5 Great Steam Alternatives for Linux

Steam has been on Linux for a few years. Since it landed many video games, including mainstream titles from big-name publishers, have found themselves on Linux. This is all great for the average consumer, as one of the biggest deterrents to switching to Linux is gaming support.

However, some in the Linux community don’t like Steam. They see the commercial-gaming platform as a detriment to their software freedom, as it brings a lot of DRM. As a result of this, many people who love video games on Linux have had to go without. This list offers five good alternatives to Steam?

1. Itch.io


For those looking for a solid alternative to Steam, this is it. In more than one way, Itch.io‘s game client and service is great. For starters, they have a pretty good desktop client for Linux. Like Steam, you’ll be able to buy games and manage and play them with ease.

Additionally, unlike Steam, Itch.io offers DRM-Free downloads, and the client itself is open source and viewable on Github. This means open source fans will be able to play video games just like Steam users.

2. Lutris


Lutris is a video-game management tool that allows users to unify their video games from multiple platforms. This means Linux games purchased from Humble Bundle, GOG.com, Bundlestars, Itch.io, and other Linux game-selling platforms. Additionally, users can add video games that are available in their Linux distribution’s software repository and even Steam library (though those looking for alternatives likely won’t use this feature).

This program is good for users that want the type of game management that Steam offers without all the DRM.

3. Gnome Games


Like Lutris, Gnome Games is a tool that is designed to allow users to have one interface to manage all of their video games in one central area: downloads, DRM-games, emulators/ROMs, installed games bundled with Linux distributions and Steam games.

Gnome Games is a product of the Gnome project meaning that users can expect the same quality as with other Gnome software.

4. Photon


Photon is a lot like other pieces of software on this list. Much like Lutris and Gnome Games, this tool is designed to take video games from many different sources. If you’ve tried the other two video game management tools on this list, and you’re still not happy, give Photon a try.

5. Vapor


There is a game engine on Linux (and other platforms) called Love. It’s a gaming engine built around LUA that is responsible for a lot of neat, open-source 2D video games. With Vapor you’ll effectively get a client that can download many free Love-engine games.

It is true that Vapor is limited because it only distributes Love games. Still, if you’re not a fan of Steam, and you want games to play, this client is certainly a good choice for most people, even if it isn’t as glamorous.

Honorable mentions

Though they don’t have desktop clients, these websites deserve to be mentioned, mainly because they sell DRM-free Linux games. For those looking for other ways to get great games on Linux without using Steam, this website is a must.

Humble Bundle


The first site is Humble Bundle. They’re an organization that periodically sells “bundles” (game packs) for multiple different platforms, including Linux, for charity purposes. They also have a standalone game store where users can purchase individual games.

Humble Bundle is a great choice because not only does it enable Linux gamers to get DRM-free games, each purchase can go to the charity of the consumer’s choice.

Good Ol’ Games (GOG)


Unlike Humble Bundle, users won’t be able to get packs of games, but the good news is that GOG does sell DRM-free games. Recently they’ve added Linux support, and many titles are in the process of being ported.

It is also worth mentioning that this site is working on a Steam competitor, and it has already launched on Windows. Linux support is imminent. If you’ve tried out all the clients on this list and want more, do give GOG a try.


Steam is a great platform, and because of it many gaming companies have started taking Linux (a little) seriously. Still, it isn’t for everyone. That’s why it is great that there are some viable alternatives out there that people can install.

Do you use Steam on Linux? Why or why not? Tell us below!

Derrik Diener
Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

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