I play TF2 on Debian Wheezy and I did play it on Ubuntu 12.04 for a week or so before I got fed up, I absolutely hate the distribution. This is a guide on how to install the native steam client on Ubuntu. You can attempt this on 12.10 but I highly recommend that you use 12.04 instead. You can apply all this to Debian, but you must use Debian Wheezy due to the upgraded libraries unavailable in Squeeze and you must use these two scripts to install and then run the client:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/29081229/Steam/debian_install.shhttp://dl.dropbox.com/u/29081229/Steam/debian_steam.sh
Credits to Cyb.org
for writing those two shell scripts, if you're not using bash be sure to update the first line appropriate to the shell you're using. For example Bourne would be #!/bin/sh and bash as most of you will be using will be #!/bin/bash.Cyb.org's
Thread for Debian scripts:http://steamcommunity.com/app/221410/discussions/0/882965118613928324/
I advise you use the "Debian Way" method for obtaining the nvidia driver for both Ubuntu and Debian, it can significantly improve your gaming experience. You may get a message if you're on Ubuntu stating you're not using the correct version although you're actually using the latest propriety driver bundled by Nvidia. This is normal, just close the dialogue. I found my performance in TF2 was incredibly and significantly increased via the Debian Way. Okay, lets move on.
Get the precise version which is 12.04 not 12.10, for some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ reason the newer one with two years support is unstable compared to the 12.04 older version with four years support. An upgrade on the newer version ♥♥♥♥ed everything up for a lot of people with specific hardware and steam doesn't work natively on the newer for some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ reason anyway. It's probably because the libraries are upgraded.
If you want to get steam working on Debian you'll need Debian Wheezy first off, but I've not concluded it in here because most of you won't be using it and also because Debian lacks something although I'm unsure as to what. I used the same prop nvidia driver on Debian as I did on Ubuntu Precise and the performance would only be flawless if I used minimum low settings in 800x600 windowed yet on Ubuntu I could max all settings in a 1360x768 resolution without any lag whatsoever. Message me if you want the scripts and any help getting steam on Debian, they're available at the steam forums but you may need some help.
1) Install Ubuntu Precise (12.04)
2) When booting for first time:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Note: The reason I ask you to update the source list and upgrade the packages first and then perform a reboot is because many people run into errors upon first booting suggesting that you send a crash report, specifically when they try to run a core app such as "Additional Drivers" and the upgrade and reboot fixes this ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.
3) Reboot via
sudo shutdown -r now
Or top right > click on your username > shutdown > restart.
CTRL + ALT + DEL actually just gets init to pull this command out so the majority will probably want to acknowledge that since it saves time.
Note: Do not attempt to use the reboot command in the terminal. Reboot prevents syncing cores and unmounting file systems which can corrupt your data.
4) After booting you'll need to grab the driver.
The majority of you I imagine will have nvidia geforce cards. If that's the case head over to the geforce download section and download the latest .run for your specific card on x86 Linux and obviously x64 if you're on a 64bit but 64bit on Ubuntu tends to take the ♥♥♥♥. The instructions are on the nvidia download page but if you do need help message me about it. Basically you need to blacklist neaveou, install kernel sources, install make and gcc, execute .run which will install kernel module and then hit yes when asking to use nvidia-xconfig to update your xorg configuration then you need to reboot.
Ubuntu PPA Way:
Credits to Atheisto for revealing this method to me. http://steamcommunity.com/id/defunctional
A lot of people have different view on PPA, I assure you it is probably the easiest method listed here. To see a list of packages in the repository visit the URL below.https://launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ppa
Currently the latest release seems to be build 318. To add the Xorg Edgers PPA repository type in:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
Then update your sources list.
sudo apt-get update
Now you can either use aptitude or the update manager to apply the updates and then install package you want, I assume you'll want to go with the latest which is currently 318.
nvidia-graphics-drivers-313 & nvidia-settings-313 are the two packages you want, I assume that the kernel sources and nvidia kernel are automatically installed. I honestly have little to no experience with PPA.
Old Fashioned Ubuntu Way:
If you're a ♥♥♥♥♥ and you have no motivation, click on the dash on the top left in the disgusting unity interface and type in driver > click on "Additional Drivers" and download the latest driver for your card. Try the one with "Recommended" in brackets first, if the frame rate tends to be ♥♥♥♥ on TF2 then try again with the later driver versions labelled untested or unsafe. Do this at your own risk, these drivers are not unstable. They're only unstable typically on Ubuntu, if you happen to have a nvidia Geforce 9XXX card then it's safe to use the latest. (130.10)
Note: Use the recommended driver first, do not hold me responsible if you attempt the testing ones and you ♥♥♥♥ up. Simply kill Xorg (X server) by hitting CTRL + ALT + F1 and hitting CTRL + C when you see the active terminal or just kill it in a terminal with top or htop with root permissions. Then edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and where it says driver replace it with the open source one. For example a nvidia prop driver from their site is labelled nvidia inside the config but if you want the default standard driver that comes with Linux or BSD you replace it with "nv" (noveau) Then type startx which will start the X server (Xorg GUI) and you'll be using the stable open source driver. Now you can install a different one, don't ♥♥♥♥ up this time.
True Debian Way:
This method will cover obtaining the latest propriety nvidia driver which will provide better performance than the drivers Ubuntu offer's in their repositories. They label their latest release unstable, when nvidia list later versions stable. The only unstable drivers are the ones clearly stated in the beta stage by nvidia themselves. Ubuntu dev's claim it's unstable but it's ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.
Download the latest .run propriety driver from nvidia, I advise not to use the beta builds but you may do so at your own risk. http://www.geforce.co.uk/drivers
Save the file in your downloads folder (~/Downloads or /home/username/Downloads). Now we're going to give it the correct permissions, in the terminal cd to the downloads folder and type:
chmod +x *.run
(Note: You will probably need to use sudo to apply the permissions if you're on Ubuntu)
Now we need to install your kernel headers because the kernel source needs to be installed before you bother with the nvidia module. To do that we need to know which kernel header's we need first.
Great now we'll search the repositories for the headers for your specific kernel.
apt-cache search linux-headers-(uname -r)
Now we'll install them:
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-(uname -r)
Great so we have the kernel headers source package for our kernel. Now we need to blacklist neaveu driver, the open source nvidia driver that is automatically used. Even if you're using one of Ubuntu's repository driver's like nvidia-current you'll still need to blacklist this driver in order to install the propriety one provided by nvidia.
I use vim but you can use whatever text editor you like, cli or gui. It's up to you, you probably have gedit installed or nano so I'd go with that if I were you.
sudo TEXTEDITORHERE /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-graphics-drivers.conf
Fill it with this and save:
alias nvidia nvidia_current_updates
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off
Now we need to make sure make and gcc are installed, so type in:
sudo apt-get install make gcc
Now we need to reboot, once you've loaded the system back up you'll notice the resolution is probably pretty low compared to before unless you were having major issues with the current driver. This is normal, it's because you blacklisted all nvidia open source drivers.
Now we need to hit CTRL+ALT+F2 and then log into the CLI Virtual Console (tty). Now we need to change the current directory to where you download the .run propriety nvidia driver. I'll assume it's in the downloads folder so type in:
Okay before we execute the installation of the driver and module we need to kill Xorg. In FreeBSD and Arch it's just a case of killing Xorg itself but in Ubuntu we have to kill lightDM. To do this type:
sudo service lightdm stop
sudo stop lightdm
Great now if you remember we gave the file the correct permissions earlier so all we have to do now is execute it.
Use the arrow keys to navigate and the enter key to continue. You'll first have to accept the agreement, then it'll check for make and gcc and it'll probably detect you're using a newer version of gcc. If it did, it'll ask if you'd like to abort, hit no and continue. It'll then install the driver and then you'll get the option to install the kernel module, you want to do this so hit yes. Once that's done it'll offer to configure your xorg configuration file for you with nvidia-xconfig tool. I suggest you hit yes unless you want to tweak a line in the config yourself. Now it's successfully installed and you have to reboot.
Now we're just going to enable desktop composition so that it's not all sucking it out of the GPU but from RAM so log in to the GUI as normal, you'll probably notice you're in a higher resolution so feel free to tweak it to your preferred resolution through the display options. I use 1440x900 personally.
In the terminal type:
sudo nvidia-xconfig --add-argb-glx-visuals
sudo nvidia-xconfig --composite
sudo nvidia-xconfig --depth=24
Then reboot once more, congratulations you have the latest nvidia driver available therefore maximising performance and you also have composition enabled which means graphics are no longer being completely rendered from your GPU memory but from RAM. Basically if you had laggy drag windows, you'll notice they've gone. You also need composition enabled to use Compiz Emerald effects if you wish to install them but I will not be covering that here.
6) Reboot & Grab Package.
Reboot again using previous methods, not reboot in the terminal and then grab the latest steam for Linux .deb installation package
7) Okay lets prepare then install the installation package.
Open the terminal and cd to the directory where you saved it
(/home/username/Downloads/ or ~/Downloads on Firefox)
This will change directory to the downloads folder located within the current users download folder within their home directory. Don't use sudo for this command because sudo is root access and that would mean it would CD to the root downloads directory. You could manually do the following if your key is broke or you're just a picky ♥♥♥♥. Remember your username is case sentitive.
8) Okay now we need to give the .deb package granted access to read, write and then install the package.
sudo chmod +x *.deb
The "*" is a wild card, you could use the full file name if you prefer but all the .deb's you download are most likely to be installed anyway so I don't care if it gives all the .deb files in the directory granted access.
9) Now we can execute the installation of the package with dpkg.
sudo dpkg -i filename.deb
Note: Case sentitive.
If this is your first deb download on the system which I'm assuming it is you'll be fine using the wild card but if there are other deb's then please do just type the filename, or if you don't have any other debs with a similar specific filename you could enter some of it and then a wildcard. For example you have 5 x deb files with the first letter's of each being: A, B, H, O & S. The one beginning with "S" happens to be your steam deb, so this would work.
sudo dpkg -i s*.deb
Note: Case sentitive.
10) Now all you have to do is click on the "Steam" button in your menu or desktop and let steam update, then you log in and enjoy.
Note: I was going to do the Debian version but then I realised there's no point, at the moment Ubuntu 12.04 runs the client and it's games better.
Bugs & Fixes:
This list will be updated as it goes, currently there are no bugs or errors known throughout this method. However if you do find yourself stuck and needing to start over you may remove the steam package along with it's configuration files and data leaving just the dependencies it requires with the following command:
sudo apt-get remove --purge steam