The Steam Game Store has been available on desktop Linux for several years at this point, and with the addition of the Proton compatibility layer for Windows games, it has become an invaluable tool for gaming on Linux. Canonical, the developers of Ubuntu Linux, has now introduced a new way to use Steam on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions: a Snap package.
“We are working on a significant quality of life improvement for Linux gamers and today…we are delighted to announce the early access launch of Steam Snap!” Canonical revealed in a blog post. Canonical is listed as the developer, so it appears that Valve is not involved in the project.
The new package includes Steam and all its dependencies in one download, without the additional steps that are sometimes required for Steam on Linux (such as enabling 32-bit libraries or Mesa drivers). Steam and its games are sandboxed from the rest of the operating system, so games can’t see all the files on your computer—similar to the new Steam container on Chrome OS.
Snap is a containerized package system developed by Canonical, intended to make it easy to install, update, and use desktop Linux software across various Linux distributions. Even though the Snap package has some advantages, especially with less traditional packages available for desktop Linux systems (eg distros not based on Ubuntu or Arch), the technology behind Snap has been criticized by some in the Linux community. Has been. Canonical controls the sole Snap ‘App Store’, and Snap apps often take longer to open than regular software. While Ubuntu switched the default Firefox web browser to the Snap package last year, Linux Mint struck a deal with Mozilla to keep the non-Snap version available.
Steam is available from the Snap Store, or if you already have Snap on your Linux system you can run “snap install steam-beta” (without the quotes) in your terminal. Snap packages are available on Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora, Linux Mint, KDE Neon, Debian, and most other major Linux distributions.