Bazzite Inital Setup and Installation for the Steam Deck

Bazzite on the Steam Deck

Important: Currently only Ventoy has proper scaling in the installer. This is being investigated.

Note: XHCI has to be set as the USB Mode for the Steam Deck for our ISO to boot! If it is set to DRD, please change it in your BIOS settings. More information can be found here.

Attention: The Steam Deck OLED requires Basic Graphics Mode to install properly.

The Steam Deck OLED is still in development at this time.

Status

Steam Deck LCD (256GB+) models function properly on Bazzite. The Steam Deck OLED is only partially supported and still is plagued by a few bugs including audio driver issues and HDR inconsistencies.


Note: Bazzite requires a stable internet connection with no bandwidth cap in place.

Installer Requirements

  • A USB flash drive with 10GB free space
    • Note: All data on this drive will be wiped when flashed
  • Software to flash the image:
    • Ventoy
      • Make sure to properly eject the drive after flashing the ISO to it
  • Physical keyboard

Desktop Environments

All of the images come with the choice of KDE Plasma or GNOME for their desktop environment.

Steam Gaming Mode is a requirement for the Steam Deck.

More information can be found on our FAQ about the differences between the image variants.

KDE Plasma (Default)

  • KDE Plasma’s default interface has a traditional and familiar layout
  • Highly customizable with tons of settings
  • Qt framework
  • Popular Linux distributions like SteamOS use KDE Plasma

GNOME (-gnome images)

  • GNOME’s default interface has an elegant and touch-friendly layout
  • Simple and concise
  • GTK framework
  • Popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu use GNOME

Steam Gaming Mode (-deck images)

Note: Your device will automatically boot into the Gaming Mode session at startup, and Desktop Mode can be accessed from the “power” menu in Gaming Mode.

  • Requires a Steam account
  • Included in the Handheld/HTPC images
  • Interface is designed for handheld and couch gaming
  • Controller friendly
  • Choice of KDE Plasma or GNOME in Desktop Mode
  • Extra functionality with Decky plugins
  • XHCI has to be set as the USB Mode for the Steam Deck for our ISO to boot! If it is set to DRD, please change it in your BIOS settings. More information can be found here.
  • Steam Deck OLED only: It must be installed with Basic Graphics Mode.

Installation Guide

IMPORTANT: XHCI has to be set as the USB Mode for the Steam Deck for our ISO to boot! If it is set to DRD, please change it in your BIOS settings. More information can be found here.

1. Download and Flash Bazzite

  • Download Bazzite after choosing the Steam Deck ISO with our Image Picker tool.
  • Flash Bazzite to your bootable medium.
  • Eject drive.

2. Boot Installation Medium

Hold the ‘Volume Down’ (-) button and click the Power Button, and when you hear the chime, let go of both buttons, and you’ll be booted into the Boot Manager.

When you get to the boot menu, select your bootable device to boot into the Bazzite installer.

Warning: Steam Deck OLED users must use Basic Graphics Mode in the installer!

Access this with the “Troubleshooting” section when the ISO is booted.

3. Installer

  • Select your language, region, keyboard layout, and time zone.
  • Select the drive that Bazzite is going to be installed on.
    • Delete any partitions that you have remaining on the drive.
    • Recommended to use the automatic storage configuration.
  • Optionally encrypt the drive with a password if desired.
    • If you lose this password, then it cannot be decrypted.
  • Setup a user account.
    • Give administrative privileges and set a user password.
  • Begin the installation.
  • Reboot device after it has finished installing.

Post-Installation

GRUB Menu

The first boot will show a screen showing your current and last deployment. It will automatically boot if nothing. It is important to note that the GRUB menu can be used to rollback Bazzite deployments if you encounter issues.

Read more about this in the Updates, Rollback, and Rebasing documentation.


KDE Plasma’s System Settings application


GNOME’s Settings application

It is important to configure the system settings on a first boot to personalize your desktop especially if you notice the scaling is incorrect on first-boot.

First Boot Setup Utility: Bazzite Portal

Attention: Make sure you are connected to the internet.

An application will pop up welcoming you to Bazzite when you boot into the desktop for the first time. This is a utility that allows you to tailor Bazzite to your liking by installing additional software.

  • Click “Next” to begin configuring Bazzite.
  • Press the toggle switch button next to the item to have the option enabled or disabled for your installation, some are already toggled on by default.
  • If you would like to customize any of the options, then press the arrow next to the toggle switch button if available.
  • Installing items from the portal may take a long time.

Note: If you only check a few items in a category, then it will only install those selected items. The switch is only toggled to install everything in that category.

Attention: There is a rare chance you will be asked to setup KDE Wallet or GNOME Keyring and set a password to continue installing items from the Bazzite Portal.

Installing additional software

The Installing and Managing Applications documentation is useful to learn how to install additional software on Bazzite outside of the Bazzite Portal.

Login to Steam & Reboot Device

Login to Steam then reboot your device when you finish setting up your device during the first-boot process.

Setting Up Steam Gaming Mode

After completing all of the above, then your next boot will be in Steam Gaming Mode which requires additional setup for Steam.

Further information about Steam Gaming Mode:


ISO Workarounds / Alternative Installation Methods

Note: Ignore this part of the guide if Bazzite installed properly on your hardware.

Attention: Both workarounds may have scaling issues with the installer depending on the hardware.

Important: Also note that the workarounds are useful for downloading a smaller ISO.

Generic Installer Error Workarounds

Option 1: Rebasing from a Fedora Atomic Desktop Image (Recommended)

If you experience issues with installing our ISO or the bootable drive you have is too small for Bazzite, then download the Fedora Kinoite (KDE Plasma) or Fedora Silverblue (GNOME) depending on which desktop environment preferred.

The installation setup is similar to Bazzite and includes the same installer with the same instructions.

Once installed, you will not be on Bazzite until you enter the command found on our website that appears under “Existing Fedora Atomic Desktop Users” section when the download is ready.

Open the terminal and enter this command, and keep in mind this process has no progress indicator and will take a long time. Reboot when the rebase has finished. Bazzite should be installed after rebooting and your username as well as the user password will carry over from the upstream Fedora Atomic Desktop to Bazzite.

You will also be missing the default applications until you open a host terminal and enter:

ujust _install-system-flatpaks

Once everything is setup properly, then you need to rebase from the unsigned image to the signed image, so enter in a host terminal:

rpm-ostree rebase ostree-image-signed:docker://ghcr.io/ublue-os/<IMAGE>

Replace <IMAGE> with the image you’re using.

Video Tutorial

Option 2: Older & Buggy Net-Installer (Not Recommended)

Note: This is intended as a last resort!

This is not something we recommend at all, but an alternative solution is using our Github release of the last online ISO. This is extremely buggy and suffers from other issues that are now fixed in the offline ISO.

There is an older video showcasing how to install the Bazzite with this old online ISO.

IMPORTANT: The video guide does not mention this part of the process since this wasn’t a requirement previously:

  • After installing it and making it to the desktop, then you will have to rebase to our stable build.
  • The command can be found on the website appropriate for your hardware and specific image you downloaded under “Existing Fedora Atomic Desktop Users”, and keep in mind rebasing has no progress indicator and takes a long time.
  • Reboot when the rebasing process has finished, and you will know because it will tell you to reboot your device.

You will also be missing the default applications, so open a host terminal and enter:

ujust _install-system-flatpaks

Documentation Contributors: Kyle Gospodnetich, Nathaniel Warburton, Jorge Castro, Noel Miller, ChaiQi, Damian Korcz, and Justin Garrison

See also: Upstream Manual Partitioning Guide & Steam Gaming Mode Overview (Handheld/HTPC)

View all Bazzite documentation