Should I prefer steam-native over steam-manjaro?

I’ve found an old thread about it(link->), but I haven’t satisfied yet, or simply I didn’t understand :sweat:

Now, I’m running steam-manjaro package, which requires less dependencies. Should I use steam-native one? What is the difference?


My games work better when I have both installed.

steam-manjaro provides Steam as is. Where steam-native makes Steam to use the system libraries, which are more modern, versus the ones provided by Steam itself.


But which one do you start Steam with?

They are different components of a single app: Steam.

Oh, I got it. When I was on Arch, there were two launchers: Steam (Runtime) and Steam (Native). Now I installed both packages with dependencies.

But, If steam-manjaro can work well without about 105 dependencies, does it include all of them?

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TL;TR: go ahead with steam-manjaro. If you need a specific flag or library to run a given game, simply specify it in the game’s launch options.

Almost every time you will be fine with steam-manjaro, especially if you’re starting with gaming on Linux or if you simply are an average gamer like most of us.

steam-native only uses system libraries, which is the same as running steam with STEAM_RUNTIME set to 0. The problem with this is that you might be missing on essential libraries present in the runtime.

If you ever need to call a specific library, which happens now and then, you can just use Steam’s launch option. This works on a game-by-game basis, so you can specify what you need for each game.

Edit: added TL;TR at the top.


Wait, when I try to install steam-manjaro, it takes less packages than steam-native. So if I install steam-manjaro, it will use /usr/lib32 or /usr/lib64. On the other hand, if I install steam-native, it will bring about 105 packages into ~/.local/share/ubuntu..., am I right?

I am confused because of the word system libraries. Which one uses .local/share/ubuntu... and which one uses /usr/libxy

This information is useful here.
Steam/Troubleshooting - ArchWiki (steam-runtime is equivalent to steam-manjaro)
As you can see, steam-manjaro runs it from the steam-provided libraries. And native uses your system’s native libraries.


steam-manjaro uses the Steam Runtime. Think about it as Valve’s way of shipping some useful basic libraries that many games will need. Steam Runtime also uses some newer versions of specific libraries, and for that it uses libraries from your own system (i.e., it’s up to you, or your distro, to get them up to date). In other words, steam-manjaro is set to STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=1 by default, so in most cases you should be fine playing out-of-the-box native games.

PS: I might be wrong, but I recall reading a few years back that the Steam Runtime is (still to this day) designed to mimic Ubuntu 12 (which is old AF).


Where are parameters like STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES located?

That’s enabled by default. Not sure why you would want to disable it, but you would run Steam like this:


The Gentoo wiki says:

If the Steam runtime is enabled and some games are not starting (for example Dying Light or Life Is Strange), setting STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 may fix the issue.