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Steam® for Linux

This is not the same as 'getting Steam to run Windows games under Wine'. In 2013 Valve Corp. officially started a Linux Games service that integrates into the already establish Windows gaming service they run. This is meant to run games directly on a Linux-based OS, with a special Linux version of the Steam interface.

The Steam-recommended Linux OS is Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Since Mepis Linux 12 (beta) is based on Debian Stable 7, AKA Wheezy, people running Mepis 12 have been experiencing trouble getting Steam for Linux to install properly. This is my work-in-progress to help get things going.

Steam® for Linux on Debian Wheezy

The following github project has a Steam installer package designed for Debian Wheezy:
GhostSquad57 / Steam-Installer-for-Wheezy


Question: What's the difference between this installer and Valve's?

Answer: This version comes with an extra folder called i386-linux-gnu and x86_64-linux-gnu which is from Ubuntu's libc6 deb package, it is saved in /usr/lib/steam/. The steam-debian excutable loads said folder which solves the need for glibc 2.15 

Mepis 12 - 64-bit

In order for Steam to run on a 64-bit Debian 7 based OS. one needs to enable access to 32-bit libraries. I'm not certain if a fresh install of Mepis 12-64 has this or not; my Mepis 12-64 had these already, but I may have done that myself at some point. Here are the GhostSquad57 suggestions on how to do what needs doing:

  1. Enable 32bit repos with sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
  2. Update your repo with sudo apt-get update
  3. Install 32bit driver files:
   *For ATI Cards: libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386
   *For Nvidia Cards: libgl1-nvidia-glx:i386
   *For Intel Cards: libgl1-mesa-glx:i386

I simply fired up Synaptic and saw that libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 was already installed, so I assumed all systems were go on this point.

Downloading annd Installing the the Steam-Installer-for-Wheezy package

I strongly recommend going to the above github project page to continue. But here is an overview based on my experience:

Downloading the zipped package

  1. Choose a user-accessible partition with free space. I recommend a designated directory for storing downloaded .deb and .tar.gz packages that are not from your usual software repositories. DL zipped package from here:
  2. Unzip with Ark archiving utility. The result is a subdirectory named Steam-Installer-for-Wheezy-master
  3. Look inside that directory. You should see 3 items:
    1. A subdirectory named steam-debian_1.0.0.44-3_all
    2. A file named
    3. A file named steam-debian_1.0.0.44-3_all.deb

The version numbers are accurate as of 2013-11-23; one might expect to change as time goes by. But the '_all' subdirectory version number should always be the same as the '.deb' file version number.

Installing the package 'Steam-Installer-for-Wheezy'

  1. Open with Kwrite and read it.
  2. Right-click on steam-debian_1.0.0.44-3_all.deb and chose Open with > GDebi Package Installer.

At this point, The Installer should install, and Steam should automatically begin to download and install on your system, giving you a Steam desktop icon.

Creating a Steam® account

In order to use Steam, you need to create an account. Creating the account is without cost. Most games are not!

Steam internal functions are outside the scope of this page. To create a Steam account see here:


  1. When installed, Steam creates a hidden directory in your /home/user directory. At first this is only 13.5 KiB. It may grow, so I hope you're wise and have plenty of room on your home partition.
  2. Even more important: Once you start to buy and download games to play, you will need a lot of free space. Before you even install Steam, make certain you have a dedicated 'Steam Games' partition with gigs of free space! In your Steam settings, you can designate additional directories to same games. These directories need not be on your /home/user partition or even on the same HDD. But it must be accessible to your home/user directory via a symbolic link, and as a user you must have read/write/execute privileges to that directory!
  • Remember: you have been warned by bears! The heedless suffer and have only themselves to blame. . .

Steam® is a registered trademark of the Valve Corporation.

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