How to install SteamCMD on Debian 11

Steam has supported the use of Linux for gaming in such a way that many AAA games are available. But that’s not all, Steam also allows you to create complete game servers for Linux. So, today, you will learn how to install SteamCMD on Debian 11.

First, it is a good idea to know what SteamCMD is. According to the Steam website:

The Steam Console Client or SteamCMD is a command-line version of the Steam client.

The main utility of SteamCMD is to install and update various dedicated servers available on Steam using a command-line interface. So, a sysadmin or an admin with Steam knowledge can quickly maintain a game server.

As a special note, SteamCMD works with games that use the SteamPipe content system. All games have been migrated from the deprecated HLDSUpdateTool to SteamCMD.

Install SteamCMD on Debian 11

SteamCMD is not present in the official Debian 11 repositories, so you will have to do a manual installation which, while not difficult, involves several steps.

First, connect to your SSH server. Then, update the operating system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Once you have done this, log in as root user

sudo -i

Next, enable the i386 architecture in APT.

dpkg --add-architecture i386

Refresh APT to apply all changes.

apt update

Then install certain dependency packages for SteamCMD

apt install lib32gcc-10-dev lib32stdc++6 libc6-i386 libcurl4-gnutls-dev:i386 libsdl2-2.0-0:i386

It is best to have a dedicated Steam user. So, it is a good idea to create it:

adduser steam

There you will be asked to set the password and other information.

Adding user `steam' ...
Adding new group `steam' (1002) ...
Adding new user `steam' (1002) with group `steam' ...
Creating home directory `/home/steam' ...
Copying files from `/etc/skel' ...
New password: 
Retype new password: 
passwd: password updated successfully
Changing the user information for steam
Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
	Full Name []: 
	Room Number []: 
	Work Phone []: 
	Home Phone []: 
	Other []: 
Is the information correct? [Y/n] Y

Then log in as steam user, which is the one you have created now.

su -ls /bin/bash steam

Next, create a folder for SteamCMD installation

mkdir ~/steam && cd ~/steam

Now download SteamCMD with this command

Download SteamCMD on Debian 11
Download SteamCMD on Debian 11

Decompress the file

tar -xvzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz

Finally, run it so that it updates, and you can use it

./ +quit
SteamCMD installed
SteamCMD installed

This will start downloading all the files needed for SteamCMD to run.

Now you just need to run it again but using screen so you can use the terminal without problems. For example,

screen ~/steam/

Many games support anonymous login

login anonymous

And now the party starts.

Upgrading SteamCMD game server on Debian 11

Upgrading SteamCMD is simple. The first thing you have to do is to start it.

screen ~/steam/

Then, depending on the game, you have to log in anonymously or with your Steam account.

login [user]

Now you just need to run

app_update [app-id]

This will start the process automatically.

Uninstall SteamCMD

If you no longer want to have the tool on your system, the best thing to do is to uninstall it. To achieve this, you will have to follow another sequence of steps.

The first step is to delete the entire folder you created for Steam.

rm ~/steam

Log out of the steam user session and in the root session, delete the created user

userdel steam

This way, neither the Steam folder nor the Steam user will be there.


SteamCMD has become important for many users who want a dedicated server for a game from the Steam catalog. As you can see, the process is simple and does not involve major problems.

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