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Frequently asked questions

Seppo Yli-Olli edited this page Sep 12, 2019 · 36 revisions

glXChooseVisual failed

If you're using nVidia, this may mean Flatpak is running userspace drivers that are incompatible with your host installation. The first thing to try is to do flatpak update in terminal.

The application is using a lot of disk space

This application installs Steam including its runtime under a sandbox in ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam. It looks to software running inside the application like regular user home. This directory will also contain all installed games, configurations and saves.

The easiest way to free up space is to uninstall games you don't use within Steam. Removing contents directly is possible but any lost data will be ubrecoverable so don't touch it unless you're ready to risk your data and have read online how Steam stores data on Linux. Most of it should be relevant cannot be found

This is caused by Steam app having been installed by something that doesn't correctly follow dependencies and install runtime extensions. If you installed through command-line, update Flatpak and run flatpak update to fix the issue. If you were using some GUI, report a bug against that GUI.

I got my Flatpak application into a bad shape and want to start from scratch

To reset steam for a clean install and settings try:

flatpak run com.valvesoftware.Steam --reset

My controller isn't recognized at all

Most controllers require udev rules installed on the host to be usable. The Flatpak application doesn't have permissions to install udev rules in appropriate locations and udev rules shipped by Steam may also be insufficient without distribution customizations. See discussion in on locating good udev rules for your system

I don't have any bluetooth support for my Steam Controller

For now bluetooth support isn't available by default. See #88

You can manually enable it through

flatpak --user override --allow=bluetooth com.valvesoftware.Steam.

Note that this requires a very new version of Flatpak and running this command in Flatpak 0.10.2 or older will most likely prevent Steam from starting at all.

I'm having strange library loading issues

First of all, make sure you're running Flatpak 0.9.99 or later. If you're not, you should try upgrading. If the problem persists with 0.9.99 or later, file an issue for analysis whether the issue is related to Flatpak, Steam runtime or the game itself.

I can't see any notifications

Notifications are disabled by default but support is built in. You can enable them locally through

flatpak --user override --talk-name=org.freedesktop.Notifications com.valvesoftware.Steam

brap: Can't make symlink at $HOME/...

Symlinks in home directory are not supported. See for Flatpak issue

I'm having incorrect timezone in Steam

There's a fairly brute algorithm in place to try to guess correct variable to set to TZ. The application ignores TZ environment variable since the rules for TZ are reasonably complex. If your timezone is wrong and you want to override it, you can use this (Remember that zoneinfo must be a valid item under /usr/share/zoneinfo within the Flatpak application. You can find out what they are by entering flatpak through flatpak run --command=bash com.valvesoftware.Steam and looking into what /usr/share/zoneinfo has)

flatpak --user override --env=TZ=zoneinfo com.valvesoftware.Steam

Numbers don't look properly localized in Steam

There's a hardcoded LC_NUMERIC=C. See If you find out the crashes no longer happen with described locales, comment on the case and we workaround might get removed given sufficient testing

I messed up Steam app with overrides and now it won't start

User overrides are stored in ~/.local/share/flatpak/overrides/

Steam shows wrong free disk space on non-default libraries

This is a Steam bug. It can happen if you give access to the library by pointing to the steamapps folder directly, e.g. --filesystem=/mnt/external_drive/games/steamapps. In this case Steam will try to read the free disk space from /mnt/external_drive/games, which is outside the sandbox, and will show the free disk space of the root tmpfs instead.

This can be fixed by allowing Steam access to the folder containing steamapps (in this case by --filesystem=/mnt/external_drive/games), or by moving the Steam library into a separate folder (e.g. /mnt/external_drive/games/steam_games/steamapps, with the override being --filesystem=/mnt/external_drive/games/steam_games).

I want to add external disk for Steam libraries

Do this by mounting the disk outside your home, then using

flatpak override --user --filesystem=/path/to/mountpoint com.valvesoftware.Steam

to expose the disk to Flatpak. Then directly in Steam add the other location as library. Exposing real user home to this application is not safe and the application tries hard not to run in that scenario to avoid breaking your home directory.

Note that if you hit this FAQ section due to an error message and were previously using real home with the app, you may need to fix some directories manually. The application cannot fix anything, it was never supposed to have access to your real home directory to begin with:

$HOME/.config vs $HOME/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/.config

$HOME/.local/share/ vs $HOME/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/.local/share

$HOME/.cache vs $HOME/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/.cache

The third one should contain only non-persistent data, the second one contains all your games in addition to potentially save game data. The first one may contain save game data. If games were writing to non-standard directories outside XDG directories, no general advice for relocating data can be provided.

I want to test the new shader compiler for Mesa by Valve

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