This wiki has had no edits or log actions made within the last 45 days and has been automatically marked as inactive. If you would like to prevent this wiki from being closed, please start showing signs of activity here. If there are no signs of this wiki being used within the next 15 days, this wiki will be closed in accordance to the Dormancy Policy (which all wiki founders accept when requesting a wiki). If this wiki is closed and no one reopens it 135 days from now, this wiki will become eligible for deletion. Note: If you are a bureaucrat, you can go to Special:ManageWiki and uncheck "inactive" yourself.

Guide:Beginner's Guide

From SteamDeck Linux Wiki

This article is a Work In Progress! Please check back later.

This article still needs: Screenshots, link population.

Overview of this Page[edit | edit source]

This page aims to give users the information they may need to use SteamOS 3 while in the desktop environment. Terms which may bring confusion to new users will be proceeded by a short explanation of a Windows equivalent (if any) in brackets.

Overview of the Desktop[edit | edit source]

(Video: CC-BY Niccolò Ve)

The Launcher[edit | edit source]

(Windows: Start Menu)

The Launcher Icon
Description[edit | edit source]

The Launcher, also known as the Kickoff launcher, provides a useful way to launch installed programs, search for programs and files, and logoff / shutdown.

Usage[edit | edit source]

Pressing the Meta key (aka the Windows key), or clicking the Launcher's Icon, on the bottom left of the screen, opens the Launcher Menu.

The Task Manager[edit | edit source]

(Windows: The Taskbar)

Description[edit | edit source]
task manager
The Task Manager

The Task Manager handles launching pinned programs, and switching between running programs. Pinned programs are launched by clicking their icon.

pinning a program
Pinning Firefox to the Task Manager
Usage[edit | edit source]

Clicking the icon of a running program minimizes it if it is the only window of that program running, otherwise it cycles through the program's windows.

Programs can be pinned to the Task Manager by right clicking their icon, and selecting "Pin to Task Manager".

The System Tray[edit | edit source]

(Windows: Task Tray and Notification Area)

Description[edit | edit source]
system tray
System Tray, with open dialog

The System Tray is a tray, positioned at the bottom right of the screen, where various programs and utilities can place a small icon.

Usage[edit | edit source]

What clicking on an icon in the System Tray does, changes depending on which program put it there. Often it will open a configuration dialog, the program itself, or a small menu. Sometimes right clicking an icon will have a different effect than left clicking. Experimentation is key.

Clicking the little arrow at the far right of the System Tray launches the Status and Notifications dialog, showing more options.

Using the File Manager[edit | edit source]

(Windows: File Explorer)

Description[edit | edit source]

The File Manager is the main way to access files on your Steam Deck. The Steam Deck's file manager is called Dolphin. You can access Dolphin by clicking the Dolphin Icon in the Task Manager.

Home Folder[edit | edit source]

Dolphin, when launched, will open the Home Folder. This folder contains your Downloads folder, Documents folder, Desktop folder etc. Folders can be opened by clicking on them.

Places Menu[edit | edit source]

The Places Menu sits on the left side of Dolphin, and lists many commonly used folders, as well as options to see commonly used folders and files.

The Context Menu[edit | edit source]

Right clicking a folder, or blank space within Dolphin, opens up the Context Menu. This menu contains options to:

  • Create a new file / folder
  • Open a file / folder in a new tab
  • Open with a particular program
  • Rename a file / folder
  • Copy / paste
  • View the file / folder's properties
Using Tabs and Split Screen[edit | edit source]

Dolphin allows for multiple tabs, much like a web browser. To open a folder in a new tab, use the Context Menu and select "Open in a New Tab". Tabs will show up above the main folder view. As well, the "Split" button, on the top right of Dolphin, allows the folder view to split, and show two folders side by side.

Trying out the Settings[edit | edit source]

(Windows: Control Panel)

Description[edit | edit source]

The System Settings is a centralized place to configure your SteamDeck. The System Settings allows you to change your theme, configure displays, configure shortcuts, and more.

Using the Settings[edit | edit source]

(This section has a dedicated guide: Guide:Using the System Settings)

The System Settings comes with a handy search feature, for easily finding different settings. Many of the settings are straight forwards, and experimentation with them is the best way to learn.

Reverting Changed Settings[edit | edit source]

At the bottom left of the System Settings window, there is a button to "Highlight Changed Settings". This is useful for if you want to see what changes you have made, and might want to revert. Clicking this button highlights the different settings that you have configured.

Getting Support[edit | edit source]

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.