How to install Steam Beta on your Chromebook

It was back in April when I showed you how to install Steam Linux Alpha on your Chromebook. Fast forward to November and we now have access to Steam Beta. Providing you have a compatible Chromebook you can now use the Steam Linux app from the ChromeOS beta channel. This should offer a much more stable experience than Steam Alpha, which was only available from the developer channel.

You need to follow a few steps to install Steam Beta on your Chromebook. Below I’ll go through all the steps necessary to install the Steam Linux beta app on ChromeOS.

All of the steps needed are below, however, if you would prefer to see these steps visually. I’ve included a video in this article on how to install Steam Beta on your Chromebook.

Step 1 – Change to the Beta channel

The first thing you need to do is to change the channel on your Chromebook. You only need to do this if you’re currently on the stable channel, which I guess most of you will be. Changing from the stable channel to the beta channel is an easy process, and you will not lose any data.

However, it’s important to remember once you’ve changed to the beta channel. If you want to change your Chromebook back to the stable channel at a later date, you will need to back up any data stored locally. This is because a powerwash takes place when changing from beta or developer back into the stable channel. Find out how to back up your local files on your Chromebook.

Follow these steps to change to the beta channel:

  • Click on settings from the bottom right of the desktop
  • Open the settings menu
  • Click on about ChromeOS from the left menu
  • Select Additional details shown on the right side of the menu
  • Then click change channel and select beta, and click on the Change channel button

You will then need to wait a few minutes whilst your Chromebook gets ready for the beta channel update. Once this is done simply hit restart.

Step 2 – Enable the Borealis flag

Once you’ve updated to the beta channel and restarted your Chromebook. The next step is to enable Borealis. To do this follow the steps below:

  • Open your Chrome browser
  • In the address bar type chrome://flags and hit return
  • in the search box type borealis-enabled
  • Change from Default to Enabled
  • Click the Restart button that appears

Step 3 – Install Steam

You can now install Steam from your ChromeOS app launcher, which is the menu you access from the bottom left of your ChromeOS desktop.

Follow the steps below to install Steam:

  • Open your ChromeOS App launcher menu
  • At the top of the menu type in Steam
  • Select the Steam item at the top of the results
  • A window with Welcome to Steam on Chromebook will appear
  • Click on the Install button

This will now take a few minutes for Steam to download. Once it has downloaded follow the onscreen instructions. Once the installation is complete it will ask you to log in to your Steam account.

Chromebooks and games compatible with Steam beta

There is now a wider selection of Chromebooks that is compatible with Steam beta. Also, since the launch of Steam Linux Alpha in April the ChromeOS team has tested many different games. This is excellent news, as it means more games are now working on Steam beta.

Take a look at the Chromebooks and games confirmed to work on Steam beta.

I hope you have found this useful. Please remember Steam is still in beta. Although it’s more stable than Steam Alpha, you may still come across errors when installing and playing games. If you do, I would report this, so the ChromeOS team can look at fixing them.

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