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Can You Run Steam on ChromeOS via Project Crostini??? I Don’t See Why Not?


The Steam platform is one of the most popular distribution platforms for PC Gamers and it turns out that you can indeed run the Linux version of Steam on your Pixelbook. I cannot say for sure that all games will run on it but you should be able to install any game that supports “Linux” on your Chromebook. I apologize in advanced for lost productivity caused by following the steps in this guide – you have been warned!

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There are some issues with Steam when ran through ChromeOS that you should be aware of:

  • Limited to Linux Games – There are actually a lot on Steam but not nearly as many as there are with Windows
  • No external controller support
  • No sound – this may be a deal breaker with narrative based games such as The Witcher 2
  • No GPU acceleration – may games may perform slowly
  • The Display Scaling may be off

The last 4 problems stated above should be fixed eventually but the fact that you did not pony up the extra funds for the 256 or 512 GB version of the Pixelbook may hurt more.

This guide is a bit more advanced than some of my previous ones so please ensure you are following all of my instructions exactly as written. The instructions are very similar to how you would install Steam on Debian but with a few small changes to prevent a few errors on ChromeOS (Specifically Google not having i386 support in their repositories) . If that sounds like a foreign language, no need to worry as long as you follow the steps below.


Lets start by accessing your Terminal via the “Terminal” application or Gnome Terminal to get into your virtual machine. We will be installing the nano text editor by running the following commands. Nano is far easier to use than other Linux text editors.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nano

We will now need to run a command to enable the i386 architecture as required by steam. This is done by issuing the following command.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Next, using nano, we will replace a few files. Run the following command

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

This will launch the nano text editor and bring you to your apt sources. We need to replace the contents of the file with this following.

deb stretch/updates main
deb stretch main contrib non-free
deb stretch/updates main contrib non-free

We can now save this with a CTRL + X followed by Y.

Next we need to make one final edit to the apt repository used by the Crostini container to manage the Google specific packages. This can be done by using nano again.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cros.list

Finally, we need to replace the contents of this with the following.

deb [arch=amd64] stretch main

We can now save this with a CTRL + X followed by Y.

Installing Steam

In order to install steam, run the following commands.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo usermod -a -G video,audio $USER
sudo apt-get install libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 libglapi-mesa:i386 steam
sudo apt-get install -f

This will take several minutes to complete and once done, you will see the Steam icon show up in your ChromeOS Application Launcher. Steam will prompt for an update, simply follow the onscreen instructions and you should be able to log into the Steam client.