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Steam is now available as a Flatpak app via Flathub

Posted by , 19 June 2017 at 10:30 am UTC / 4672 views
Flathub [Official Site], a 'central hub' for Flatpak [Official Site] applications have now made a Flatpak of Steam available for Linux users.

Note: I've not used Flatpak at all myself, nor have I tried out this Steam Flatpak as I don't want any issues with my existing install.

Found on the github for Flathub is com.valvesoftware.Steam, where you can find out more about what it's doing. While it is unofficial, Valve could request access if they wished to take control of it, according to this comment on github.

The actual Steam download itself is little more than another downloader anyway, which then downloads the full Steam application. The Flatpak for Steam doesn't actually contain the Steam downloader, looking at the JSON file, it actually links to the official downloadable tar.gz from Valve. Steam also updates itself, so it's possibly one of the less important applications for Flatpak. While Flatpak is claimed to be more secure than .deb and .rpm, there's a lot of conflicting information and opinions on that.

Having a proper cross-distribution package management tool will benefit Linux quite a lot in the long run, at least that's what I think anyway. Being able to download and update any application I want and be up to date no matter the distribution is very appealing.

If you want to read more about Flatpak itself, check the official FAQ.

Thanks to AsciiWolf for the email tip!
Comments
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Ananace 19 June 2017 at 11:49 am UTC

Worth noting is that the Flatpak install is unable to access your home folder, so even if it wanted to conflict with your full Steam install that would be impossible for it to do. You can even run both Steam installs at the same time because of the sandboxing
I'm unsure how well non-nVidia drivers work for Flatpak at the moment though, only have nVidia systems on hand.


wojtek88 19 June 2017 at 12:08 pm UTC

Sorry for being ignorant, but I felt I must ask:
Why is this information worth writing article about?
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to criticize here, I just want to understand, because honestly this information seems to have no value at all.


ripper 19 June 2017 at 12:20 pm UTC

wojtek88Sorry for being ignorant, but I felt I must ask:
Why is this information worth writing article about?

Valve only officially supports Ubuntu with their installer. Many distributions don't have Steam packaged and need to add third-party repositories and such. Sometimes those repos are problematic. Having a cross-platform installer in the form of flatpak means users on any distribution supporting flatpak (quite a few at the moment, and growing) can install it. Think of it as a generic exe installer, independent of your distribution packaging policies etc. You also benefit from sandboxing. Very helpful for both Ubuntu and non-Ubuntu users.


poiuz 19 June 2017 at 12:34 pm UTC

QuoteNote: I've not used Flatpak at all myself, nor have I tried out this Steam Flatpak as I don't want any issues with my existing install.
There shouldn't be any conflicts. The Steam-Flatpak doesn't have any access to your home folder (except to ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam). Everything that gets created by Steam will reside inside this folder though you can share additional folders with the --filesystem argument of flatpak run.

But it'll still need some work until everything works OOTB: Source games just don't start because of the S3TC extension missing, Borderlands 2 & GRID Autosport crashed. Rocket League started but the textures were missing (again S3TC I guess). Maybe with the proprietary nVidia driver it works better.


g000h 19 June 2017 at 12:39 pm UTC

Waiting for the day that Steam client for Linux is 64 bit..


Anders1232 19 June 2017 at 1:00 pm UTC

Seens interesting. How does faltpak compares to 0install?


hardpenguin 19 June 2017 at 1:08 pm UTC

wojtek88Sorry for being ignorant, but I felt I must ask:
Why is this information worth writing article about?
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to criticize here, I just want to understand, because honestly this information seems to have no value at all.
There's no such thing as an information without value

But yes, it's not much different from, let's say, an information that Steam got packaged for yet another distro


Last edited by hardpenguin at 19 June 2017 at 1:09 pm UTC


wvstolzing 19 June 2017 at 1:22 pm UTC

hardpenguinBut yes, it's not much different from, let's say, an information that Steam got packaged for yet another distro

It's very different, though, since this is relevant to users of all distros.


Pecisk 19 June 2017 at 1:23 pm UTC

g000hWaiting for the day that Steam client for Linux is 64 bit..

That's less important though, considering you will have to have 32 bit libraries to be installed due of majority of games being 32-bit anyway.

As for importance - this means Steam can be installed from one package on newest Debian, Fedora, RedHat Enterprise and other distributions supporting stable flatpak.

I think that's quite an achievement considering Steam Linux gaming picking up steam.


metro2033fanboy 19 June 2017 at 2:47 pm UTC

...


Last edited by metro2033fanboy at 19 June 2017 at 3:18 pm UTC. Edited 3 times.


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