I'm trying to install Steam Client on Debian 8 (Jessie) 64-bit because the instructions ask me to (and because I've tried without them and it fails... read on!). In following the instruction I've basically done the following:

deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
dpkg --add-architecture i386
aptitude update
aptitude install steam
aptitude install libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386

That last one was in an attempt to install the 32-bit drivers for my ATI Radeon HD 7800. These are needed because steam is apparently 32-bit and requires 32-bit drivers. The output when I run that command is:

user@home:~$ sudo apt-get install libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386 is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package 'libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386' has no installation candidate

When I now run steam I get the following message:

OpenGL GLX context is not using direct rendering, which may cause performance problems.

For more information visit https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=9938-EYZB-7457.

That link takes me to a page basically asking me to install the 32-bit drivers.

user@home:~$ glxinfo | grep rendering
direct rendering: Yes

Well that's good, I think. But when I try to run, for example, Counterstrike: Source I get this:

Could not find required OpenGL entry point 'glGetError`! Either your video card is unsupported, or your OpenGL driver needs to be updated.

I'm guessing this is because I didn't install that driver?

To confirm I have the right sources, here is my /etc/apt/sources.list file:

user@home:~$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list                                
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie contrib main
deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
deb-src http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free
deb-src http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free

Unfortunately the suggested solution to the following (very similar) question was included in my steps and didn't help in my case:

Debian Stable libgl1-nvidia-glx:i386 not found (trying to install Steam)

I'm assuming those instructions are there because they work, and they say specifically that they're for debian jessie. What am I doing wrong here?

EDIT: As Braiam points out the problem might have more to do with a steam problem that my setup. I have tried to follow one of the suggested fixes by doing this:

mv ~/.steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libgcc_s.so.1{,.disable}

However, unlike the reports of others this didn't seem to help me much (same outcome as before).

  • Why you need to install "libgl1-fglrx-glx:i386"? Is there any specific problem you are trying to solve?
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 12:36
  • @Braiam sorry that wasn't very clear. Apparently those drivers are needed by steam (it's 32-bit). I've updated the post to clarify this.
    – quant
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 12:41
  • It doesn't ask you "to install the 32-bit drivers", it tells you that you need to verify if the OpenGL libraries are correctly installed and configured, which is easily discoverable if you run glxinfo | grep rendering. Try that first, if it says direct rendering: Yes then you are good to go. It doesn't mention anywhere that you have to install that package.
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 12:47
  • @Braiam well I can run glxinfo | grep rendering and sure enough I get direct rendering: Yes, but this is the 64-bit version of glxinfo, not the 32-bit version as requested in that post... I've added what happens when I ignore that warning to the post. Clearly I'm missing the drivers that steam is expecting.
    – quant
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 12:55
  • 1
    "Clearly I'm missing the drivers" is not drivers. Those are libraries entry points, and by what I've found in internet, you actually have to remove something to get it work, since Steam seems to bundle libraries instead of using ELF
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 13:02

3 Answers 3

  1. The Direct rendering : Yes doesn't necessary means that you have OpenGL support required by steam. That only means that your current glx driver can directly communicate to the hardware. In other case all requests are pushed into queue and executed from that queue this is called 'indirect'. More on that, OpenGL may work over network. In such cases rendering will be indirect but still accelerated. There might be two or 3 kind of drivers for your video card, all with different capabilities. You can figure out which one you using by the Vendor string, server part. In case of Radeon there should be no MESA.
  2. Check the permissions for your current user in /etc/groups. It should be in video group to do any actual GL.
  3. To check that your i386 video driver function properly you should... Use i386 version of glxinfo. It will replace 64 bit version. Install it with apt-get install mesa-utils:i386. You can install 64 version back after your checks done.
  4. The debian 8.0 is not stable, this is testing branch. This means you may face any kind of issues and instruction may often go out of date.
  5. I suggest to enable both testing and unstable, there is not much difference between them. Keep testing as default. And in case if something missing or broken, you can use packages from unstable.
  • I installed 32-bit glxinfo as you suggested. When I type glxinfo | grep -i vendor I get server glx vendor string: SGI; client glx vendor string: Mesa Project and SGI; OpenGL vendor string: VMware, Inc.. Presumably that's ok because there is no mesa in the client string? When I type glxinfo | grep -i direct I get direct rendering: Yes. I am only really using debian testing because that's what's apparently needed to set up steam (according to the instructions linked above).
    – quant
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 1:08

The AMD fglrx driver has been removed from Debian Jessie in mid-july 2014 . Debian had updated Xorg to a new ABI, but AMD are not updating their driver to be compatible with that new Xorg.

It's now the third time that I've been burned with AMD on GNU/Linux; the other problem is that they don't support older graphics cards for newer Xorg/distros, so you have to use the open-source "radeon" driver.

I would advise you to switch to another distro for the time being, that will not update to that new Xorg too soon (Ubuntu 14.04, Steam OS). I'm just switching back to windows temporarily :/

EDIT: The lesson learned is that I should have put the fglrx-driver on 'hold' so that it would not have been deleted, and would have blocked the Xorg update in the APT "smart upgrade".


I had the same problem. I'm on sid but the solution should be the same.

If my memmory serves me well, the problem is that the libraries are not in /usr/lib (I'm not home so I can't check exactly if it is there or /lib), but don't worry the libraries you need are within steam itself. Locate those libraries in ~/.steam and link them to /usr/lib.

I hope this is enough to guide you to the solution, if it isn't let me know and I will check when I get home.

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