But, regardless of its current state, it’s super promising to see big-name software like Steam being made available through modern app distribution methods like Flatpak.
To get around some of the issues in redistributing or repackaging non-FOSS software (like Spotify and Discord, which are also available via Flathub) the repo does not host or distribute Steam’s proprietary code itself.
Instead, as explained by the uploader TingPing on Reddit, it “downloads data at runtime so users download them directly from the official website and Flatpak bundles them up” — think of it as being a kind of recipe.
Install Steam Flatpak on Ubuntu
Want to install the Steam Flatpak before me? You can, and you can install it alongside the regular version of Steam for Linux without running into First, you need to make sure you have the latest version of Flatpak installed on Ubuntu.
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For the avoidance of doubt just add the official Flatpak PPA below to your software sources, and then update, install or upgrade Flatpak: any issue — bar not being able to tell which Steam icon will launch which version!
Patience is critical here as it can often take several minutes for Flatpak to download everything it needs to. In this case, it has to go out and fetch the (rather large) Steam runtime and any runtime dependencies it has. Pay close attention to the Terminal throughout this process as it may prompt you to add additional remotes from which it can fetch dependencies.
Once everything has finished up you will be able to launch Steam for Linux through the Unity Dash, GNOME Applications, or whatever app menu you use on your desktop.