How to Install and Use Steam on Ubuntu Linux

Gaming on Linux has been made easier and more accessible thanks to Steam. In this tutorial, we’ll see how to install Steam on Ubuntu and how to use it to play games on Ubuntu. Before we see that, let’s first find out more about Steam.

What is Steam?

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

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

How to install Steam on Ubuntu?

How to install Steam in Ubuntu Linux

I’m using Ubuntu 18.04 while writing this tutorial, but the instructions should be applicable to other Ubuntu versions and other Ubuntu-based distributions as well.

The Steam installer is available in the Ubuntu Software Center. You can simply search for Steam in the software center and install it.

Steam installer in Ubuntu Software Center
Steam installer in Ubuntu Software Center

Alternatively, you can use the evergreen command line for installing Steam. In a terminal, use the command below:

sudo apt install steam-installer

Once you’ve installed the Steam installer, go to the application menu and start Steam.

Use Steam in Ubuntu

This is when you’ll realize that it has not really been installed. In fact, this is only the installer. When you run it for the first time, it will download the necessary packages and install the Steam platform.

Downloading Steam in Ubuntu

Once this is finished, go to the application menu and look for Steam. Click on it to start it.

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

Installing Steam on Ubuntu Linux

How to uninstall Steam from Ubuntu

Uninstalling Steam is as easy as installing. You can uninstall it from the software center or simply use this command:

sudo apt remove steam-installer

It will be a good idea to get rid of the installed dependencies and free up some space:

sudo apt autoremove

Using Steam to play games on Ubuntu Linux

Now, once you’ve created an account and logged in, you’ll be welcomed by a screen like this:

Using Steam to play games on Linux

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

Searching for Linux games in Steam

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

Searching for Linux games in Steam

Or filter by operating system:

Searching for Linux games in Steam

Pay attention to the system requirements of a game – you can check them by going to the game details:

Checking games system requirement in Steam

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

Using steam for gaming

When you download a game, it gives you options to let the game be searchable in the OS and create a desktop shortcut for the new game you’ve installed:

Installing games in Linux via Steam

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 on Ubuntu to play games on Linux.

You can check out this list of the best games on Steam. Any questions or suggestions are most welcome.

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