In 2003, Valve launched Steam as a way to provide automatic updates for their games. However, the platform quickly expanded to include games from third-party publishers. Today, the Steam library is filled with thousands of games across all gaming consoles. One of the key features of Steam is its cross-platform compatibility. This allows gamers to play their favorite games on any platform, including PC, Mac, Linux, and more. Another great feature of Steam is its ability to connect gamers from all over the world. Through the Steam community, gamers can connect, share tips and tricks, and even compete against each other in online tournaments. With so many unique features, it’s no wonder Steam has become the go-to platform for gamers all over the globe.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Steam on Linux Mint Debian Edition 5 or also known as LMDE 5, using the command line terminal and APT package manager utilizing the APT binary from the default repository or importing the official steam repository, which you can then install the stable branch, or for users that want to see the next version release of Steam’s launcher, you can install the beta branch.
Table of Contents
Update Linux Mint Debian Edition
Before you begin, run a quick system update to ensure all packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation of Steam.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Install Required Packages
The following packages must be installed to assist in installing the software.
sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https wget -y
If unsure, run the command; it will not harm you.
These are the most common software packages found on nearly all Linux distributions.
Enable 32-bit Support
For users who wish to have 32-bit and 64-bit support to play the many games of Steams library that require this, use the following command.
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
Most users should enable this for lower-end systems that can only play lower-end games that come in 32bit format more often than not, and high-powered systems will not notice any impact having the packages installed.
Install Steam – APT with LMDE Repository
The first Steam method is installing the client using the default repository. This is the easiest solution for most users and the Steam client self-updates internally, and if a binary is required, the team is very quick to push this out.
Use the following command to install the client.
sudo apt install steam -y
Install Steam – APT with Steam Repository
The second method of installing Steam, which utilizes the APT package manager, is to import the official steam repository. This method is perhaps the best solution; however, it is just a little bit longer to set up, but the benefits of grabbing the packages directly from Steam mean you will always be up-to-date.
First, import the GPG key required to verify the authenticity of the Steam package installer.
sudo wget -O- http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/archive/stable/steam.gpg | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/steam.gpg
When installing Steam from their official repository, you can install the stable branch that most users should use first and foremost, or for users who want to have the beta releases and live on the edge.
PLEASE NOTE YOU CAN ONLY IMPORT ONE REPOSITORY AT A TIME, DO NOT IMPORT BOTH AS THEY CAN NOT BE INSTALLED SEPARATELY.
Import Steam Launcher Stable (Recommended)
echo deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/steam.gpg] http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ stable steam | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam.list
Import Steam Launcher Beta
echo deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/steam.gpg] http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ beta steam | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam.list
Now, run an APT update to reflect the new packages that have been imported.
sudo apt update
Now install the Steam Launcher as follows.
sudo apt-get install \ libgl1-mesa-dri:amd64 \ libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 \ libgl1-mesa-glx:amd64 \ libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 \ steam-launcher
During the installation you may be prompted to replace the ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam.list’.
Type N to keep the default and proceed.
Check the version that was installed using the apt-cache policy.
apt-cache policy steam-launcher
Example apt-cache policy:
How to the Launch Steam Client
With the installation complete from either method, you can run Steam in a few different ways.
First, while you are in your terminal, you can use the following command to launch Steam:
However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop.
Taskbar > Internet > Steam
The first time you launch Steam, you will see a notification of the installation wizard in a terminal window informing you that the launcher needs to download additional packages and what those packages are.
Press return (enter key) to proceed with the installation. Note that you will be prompted to enter your password.
Next, you will likely see a second terminal window advising you to press return (enter key), do this to proceed, and complete the required package installation setup.
Once done, you will see a series of automatic popups of Steam performing downloading and updating. For now, sit back and wait until it is done. For most users, this takes only a few minutes.
Once complete, you will finally arrive at the Steam launcher login window.
From here, log in or create an account. At this moment, you have successfully installed Steam.
How to Update/Upgrade Steam Launcher
For the most part, Steam can self-update itself, but desktop users should see notifications of upgrades due to all methods using the APT package manager if set up correctly in your system settings. However, I recommend using the terminal command to check for updates, even once in a while, to ensure you are grabbing all available updates, as the command will never fail.
sudo apt update
If any Steam updates are available, use the upgrade command.
sudo apt upgrade
How to Remove (Uninstall) Steam Launcher
To remove the Steam software from your system, run the following command in your terminal.
sudo apt autoremove steam*
Note for full removals, and you can add –purge flag to the end of the command that removes all data created with Steam.
Next, remove the repository using the following command for users who installed the Steam APT repositories.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam*
Lastly, do not use the command below for users who may switch between the Steam APT repository beta and stable. Users who delete Steam use the following command to remove the imported GPG.
sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/steam*
Comments and Conclusion
Steam is a powerful platform and community that has shaped the video gaming industry as we know it today. It’s been an essential part of Valve’s success, and they continue to invest in it by expanding their library of games and features.