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Steam is a digital distribution service that is well known among the gaming community. Getting it to work on a 32-bit Linux machine is fairly straightforward, but on 64bit machines some additional work and maintenance is required.

Installing Steam

To install Steam firstly you need to enable the nonfree repository if you haven't yet.

# xbps-install -Sy void-repo-nonfree

Next, install the steam package hosted by this repo:

# xbps-install -S steam

If you are running the i686 distribution this should be enough to get it running.

Additional steps on x86_64 machines

For x86_64 users some additional 32bit packages must be installed that are provided by the multilib repository. First, enable the repository if you haven't yet:

# xbps-install -Sy void-repo-multilib

And for closed source multilib graphic drivers.

# xbps-install -Sy void-repo-multilib-nonfree

Next, install the common packages:

# xbps-install -S libpulseaudio-32bit libtxc_dxtn-32bit fontconfig-32bit libavcodec-32bit libavformat-32bit libavresample-32bit libavutil-32bit libv8-32bit

Users of Intel GPUs will need these packages too:

# xbps-install -S libGL-32bit mesa-intel-dri-32bit

Users of the open source AMD Radeon GPU drivers will need these instead:

# xbps-install -S libGL-32bit mesa-ati-dri-32bit

whereas users of the proprietary AMD GPU drivers shall install this one:

# xbps-install -Sy catalyst-libs-32bit

Users of the open source NVIDIA GPU drivers (Nouveau) must use these instead:

# xbps-install -S libGL-32bit mesa-nouveau-dri-32bit

Users of the proprietary NVIDIA drivers will need this package instead:

# xbps-install -S nvidia-libs-32bit

For the 340.xx legacy drivers:

# xbps-install -S nvidia340-libs-32bit

and for the 304.xx legacy drivers:

# xbps-install -S nvidia304-libs-32bit

For some games (like FEZ), mono must be installed:

# xbps-install -S mono


Libstdc++ Library error and Steam runtime issues

The Steam Ubuntu bootstrap tarball might use an incompatible libstdc++ library, try:

$ LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose steam

to see if that's the case, and then try to remove the supplied libstdc++ from ~/.local/share/steam.

Note that this is a temporary solution, as this file will be restored every time the Steam client is updated. For a more reliable solution, you can try overriding problematic libraries with LD_PRELOAD:

$ LD_PRELOAD='/usr/$LIB/libstdc++.so.6 /usr/$LIB/libgcc_s.so.1 /usr/$LIB/libxcb.so.1' steam

For convenience, you can put this in a script or an alias.

Games running slowly or not at all, issues with network streaming

Verify that your user belongs to the video group.

Steam does not start or segfaults

Try enabling and starting the dbus service.

Audio not working

First, try installing pulseaudio and alsa-plugins-pulseaudio. If you do not have audio in the videos which play within the Steam client, it is possible that the ALSA libs packaged with Steam are not working.

If launching Steam from a terminal and attempting to play 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", there is a workaround which involves renaming or deleting some Steam runtime folders and library files. The bugs have already been reported here and here.

The solution is to rename or delete the alsa-lib folder and the libasound.so.* files. They can be found in ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/.

Game specific

BattleBlock Theater

If the game won't launch, you have to install dependencies:

# xbps-install -Sy SDL2 libopenal

In you are using a x86_64 system you have to install the 32-bit versions too:

# xbps-install -Sy SDL2-32bit libopenal-32bit

You can debug the game running it with sh. Find the starter here:

~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/BattleBlock\ Theater/BattleBlockTheater.sh

If you get an error like

DEBUG: Steam checks done
DEBUG: Built  Dec 17 2014  17:44:59
DEBUG: InitGame started
BattleBlockTheater: /media/BGBS/BBT_Linux/Core/MemorySystem.cpp:161: void* MemoryBlock::Alloc(unsigned int): Assertion `(!"Got request for zero bytes!")' failed.

the recommended way to fix this is to apply the patch posted on the Steam forums. Create a file named patch.sh on ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/BattleBlock\ Theater/, with this content:

#!/usr/bin/env bash


function getMD5()
  echo $(md5sum "${1}" | cut -d ' ' -f 1)

if [[ ${MD5_PRE} != $(getMD5 ${FILE}) ]]
    echo Input has wrong checksum. Already patched?
    exit 11

echo -ne ${PAYLOAD} | dd if=/dev/stdin of="${FILE}" bs=1 conv=notrunc seek=$((${OFFSET})) status=none

if [[ $? != 0 ]]
    echo Patching binary failed.
    exit 77

if [[ ${MD5_POST} != $(getMD5 ${FILE}) ]]
    echo Output has wrong checksum. Expect trouble!
    exit 22

echo Yay... everything went well.

Turn it into an executable and patch the game:

$ chmod a+x patch.sh
$ ./patch.sh

Set Launch Options on Properties: MALLOC_CHECK_=0 %command%. Everything should work fine now.

External links

and their respective troubleshooting sections.