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Installing Minecraft on SteamDeck & HoloISO (SteamOS)

Installing Minecraft on a SteamDeck or a HoloISO (SteamOS) powered computer.

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2 min

Installing games and software outside of Steam can be daunting on Linux if you dont' know the ecosystem. I am personally used to Debian (a flavor of Linux), but not ArchLinux (the underlying linux flavor of SteamOS). This guide is the result of my first endeavor in Arch, so non-initiated users can install Minecraft.

I wrote this article based on a HoloISO/SteamOS powered computer: the exact process for the SteamDeck might be slightly different.

Leaving Gamemode#

When you open your device, it opens by default in "Game mode", i.e. the fancy Steam Interface. We need to access the underlying Desktop to install Minecraft. press the "steam" button or the Escape key. This brings up a menu. select "Power", and then "Go to Desktop mode".

The device should show a typical user desktop.

Installing Java#

The minecraft launcher (and some minecraft versions) requires java. We need to install that first.

To do so, open the Start menu, and type "Konsole". Click on it.

If you are really not familiar with Linux, the app opening is called a "terminal": it allows to control the computer using only text, and to access advanced features.

type the following text:

1 sudo pacman -S jre-openjdk

And launch this command by pressing the <Enter> key. This is telling the system to install java. Once it asks for confirmation, simply press the Y key and then <Enter>.

After spitting some heavy text, the terminal should show a line ending with a $ (for instance, [nemecle@ankhmorpork ~]$). It indicates that it is ready to receive another command, and that the previous one finished.

Java is now installed.

Installing minecraft, per se#

The thing we just installed is called a package. It kind of works like apps on a smartphone, in the sens that you don't need to go on a website to download it and install it. You just go to a trusted "market", called in that case a repository.

Minecraft is, however, not on the "default" repository available to you. We are going to download it from something called Arch User Repository (AUR), where Mojang, the creators of minecraft, upload their launcher.

To do so, type the following command in the terminal, and once again press the <Enter> key to launch it:

1  git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/minecraft-launcher

After a while, the download is finished, and the terminal shows once again a line ending with "$".

We then ask our system to make a proper package (again, like an app) from those downloaded files. Do so by typing the following command (still followed by the <Enter> key):

1 makepkg

And again, after a while a lot of text, the command finishes on a "$".

Finally, let's install our package. Type the following, without ending with the <Enter> key this time:

1 pacman -U minecraft

Press the Tab key (the on the top left of your keyboard): the system automatically completes the name of the file.

Press enter to confirm.

Finally, to launch minecraft, type:

LC_ALL=C minecraft-launcher