Hello fellow dwellers of askubuntu, as the title says I'm having difficulties with getting Steam to run properly. I think I have the solution but I am pretty incompetent with Ubuntu (just started using it the other day) so a step by step process would be unbelievably appreciated! Here are the links to what I think possible solutions are:

[1] https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=146223

[2] http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=31374

I've tried googling how to preform the solutions such as changing the alias/script for steam (no idea what that is) to -no-dwrite or launching with wine Steam.exe -no-dwrite. The dwrite seems to be the issue in all this but I can't for the life of me figure out how to do anything about it.

Any useful input is what I'm hoping for but for the brave soul who feels like typing a bit more, perhaps a step-by-step list of instructions starting from downloading Steam off the official website, would be my saving grace.

If there is any more info you guys need let me know and I'll of course be happy to oblige!


One alternative to updating your launchers to pass the -no-dwrite option is to disable DirectWrite support in Steam's preferences. While you can do this within Steam if you can navigate the menus and settings dialog box with no text, it is probably easier to change the setting outside of Steam.

With Steam closed, do the following:

  1. Run wine regedit.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam in the tree on the left.
  3. Look for a DWriteEnable value in the pane on the right. If it doesn't exist, add it as a DWORD value.
  4. Set DWriteEnable to 0 and exit out of the registry editor.

Your existing launchers should now start Steam with visible text.

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  • 1
    Still works for Ubuntu 13.10, thanks! – Andrea Nov 1 '13 at 21:30
  • 2
    Still works in ubuntu 14.04 with wine 1.7 – Ivan Lerner Sep 28 '14 at 7:34
  • 3
    I know that it's not really relevant here, but it helped me on OS X 10.9, thank you :) – FreeNickname Jan 29 '15 at 9:21
  • Missing DWriteEnable key in my version (14.04, wine 1.6.2) but I added it and it worked. – Insperatus May 1 '15 at 2:07
  • Works for OS X ;) – Qix - MONICA WAS MISTREATED May 7 '16 at 1:37

The no-dwrite registry modification should also be possible with this command:

wine reg add 'HKCU\Software\Valve\Steam' /v DWriteEnable /t REG_DWORD /d 00000000

Note if steam is installed under a specific prefix (e.g. ~/.wine-steam) you may need to prefix the command with the appropriate environment variable - so for instance :

env WINEPREFIX="$HOME/.wine-steam" wine reg add 'HKCU\Software\Valve\Steam' /v DWriteEnable /t REG_DWORD /d 00000000

Source: Wine AppDB entry


No workarounds for displaying text etc in Steam should be necessary with Wine versions 1.7.49 or newer as the bug has been fixed.

Using PlayOnLinux etc, it uses the last known version that worked with the appropriate workarounds etc - but often newer wine versions will work, perhaps better - the info that says 'this is latest version of wine that will work for this' can become out of date with newer releases.

To install the latest wine version (currently):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine1.7

This is also heavily detailed here.

N.B. As far as I know, Wine has even and odd releases, even (e.g. 1.4, 1.6) are 'stable', odd (e.g. 1.7) are 'staging'. Staging releases genrally work fine, and may work better with some apps as they are more up to date, unless they suffer from regressions. The wiki says:

You should avoid using them [development versions of wine] unless the current stable version of Wine does not support or is incompatible with the application you wish to use.

but that may be out of date anyway... It is recommended by Wine though to test the app in newer versions before reporting any bugs.

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