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Installing Steam on Chromebook
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Installing Steam on Chromebook

by Aiphos HooOctober 23, 2019
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Fallout on chromebook
Yes, that’s Fallout on a Chromebook

With a Chromebook in our hands, we can’t help but look into how to game in this environment. After some research, we finally figured it out. This here is a guide to help you guys out there who have a Chromebook and want to push the device to its full potential.

Note: simple coding is required, and no you won’t kill your Chromebook if you wrote the wrong code.

Set up Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook

First thing first, we need to enable Linux on Chromebook. Google enables Linux support earlier 2019, which expends the app Linux app library to the already impressive Chromebook/android library.

To enable Linux is fairly simple and straightforward since the feature is disabled by default, you just need to enable it.

  1. At the bottom right, click the button to bring up the settings shade, and go into the Settings menu.
enabling linux on chromebook
  • Under “Linux (Beta),” select Turn On.
enabling linux on chromebook
  • Follow the steps on the screen. Setup can take 10 minutes or more.
enabling linux on chromebook
  • A terminal window opens. You can run Linux commands, install more tools using the APT package manager, and customize your shell.

Note: Linux on Chromebook is still in Beta stage, hence there might be some issues you may experience.

Voila, Linux is enabled on your Chromebook now! Just click it to launch it and you will be greeted with… a simple text interface… as unimpressive as it looks, this is where all the fun starts! Now let’s move to the next step.

Installing Linux Steam on your Chromebook

Since we have Linux installed, the first thing we need to do is to update all Linux components. To do that, simple input below command lines in the Terminal:

Sudo apt update && Sudo apt upgrade

updating linux on chromebook

This will prompt your Chromebook to fetch and download all updates from Linux’s repositories. If the terminal asked, remember to enter Y, for yes, here. This will prompt your Chromebook to install all updates previously downloaded.

Once you have done that, you’ll are ready to install Steam on your Chromebook. Simply click the button below to download the deb installer, once you finish download you will be able to click it to install it.

This steam installation process is very similar to installing Steam on the window. Once the installation is done, don’t be hasty to launch it first as you will need to install OpenGL first. If OpenGL wasn’t installed, the game will be stupidly choppy.

Steam on chromebook

Install Open GL Driver

To install the Open GL Driver, follow the step below:

  • Head over to Chrome browser, input

    chrome://flags/#crostini-GPU-support

    Enable “Crostini GPU Support” at the drop-down menu, restart your Chromebook.
Enabling OPENGL in chromebook
  • Update all Linux component again with the Linux command:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
update linux in chromebook
  • Finally, check if Open GL is enabled by typing in command

    glxinfo -B

    at the Linux Terminal if it shows “OpenGL ES profile version string: OpenGL ES 3.2 Mesa 19.2.0-devel. If it does, then it means you successfully enabled!
OpenGL chromebook

Launching Steam and install games

linux steam

Here we go, we are able to launch the Linux Steam app which is very similar with the Windows’ version. Unlike the Android version which is little more than a chat app, Linux’s version is real Steam like on Windows, allowing compatible apps to be installed and played.

linux steam

Now bear in mind that games are much more hardware intensive then Chrome OS itself and what Chromebooks are designed for, hence you might find some game may run quite horribly. Still, this is an article about what you can do, not what you should do.

Also, not all game is Linux supported, you might find yourself missing some games in your game library simply because is not supported on Linux.

Fallout in linux steam

We hope you enjoy the newly found function for your Chromebook! If you have any questions about your Chromebook or any request of guide, feel free to drop a comment below!

About The Author
Aiphos Hoo

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