How to Install Steam on Chromebook

Chromeos Steam Start Feature

When it comes to PC gaming, Steam is the biggest name around. It is a gaming platform where you can buy games, download, install and play games on your computer, regardless of the operating system. What’s even better is the fact that because of Linux’s popularity in gaming, it has opened the door to the abilities of playing games on numerous other devices. One of those devices is Chromebook. Here we will go through the steps of installing and running Steam on your Chromebook.

Getting Started

One question I have gotten in the past is, “Why would I want to put Steam on a Chromebook?” My answer is always, “Well, why not?” When looking at it, the Chromebook is the most simple of any mobile computing devices. As a technical enthusiast, I want my device to do things that it might not have been intended to do.

Although I might not be able to play all the games my desktop allows me to, I can take this highly-mobile platform with me in my travels. Now with that as a thought, there are some limitations beyond your typical hardware specs.

First, you will have to determine whether your device is actually supported or not. Now in may cases this may not be an issue, as if your Chrome OS is up to date, the ability should be there. With that being said, if there is an issue and it is not supported, you will be on you own. To find information on whether your device is supported or not, it can be found here.

Installing Linux (Beta)

Obviously, to install Steam for Linux, you need to have Linux app model enabled on Chromebook. If you have not done so, follow the tutorial here to enable Linux app mode for your Chromebook.

Installing Steam

Once you have successfully implemented the requirements, you are now ready to install Steam on your Chromebook. In order to do this you will have to follow these steps.

1. From your Chromebook, press Ctrl + Alt + T. This shortcut sequence will properly launch a Linux Terminal without searching for it.

Chromeos Linux Terminal

2. Enter the following commands:

Once the final command has been executed, you will need to press Y for Yes to complete the requested install.

Chromeos Steam Install

During this process you will also be prompted to accept the Steam system license agreement. Do this by navigating down to “I Agree” and pressing Enter.

Chromeos Steam Agreement Accept

3. To launch Steam, run a simple command:

Chromeos Steam Start

Conclusion

You’re Done! You are now able to play Steam games whenever you can with your Chromebook. As the future permits, Steam support will increase with options for hardware / graphics acceleration, so that may be initially lacking. But the biggest question still awaits, “What game are you going to play first?”

Josh Grimes Josh Grimes

Josh Grimes is a freelance writer with an uncontrollable passion for technology. Whether Windows or Linux, gaming or cyber-security, Josh is an advocate to "making TECH easier." You can see some of his other work at www.havocinfosec.com.

18 comments

    1. After which command is it saying that you have held/broken packages? During the update or during the Steam install?

  1. in my case,after installing steam it again installs additional packages but it doesnt dowmload
    it says’you are missing the following 32bit lib and steam may not run’

  2. “sudo apt update” after this command it says “E: Malformed line 5 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list (type)
    E: The list of sources could not be read.”

  3. when I get to sudo tee -a /ect/act/sources.list it says “tee: /ect/apt/sources/list: No such file or directory”

  4. Help! Please! After the last command it doesn’t let me do it, it says “Try ‘apt –fix-broken install’ with no packages (or specify a solution)”. Please help I just want to get this installed. When I first did this I got all the way to the Steam Licence agreement and I accidentally hit decline instead of agree and I can’t get past the installment command. Please help me out I’ve been trying to do this for 2 hours.

  5. i keep getting this error
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    steam:i386 : Depends: libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

  6. copy and paste method fails.
    pasting part by part; error “deb command unknown”.
    running chrome os85. please advise.

  7. I have gotten to the last step where I input steam. When I do it says exec format error and tar: This does not look like a tar archive and other stuff. Can you please help, I looked on other websites and it says the same thing, to input steam and it doesn’t work.

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