BenV's notes

Steam on Linux in a slackware32 chroot and mono

by on Oct.03, 2013, under Software

So far I like what Valve has been doing with Steam on Linux. Obviously there’s always a lot to be improved, but they try and it works pretty well for me.
Since they don’t have a native 64 bit steam client yet and I don’t want to clobber my Slackware64 install with multilibs and other 32 bit garbage I still have my old 32 bit Slackware-current install mounted that I can chroot into and run 32 bit garbage.
Running steam for me looks a bit like:

benv@steammachine:~$ su -lc "chroot /slackware32"
Password: jemoeder
root@steammachine:~# su benv
benv@steammachine:~$ steam

A bit of a hassle but it works, and I need that 32 bit chroot for running windows garbage in wine32 anyway.

Lately I noticed a lot of games that have a linux version under Steam crashed. When running them a window pops up, disappears, and your last played date is set to “Today” in steam. Trying to run the game on the console shows something like this:

benv@steammachine:~/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Ittle Dew:0>./IttleDew.x86
Set current directory to /home/benv/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Ittle Dew
Found path: /home/benv/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Ittle Dew/IttleDew.x86
Mono path[0] = '/home/benv/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Ittle Dew/IttleDew_Data/Managed'
Mono path[1] = '/home/benv/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Ittle Dew/IttleDew_Data/Mono'
Mono config path = '/home/benv/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Ittle Dew/IttleDew_Data/Mono/etc'
Aborted (core dumped)

The reason was simple, but took me a lot of digging through strace etc to figure out. (gdb didn’t help since the included libmono that caused this segmentation fault was obviously stripped). At some point the program tries to read from /sys/devices/, which failed since I hadn’t bothered to mount /sys in my chroot. My mistake. (note that I did bother to mount /dev to get gamepad support etc).

Strace output:
[pid 16978] openat(AT_FDCWD, "/sys/devices/", O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK|O_LARGEFILE|O_DIRECTORY|O_CLOEXEC) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)

Conclusion: make sure that Steam for Linux games have access to /sys/devices/ 😉

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