How to Install Steam App in Debian 12 ‘Bookworm’ Stable

Want to play Steam games in Debian Linux? Here’s the beginner’s guide shows you how to install the steam client in current Debian stable 12.

Debian includes steam-installer package in its system repositories for installing steam. Here I’m going to show you how to enable that repository and install the package step by step.

Step 1: Enable Contrib Repository

The steam-installer package is available in the contrib repository, which may not enabled in your system. Here, I’m going to enable that repository via “Software & Updates” tool.

1. First,  install “Software & Updates” tool.

Either search for and launch “Synaptic Package Manager“. Then use the tool to search and install the “software-properties-gtk” package.

Install ‘Software Properties’ via Synaptic package manager

Or, open terminal (konsole) and run command to install the package (need to close Synaptic):

sudo apt install software-properties-gtk
For KDE Plasma and LXQt, install software-properties-qt package instead.

2. Launch “Software & Updates”

Once you installed the package, search for and launch “Software & Updates” either from start menu or ‘Activities’ overview depends on your desktop environment.

Or, open terminal (konsole) and run command to start it from command line:

sudo software-properties-gtk

Replace gtk with qt in command depends on which package you installed.

3. Enable ‘contrib’ repository

Once the tool opens, make sure the “DFSG-compatible Software with Non-Free Dependencies (contrib)” repository has been enabled.

Step 2: Enable 32-bit architecture packages support

Steam client for Linux so far is 32-bit application. You need to first enable 32-bit architecture support in your Debian.

To do so, open terminal (konsole) and run commands:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt update

Step 3: Install Steam-installer

Now, install the steam-installer package, either by using Synaptic Package Manager.

Or, by running command in terminal or konsole (need to close Synaptic first):

sudo apt install steam-installer

Step 4: Install Steam

The package installed in last step is just an installer. You need to launch it by searching “Install Steam” from start menu or ‘Activities’ overview.

Confirm in the pop-up dialog, then it will start downloading and installing steam into your system.

Depends on your internet speed, this process can take quite a few minutes. When done, you’re able to launch it from start menu or ‘Activities’ overview depends on your desktop environment.


Uninstall Steam

To uninstall the game client, first open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove steam-installer

To remove the steam app icon, run command to remove the corresponding file:

rm ~/.local/share/applications/steam.desktop

There’s still app data left in the .steam folder. Open your user home folder, and press Ctrl+H, then you can choose to either remove the folder or keep it for future use.

Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.