From ArchWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This article covers running Steam in Wine, in order to play games not available through the native Linux Steam.


Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: The current Windows installer is an .exe not a .msi (Discuss in Talk:Steam/Wine#)

Install Wine as described in Wine.

Install the required Microsoft fonts: ttf-tahomaAUR and ttf-ms-fontsAUR from the AUR. You can also install these fonts through Winetricks: winetricks corefonts.

Note: If you have access to Windows discs, you may want to install ttf-ms-win8AUR or ttf-win7-fontsAUR instead.

Download and run the Steam installer from It is a .msi file so you have to start it with msiexec:

$ msiexec /i SteamInstall.msi

Starting Steam

On x86:

$ wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam/Steam.exe

On x86_64:

$ wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Steam/Steam.exe
  • If text is not rendered (properly), append -no-dwrite to this command. See #No text rendered problem for more information.
  • If you are using an Nvidia card through Bumblebee, you should prefix this command with optirun.

You should consider making an alias to easily start Steam (and put it in your shell's rc file), example:

alias steam-wine='wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Steam/Steam.exe >/dev/null 2>&1 &'



Consider disabling wine debugging output by adding this to your shell rc file:

export WINEDEBUG=-all

or, just add it to your steam-wine alias to only disable it for Steam:

alias steam-wine='WINEDEBUG=-all wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Steam/Steam.exe >/dev/null 2>&1 &'

Additionally, Source games rely on a paged pool memory size specification for audio, and WINE by default does not have this set. To set it:

$ wine reg add "HKLM\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Session Manager\\Memory Management\\" /v PagedPoolSize /t REG_DWORD /d 402653184 /f

Source engine launch options

Go to Properties > Set Launch Options, e.g.:

-console -dxlevel 90 -width 1280 -height 1024
  • console
Activate the console in the application to change detailed applications settings.
  • dxlevel
Set the application's DirectX level, e.g. 90 for DirectX Version 9.0. It is recommended to use the video card's DirectX version to prevent crashes. See the official Valve Software wiki for details.
  • width and height
Set the screen resolution. In some cases the graphic settings are not saved in the application and the applications always starts in the default resolution.

Please refer to for a complete list of launch options.

Using a pre-existing Steam installation

If you have a shared drive with Windows, or already have a Steam installation somewhere else, you can simply symlink the Steam directory to ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Steam/ . However, be sure to do all the previous steps in this wiki. Confirm Steam launches and logs into your account, then do this:

$ cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/ 
$ mv Steam/ Steam.backup/   (or you can just delete the directory)
$ ln -s /mnt/windows_partition/Program\ Files/Steam/
  • If you have trouble starting Steam after symlinking the entire Steam folder, try linking only the steamapps subdirectory in your existing wine steam folder instead.
  • If you still have trouble starting games, use # mount --bind /path/to/SteamApps ~/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps -ouser=your-user-name , this is the only thing that worked with TF2 for one Arch user.

Steam links in Firefox, Chrome, etc

To make steam:// urls in your browser connect with Steam in Wine, there are several things you can do. One involves making steam url-handler keys in gconf, another involves making protocol files for KDE, others involve tinkering with desktop files or the Local State file for Chromium. These seem to only work in Firefox or under certain desktop configurations. One way to do it that works more globally is using mimeo, a tool made by Xyne (an Arch TU) which follows. For another working and less invasive (but Firefox-only) way, see the first post here .

  • Make /usr/bin/steam with your favorite editor and paste:
# Steam wrapper script
exec wine "c:\\program files\\steam\\steam.exe" "$@"
  • Make it executable:
# chmod +x /usr/bin/steam
  • Create ~/.config/mimeo/associations.txt with your favorite editor and paste:
/usr/bin/steam %u
  • Lastly, open /usr/bin/xdg-open in your favorite editor. Go to the detectDE() section and change it to look as follows:
    #if [ x"$KDE_FULL_SESSION" = x"true" ]; then DE=kde;
    #elif [ x"$GNOME_DESKTOP_SESSION_ID" != x"" ]; then DE=gnome;
    #elif $(dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.DBus /org/freedesktop/DBus org.freedesktop.DBus.GetNameOwner string:org.gnome.SessionManager > /dev/null 2>&1) ; then DE=gnome;
    #elif xprop -root _DT_SAVE_MODE 2> /dev/null | grep ' = \"xfce4\"$' >/dev/null 2>&1; then DE=xfce;
    #elif [ x"$DESKTOP_SESSION" == x"LXDE" ]; then DE=lxde;
    #else DE=""
  • Restart the browser and you should be good to go. In Chromium, you cannot enter a steam:// link in the url box like you can with Firefox. The forum link above has a steam://open/friends link to try if needed.
Note: Steam links in Firefox, Chrome, etc
  • If you have any problems with file associations after doing this, simply revert to regular xdg-utils and undo your changes to /usr/bin/xdg-open.
  • Those on other distributions that stumble upon this page, see the link above for firefox specific instructions. No easy way to get it working on Chromium on other distros exists.

Steam Client Store/(built-in) Web Browser not working

Launch Steam 32-bit disabling "CEF-based runtime sandboxing" support:

wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Steam/Steam.exe -no-cef-sandbox

If this does not work, open winecfg, "Add application...", navigate to ~/.wine/Program Files/Steam/bin/, choose steamwebhelper.exe, and set its "Windows Version" at the bottom to Windows XP.

No text rendered problem

Note: This should no longer be an issue with Wine 1.7.50 and up since the implementation of dwrite has progressed sufficiently.

If there is no text/font rendered when starting steam you should try to start steam with the parameter -no-dwrite. Read more in the forum thread about it.

wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Steam/Steam.exe -no-dwrite
Note: Although this method does currently work, It is not persistent if Steam relaunches automatically (i.e. update), or if you follow a URL link.
  • This can be achieved by going through winecfg > Libraries and setting the "dwrite" override to "disable"


  • $ wine reg add 'HKCU\Software\Valve\Steam' /v DWriteEnable /t REG_DWORD /d 00000000

Proxy settings

Steam may use environment variables of the form [protocol]_proxy to determine the proxy for HTTP/HTTPS.

$ export http_proxy=
$ export https_proxy=$http_proxy

However, it seems that it does not support sockv5.

See also