Ronny Lam

about://tech

Steam on Ubuntu 64-bit

Yeah, Steam the popular gaming platform is finally native available for Linux, specifically Ubuntu. Now don’t get too excited because the amount of games that has been ported to Linux is not that big. It is probably still better to run Steam under Wine if you want to play modern games like Star Wars Battlefront II, like my son is playing.

On a stock install of Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal I got the following messages trying to install Wine or Steam:

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sudo apt-get install wine
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 wine : Depends: wine1.5 but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

Both Wine and Steam seem to be 32-bit packages, which is not visible in the package or the package-manager. The error is a bit cryptic. Trying to install the ia32-libs gave the same error:

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sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
(...)
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 ia32-libs : Depends: ia32-libs-multiarch
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

Trying to look for that problem I found the following forum-post. Somehow I need to tell the package–manager to downgrade to the release-date by putting the following in /etc/apt/preferences:

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Package: *       
Pin: release a=quantal*
Pin-Priority: 2012

The PIN-priority should be larger than 1000. After that little trick I could install the ia32-libs, wine and steam. There is still some discussion about what the real reason is, but this one worked for me. Of course I removed /etc/apt/preferences afterwards.

For now, Steam works both ways on Linux. The native one feels a bit faster. Happy steaming!