Steam

Gaming on Linux with Steam

What is Steam?


Steam is an online gaming platform and community that allows you to buy, download, play games and interact with friends online. Steam is designed to work across multi platforms. If you buy a game on a specific platform like a Mac, and you decide you want to play your game on a Linux system. You can simply download the game again and start playing from where you last left off. Steam often promotes games and offers large discounts off prices. There are also games to play for free and demos available.

Steam is now available for Ubuntu Linux and can easily be downloaded from the Software Centre. Although Steam is only officially supported for Ubuntu Linux versions 12.04 and 12.10, however, it does work on Ubuntu 13.04 too. Many other distributions have guides available for using steam. A good place to start for finding information for your Linux Distribution would be: Steam Under Linux



Downloading and installing Steam for Ubuntu


The following is a quick guide to installing Steam on Ubuntu Linux (version 12.04). There are a few pre-requisites that you should consider. You will need at least a dual core processor and a AMD/ATI/Nvidia graphics card with the latest drivers installed or an Intel graphics chip to play many of the games. It is also recommended that you have at least 5 GB of space for the installation. Valve recommends the following minimum setup:

Your first step is to access your Ubuntu Software Centre. Once at the Ubuntu Software Centre (USC), you can type steam into the search box. Next you will need to click on steam, here you will be asked to create an Ubuntu account or login with your Ubuntu account (If you have Ubuntu One, you can use those credentials). The purchase price for steam is listed as 0$ (it's free). A confirmation email is sent to your inbox to confirm your installation details.


Installing Steam

Now click on the install button, steam should start to install. Once installed, you will see a pop up window appear that asks you to "Start Steam to complete Installation". Click on this start button. Shortly after clicking this, further updates will be automatically installed.

Installing Steam

Once the updates have been downloaded, you will be given several options to either "Login to an existing account", or "Create New Account". If you haven't already a Steam account choose the Create option from the menu.

Create Steam Account or Login

If you are using an Intel graphics chip, you may be asked to install the following for better video performance:

package repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates Instructions for installing the above repository:


  1. Open the Ubuntu Software Center.
  2. From the Top Level Menu select "Edit" then select "Software Sources"
  3. Now Select the "Other Software" tab.
  4. Click on the Add button. An entry box will now appear.
  5. Enter the following: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates/ubuntu precise main
  6. Now click the +Add Source button.
  7. You are asked to confirm your password.
  8. Click the Close button.
  9. Open Update Manager (Click the Unity icon on the launch bar and enter "update manager") and click the Check button to refresh the package cache.

You may now navigate around, modify your profile and of course try out the games. (Team Fortress 2 is now free)


Free Games on Linux