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How To Use Steam In-home Streaming To Play Windows Games On Linux

Steam in-home streaming is a technology that allows users to play games over a local network from one PC to another, regardless of the operating system. Linux users can take advantage of this technology to play the latest Windows games on Linux.

Before you can use in-home streaming, both computers need to be running the client Steam. To play Windows games on Linux, download Steam on your Windows PC and install the Steam client. Log into it, and go through the process of downloading whichever games you’d like to deliver (over the network) to your Linux PCs.

It is very important that the host PC is using an ethernet cable or A/C WiFi. N-WiFi connections are not strong enough (or fast enough).

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

Ubuntu/Debian Instructions

Ubuntu carries the Seam client in the main Ubuntu software repository. That said, installing the package directly from Valve has benefits. Generally speaking, the DEB package gets updated faster than the software that the operating system delivers.

To install the latest version of Valve’s Steam client, first, go to the website and click the button that says “Install Steam Now”. This will start a download of a DEB package. When this file finishes downloading, open up a terminal and use the CD command to move to the ~/Downloads directory.

Note: Debian users may need to replace apt with apt-get

cd ~/Downloads

From here, use the dpkg tool to install the package:

sudo dpkg -i steam.deb

Lastly, correct the dependencies for steam.deb. This is necessary, as sometimes when installing a Debian package, problems arise where libraries and files are not satisfied correctly.

sudo apt install -f

Alternatively, if you’re not interested in using the package, you can install Steam on Ubuntu with:

sudo apt install steam

Fedora Instructions

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo=https://negativo17.org/repos/fedora-steam.repo

sudo dnf -y install steam

sudo dnf install libtxc_dxtn.x86_64

OpenSUSE Instructions

Grab the latest version of Steam for OpenSUSE directly from the OBS. Click the install button next to the version of SUSE that you use to get it going!

Arch Linux Instructions

sudo pacman -S steam

Flatpak Instructions (Other Linuxes)

flatpak install --from https://flathub.org/repo/appstream/com.valvesoftware.Steam.flatpakref

Requirements and best practices

Steam in-home streaming is a great technology that allows the user to play video games over the network from one machine to another. The way it works is that the user signs into their Steam client on both Machines, both computers are detected and games can be streamed back and forth.

Most computers can stream a game via Steam. The only requirements are that the PC can run the game itself twice over. If the PC you’re trying to use to stream with can barely run the video game, to begin with, using In-home streaming is a bad idea.

Requirements For Steam In-home Streaming

Ideally, the PC streaming the video game needs a strong, stable Ethernet connection to the network. This ensures that no matter what, the game will get constant access to the network. Doing this over wireless is possible, but not great, as WiFi is unreliable, spotty and fluctuates.

If you can’t stream games via Steam with an Ethernet cable, make sure that you’ve at least got a 5 GHz-enabled wireless card. Though wireless networks are slow, 5 GHz is the fastest iteration of wireless network connections available and will be more reliable than using 2 GHz connections (which don’t allow speeds faster than 150-300Mbps).

Lastly, if you plan to play games remotely, make sure that the client machine (the PC receiving the stream) can easily decode HD video playback. Steam will deliver games in HD at high quality, so it’s very important that your PC can at least play back 1080p video without issue. If it can’t, the Steam in-home streaming content will suffer.

Steam in-home Streaming

There isn’t a lot of setup for this feature in steam. To get streaming going, log into Steam with your account and keep it logged in. Next, move over to the computer that you’d like to stream video games with and log in to Steam with the same account.

Go back to the PC that will be doing the streaming (in this case) and look at “Library”. You’ll notice that the client now shows local Linux games as well as remote Windows games.

Note: before you can stream games over the network via Windows, you’ll need to install a driver. To get this driver, click stream on the host machine (Linux PC). This will open a pop-up. This pop-up will let the user know that Windows requires a driver to continue. Follow the on-screen instructions in Windows to install the driver.

Playing Windows Games On Linux

When Windows is correctly configured, go to your Steam game Library under Linux. As long as the Windows PC is on the network, and has access to the same Steam account, all of its games will be accessible. Click the “stream” button to play any Windows game under Linux!

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