capable of almost all file operations on NTFS partitions. Sadly, ntfs-3g and/or Wine are currently unable to work with a NTFS-based installation of Steam. Steam will crash with the following error:
Steam.exe (main exception): Cannot open blob archive file: CMultiFieldBlob(mem-mapped file): Failed to MapViewOfFile
Creating a Symlink to SteamApps on a NTFS partition doesn't work either. Steam will start up, but your GCFs will get corrupted or - if you're lucky - Steam only assumes they are corrupted. So you won't get around having duplicate GCFs for Linux and Windows if you plan on using Steam with both operating systems and having NTFS partitions for Windows, unless you install onto a linux partition from Windows, using something like Ext2 IFS for Windows (in which case you can use the same files in both operating systems).
  • Update: It seems linking gcfs instead of the folder works*
  • Note: This is not an issue with ntfs-3g specifically, but with FUSE, the userspace filesystem toolkit that ntfs-3g is built on. Any FUSE based filesystem driver will cause these same issues (ex: encfs).*

External links