Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

We're seeing more reports of Steam for Chromebooks coming and Luke Short writing for Android Police thinks it will be soon. This would be a long time coming, after we've seen hints of it appearing for over a year now.

It won't be particularly helpful for a lot of the lower-end devices, but Chromebooks have been steadily getting bigger storage drives, with newer processors too that are much more capable. The new system that makes all this work is named Borealis, and it appears that as of November 29 it gained new "flags" regarding a Beta mode and a way to disabled "ChromeOS-specific integrations for the borealis client".

Not only that, there's also an earlier one from November 24 that mentions Borealis gained "support for Proton and SLR versions in Borealis game reports". Based on that wording, it appears they might have their own game compatibility database, which could end up looking something perhaps like Deck Verified for the Steam Deck.

Since Chrome OS is a Gentoo Linux-based operating system, it's another way that might help push up the Linux numbers on Steam. Although, it's possible Valve might tag it specifically as it's own thing since it's not really a "normal" Linux distribution, regardless, it will be running Linux native games and Windows games through Proton so it will still help Linux gaming as a whole.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
28 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
21 comments
Page: 1/3»
  Go to:

elmapul 3 Dec, 2021
that make things... interesting.
google is struggling to sell stadia, so steam is quite important for chromebook gamers, google will have to work harder on making sure steam work flawless on chromebooks (aka, make sure their sandbox for linux native apps dont have any major flaw) if they want to enter the operating system market.
Mohandevir 3 Dec, 2021
Awesome!

Aside from the Steam Deck, it's probably the other big Linux initiative that could push Linux adoption, imo. The Borealis "container" was (last time I checked) an Ubuntu VM, so it still helps getting games running on Linux, even if you are not a fan of Google.

Thing is, Chromebooks have a much bigger audience than Linux desktop. So, let's wait and see what kind of Chromebooks will be available for that kind of use-case and if there is a lot of interrest for gaming in the Chromebook user pool (or if it will draw new gamers to the platform).


Last edited by Mohandevir on 3 December 2021 at 2:32 pm UTC
Mal 3 Dec, 2021
  • Supporter
It launches only on x64 right? ARM comes later if I recall correctly the rumors.
F.Ultra 3 Dec, 2021
View PC info
  • Supporter
Quoting: elmapulthat make things... interesting.
google is struggling to sell stadia, so steam is quite important for chromebook gamers, google will have to work harder on making sure steam work flawless on chromebooks (aka, make sure their sandbox for linux native apps dont have any major flaw) if they want to enter the operating system market.

Now imagine if Stadia would have gotten the publishers to publish the native Linux version of the games running on Stadia how much easier it would be for Google to have some games on their Chromebooks right now :-)
Purple Library Guy 3 Dec, 2021
Quoting: F.Ultra
Quoting: elmapulthat make things... interesting.
google is struggling to sell stadia, so steam is quite important for chromebook gamers, google will have to work harder on making sure steam work flawless on chromebooks (aka, make sure their sandbox for linux native apps dont have any major flaw) if they want to enter the operating system market.

Now imagine if Stadia would have gotten the publishers to publish the native Linux version of the games running on Stadia how much easier it would be for Google to have some games on their Chromebooks right now :-)
So who feels like they're only going ahead with this because Stadia is failing?
Mohandevir 3 Dec, 2021
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: F.Ultra
Quoting: elmapulthat make things... interesting.
google is struggling to sell stadia, so steam is quite important for chromebook gamers, google will have to work harder on making sure steam work flawless on chromebooks (aka, make sure their sandbox for linux native apps dont have any major flaw) if they want to enter the operating system market.

Now imagine if Stadia would have gotten the publishers to publish the native Linux version of the games running on Stadia how much easier it would be for Google to have some games on their Chromebooks right now :-)
So who feels like they're only going ahead with this because Stadia is failing?

Maybe, but the Borealis project was started a while ago... Even before Stadia's official release, if my memory doesn't fail me... It might be a factor explaining why they are giving up that quickly on Stadia, though.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 3 December 2021 at 5:06 pm UTC
BielFPs 3 Dec, 2021
I think this is Valve's already predicting how ARM will eventually take over of x86_64 architecture, and this is them keeping the vanguard like they're used to do
Purple Library Guy 3 Dec, 2021
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Purple Library GuySo who feels like they're only going ahead with this because Stadia is failing?

Maybe, but the Borealis project was started a while ago... Even before Stadia's official release, if my memory doesn't fail me... It might be a factor explaining why they are giving up that quickly on Stadia, though.
I just figure if Stadia had really taken off they would likely have let this wither on the vine. It's a fallback. One they knew they might need, so they made overtures and started plans, but if Stadia meant they didn't need this I suspect their first preference would have been to do a kind of Apple-but-in-the-cloud thing, controlling the whole experience end to end . . . and incidentally, not depending on the little Chromebooks' actual on-board capabilities as much.
mr-victory 3 Dec, 2021
How much demand is there for Steam on ChromeOS/Chromebooks? I don’t think there is much (I expect it is way less than %1.16 linux market share on Steam) as the main purpose of these devices is browsing the web. And these devices are often managed by schools/organisations.


Last edited by mr-victory on 3 December 2021 at 6:41 pm UTC
StalePopcorn 3 Dec, 2021
Side news; I turned our old Acer C720p Chromebook into a Linux laptop.


Last edited by StalePopcorn on 3 December 2021 at 7:42 pm UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: Liberapay or PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.