I recently showed you guys how you could install Steam Deck UI on any PS4 Linux distro. Following that, today I will show you how you could boot into Steam Deck UI on any Linux distro on your PS4 or PC. By booting into Steam Deck UI, I mean your PC or PS4 running Linux will be able to boot into Steam Deck UI on startup, much like the real Steam Deck. Isn’t that cool.
I decided to work on this given how Steam Deck is a distant dream for many of us, due to the console being unaffordable and/or due to limited availability. Anyways, thanks to this method, now, you can have a better Steam Deck experience on your PC or PS4.
In this detailed tutorial, I will take you through each step. And, as already mentioned a few times, this will work perfectly well on any Linux distro on your PC or PS4. So, let’s get started with the requirements.
- PC or PS4 running any Linux distro.
- Steam – Check the installation instructions specific to your distro here with Steam Deck UI setup.
- Steam Deck Boot files – steamdecknoob404.desktop | steamdeckps4linux
To begin with, that’s all you require. Without further ado, let us just jump into the detailed tutorial. For those of you who prefer a detailed video tutorial, here it is.
Boot Steam Deck UI on any Linux distro (PC/PS4): Video Tutorial
If you prefer a textual tutorial, keep reading.
Boot Steam Deck UI on any Linux distro (PC/PS4): Detailed Tutorial
Simply follow these steps in the exact same order and you shall be able to boot into Steam Deck UI directly.
Step 1. Install and setup Steam Deck UI on Linux
I have a detailed article covering the installation and setup of Steam Deck UI on Linux on PS4/PC. Follow that first. You may skip the installation of Gamescope if your aim is just to be able to boot into the UI fullscreen without the ability to use Steam Deck UI fullscreen on your default window manager (LXDM, GNOME, etc.). The next step assumes you have already done this.
Step 2. Setup Steam for booting into Steam Deck UI
In this step, we will setup Steam by activating Steam Play (compatibility) and will take care of a few other requisites.
- On a terminal, type
steam -gamepaduiand press Enter.
- Download any game of your choice. This can be any small or free game available in the Steam library.
- Once the game has been downloaded, click on the game’s settings and click on Properties.
- Go to Compatibility and tick Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool. Wait for the downloads to complete.
- Click on Play. Let the game at least load up to the Main Menu. Then, quit and close Steam Deck window.
- Now, in your Home folder, enable the option to show hidden files and folders. You should see the .steam folder. Now browse to this folder –
.steam/steam/steamapps/compatdata/113020/pfx. In the case of any one of my PS4 distros (Winesap, Nobara, Pop OS), the full location would be
- Open a terminal within that folder, type
env WINEPREFIX=$PWD winecfg.
- Go to the Graphics tab and make sure these two options are ticked:-
- Automatically capture the mouse in full-screen
- Allow window manager to decorate windows
- Also make sure that these options are unticked:-
- Allow window manager to control windows
- Emulate a virtual desktop
- Close Wine configuration.
Step 3. Add Steam Deck UI as boot option on Linux (PC or PS4)
In this step, we will add Steam Deck UI as a boot option. Before doing this, make sure that you have already installed Xdotool. This comes installed by default on all major distros and even if it doesn’t, the installation takes just a minute. Once that’s been taken care of, continue.
- Unzip the Steam Deck Boot files you downloaded. This should give you two files – steamdecknoob404.desktop and steamdeckps4linux.
- Copy steamdecknoob404.desktop to /usr/share/xsessions. This will require superuser privileges. So, you can use this terminal command to copy –
sudo cp steamdecknoob404.desktop /usr/share/xsessions.
- Then, copy steamdeckps4linux to /usr/bin. Again, since this requires superuser, use this terminal command –
sudo cp steamdeckps4linux /usr/bin.
And with that, you are ready to boot into Steam Deck UI! Let’s see how you can do that.
Step 4. Boot Steam Deck UI on Linux startup
Before going ahead, ensure that autologin is disabled. The steps for the same depends on the distro and desktop manager you are using. A quick Google search will help you there.
- Logout of your Linux distro.
- On your distro’s login screen, go to the desktop manager selector. For example, on GNOME login screen, it is on the bottom right. Select Steam Deck from the Menu and login.
- Voila! You will have successfully booted into Steam Deck UI!
That’s it guys! Next, I am going to quickly show you how to quit Steam Deck UI and return to your normal desktop.
Step 5. Return to desktop
Now, this is something that requires a workaround because currently, the Switch to Desktop option on Steam Deck Menu doesn’t work. So, for now, follow these steps to return to your normal desktop manager:-
- Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 together. This will drop you into the terminal shell. Login with your username and password.
kill -9 -1and press Enter. This will take you to the Login screen. In the Desktop Manager selector, select your default Desktop Manager, for example, GNOME and then login.
That’s all, guys!
If you face any issues while setting this up, please comment on this thread and will get back to you as soon as possible!