Steam installation is wrongly using package manager #94

etam opened this Issue Dec 20, 2012 · 18 comments


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etam commented Dec 20, 2012

Right now steam is installed via package manager, and in my opinion it's completely wrong.

If you really want to use package manager, then steam's user independent files should be in /usr/lib/steam (no unpacking bootstrap tarball). It should be like in firefox, that has separated program files and user's profile. Dependencies (like jockey-common and python-apt) should be handled by package manager, not by steam launcher script. Updates should also go via package manager.

If you want to keep steam as it is right now, you should use installer (like and keep everything in user's home directory (steam launcher script should be in ~/bin directory). This way you can handle steam updates by yourself without needing root access and messing with files, that are managed by package manager.

navaati commented Dec 20, 2012


Normal package and reposotory - current updates is ugly windows style


There are some installers in some of the Debian/Ubuntu-maintained package repos, but they're usually for applications with restrictive licenses. Those are situations where they can't legally redistribute the application, so the package launches a download from the official application website (The package for Microsoft's core web fonts is one example of this. I believe packages for Adobe Flash are another). Or, sometimes, where the application's installer can be distributed, but can't legally be repackaged (A similar situation on Windows would be with Direct X installers).

Valve has no such legal issues running their own repository, and should integrate properly with the package manager for the best user experience.

@jamesgecko, And where does the license? Why not create your repository (for example on how to do it Google Chrome). We will receive and update standard means, and additional software and dependencies can be put there.
In any case no one talks about adding a package to the officially repository - that their bureaucracy.

I think the legal issues can be resolved then the repository partners

krc commented Dec 20, 2012

Agree. It should be one or the other, not a mix. Preferably going the route of repo+package manager.

viccuad commented Dec 21, 2012

Agree. it shivers me how it is installed, given the rather bad script and the use of sudo for the deployment.

have you thought about making the installer FOSS while keeping the steam client privative code?
that way you can expect to have the steam client in the ubuntu official repos -> the way it should be done + less errors + no sudo in binaries + more customers for you!

Yes, indeed - in the official repository will not accept closed source, but that's your repository - this is a very good decision.
And all already invented by Google Chrome

Similar like this one: #218

@Ruthubuntu No - use home for games - it's normal - games is per user content
Steam shud not use per self update and use standart package manager for update himself

Reply to your 2012-12-20 09:05:00 comment:
I'm not sure you understood what I was saying. I gave examples of when putting an installer in a repo was acceptable -- and then noted that none of them applied to Valve, especially because Valve is running their own repo.

Reply to your 2012-12-28 02:04:21 comment:
I disagree strongly here, but this isn't the place for conversation about it. Hash it out in #218.

Now they do not use the repository to the client - only for the installer - IMHO should the client be placed in the repository and update the standard means, and probably it will be their own repository - so now comes like google chrome or opera.

And issue 218 does is not linked to this nohow

@ivan1986 I agree with you. There might be a language barrier here. ;-)

Tele42 commented Jan 3, 2013

On the matter of dependencies:

My feature request a while back at requested an api or script interface which made dependency resolution proactive and reactive, and allowed for distro developers to modify the adapter script/api to the particular needs of their individual distributions. The main advantage of this method is a path of recovery from unexpected dependency-related scenarios and a standardize-able method of dependency resolution, so on install or launch the steam games can tell steam what it expects will be needed, and then steam checks for what the system has, and passes what is needed to the package manager and/or informs the user of what is missing. In the case of an undocumented dependency failing, then steam should still catch the failure instead of the game dying silently.

slouken commented Jan 7, 2013

@Tele42 We're doing something like that very shortly. It's still under a fair amount of internal discussion, but you're likely to see something to address this soon.


Wyatts commented Jan 12, 2013

@slouken More generally, we (Gentoo, and likely Arch et al) would greatly appreciate some method of hooking Steam from the package manager to install games along with their dependencies without a graphical client running. Combined with functions that return dependency information, we could fairly easily write an ebuild generator in the same vein as g-cpan and c-ctan. Ideally this is a two-way street.

slouken commented Feb 2, 2013

FYI, steamdeps is now in /usr/bin and is designed for distributions to customize it for their needs.

slouken closed this Feb 2, 2013

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