Steam/Troubleshooting

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Contents

Introduction

  1. Make sure that you have followed Steam#Installation.
  2. If the Steam client / a game is not starting and/or you have error message about a library, read #Steam runtime and see #Debugging shared libraries.
  3. If the issue is related to networking, make sure that you have forwarded the required ports for Steam.
  4. If the issue is about a game, consult Steam/Game-specific troubleshooting.

Relevant online resources

Steam runtime

Steam for Linux ships with its own set of libraries called the Steam runtime. By default Steam launches all Steam Applications within the runtime environment. The Steam runtime is located at ~/.steam/root/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/.

If you mix the Steam runtime libraries with system libraries you will run into binary incompatibility issues, see steam-for-linux issue #4768. Binary incompatibility can lead to the Steam client and games not starting (manifesting as a crash, as hanging or silently returning), audio issues and various other problems.

The steam package offers three ways to launch Steam:

As the Steam runtime libraries are older they can lack newer features, e.g. the OpenAL version of the Steam runtime lacks HRTF and surround71 support.

Steam native runtime

Warning: Using the Steam native runtime is not recommended as it might break some games due to binary incompatibility and it might miss some libraries present in the Steam runtime.

The steam-native script launches Steam with the STEAM_RUNTIME=0 environment variable making it ignore its runtime and only use system libraries.

The steam-native-runtime meta package depends on over 120 packages to pose a native replacement of the Steam runtime, some games may however still require additional packages. You can also use the Steam native runtime without steam-native-runtime by manually installing just the packages you need. See #Finding missing runtime libraries.

Debugging shared libraries

To see the shared libraries required by a program or a shared library run the ldd command on it, see ldd(1). The LD_LIBRARY_PATH and LD_PRELOAD environment variables can alter which shared libraries are loaded, see ld.so(8). To correctly debug a program or shared library it is therefore important that these environment variables in your debug environment match the environment you wish to debug.

If you figure out a missing library you can use pacman or pkgfile to search for packages that contain the missing library.

Finding missing game libraries

If a game fails to start, a possible reason is that it is missing required libraries. You can find out what libraries it requests by running ldd game_executable. game_executable is likely located somewhere in ~/.steam/root/steamapps/common/. Please note that most of these "missing" libraries are actually already included with Steam, and do not need to be installed globally.

Finding missing runtime libraries

If individual games or Steam itself is failing to launch when using steam-native you are probably missing libraries. To find the required libraries run:

$ cd ~/.steam/root/ubuntu12_32
$ file * | grep ELF | cut -d: -f1 | LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. xargs ldd | grep 'not found' | sort | uniq

Alternatively, run Steam with steam-runtime and use the following command to see which non-system libraries Steam is using (not all of these are part of the Steam runtime):

$ for i in $(pgrep steam); do sed '/\.local/!d;s/.*  //g' /proc/$i/maps; done | sort | uniq

Debugging Steam

The Steam launcher redirects its stdout and stderr to /tmp/dumps/USER_stdout.txt. This means you do not have to run Steam from the command-line to see that output.

It is possible to debug Steam to gain more information which could be useful to find out why something does not work.

You can set DEBUGGER environment variable with one of gdb, cgdb, valgrind, callgrind, strace and then start steam.

For example with gdb

$ DEBUGGER=gdb steam

gdb will open, then type run which will start steam and once crash happens you can type backtrace to see call stack.

Runtime issues

Segmentation fault when disabling runtime

steam-for-linux issue #3863

As per the bug report above, Steam crashes with the following error message when run with STEAM_RUNTIME=0:

/home/USER/.local/share/Steam/steam.sh: line 756: <variable numeric code> Segmentation fault (core dumped)

This happens because steamclient.so is linked to libudev.so.0 (lib32-libudev0AUR) which conflicts with libudev.so.1 (lib32-systemd).

A proposed workaround is to copy Steam's packaged 32-bit versions of libusb and libgudev to /usr/lib32:

# cp ~/.steam/root/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libgudev* /usr/lib32
# cp ~/.steam/root/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libusb* /usr/lib32

Notice that the workaround is necessary because the bug affects systems with lib32-libgudev and lib32-libusb installed.

Alternatively it has been successful to prioritize the loading of the libudev.so.1 (see comment on the same issue):

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libudev.so.1 STEAM_RUNTIME=0 steam

'GLBCXX_3.X.XX' not found when using Bumblebee

This error is likely caused because Steam packages its own out of date libstdc++.so.6. See #Steam runtime issues[broken link: invalid section] about working around the bad library. See also steam-for-linux issue 3773.

Game crashes immediately

This is likely due to #Steam runtime issues, see #Debugging shared libraries.

Disabling the in-game Steam Overlay in the game properties might help.

And finally, if those don't work, you should check Steam's output for any error from the game. You may encounter the following:

  • munmap_chunk(): invalid pointer
  • free(): invalid pointer

In these cases, try replacing the libsteam_api.so file from the problematic game with one of a game that works. This error usually happens for games that were not updated recently when Steam runtime is disabled. This error has been encountered with AYIM, Bastion and Monaco.

Version `CURL_OPENSSL_3` not found

This is because curl alone is not compatible with previous versions. You need to install the compatibility libraries:

One of the following messages may show up:

# Nuclear Throne
./nuclearthrone: /usr/lib32/libcurl.so.4: version `CURL_OPENSSL_3' not found (required by ./nuclearthrone)

# Devil Daggers
./devildaggers: /usr/lib/libcurl.so.4: version `CURL_OPENSSL_3' not found (required by ./devildaggers)

You need to install either libcurl-compat or lib32-libcurl-compat and link the compatibility library manually:

# Nuclear Throne
$ ln -s /usr/lib32/libcurl-compat.so.4.4.0 "LIBRARY/steamapps/common/Nuclear Throne/lib/libcurl.so.4"

# Devil Daggers
$ ln -s /usr/lib/libcurl-compat.so.4.4.0 LIBRARY/steamapps/common/devildaggers/lib64/libcurl.so.4

Audio issues

If the sections below do not address the issue, using the #Steam native runtime might help.

Configure PulseAudio

Games that explicitly depend on ALSA can break PulseAudio. Follow the directions for PulseAudio#ALSA to make these games use PulseAudio instead.

No audio or 756 Segmentation fault

First #Configure PulseAudio and see if that resolves the issue. If you do not have audio in the videos which play within the Steam client, it is possible that the ALSA libraries packaged with Steam are not working.

Attempting to playback a video within the steam client results in an error similar to:

ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave

A workaround is to rename or delete the alsa-lib folder and the libasound.so.* files. They can be found at:

~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

An alternative workaround is to add the libasound.so.* library to the LD_PRELOAD environment variable:

LD_PRELOAD='/usr/$LIB/libasound.so.2 '${LD_PRELOAD} steam

If audio still won't work, adding the Pulseaudio-libs to the LD_PRELOAD variable may help:

LD_PRELOAD='/usr/$LIB/libpulse.so.0 /usr/$LIB/libpulse-simple.so.0 '${LD_PRELOAD}

Be advised that their names may change over time. If so, it is necessary to take a look in

~/.steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu

and find the new libraries and their versions.

Bugs reports have been filed: #3376 and #3504

FMOD sound engine

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: No source / bug report. (Discuss in Talk:Steam/Troubleshooting#)

The FMOD audio middleware package is a bit buggy, and as a result games using it may have sound problems.

It usually occurs when an unused sound device is used as default for ALSA. See Advanced Linux Sound Architecture#Set the default sound card.

Affected games: Hotline Miami, Hotline Miami 2, Transistor

PulseAudio & OpenAL: Audio streams can't be moved between devices

If you use PulseAudio and cannot move an audio stream between sinks, it might be because recent OpenAL versions default to disallow audio streams from being moved. Try to add the following to your ~/.alsoftrc:

[pulse]
allow-moves=true

Steam client issues

Cannot add library folder because of missing execute permissions

If you add another Steam library folder on another drive, you might get the error message:

New Steam library folder must be on a filesystem mounted with execute permissions

Make sure you are mounting the filesystem with the correct flags in your /etc/fstab, usually by adding exec to the list of mount parameter. The parameter must occur after any user or users parameter since these can imply noexec.

This error might also occur if your library folder does not contain a steamapps directory. Previous versions used SteamApps instead, so ensure the name is fully lowercase.

This error can also occur because of Steam runtime issues and may be fixed following the #Dynamic linker[broken link: invalid section] section.

Unusually slow download speed

If your Steam apps (games, software…) download speed through the client is unusually slow, but browsing the Steam store and streaming videos is unaffected, installing a DNS cache program, such as dnsmasq can help [1].

"Needs to be online" error

If the Steam launcher refuses to start and you get an error saying: "Fatal Error: Steam needs to be online to update" while you are online, then there might be issues with name resolving.

Try to install nss-mdns.

Steam forgets password

Related: steam-for-linux#5030

Steam for Linux has a bug which causes it to forget the password of some users.

As a workaround, after logging in to Steam, run

$ chmod -w ~/.steam/registry.vdf

This will make the file read-only so Steam cannot modify it, and thus not log you out.

Preventing crash memory dumps

Every time Steam crashes, it writes a memory dump to /tmp/dumps/. If Steam falls into a crash loop, the dump files can become quite large. When /tmp is mounted as tmpfs, memory and swap file can be consumed needlessly.

To prevent this, link /tmp/dumps/ to /dev/null:

# ln -s /dev/null /tmp/dumps

Or alternatively, create and modify permissions on /tmp/dumps. Then Steam will be unable to write dump files to the directory.

# mkdir /tmp/dumps
# chmod 600 /tmp/dumps

This also has the added benefit of Steam not uploading these dumps to Valve's servers.

Steam license problem with playing videos

Steam uses Google's Widevine DRM for some videos. If it is not installed you will get the following error:

This video requires a license to play which cannot be retrieved. This may be a temporary network condition. Please restart the video to try again.

To solve this issue follow the Streaming Videos on Steam support page.

In-home streaming issues

See Steam#In-home streaming.

In-home streaming does not work from archlinux host to archlinux guest

Chances are you are missing lib32-libcanberra. Once you install that, it should work as expected.

With that, Steam should no longer crash when trying to launch a game through in-home streaming.

Hardware decoding not available

In-home streaming hardware decoding uses vaapi, so it needs to be installed (or wrapped around vdpau). See hardware video acceleration. Remember to install the lib32 versions as well.

Big Picture Mode minimizes itself after losing focus

This can occur when you play a game via in-home streaming or if you have a multi-monitor setup and move the mouse outside of BPM's window. To prevent this, set the following environment variable and restart Steam

export SDL_VIDEO_MINIMIZE_ON_FOCUS_LOSS=0

See also the steam-for-linux issue 4769.

Other issues

Wrong ELF class

If you see this message in Steam's console output

ERROR: ld.so: object '~/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded (wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS32): ignored.

you can safely ignore it. It is not really any error: Steam includes both 64- and 32-bit versions of some libraries and only one version will load successfully. This "error" is displayed even when Steam (and the in-game overlay) is working perfectly.

Multiple monitors setup

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: Is this Nvidia-only? Can this be reproduced by anyone? Is there an upstream report? (Discuss in Talk:Steam/Troubleshooting#)

A setup with multiple monitors may prevent games from starting. Try to disable all additional displays, and then run a game. You can enable them after the game successfully started.

Also you can try running Steam with this environment variable set:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib32/nvidia:/usr/lib/nvidia:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Text is corrupt or missing

The Steam Support instructions for Windows seem to work on Linux also.

You can install them via the steam-fontsAUR package, or manually by downloading and installing SteamFonts.zip.

Note: When steam cannot find the Arial fonts, font-config likes to fall back onto the Helveticia bitmap font. Steam does not render this and possibly other bitmap fonts correctly, so either removing problem fonts or disabling bitmap fonts will most likely fix the issue without installing the Arial or ArialBold fonts. The font being used in place of Arial can be found with the command
$ fc-match -v Arial

SetLocale('en_US.UTF-8') fails at game startup

You need to generate the en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 locale. See Locale#Generating locales.

Missing libc

This could be due to a corrupt Steam executable. Check the output of:

$ ldd ~/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam

Should ldd claim that it is not a dynamic executable, then Steam likely corrupted the binary during an update. The following should fix the issue:

$ cd ~/.local/share/Steam/
$ ./steam.sh --reset

If it doesn't, try to delete the ~/.local/share/Steam/ directory and launch Steam again, telling it to reinstall itself.

This error message can also occur due to a bug in Steam which occurs when your $HOME directory ends in a slash (Valve GitHub issue 3730). This can be fixed by editing /etc/passwd and changing /home/<username>/ to home/<username>, then logging out and in again. Afterwards, Steam should repair itself automatically.

Games do not launch on older Intel hardware

source

On older Intel hardware which doesn't support OpenGL 3, such as Intel GMA chips or Westmere CPUs, games may immediately crash when run. It appears as a gameoverlayrenderer.so error in /tmp/dumps/mobile_stdout.txt, but looking in /tmp/gameoverlayrenderer.log it shows a GLXBadFBConfig error.

This can be fixed, by forcing the game to use a later version of OpenGL than it wants. Add MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=3.1 MESA_GLSL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=140 to your launch options.

Mesa: Game does not launch, complaining about OpenGL version supported by the card

Some games are badly programmed, to use any OpenGL version above 3.0. With Mesa, an application has to request a specific core profile. If it doesn't make such a request, only OpenGL 3.0 and lower are available.

This can be fixed, by forcing the game to use a version of OpenGL it actually needs. Add MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=4.1 MESA_GLSL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=410 to your launch options.

2K games do not run on XFS partitions

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: Seems to be a general issue, e.g. [2] (Discuss in Talk:Steam/Troubleshooting#)

If you are running 2K games such as Civilization 5 on XFS partitions, then the game may not start or run properly due to how the game loads files as it starts. [3]

Steam controller not being detected correctly

See Gamepad#Steam Controller.

Steam hangs on "Installing breakpad exception handler..."

BBS#177245

You have an Nvidia GPU and Steam has the following output:

Running Steam on arch rolling 64-bit
STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(0_client)

Then nothing else happens. Ensure you have the correct drivers installed as well as their 32-bit versions: see NVIDIA#Installation.

Killing standalone compositors when launching games

Further to this, utilising the %command% switch, you can kill standalone compositors (such as Xcompmgr or Compton) - which can cause lag and tearing in some games on some systems - and relaunch them after the game ends by adding the following to your game's launch options.

 killall compton && %command%; compton -b &

Replace compton in the above command with whatever your compositor is. You can also add -options to %command% or compton, of course.

Steam will latch on to any processes launched after %command% and your Steam status will show as in game. So in this example, we run the compositor through nohup so it is not attached to Steam (it will keep running if you close Steam) and follow it with an ampersand so that the line of commands ends, clearing your Steam status.

Symbol lookup error using DRI3

Steam outputs this error and exits.

 symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/libxcb-dri3.so.0: undefined symbol: xcb_send_request_with_fds

To work around this, run Steam with LIBGL_DRI3_DISABLE=1, disabling DRI3 for Steam.

Launching games on Nvidia optimus laptops

To be able to play games which require using Nvidia GPU (for example, Hitman 2016) on optimus enabled laptop, you should start Steam with primusrun prefix. Otherwise, game will not work. Keep in mind, that issuing some command such as primusrun steam while Steam is already running will not restart it. You should explicitly exit and then start Steam via primusrun steam command or start game immediately after start, for example with primusrun steam steam://rungameid/236870. After Steam was launched with primusrun prefix, you do not need to prefix your game with primusrun or optirun, because it does not matter.

For primusrun, VSYNC is enabled by default it could result in a mouse input delay lag, slightly decrease performance and in-game FPS might be locked to a refresh rate of a monitor/display. In order to disable VSYNC for primusrun default value of option vblank_mode needs to be overridden by environment variable.

vblank_mode=0 primusrun steam

Same with optirun that uses primus as a bridge.

vblank_mode=0 optirun -b primus steam

For more details see Bumblebee#Primusrun mouse delay (disable VSYNC).