The Steam platform running on a laptop.
Postmodern Studio/

So, you want to try out gaming on Linux? In this article, let’s look at how to install Steam on any Linux distribution to kickstart your Linux gaming journey.

For those who don’t know what Steam is, it’s an online platform by Valve where you can download and play thousands of games, and also discuss them with the community. Steam is also great for Linux users because you can use Proton to play Windows games on Linux. The Proton compatibility layer is changing the gaming landscape on Linux, and you can take advantage of it by installing Steam on your system.

How to Install Steam on Ubuntu or Debian

There are two ways to install Steam on Ubuntu: using the Software Center or using the terminal. To install Steam on Ubuntu using the Software Center, find and click on the Ubuntu Software on the sidebar.

Find Ubuntu Software

If you don’t find it on the sidebar, click on “Show Applications” (nine dots forming a square) followed by “Ubuntu Software.”

In Ubuntu Software, start typing “Steam” in the search bar.

Find Steam Installer in Ubuntu software

Click on the Install button.

install steam launcher

You will find the Steam application in the Applications menu. Double-click it to open it, and let the app update before it launches.

You can also install Steam using the apt command line tool in Ubuntu and Debian. For starters, apt is a package manager which gathers resources from repositories and installs them on your Linux distribution. Almost every Debian-based and Ubuntu-based Linux distribution uses apt as its default package manager.

To install Steam on Ubuntu or any Ubuntu-based distributions like Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, Elementary OS, and Linux Lite, open the terminal and type the following command. Then hit Enter.

sudo apt install steam

If you’re using Debian, you’ll need to prepare your system first before you can install Steam. Follow the official instructions from the Debian team to do this.

The easiest way to install Steam on Debian is by downloading the DEB package from the official Steam download page.

download steam from steampowered

Open the terminal and cd into the /Downloads folder, then type the following command and hit Enter.

sudo apt install steam_latest.deb

How to Install Steam on Fedora, OpenSUSE, and RPM-Based Distributions

To install Steam in Fedora using the CLI (Command Line Interface), you’ll first need to add a third-party RPM fusion repository. Open the Terminal, copy and paste the following command, and hit enter.

sudo dnf install$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

Now that you have enabled the non-free Fedora repository, use this command to install Steam.

sudo dnf install steam

On OpenSUSE, you can install Steam using the Zypper package manager.

sudo zypper install steam

You can install Steam from the third-party EPEL (Extra Packages For Enterprise Linux) repository on other RPM-based distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Head over to this link and download the Steam RPM file. Then open the terminal and move to the directory where you downloaded the file.

Once you’re in the directory, type this command and hit enter.

sudo rpm -i steam-1.x.x.xx.x.rpm

Replace the “x’s” with the version number, as shown in the image below.

Use rpm install steam

How to Install Steam on Arch-Based Distributions

To install Steam on Arch-based distributions, you can use the default package manager Pacman. But before going ahead and typing the install command, you’ll first need to enable the multilib repository.

Open the terminal, type the following command, and hit enter.

sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf

pacman config file in manjaro linux

For starters, the pacman.conf file contains the list of repositories the OS should look for when the user prompts to install a program.

Scroll down, and you’ll find the “multilib” section enclosed in “#.” A # in a script tells the OS to ignore the line containing the same. We’ll be removing the #’s to enable the multilib repository.

Pacman multilib section

After removing the #’s, press the key combination Ctrl+O and press Q to save the file and close the editor.

Now that multilib is enabled, update the list of repositories using this command.

sudo pacman -Syu

Finally, install Steam using the following command.

sudo pacman -S steam

Install Steam on Any Distribution Using Flatpak

One of the problems in Linux is the multitudes of package managers. It’s also one of the reasons why people like Windows. Having a gazillion Linux distributions with different package managers can lead to confusion, but there’s one package manager that mostly solves this problem. It’s called Flatpak.

We’re not going to dig deeper into how Flatpak works, but all you need to know is that it runs apps in an isolated environment (also known as Sandboxing) that contains all the essential libraries.

Head over to the official Flatpak setup page to learn how to install Flatpak on any Linux distribution.

flatpak website with quick setup

Once set up and ready to go, type the following command and hit enter.

sudo flatpak install steam

Wait for the installation to complete, and you’re ready to launch! You’ll need to sign in, so learn what to do if you forgot your Steam password, and set up two-factor authentication to protect your account.

RELATED: How to Install Steam on a Chromebook

Profile Photo for Mohammed Abubakar Mohammed Abubakar
Abubakar is a freelance writer for How-to Geek. Although he holds a degree in Computer Science, he chose a career in writing to help people with technology. He has two years of experience writing about consumer electronics, Android, Linux, Windows, and open-source software on websites like Fossbytes.
Read Full Bio »