The Steam Deck is a PC, almost – Can you use it like PC?



Behind Steam OS is Linux and the Steam Deck includes a Desktop Mode. Using Linux, the Desktop Mode, a mouse, and a keyboard, can you use the Steam Deck like PC? Let’s find out.

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14 thoughts on “The Steam Deck is a PC, almost – Can you use it like PC?

  1. 4:38 sounds like you need to provide the extra permission to the Flatpaks using Flatseal. Not sure what exactly would be permissions when it comes to accessing those USB devices tho

  2. Honestly…. You're literally starting to enter the pricing zones of some powerful systems such as the Surface Pro 8 if you go down this line.

    The legitimate question becomes .. 'what is the point of the system you plan on using?' Once you hit past casual levels of 'productivity' workloads, there really are better solutions out there.

    Truthfully, I'd rather just get a steamdeck for ….. games, and games alone. Nothing it can do is honestly .. 'good enough' to be an outright replacement, an alternate, or an augment' for other devices I have (that really aren't uncommon or out of the question)

    My SP8… Full windows w/ perfectly surfaceable linux command space access, with full docker access to linux (or windows) containers. No holds bar on the coding ability or productivity (like dur).
    – usb-c thunderbolt ability (which means when I get around to it, a usb-c thunderbolt egpu is an option for on the go gaming)
    My Phone S22 U 512GB (I always had the note line), and being an obvious great phone for phone things & android stuff.
    – Contains Samsung Dex (Both via windows app & to native displays via USB-C to HDMI), to use external displays for media, content creation on the pinch, secured space seperate from windows, ability to manage web based nonsense as one would.
    — Ability to use USB KB&M, as well.

    [Odd bonus of my setup, the same usb-c 3.0 mutli-tap (hdmi, 3 USB[A]3.0, microSD reader, SD reader, Ethernet, & PD USB-C) is exceptionally useful on both the SP8 & S22 U]

    The point being that most anyone with a phone & a laptop/2in1 of any real capability, can handle production far better than the steam deck, and for what ever you think of the costs (as they are real o course), They are primary (for smartphone connectivity, & you're going to pay for decent service anyway…. might as well not have a shitty experience while you need to use it. The SP8 for compatability & coding, without 'questioning' if X or Y isn't working because HW or System limitations on the go. [though I know there are better priced & more powerful options X}]

    Will I use my SP8 while moving (like riding on a long bus ride) not exceptionally likely though I could, and if it's long enough that devices might power down like multi day train rides.. there are power plugs & tables to sit at to enable a SP8 to be perfect there, and for even 2-6 hour one way trips, my phone is enough to the point that even concept art (as shitty as mine is) is 100% viable to be done, important nodes saved, even documents created & saved… and is the better media consumption 'device' over all, with a very solid 'gaming experience' if you aren't stuck purely on steam.. (oh boi, I have alot on steam).
    In fact my desktop, SP8, & phone work together as devices, and no one could really replace the other (Though my SP8 …. could, but would involve external docking devices for Drives & a GPU, but would render it to be work in modes & would still be effectively the same thing as the prior setup with the external docking for storage being far to bulky for common on the go means)

    keep the steamdeck what it was sold for.. Gaming & media consumption, attempting to force use on it that isn't really viable will only invite problems and unfavorable comparisons where better solutions just flat out exist and destroy it's own market.

  3. I like the extra attention Flatpak is getting because of the steam deck. Hopefully means the issues with permissions get ironed out within a couple years

  4. and if you don't have extra screen and use it extensively to do all sorts of thing then get ready to put glasses on your eye's…i don't get it how people play all sorts of games on such small display

  5. 4:37 there is a app called flatseal it allows you to change the permissions of the apps installed on the steam deck because it is using flatpak which is a containerized applications format that is focused on privacy but you can set that it can see all devices then should it work

  6. KDE on Linux is quite nice to use with a touchscreen but at that size and resolution is KDE Plasma Mobile better to use because it is a Desktop build for touchscreen use

  7. Honestly there's so much on the cloud most are just better off getting a Surface go 3, raspberry pi, a SSD drive, USB port, bunch SD cards, usd drives, and adaptors. I taught myself Arduino, Python, and Linux. I play games on xcloud, can still use windows, and can move it anywhere in my house when needed. With a toddler and a newborn that is a life saver. I think the pi, the surface/keyboard cover, teensy, uno start kit, SSD, and all the bits and bobs was well under 1000$. It may not be the fastest and you have to constantly move files. But it runs windows like butter and is extremely reliable. Windows is key for beginner tinkering in my eyes.

  8. But i think what valve did with steam deck that they locked it is good because consumers bought this for gaming and entertainment so it is a good move in my opinion

  9. A bit disappointing you had so much trouble unlocking the root filesystem, it shouldn't be that hard. But then again Valve don't want you messing around with it for daily driving, i believe with any SteamOS update, any changes to the root fs are wiped out. So it is indeed Flatpak that should be used for desktop usage. Regarding usb issues for programming, could it be due to Flatpak permissions?

  10. I think the Steam Deck can be useful as a Docked secondary PC that you're not carrying around. I have my son practice JS coding on it (using vscode), which is a much better experience than using Windows. We also have Godot/Blender/Gimp installed so he can dabble with game development. It's a very capable machine, but I agree it's a pretty terrible portable desktop.

    The Deck is also a really nice way for anyone to mess around with Linux (with a great GPU) and not put their Windows machine at risk. The immutable file system is also a great way to install flatpaks and not have to worry about messing up an unfamiliar system.

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