This guide is for Kinetic (22.10), not Orchid. The documentation for Orchid is still being written.

What is Steam?

Steam is the most popular gaming platform. It allows you to download and play a vast library of games. It’s client is available natively on Linux.

On 21 August 2018, Steam introduced the Proton project, which allows you to run Windows games on Linux. It is an essential tool for Linux gamers as it extends the number of games available on the platform. Check out ProtonDB to see how well your favourite games work with Proton.

Install Steam

In Vanilla OS there are many ways to install Steam. The easiest way is to use Flatpak, which is a universal package manager for Linux. But it is also possible to install Steam using apx the default package manager of Vanilla OS.

Flatpak

If you chose to install Flatpak during First Setup, you will be able to install applications directly from GNOME Software, as explained here.

You can also install the Steam Flatpak from the terminal using the following command:

flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

Apx

apx is a package manager which installs software in containers thanks to Distrobox. In our tests, Fedora is the best distro to run Steam in a container. We highly recommend using it to install Steam.

Fedora container

First, we need to install the RPM Fusion repository, which contains the rpm packages we need to install Steam using the following commands:

apx --dnf enter
sudo dnf install https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
exit

We also need to install the drivers for our graphics card:

NVIDIA

apx --dnf install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i686 akmod-nvidia

AMD

apx --dnf install xorg-x11-drv-amdgpu mesa-libGL.i686 mesa-dri-drivers.i686

Intel

apx --dnf xorg-x11-drv-intel mesa-libGL.i686 mesa-dri-drivers.i686

We can now install Steam using the following command:

apx --dnf install steam
Run Steam

To run Steam, you can use the icon from the applications menu or issue the command apx --dnf run steam.

If the icon doesn’t appear in the applications menu, you can add it manually using the following command:

apx --dnf export steam

Ubuntu container

On Ubuntu, we need to add the multiverse repository to our sources list using the following command:

apx --apt enter
sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository multiverse
exit

We also need to install the drivers for our graphics card.

NVIDIA:-

First, we need to check the version for the host drivers:

nvidia-smi --query-gpu=driver_version --format=csv | tail -n +2

which is 525.60.11 in my case. Then we need to install the drivers for the container:

apx install nvidia-driver-525

AMD/Intel:-

apx --apt install mesa-utils mesa-utils-extra

We can now install Steam using the following command:

apx --apt install steam-launcher
Run Steam

To run Steam, you can use the icon from the applications menu or issue the command apx run steam.

If the icon doesn’t appear in the applications menu, you can add it manually using the following command:

apx export steam

Run Windows games (Steam Play - Proton)

Steam comes with Proton preconfigured to run all the supported Windows games.

You may want to enable the Steam Play feature to also run games that are not officially supported.

Steam Play

To do so, open Steam and go to Steam > Settings > Steam Play. Then enable the Enable Steam Play for all other titles option.