I recently switched to an Ubuntu computer and the one thing that annoys me is the lack of games available. However I have found a program called WINE which can run Windows applications (.exe) on Linux computers. I have nearly all of my games on Steam but it won't let me download the files if I'm not on a supported OS, even if I could use them through WINE.

Now my question is; would it be possible to download the games in my Steam library any other way? I wouldn't mind if they didn't have steam overlay support and other steam functions, as long as I could play the games.

  • 7
    Have you tried running the Windows version of Steam via Wine, instead of the Linux version of Steam? – Nolonar Nov 4 '15 at 21:14
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    This was answered here and here. So, no, it is not possible. – AMexicanHipster Nov 4 '15 at 21:16
  • @nolonar's got it. The linux version of steam will not download windows games. The windows version of steam can be run via wine. These are separate things. – Shadur Nov 5 '15 at 10:46

Did you install Steam for Linux? If so you will only be able to play the games that are supported on Linux.

You can play the Windows games by installing Steam through Wine. See here for more information

The terminal command you are looking for is:

sudo apt-get install wine
winetricks steam

Note that it still may not be possible to play all games on Linux. The above should work for some games, even though there may be a performance hit.

An alternative could be PlayOnLinux. You install Steam on it and then can play your games as per normal.

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  • 1
    helpful.. but does not answer the question OP asks at all – user106385 Nov 4 '15 at 22:08
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    @Timelord64 It does. Not only does it solve the problem but if you really want to be pedantic then it still does, as OP is asking how to download the Steam games without using the Steam that they have installed (Steam for Linux), I've suggested to use a different application (Steam for Windows) which isn't the same Steam and thus it is a method of downloading the games without Steam for Linux. – Aequitas Nov 4 '15 at 22:16
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    OP doesnt as about Steam for Linux, they ask about Steam. while your taking some accurate assumptions to not answer the question, this does not answer the question "how to I download games on steam without steam". Remember, we are here not just to answer OPs question, but to answer it for future users that might come here looking for the same answer – user106385 Nov 4 '15 at 22:21
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    I expect it won't matter, as I suspect this question will be closed as a duplicate – user106385 Nov 4 '15 at 22:23
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    @Timelord64 the thing is there is more to the question than just the title, read the entire body. If you prefer I'll edit the title to match what they are really asking. – Aequitas Nov 4 '15 at 22:28

If you don't want to install the Windows version of Steam and just want to download the Windows binaries for a game you can use SteamCMD which does have a Linux version and an option for force downloading binaries for any given platform.

You'll need to know the SteamID of the game which you can find from steamdb.info.


@sSteamCmdForcePlatformType windows 
login <USERNAME>
app_update <STEAM_ID> validate

The game will appear as Installed in Steam for Linux but won't start from there so you'll have to start the game manually with wine. I'm not sure whether automatic updates will work.

There's also an option for forcing installation dir but I haven't tried it:

force_install_dir ../games/

Using SteamCMD won't work if the game uses Steam's digital restrictions management (DRM) scheme and you'll need to use the Windows version of Steam through wine instead.

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  • 3
    This actually answers the question. I was aware of SteamCMDs existence, but I didn't know it had this feature. Thanks! – Tim Miller Oct 30 '17 at 19:34
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    Now that the Steam for Linux client comes bundled with Wine 'Proton' it's possible to download Windows binaries from there for games that aren't supported on Linux natively. – Seppo Erviälä Dec 11 '18 at 9:24

I'm not sure if this is helpful but have you tried PlayOnLinux? I have personal experience with this, and it is easy to use + not slow at all. Also they are trying to bring Directx 11 to PlayOnLinux which brings great gaming possibilities with it. If you are interested you can follow this article at gameonlinux to bring your games from steam to POL.

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  • PlayOnLinux is great, but it does not solve the problem. You still need to download the actual (windows) game files, and that's what this question is about. – MestreLion Apr 25 '19 at 5:45

Steam recently introduced something called Proton, which is a fork of Wine that's integrated into Steam and continually updated. It's currently in beta so you have to opt into the Steam Client Beta, which you can do in the Steam settings under Account > Beta participation.

More information:

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I just found this little script and it works perfectly fine for me:


Type in your Steam ID, pick your game, restart Steam and it will be installed automatically.

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  • Why the downvotes? – piegames Feb 18 '18 at 15:51
  • 1
    Probably due to lack of detail or the fact that there is a better answer. – Kingsley Zhong Feb 18 '18 at 19:01

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