[2016/08/28] I wrote a guide for Debian Jessie now, where the installation is way more easy and safe.
[2015/05/02]The howto has been adapted to the changes required by the release of Jessie. It has been tested with current Wheezy, 7.8.0. Though I would recommend updating to the current stable version of Debian instead. If you use the howto, you do so at your own risk. Pay attention that the installing step does not remove needed packages from your system.
I want to write a short guide on how to install Steam on Debian Wheezy (64 bit). Why, you might ask, there are several good guides out there. True, but those I’ve seen stem from the early times of Steam for Linux, most even from the beta phase. They are using packages from Ubuntu, Valve or other sources. Nowadays (thanks to Michael Gilbert) there is a native Debian package for Steam. The following tries to install Steam on a pure Debian with Debian means. I wrote this (some days) before Valve announced that SteamOS is going to use Debian as its base. The guide is not using the SteamOS repository, only Debian’s.
I’m starting from a clean Debian Wheezy 64 bit (amd64) install using the default settings (like Gnome). Everything below is done as root.
Mixing in Jessie
Put a line to fetch Jessie packages into your packages source file /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
Then ensure that most packages are not taken from Jessie by choosing a default release via a file (you need to create it) named like /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/10defaultRelease:
(Don’t forget the semicolon!)
Mixing in 32 bits
Add the architecture for 32 bit (named i386) to your Debian installation – the Debian guys allow us to use both at the same time!
dpkg --add-architecture i386
Go for it
Install Steam and a newer libc along with everything they need (but not anything more) from Debian Jessie:
apt-get -t jessie install libc6:i386/jessie
apt-get install steam:i386/jessie libstdc++6:i386/jessie
Now start Steam. It will download the client first. After that has been started and I’ve entered my password, it took a larger thinking break, but finally the Steam client popped up and I could play (Thomas was alone).
Of course, having the right graphics drivers installed might help things. While I did not try it myself, Juan has reported in the comments that installing one of these should be useful:
- for ATI/AMD Cards: libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386
- for Nvidia Cards: libgl1-nvidia-glx:i386
- for Intel Cards: libgl1-mesa-glx:i386