Steam under Linux

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

Contents

Native Steam on Linux

Unpackaged

Download the latest build, extract it, and run ./steam or type "sudo make install"
http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/archive/precise/steam_latest.tar.gz

Arch Linux

A package is available from the official repositories. It can be installed by typing pacman -S steam.
You will first need to enable the multilib repository if you are on a 64-bit system.

Debian

Steam packages are available for jessie and sid. To install Steam, use apt-get install steam or aptitude install steam.
If you are on a non-i386 architecture (e.g. amd64), you need to enable multiarch.
Further installation and usage instructions can be found in the Steam Debian wiki article.

Fedora

RPM packages are available from RPMFusion for all supported Fedora releases. The package works fine on both i686 and x86_64 systems and already contains support for the S3 Texture compression library for open source drivers (radeon, intel and nouveau) along with all the required libraries to start playing with Steam games.
To install, after enabling the RPMFusion repositories, simply issue a yum install steam.
Note: There is also a staging repository where additional options are added to the package, in particular for running Steam with the Steam (Ubuntu) runtime disabled. These features might not end up in RPMFusion. The repository is available at negativo17.org.

Gentoo

Inofficial ebuilds are available through gamerlay, progress is tracked on Gentoo Bug 442176.

openSUSE / SUSE

Install the RPM package for openSUSE.
Further information: https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Team_Fortress_2

Ubuntu

Update your system with the latest updates, then install the deb package:
http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/archive/precise/steam_latest.deb

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

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/download.html

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) NOTE - Tahoma font can be installed by copying it from your windows pc to a flash drive and then putting it in a hidden folder (on your linux pc) named .fonts (you may have to make the folder0 in your root directory (Tested in kbuntu 10/16/09)

The Tahoma font can be installed using winetricks with the command winetricks tahoma without a windows install to copy it from.

Installing Winetricks

winetricks is a easy to use tool that can install many useful resource in Wine, including the needed Tahoma font. If your distribution provides a prepackaged version it is highly recommended you use that version. You can get winetricks here, you can also use wget to download winetricks:

wget http://winetricks.org/winetricks
su
mv winetricks /usr/bin/
chmod +x /usr/bin/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.

Step 1: setting up Wine

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

Installing Wine

Arch Linux

See from Arch Linux wiki pages.

Debian

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

Fedora

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

Gentoo

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.

Ubuntu

See from Ubuntu community documentation.

PCLinuxOS

See from Steam on PCLinuxOS

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.

Troubleshooting

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:The login window doesn't have keyboard focus when starting up. You have to right-click into the login field first.


An alternative way to install steam is using winetricks:

winetricks steam

Thanks to Flibitijibibo for this information.

Save space on dual-boot machines

If you are dual-booting your machine, it is possible to symlink your steamapps folder from linux to the windows location. This will allow you to maintain only one copy of the game downloads. Example (stop steam first):

cd $HOME/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam/
mv steamapps steamapps.bak
ln -s <ABSOLUTE-WINDOWS-DRIVE-MOUNT-POINT>/Program\ Files/Steam/steamapps steamapps

If you symlink your steamapps folder, make sure you have your windows drive mounted before launching steam or it will fail to login and present a network related error message. If you use 64-bit windows, the program files directory will need an (x86) suffix.

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

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).*

Steam and Compositing

Users may experience severe slowdown and lag if they attempt to use Steam under Wine with Compiz installed on their linux machine. The best way to fix this is to run the command: metacity --replace and then to re-enable: compiz --replace It is a good idea to make a launcher for each one, and then run it before you start Steam.

KWin has less issues with compositing, but games may run slower if it's turned on. Under KDE, you can toggle KWin compositing with Ctrl-Shift-F12.

Distribution specific help

Help documents for specific distributions.

Steam on PCLinuxOS

External links

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