Installing Steam on a Chromebook

This isn’t as difficult as it used to be thanks to the built in Linux mode on modern Chromebooks, but it is still so satisfying to see non-android software running on a Chromebook.

If you have a Chromebook that was manufactured from late 2018 onwards you can activate a feature in your Chromebook settings called Linux (beta). This creates a unique partition on your Chromebook for Linux-based programs so that they can, kind of, run within Chrome OS.

Activate the setting, available via the left hand menu in Settings, and allocate some space for Linux to run (usually the default 7.5GB is enough). The installation happens in the background, and roughly takes around 5-15 minutes depending on your Chromebook’s spec and internet speed. Just follow the prompts and you will be good to go.

Once installed I would advise rebooting your Chromebook. This step is optional, but from experience it is always good to reset your system when installing any new OS. This allows the device to check for errors and complete setting up any hardware requirements needed in the background during bootup.

Once you are back, open your browser on your Chromebook, and head on over to the Steam website. Locate the Linux installer and download it onto your Chromebook. The download itself is quite small. but it does download more files when you initially run it, so go ahead and double click on the installer to run it.

Your Chromebook will advise you that you are installing a Linux installer to the Linus (beta) partition of your Chromebook. Allow it, and let the installer run. Make sure your internet is reliable and running at a decent speed. During my setup of Steam I lost internet connection only briefly, and kept on getting an error saying my AMD Chipset Kit couldn’t be located. I waited for my internet to become more stable and ran the installer again. 15 minutes later Steam was installed!

Now, its not the most robust system I’ve ever seen. I added the Steam icon to the Chrome dock for easy access. During testing, clicking on the icon invoked a 10 second delay (most likely because the Chromebook has to run the command through the Linux partition, but after that pause, and selecting it again just in case, the Steam login page loaded up, allowing me to sign in and download and play games.

Remember, Steam isn’t natively supported by ChromeOS, so if you want to install it you need the Linux download and Linux (beta) turned on in your Chromebook settings.

If anyone needs any help with this just get in contact through the usual channels available on the contact page.

Installing Steam on a Chromebook

Skippy

Software Developer, Website Creator and Digital IT specialist over at The Legend of Skippy. I make stuff, that's essentially my job. And when I'm not making stuff, I'm fixing all manner of other stuff. It's a fun life to lead, and I'm here to share it all with you.