Inpatient Gamer: Can’t Wait For Steam OS?

If you’re like me, you have followed the Steam announcements for Linux quite closely, and are eagerly awaiting release of not just the Steambox, but the pre-emptive Steam OS even more so.  Luckily the Steam platform runs quote effortlessly on Ubuntu, among a few other prominent Linux distros.  This post will detail just how to get your beloved Steam installed, as well as set it up to be that interim Steam box until the machines drop near you.

Installing for your platform


Luckily Ubuntu provides the Steam installation effortlessly via the software center.  This same package seemed to work well with Linux Mint, it being a Debian package.  But, on the other hand, do not expect that same installer to work well for standard Debian “stable” due to software differences.

Arch Linux

Installation for Arch Linux is not all at hard as well, thanks to the amazing community and the AUR (Arch User repository).  Although the package is not officially supported, I use this on a daily basis, and it works very well.  To install the client, please see the corresponding wiki post here.


The installation on Fedora is not as straight forward, but none-the-less quite easy.  The first thing you will want to do is enable the RPM Fusion repository for your version of Fedora (currently 19 as of time of writing).  This is detailed here and can be down directly via your browser.  Once enabled, head on over the the developer section of Steam over here, to complete the installation.  The package is still in the rpmfusion-nonfree-updates section of RPM Fusion, but if for some reason you cannot get that installed, you can try the manual load by issuing:

yum localinstall

The client will update itself after installation, so don’t worry about not getting the latest client.  You should be able to keep the package update once it makes it’s way fully into the Fusion Repository.

A quick configure of Steam:

Once Steam is updated, and you are signed into the platform head into Steam and open the settings.  You will want to check “Start in Big Picture Mode,” as well as “Start Steam when computer boots up.”  This is a quick shortcut to get Steam booted without fuss, or need for a keyboard and/or mouse on bootup of Ubuntu.  Exit Steam

Next, head into Ubuntu’s settings manager, and head to the Users section.  Click on your current user and click the “unlock” button, and enter the password for the user.  Flip the slider for automatic login and return to the main settings menu.   After this, we will want to enter the Lock Screen options of Ubuntu, and disable the screensaver and the requirement for password on sleep/resume/time-out so we don’t have to pick up the keyboard to get back to gaming if the system was not shutdown.

By default, not all options of the “Exit” button of Steam may work for you.  In my case, on a Dell Optiplex GX760, only “Suspend” worked, which is fine by me, but sometimes I wish to fully shutdown the machine with no keyboard involvement.  The aim is to negate the need to use a keyboard and mouse.  To enable this, you will want to edit the script file Ubuntu uses for your power button.  Open up a terminal and edit your “/etc/acpi/” file to the following (backup the file first!):

# /etc/acpi/
# Initiates a shutdown when the power putton has been
# pressed.

/sbin/shutdown -h now "Power button pressed"
exit 0

Save and exit the file.  Now, like any “console,” if you wish to shutdown the machine, simply punch the power button on the computer, and it will shutdown with no prompt to nag you.  After that, you’re ready to go!  Questions?  Comments?  Leave them below!


About professorkaos64

Posted on 20131112, in Games and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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