Installing Steam on Kubuntu: An adventure with screenshots

I was excited to learn that Steam was available on Linux – I was slightly less excited to discover that it was only available for Ubuntu. Oh well, it’s a start.

I run Kubuntu, the version of Ubuntu that uses KDE instead of Gnome or Unity, because I prefer a real desktop environment and not a toy. But underneath it’s still Ubuntu with the same repositories, so I assumed that it would be easy to find.


We’re off to a bad start. Steam isn’t there! I read that it’s available through the “Software Centre”. OK, we’ll look there.


Nope, not there either! It seems when they say “Ubuntu” they do literally mean “Ubuntu”, and not any of its derivatives. Luckily for us, the derivatives including Kubuntu share the same repositories, so it should be possible to install the Ubuntu version of the Software Centre and use that. Let’s try.


Here’s the Ubuntu version of the Software Center. Let’s install it.

04SteamOnSC-crushedAnd here’s Steam! It’s a bit strange that it doesn’t show up as a normal package using apt-get. It’s also strange that there is a “Buy” button instead of an “Install” button, even though it is listed as “Free”. Oh well, let’s click it and see what happens.


This is not what I expected, and this is clearly not the usual GPL’d happy world of Linux software. As it happens, I do have a LaunchPad account, so let’s see what happens.


An email arrived! Howcome I don’t get one of these every time I install something with apt-get? I feel left out. “Thanks for installing nmap…”


Hooray, it’s installed! Lets see if it works on Kubuntu.


That font looks a bit ugly. And didn’t I just install this? Why does it need to be updated? And why don’t updates happen through apt like anything else?

09SteamGames-crushedNevertheless, it seems to work! I have lots more games than this, but these four are the only ones I own that are currently available on Linux, apparently. Let’s install Half Life.




It works! So there really is no reason to limit this to Ubuntu only, and with a little effort it can be installed on Kubuntu as well.

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