How to get Steam Deck UI on any PS4 Linux Distro?

Install Steam Deck UI easily on any PS4 Linux distro (Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Pop OS, Nobara, etc.) and easily launch it with one click shortcut.

Many of you have been asking this question, especially since the launch of WinesapOS for PS4, based on SteamOS 3. It’s understandable, as the Steam Deck UI is eye-catching. Since most of us don’t have a Steam Deck, it’s also quite desirable to have a feel of what the UI feels like, right? Thus, here we will see how you can get Steam Deck UI on any PS4 Linux Distro. Following this tutorial, you can get the Steam Deck UI running on Ubuntu, Fedora and Arch based PS4 Linux distros.

Before we begin, I have to especially thank our forum member, Skylect who shared the instructions for Arch-based distros recently. This tutorial infact builds on that and adds a few troubleshooting steps for people who are on non-Arch distros and would like to get Steam Deck UI running on PS4.

By the way, don’t forget to join the discussion on the brand-new forum.

Without further ado, let us see what all we will need.

Video Guide: Install Steam Deck UI on any PS4 Linux distro

If you do prefer the textual tutorial, go through the following.


  • Steam – Check the installation instructions specific to your distro here.
  • Gamescope – Install it using the instructions here.

That’s pretty much it. Remember that, Steam will come pre-installed on all my distros. Gamescope comes pre-installed on WinesapOS and Nobara. Others will have to follow the instructions I have linked to above.

So, from this point on, it is assumed that, you have installed both Steam and Gamescope. And, that prepares us to jump into the tutorial.

Steam Deck UI on any PS4 Linux distro: Tutorial

We will go step-by-step.

Step 1. Setup Steam

  1. Login to Steam usually by launching it. This will save us trouble later, as signing in on the Steam Deck UI can be difficult.
  2. On top left of the Steam window, click on Steam and then Settings.
  3. Click on Steam Play. Make sure “Enable Steam Play for supported titles” is ticked.
  4. Tick “Enable Steam Play for all other titles” and make sure Proton Experimental is selected in the drop-down list. Click OK.
  5. Click Restart Steam.
  6. Once it has restarted, exit Steam, by going to Steam > Exit. Please remember that just closing the window will not work.

Step 2. Install Steam Deck UI on PS4 Linux

  1. Open a terminal , type steam -steamos3 -steamdeck -gamepadui and press Enter. Monitor the output on the terminal. It will most probably say that the download failed.
  2. Run steam -steamos3 -steamdeck -gamepadui again.
  3. You might have to run it again. You will know you have succeeded when Steam Deck UI opens up with the language selection page.
  4. When the UI opens, close it by clicking on the cross on top right.
  5. On a terminal, type steam -gamepadui and press Enter. This will open the Steam Deck UI and log you in. You can get started right away.

Well, that’s it! You now have Steam Deck UI on your PS4 Linux. But, as you see, this is running Windowed. Now, we will see how we can run it fullscreen.

Step 3. Run Steam Deck UI fullscreen on PS4 Linux

There are two ways to do this. Let us check them out one by one.

Method 1: Using Steam Deck hotkey

  1. Once in Steam Deck UI, press Alt+Enter. This will make the Deck UI run fullscreen.

A demerit of this method is that, on some distros, the upper window bar might be still visible. So, it could be kind of pseudo-fullscreen. So, I suggest you use the second method, which will upscale everything to 1080p resolution.

Method 2: Using Gamescope

  1. Open a terminal, type gamescope -e -h 1080 -f -- steam -gamepadui -noverifyfiles and press Enter.

That’s it, now you also have the Steam Deck UI running fullscreen on your PS4. You can start the Deck UI each time by simply passing the command above.

What next? Well, as you see, passing the command through the terminal is not ideal. Moreover, why do that when there are simpler ways to launch Steam Deck UI.

Step 4. Add shortcut to Steam Deck UI on PS4 Linux

Using this, we will add a shortcut to the Steam Deck UI on the application menu. This way, you can easily launch the UI with a single click. To do that follow these steps.

  1. Open a terminal, type sudo nano /usr/share/applications/steamdeck.desktop.
  2. This will open the text editor called nano. Copy the following code and paste it on the terminal:-
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Steam Deck
    Exec=gamescope -e -h 1080 -f -- steam -gamepadui -noverifyfiles
    Comment=Steam Deck UI by
  3. Press Ctrl+S to save and Ctrl+X to exit.
  4. Check Application Menu and you will see a new app by the name – Steam Deck. Click on it.
  5. The first time you run this, you might just get a black screen. In that case, open a terminal, type steam -steamos3 -steamdeck -gamepadui and press Enter. You might have to run it again if it says download failed. Just run it till you get the language selection wizard, as we did in step 2.
  6. Then, click on Steam Deck in the application menu and the Steam Deck UI will launch.

From now on, you can launch Steam Deck UI directly from the application menu. That’s it!

Troubleshooting Steam Deck UI on PS4 Linux

Switch to desktop doesn’t work. How to quit Steam Deck UI?

Switch to Desktop hasn’t been implemented yet. Clicking on that option will leave you hanging with no favourable result. Choosing Shutdown on the other hand will shutdown the PS4. This is especially problematic when you are running fullscreen. So, how to quit? Follow these steps.

  1. Press Alt+Tab. This will switch you to the terminal.
  2. Press Ctrl+C. That will stop the terminal and exit the Steam Deck UI.

Black screen when launching Steam Deck UI or Steam Deck UI doesn’t launch after using the normal Steam

After using the Steam Deck UI, if you were to use the normal Steam application, you will soon find that Steam Deck UI leads to a black screen. This is the case on some distros. But, WinesapOS seems to handle this switching without any troubles. Anyways, if you are facing the black screen issue, just follow these steps.

  1. Open a terminal, type steam -steamos3 -steamdeck -gamepadui and press Enter. You might have to run it again if it says download failed. Just run it till you get the language selection wizard, as we did in step 2.
  2. Launch Steam Deck UI from the application menu.

These steps can also be used to fix any blackscreen issues with the Steam Deck UI.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found this useful. Remember that there are talks of making the Steam Deck UI default for the Steam application soon. If that were to happen, we probably won’t have to run through all of these hoops. Hoping for the best, make sure you follow me here and on social media for the latest updates on the PS4 Linux scene.

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