How to Install Steam on Pop!_OS 20.04

Steam is a video game cross-platform that Valve created. It was launched as a standalone software client in September 2003 as a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games and expanded to include games from third-party publishers and now boasts a library filled with thousands if not tens of thousands of games across all gaming consoles.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Steam on your Pop!_OS 20.04 desktop.


  • Recommended OS: Pop!_OS 20.04 or higher.
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
  • Optional Packages Required: wget

Update Operating System

Update your Pop!_OS 20.04 operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@popos ~]$ sudo whoami

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on adding a User to Sudoers on Pop!_OS 20.04.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.


Install wget Package

You will need to have wget installed for this tutorial. To find out if you have it, use the following:

wget --version

Example output if you have it installed:

GNU Wget 1.20.3 built on linux-gnu.

By default, wget should have this installed. If missing, use the following command:

sudo apt install wget -y

Install Steam Latest Version

To install the Steam application, you will need to download the installation .deb file found on Steam’s repository and then execute it using your command-line terminal.

To do this, open your terminal from the application menu or invoke the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T, then enter the following command to download the .deb package as follows:


Next, you execute the .deb package you downloaded from Steam’s repository with the following command:

sudo apt install ./steam.deb

Note, during the installation, an official Steam repository was added to your repository source list.

Launch Steam

Now that you have installed Steam, you can launch the application. You can type the following command in the terminal to launch:


An alternative is to run Steam in the background and continue using the terminal:

steam &

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop to open with the path: Activities > Show Applications > Steam. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Applications menu if you have many applications installed.


On first-time use, you will notice Steam will automatically create a desktop icon, then open up a new terminal window informing you that it needs to install additional packages.

Example output:

Next, log in to your Steam Account or create one; you will then be into the Steam client like below:

Congratulations, you have successfully installed Steam client on Pop!_OS 20.04

Comments and Conclusion

You have learned to install the Steam application natively on your Pop!_OS 20.04 operating system. From here, you can sign up for a free account and start finding free games or paid. The library on Steam is quite massive, and with Linux gaming gathering steam, it’s a matter of time before there are just as many options for gaming on Linux as there are on Windows.


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