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Steam is a proprietary digital game store from Valve software. It offers a wide range of paid and free to play games who run on Linux, either directly or using a Windows emulation layer called Proton.

DRM and moral issues[edit | edit source]


It has been said that:

"Steam is proprietary malware that locks you in with DRM. Stream is mutually exclusive with freedom. By adopting Steam as an ecosystem on Linux, you're turning Linux into what Google did and is still in the process of doing with Android: open-source at the core, but utterly reliant on a proprietary ecosystem to function, reducing the merits of FLOSS to none."

anonymous freedom fighter

It is true that Steam is non-free proprietary software - even if the store itself and a fair amount of games on it are free as in you pay nothing (but your freedom). It is also true that developing a AAA-title game is quite expensive.

Steam makes installing games on Linux really easy, just click on the game you want and you get it. There are many high quality free-to-play games like CounterStrike available in the Steam store. If you want to play fun games on Linux and you don't mind installing some DRM-ridden immoral software then Steam is for you. If you are a die-hard free software enthusiast then it's clearly not.

Edge-case pitfalls to avoid[edit | edit source]

Many Steam games just crash when they are launched from a partition with the XFS filesystem. While it's not common to use XFS for $HOME, it's something to be aware of. This is Steam specific, XFS is a great and mature filesystem which generally works well.