Steam OS Debian Conversion Method 1

The below method is untested, and not recommended for new users.  Credit to this method goes to Xaositect on the Steam Community forums.

Step 1. Add SteamOS repository.
Create a file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/steamos.list with the following content:

deb alchemist main contrib non-free
deb-src alchemist main contrib non-free

Step 2. (Optional) Set up APT pinning.
(Many usual packages in SteamOS are just rebuilt packages from Debian, so I thought I need only relevant packages from this repository)
Add the following lines to the file /etc/apt/preferences:

Package: *
Pin: origin
Pin-Priority: 400

This will allow SteamOS packages to update, but not to replace existing packages from Debian.

Step 3. Install keyring:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install valve-archive-keyring
# apt-get update

This package contains the GPG key that signs other packages. APT will ask for confirmation to install a package with unknown signature.

Step 4. Install SteamOS kernel and packages:

# apt-get -t alchemist install linux-image-686
# apt-get -t alchemist install linux-image-amd64
# apt-get -t alchemist install steamos-base-files steam steam-launcher steamos-compositor steamos-modeswitch-inhibitor valve-wallpapers

(For amd64 systems, use steam:i386 instead of steam)

Step 5. (Probably optional) Upgrade video drivers (nvidia)

 dpkg -l *nvidia* | grep ^ii | awk '{print $2}' | xargs apt-get -t alchemist install

Step 6. Run steam, login and install client updates if needed.

Step 7. Reboot and choose SteamOS as your Xsession.

Step 8. Play 🙂


About professorkaos64

Posted on 20131215, in Games for Linux, General Information, How-To and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. hi..
    a few questions if you have the experience, time and will.. 🙂
    if I:
    install wheezy (standard, say from a netinst) and want to use the drivers (nvidia), compositor and the steam client itself from the valve repo (keeping everything else debian stable basically, running kde for example as a de, not interested in either the steam session or the big picture mode whatsoever), how would that work??
    I presume: add the valve repo as in your step one, only adding the line to the (existing one) sources.list instead of making a new one, add keyring,,
    #aptitude install steam and the compositor, nvidia as in step five??
    do i need to use the custom kernel (as in your step four) as opposed to the debian stable’s for this to work optimally in your opinion??

    • professorkaos64

      I’d you do not plan on using the steam repo to convert to* SteamOS, I would stick to a normal steam install, which you still still “opt in” to beta updates. I do this myself on Ubuntu 12.04 as my HTPC.

    • professorkaos64

      Valve uses their own compositor for the “steam” user session that launches seemlessly. I don’t see what you want to do as advantageous over running the normal client. You can drop in SteamOS to normal Steam. You really are not loosing much by loading the client yourself besides an “unattended” system that does its own updates and runs slightly slimmer.

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  1. Pingback: How To – Workarounds for SteamOS System Requirements | The Linux Cauldron

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