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I was looking into the Steam Debian package and saw that it adds another repository and a GPG key, which I find pretty troubling, since I do not want to give Valve superuser permissions of my computer via upgrades and debian/postinst scripts.

Is there some way to install Steam in some container which does not affect the remainder of the system?

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2 Answers 2

You can use a chroot to have a separate operating system installation for steam but access the program from your regular installation. I've never setup a chroot myself, nor am I an expert, and therefore the below is merely provided as a vague description of what general steps would be required to setup a chroot to help you decide if you the option interesting. If you decide to go this route you should follow a more precise guide.

Step #1:

Setup another partition with an Ubuntu installation and install the application you want.

Step #2:

In your regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo mount /dev/sda1/mnt/thechrootfolder" (you will need to adjust this code to lead to the 2nd Ubuntu installation)

Step #3:

In your regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo mount --bind /dev/media/sda1/dev" (you are trying to mount your regular installs dev folder)

In your regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo mount --bind /proc/media/sda1/proc"

In your regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo mount --bind /sys/media/sda1/sys"

Step #4:

In regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /2ndubuntuinstalllocation/etc/resolv.conf" (This is needed to have dns function required for accessing the internet)

Step #5:

In regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo xhost +" this will allow all users to access the xserver of the curren user which is needed so that when you launch the application it can open in your current xserver. (WHILE EFFECTIVE THIS IS NOT A SAFE WAY TO DO THIS BECAUSE ANY LOCAL USER CAN ACCESS THE CURRENT USERS XSERVER!!! YOU SHOULD ALWAYS RESTRICT ACCESS.)

Step #6:

In regular Ubuntu install type: "sudo chroot /2ndinstalllocaiton (this is you entering the other installation). Now in the terminal type the code to launch the desired application (it will be running from the other OS but appear in your regular installs xserver).

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What about a linux container? (like this)

Or freebsd jails? (wiki here)

Or chroot?

Maybe run a virtual machine with virtual box?

Probably a separate box with no real user info and connect it to a network that doesn't have a bunch of goodies on it?

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VM is out due to performance. Separate box (with a discrete GPU) is something I'm thinking about, but I do not want to spend the money yet. –  queueoverflow Dec 26 '13 at 23:56

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