How to Install Steam on Debian 12?


Steam is a well-known gaming platform for PC gamers. It allows users to play, download, and chat with other gamers online. However, it is not officially supported by Debian, a Linux-based operating system. That does not mean users cannot enjoy their favorite games on Debian 12.

By considering its need, this post will explain how to install Steam on Debian 12. So, enjoy playing games on the Linux system with maximum performance and minimal hassle.

How to Install Steam on Debian 12?

Steam offers a wide range of features and benefits for game developers. To install Steam on Debian 12 uses different methods, such as the Debian packages, Steam official repository, APT repository, Flatpak, and Snap. The detailed step-by-step instructions for each method are given to enjoy your favorite games on Steam:

Let’s start with the first one!

Method 1: Using Debian Packages

To install Steam on Debian 12 using the Debian packages (available on the Debian repository), follow these steps:

Step 1: Enable Multi-Arch (Add 32-bit Support)

Users need to enable multi-arch support before installing Steam. This is because Debian 12 does not include some of the libraries and packages that Steam depends on, such as “libgl1-mesa-dri:i386” and “libgl1-mesa-glx:i386”:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Step 2: Update Packages List

Now, update the system package list using the “update” command:

sudo apt update

Step 3: Install Dependencies

Users must be required to install dependencies such as “libgl1-mesa-dri:i386” and “mesa-vulkan-drivers:i386” before installing the Steam package. It ensures that Steam configuration will not arise any error:

sudo apt install libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 mesa-vulkan-drivers:i386

Step 4: Download Steam (.deb Package)

Now, download the “steam.deb” package file from the Steam official website. For this, use the “wget” command to download it to the home directory via the provided URL:

wget https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steam.deb

Step 5: Install Steam (.deb Package)

To install the Steam (Debian-based package) on Debian 12, specify the “steam.deb” package (downloaded filename) with the “dpkg i” utility:

sudo dpkg -i steam.deb

Step 6: Run Steam on Debian 12

Finally, launch Steam from the application menu or by executing the “steam” package name/command. The first time you launch Steam, it updates itself and installs some additional packages:

steam

After that, log in with the existing Steam account or with the QR-code.

Optional: Create a New Account

Alternatively, users can create a new account, and start playing games:

Steam Interface

After signup/signin, users can browse, buy, and download games from the Steam store, chat with their friends, join communities, and access other features of Steam:

For a detailed guide, navigate to the official Steam site.

So, you have successfully installed Steam from the official Debian package on the Debian-based system.

Fix 1: Repository Error

If a user finds an error, add the non-free repository to the “sources.list” file as root using any text editor (nano):

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

So, add the “non-free” component to the end of each line that starts with “deb”:

Save the file and update the package lists.

Fix 2: Disable Steam Runtime Variable Value

If the error is not resolved, disable the Runtime variable value by executing the command:

STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 steam

In this way, users can install Steam on Debian 12. Also, uninstall and fix any runtime or repository error (if found) on Debian 12.

Remove/Uninstall Steam

To remove the Steam directory from the system, use the “rm” command with the “rf” utility (forcefully) by mentioning Steam Path (Local or Steam Directory):

sudo rm -rf ~/.local/share/steam # Local Directory
sudo rm -rf ~/.steam # Steam Directory

It removes Steam from Debian 12.

This section has done the installation and uninstallation of Steam on Debian 12 using the Debian packages.

Method 2: Using Steam Official Repository

To install Steam on Debian 12 using the Steam Official repository, follow these steps:

Step 1: Update and Install Dependencies

Firstly, update the system package list and install the dependent packages such as “curl” and “gpg-agent” as below:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install curl gpg-agent

It downloads the dependent packages (curl).

Step 2: Download and Import the Steam Signing Key

To add the Steam repository to the sources list, users need to download and import the Steam signing key as below:

curl -s http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/archive/stable/steam.gpg | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/steam.gpg > /dev/null

Step 3: Add Steam Repository to Sources List

Then, run the below script to add the Steam repository to your sources list by specifying the path “/etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam.list”:

echo deb [arch=amd64,i386 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/steam.gpg] http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ stable steam | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam.list

Step 4: Update Package List

Now, again, update the system packages list. So that, there is no chance of error or any other conflict:

sudo apt update

Step 5: Install Steam

To install Steam and its dependencies, run the “steam” command with the “install” utility:

sudo apt install steam

It installs steam with the latest version.

Step 6: Launch Steam

Finally, launch Steam by executing the “steam” package name/command in the terminal or the application menu. It updates the list of available packages in the default package manager:

steam

Verification

After updating packages, it automatically launches the Steam interface. When you launch Steam for the first time, you will be prompted to log in or create a new account:

Alternative Way: Launch Steam

Users can also launch the Steam interface by disabling the steam runtime value:

STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 steam

Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

So, the installation of Steam on Debian 12 has been done via the Steam repository.

Remove/Uninstall Steam on Debian 12

To completely remove Steam on Debian 12, use the “autoremove” utility with the “steam” (package name):

sudo apt autoremove steam

Note: Users can also use the “purge” or “remove” utility to partially remove the Steam from Debian 12.

Method 3: Using APT Repository

To install Steam on Debian 12 using the APT Repository (default package manager), follow the below steps:

Step 1: Check Steam (Available Package)

Before installing Steam, the user can confirm the availability of the Steam package:

sudo apt show steam

It confirms the “steam:i386” package from the APT repository.

Step 2: Install Steam on Debian 12

To install Steam on Debian 12 using the APT repository, use the “steam” package name with the “apt” command:

sudo apt install steam

It ensures that users get the latest version of Steam and its dependencies.

Step 3: Launch Steam

Finally, launch Steam from the application menu or by running the “steam” command as below:

steam

Remove/Uninstall Steam on Debian 12

To completely remove Steam on Debian 12, use the “autoremove” utility with the “steam” (package name):

sudo apt autoremove steam

Note: Users can also use the “purge” or “remove” utility to partially remove the Steam from Debian 12.

Method 4: Using Flatpak

Another way to install Steam on Debian 12 is to use Flatpak (package manager). It is a cross-distribution framework for packaging and distributing applications. To install Steam on Debian 12, follow these steps:

Step 1: Install Flatpak

Open a terminal and install Flatpak by using the “apt” command:

sudo apt install flatpak

Step 2: Add Flathub Repository

In this step, add the Flathub repository by using the “flatpak” command. It offers users to install any package from Flathub source:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Step 3: Install Steam Using Flatpak

Now, install Steam by specifying the application id “com.valvesoftware.Steam” with the “flatpak” command:

flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

Step 4: Launch Steam

Finally, launch Steam by executing the “run” utility with application id “com.valvesoftware.Steam” or from the application menu:

flatpak run com.valvesoftware.Steam

So, follow the on-screen instructions to log in or create a new account, and start playing the games.

Remove/Uninstall Steam Using Flatpak

To remove/uninstall Steam on Debian 12 using the “flatpak” command, use the “uninstall” utility with the application id “com.valvesoftware.Steam”:

flatpak uninstall flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

So, the installation and uninstallation of Steam using Flatpak has been done on Debian 12.

Method 5: Using Snap

Another way to install Steam on Debian 12 is to use the Snap package, which is another cross-distribution framework for packaging and distributing applications. To install Steam on Debian 12 using Snap, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Install Snapd

First, install Snapd with the “snapd” package name. It offers users to install any snap package by specifying its name:

sudo apt install snapd

Step 2: Install Steam Using Snap

To install Steam on Debian 12 from the snap, use the package name “steam” with the “snap” command:

sudo snap install steam

It installs the “1.0.0.78” version of Steam on Debian 12. Users can restart the system if any errors and reinstall Steam with the “snap” command.

Step 3: Launch Steam

Finally, launch Steam by mentioning the “steam” package with the “snap run” utility:

snap run steam

Now, log in and use the Steam features. Also, browse, download, and play games from the Steam library on the Debian 12 system.

Optional: Remove/Uninstall Steam Using Snap

To remove or uninstall Steam on Debian 12 via the Snap, use the “remove” utility with the “steam” (package name) as below:

sudo snap remove steam

That is all from the guide to install Steam on Debian 12 with all ways.

Conclusion

Steam is a popular platform for gaming and other digital entertainment. To install Steam on Debian 12, enable the multi-architecture (32-bit support), update the system packages, and install the Steam package using the “Debian Package”. Users can also use the “Steam Official repository”, “APT repository”, “Flatpak” and “Snap” to install Steam on Debian 12. The first two methods are recommended overusing third-party repositories or binaries, as it ensures compatibility and security.

This guide has explained how to install Steam with step-by-step instructions on Debian 12.

 

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