How To Install And Use Steam In Ubuntu Linux

How to install Steam in Ubuntu Linux

Gaming on Linux has been made easier, accessible and expanded, thanks to Steam. In this tutorial, we’ll see how to install Steam in Ubuntu and how to use it to play games in Ubuntu. Before we see that, let’s first know what is Steam.

What is Steam?

Steam is a digital distribution platform for video games. As Amazon Kindle is digital distribution platform for e-Books, iTunes for music, similarly Steam is for games. It provides you the option to buy and install games, play multiplayer and stay in touch with other games via social networking on its platform. The games are protected with DRM.

So, if you purchase/download a game, you can install it across various devices and platform using your Steam account.

Install Steam in Ubuntu

I am using Ubuntu 15.04 while writing this tutorial, but the instructions should be exactly the same in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and newer versions like Ubuntu 15.10.

Open a terminal by using Ctrl+Alt+T and use the following command:

sudo apt-get install steam

It will start installing Steam. During the installation, you’ll see a screen like this in the terminal. Press Tab to select an option and press enter.

Installing Steam in Ubuntu Linux

Next screen will be similar with terms and condition. Press tab to select the option and then press enter.

Select installation Steam

Once installed, go to Unity Dash and look for Steam. Click on it to start it.

Use Steam in Ubuntu

Well, now you would realize that it has not really been installed. In fact, it was only the installer. When you run it for the first time, it will download the necessary package and install the Steam platform.

Downloading Steam in Ubuntu

As you are running for the first time, you’ll be asked to either create an account or log in to an existing account. It will also ask for agreeing to terms and conditions. I presume that you know what to do here, don’t you?

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Using Steam to play games in Ubuntu Linux

Now, once you have created and logged into it with your account, you’ll be welcomed to a screen like this:


Pay attention to what platform a game is available on. Normally, the platform info is displayed with the game. For Linux, the symbol is Steam icon because Steam has its won Linux based distribution Steam OS.

Searching for Linux games in Steam

If you are searching for Linux games, just type Linux in the search box:


Or, filter by operating system:


Pay attention to system requirements of a game by going to the details of the game:


When you want to play a game or buy a game, you can simply choose the right option:


When you download a game, it gives you option if you want the game to be searchable in the OS or if you want a desktop shortcut for the new game being installed:


The game will be downloaded in the background so that you can keep on browsing other games:

Game downloading in Steam Ubuntu

That’s it. That’s all you need to do to install and use Steam in Ubuntu to play games in Linux. Any questions or suggestions are most welcomed.


  1. Hi mate,

    I’m using Ubuntu 16.04 and went through everything fine, except of when you
    want to install current (bought) game on your machine. It’s “preparing files to download…” forever
    and eventually error will pop-up saying it couldn’t be done. Installation progress remains at 0%

    Any ideas?

  2. I get an error. First, the Steam icon (the installer) won’t do anything when clicked. So I went to the terminal and typed “steam”. I then got this error:

    Running Steam on ubuntu 15.10 32-bit
    STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
    Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1457636973)
    libGL error: unable to load driver:
    libGL error: driver pointer missing
    libGL error: failed to load driver: radeonsi
    libGL error: unable to load driver:
    libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast

    I’m using Ubuntu 15.10 (32 Bit), AMD A6-7400K (with integrated R5 Radeon GPU). But I tried using it on an NVidia graphics hardware and got the same error (but the error now says nvidia of course).

    Please help. I really need to get this working.

  3. Hey, I get to the part where you run steam for the first time to let it install and nothing happens. It doesn’t start.

  4. i got this

    Running Steam on ubuntu 15.10 64-bit
    STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
    Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(0)
    libGL error: unable to load driver:
    libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast


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