Steam on Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint)? Yep. Possible.

This might not be new to you but just in case you don’t know yet, the ever famous “Steam” gaming platform works on Linux! No emulation / virtualization required! So if its the one thing that is holding you back to move into the Linux world, maybe you should think again!

For those who don’t know Steam, lets take a brief look.

Steam Platform

So what is Steam?

According to Wikipedia (I know, call me lazy!):

Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses; in October 2012, Valve expanded the service to include non-gaming software.

In short, Steam is a platform where publishers distribute their software (either be games or apps) to consumers. All you have to do is install Steam and when you pick a software from Steam, it will take care of the download and installation fr the software to your machine. Pretty convenient eh? It also supports auto update of installations so if the game or app publisher updates its software, Steam will automatically update it. Commonly, games and apps should be purchased in order for someone to download it. However, in Steam there is a wide range of Free-to-Play games such as:

  • Team Fortress 2 (personal favorite)
  • Dota 2
  • Warframe
  • Others (these are the only 3 games I played using steam)

You can visit Steam to view the full list. Also if I may add, Steam features a messaging system, in-game browser and achievements. So if you play Team Fortress like I do, you can easily check achievements, make a party and find online friends during the game. No need to ALT + TAB anymore!

Enough of Steam. So how do we install this on Linux? Remember that I am currently using Linux Mint XFCE right? So I think this steps will apply to Linux Mint XFCE (or the normal Min), Ubuntu and ultimately the great mother Debian. So here it goes:

 

  • Go to STEAM to download the .deb file
  • If you are in Linux Mint XFCE (or the normal Mint) or Ubuntu, just double click the file and install it. You will be needing the root password for this. Succeeding steps are for Debian
  • If you are in Debian, I think the way to install steam is to dpkg the file. Head over to the directory where you saved the file (I think it is saved in ~/HomeLinux/Downloads if you download it from Iceweasel) and copy the location from the address bar.
  • Next, open Terminal and type:

cd <insert the directory where you saved the Steam installer here>

  • Then type this and enter your root password:

sudo dpkg -i steam_latest.deb

  • Success! Now you can play your favorite games on Steam! Enjoy playing!

Note: Of course some of you out there wants to know what the commands in the terminal mean. Since I am just starting out, I could not provide you a very detailed answer but just like you (who want to know the commands) and I am still a newbie in Linux so here is what I know so far on the said commands:

  • cd: It means current directory. It tells your terminal to change your working directory to the directory or address or location that you have specified
  • sudo: It means that you will be running the command as root (administrator). This is required in order to install programs in Linux (well just like in Windows 7 right?)
  • dpkg: On my search at Debian, this is the main Package Management program for Debian. So typing this will call that package manager and wait for your input (switches -i or -r or others)
  • -i: A switch for the command dpkg. It tells your dkpg program that you are going to install a .deb file.

That’s it! If you find my explanation too complicated or you find my understanding wrong, kindly comment and I will revise this. Thanks for reading!

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