Steam on PCLinuxOS

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Note:You can now install Linux Steam client from Synaptic, however this tutorial will remain for games that don't have Linux support.

This will serve as place for PCLinuxOS users to get Steam and Valve related games working on their systems. In the mean time I would suggest reading the Steam under Linux guide and the PCLinuxOS magazine .

To do: Guide to adding PlayOnLinux and Wine manually, playing games on steam, and fix the additional to dos found throughout the article.

Getting Started

If you choose to use PlayOnLinux it will attempt to take care of the full instillation process for you. Meanwhile Wine maybe a bit more manual. Most PCLinuxOS users will already have Wine installed, if not we will walk you through that installation below!

Installing PlayOnLinux

Note:As I'm currently writing this Synaptic package manager is the default, I will try to update this as needed.

Launch Synaptic package manager and click "Reload" In the top left corner. After it is done downloading search for "PlayOnLinux" and mark it for install. This will also download any dependencies needed. For additional information about PlayOnLinux please visit their website.

Installing Wine

Note:You do not need to do this step if you installed PlayOnLinux
Note:As I'm currently writing this Synaptic package manager is the default, I will try to update this as needed.

Launch Synaptic package manager and click "Reload" In the top left corner. After it is done downloading search for "Wine" and mark it for install. This will also download any dependencies needed. For additional information about Wine please visit their website.

I would suggest you now install winetricks to get the Tahoma font and any other packages you may want to add to Wine. To install winetricks launch Synaptic package manager and click "Reload" In the top left corner. After it is done downloading search for "winetricks" and mark it for install. For additional information about winetricks please visit their website.


winetricks is a easy to use tool that can install many useful resource in Wine, including the needed Tahoma font. It is highly recommended you use Synaptic to install winetricks. You can get winetricks here, you can also use wget to download winetricks:


You can start winetricks using:

sh winetricks

If you know the name of the package(s) you wish to install, you can append the name(s) to the winetricks command line and it will immediately start the installation process. For example:

sh winetricks corefonts vcrun6

Information provided by winehq wiki.

Problems with Synaptic

If you are having trouble downloading or using the package manager please go to the PCLinuxOS forums for more information or if you are having a problems with repertories/mirros please read this thread.

Installing Steam

To install steam you will need either PlayOnLinux or Wine installed for this tutorial.

Install Steam with PlayOnLinux

Note:Make sure you PlayOnLinux is up-to-date in Synaptic by clicking "Reload" and than "Mark all updates."

Launch PlayOnLinux and click "Install." In the search bar type "Steam" which should only show one result Steam, if this dose not work you can browse to Steam through the "Games" section. After click to install Steam several windows will appear asking you questions, when you are done steam should be completely installed and ready to run. When you first start Steam it will need to download updates and restart steam again.

Install Steam with Wine

Note:You will need the Tahoma font installed in Wine

Download the steam installer to your computer and launch it. Wine should now properly handle this installer, in which case you will have successfully installed Steam by the end of it.

Install Steam with Winetricks

If you have winetricks installed you can tell winetricks to install steam for you using the following command in the terminal:

winetricks steam

Tips for Dual Booters

Link Steamapps Folders

To do: Add pictures/visual aids Warning: When a file/folder is linked changing it will change your source file/folder (This can change settings to games etc on your Windows side) Instead of re-downloading all your games and filling up your hard drive, you can link your steam folders. In this instance I will be linking the steamapps folder, rather then the whole steam folder. The easiest way for a regular KDE install is to launch 2 dolphin file browsers and open your home folder with one. If you can not currently see hidden files push F8 to show all hidden files. For PlayOnLinux you will want to look under .PlayOnLinux and Wine should be .Wine, inside you should see a drive_c which will resemble that of a Windows file structure. You will want to browse into Steam, which is inside program files, and rename the "steamapps" folder to "o_steamapps" for a backup. Press F4 to bring up a terminal, now use the second dolphin window and click on your mounted hard drive. You should be able to see it on the left side, this will open up everything inside it, which you should now see all your windows files. Browse inside of Program File, or Program Files(x86) for 64-bit, and fined Steam.

Now that you have 1 window inside your Linux Steam install and one in the windows Steam install click inside the terminal you opened earlier, the window with the Linux Steam install open, and type:

ln -s

Drag the folder named "steamapps" from the Windows install of Steam into the terminal and hit enter.

Note:Make sure you have a space between the ln -s and the directory of steamapps

Your terminal command should look similar to this:

ln -s /media/disk/"Program Files (x86)"/Steam/steamapps

Linking Steamapps Manually

First, make sure you know the location of your Linux and Windows steam files.Go to your home folder "/home/youruser." If you do not have hidden files set to be viewable, you will need to do so. You can do this by clicking on "View" and make sure "Show Hidden Files" is checked or pushing F8. By default, steam should be installed in your ".PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Steam/drive_c/Program Files/Steam" or .Wine folder. To find your Windows Steam file, go to root and look for "media", inside will be a list of mounted media, or on the left hand side click on the mounted hard drive. In some cases you will need to mount your Windows media, but with PCLinuxOS, it is typically already mounted. The name of your Windows media will most likely be something like "disk." If you want your media to auto-mount and it does not already, go to Configure your Desktop in KDE 4, go to the Hardware section, and click on "Removable Devices." Here, you can edit what devices will auto mount. Now browse to your steamapps folder on Windows. It should look like "Program File (x86)/Steam/steamapps" (the (x86) is for those running 64-bit Windows). To link your steamapps folders, we will use a symbolic link. First, you will need to rename the steamapps folder in steam to something like o_steamapps. I like to keep the old version in case something goes wrong. Now that you know both locations of steam, open the terminal and cd to the steam folder on Linux. The command should look like this:

cd /home/youruser/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Steam/drive_c/"Program Files"/Steam
Note:If installed with Wine it will be .Wine instead

Now we will create a symbolic link using the ln -s command. To use the ln -s command, you have to cd to the location of the folder you want to link (like we just did earlier) and begin by typing ln (for link) and -s (for a symbolic link), followed by the location of the folder you want to link to (in this case, the Windows destination of Steam), followed by the name of the folder you want to link (in this case, steamapps). If you used ln -s correctly, your command should look like this:

ln -s /media/disk/"Program Files (x86)"/Steam/steamapps steamapps

Information provided by PCLinuxOS Magazine Game Zone Feb2011

Problems With Steam

This will be a list of problems and hopefully solutions to some problems. Using software such as steam that is often updated and drastically changing can cause many new problems over time.

Bad Steamapps Link

To do: Find a more permanent fix

If you are having trouble starting steam, problems connecting to the steam network and possibly errors about amount of disk space available it may be due to a bad steamapps link.

1. A simple fix may be spinning up the volume/mount, this can be done either in terminal or by simply opening the volume in a file browser.

2. Open your Steam install, under .PlayOnLinux or .Wine, and look for steamapps. A quick simple fix is to delete and relink the folder as described above in linking the folders. So far I have only experienced this with linked steamapps folders and haven't had the time to look into a more permanent fix.

Playing Games on Steam

It is highly recomennded you disable compiz/any effects you have enabled. Launch "Configure Your Desktop" and go to "Desktop Effects." In here you can temporally disable your effects or completely disable them.

To disable compiz use the following command in terminal:

metacity --replace

To enable use:

compiz --replace