My Experience Using Bazzite on the 64GB Steam Deck

This is not my Steam Deck but I needed a nice picture.


I have been using Bazzite on my stock 64GB Steam Deck for the past month now, and tested it previously before Bazzite had ISOs. This post demonstrates the experience of using Bazzite on unsupported hardware. The issues encountered with Bazzite on a stock 64GB Steam Deck are not exclusive to Bazzite, but also affects other Universal Blue images as well.

The 64GB Steam Deck will be obsolete soon anyways, but there are still plenty of people out there who are in possession of one and possibly do not have plans to upgrade the storage.

When I ran SteamOS, I was already using SteamOS-BTRFS to save on internal storage. I was also using the “main” update channel for SteamOS, which I do not recommend anyone else attempt since it has broken my SteamOS installation several times.

The SteamOS “main” update channel had a sneak peak of SteamOS 3.5 and had smaller shadercache sizes, Graphics Pipeline Library enabled in the GPU’s driver, and scaling options to stretch/fill lower resolution games. The only issue with using this channel is that it’s bleeding-edge SteamOS and obviously an unstable experience. Updating the OS can cause an unbootable system.

Of course, the “main” update channel on SteamOS is specifically not intended for most users since it is essentially bleeding edge SteamOS. Luckily, today SteamOS 3.5 is out now on the stable channel.

During this time frame, I decided to install Bazzite on the 64GB Steam Deck to get these features earlier on a much more stable base. SteamOS 3.5 was taking too long, and most people had no idea they were planning to release it at the same time as their secretive revision of the Steam Deck’s hardware.

Why is there a warning?

Bazzite has been tested on multiple stock 64GB Steam Decks with the same symptoms. It appears filesystem corruptions occur and these manifest in different ways and are inconsistent. This is the only known configuration to have major issues like this on Bazzite. So what exactly does that entail?

The Good

The positives of using Bazzite on your 64GB Steam Deck is due to the appealing features of Bazzite itself and why I prefer it over SteamOS:

  • Can layer native packages to the image.
  • BTRFS (w/ compression and deduplication) is the default filesystem.
  • Waydroid is preinstalled and easy to setup.
  • Will still boot if you run out of storage unlike SteamOS.
  • ujust commands are fantastic conveniences.
  • Newest features of SteamOS on a stable Fedora base.

Installation was smooth until I had to reboot for the first time after completing the Bazzite Portal…

The Bad

I installed it and completed the Bazzite Portal setup. Then I rebooted and was met with a failed boot with these messages:

Actually never took a picture of the boot errors myself, but RJ (Bazzite Maintainer) has! I saw essentially the same thing in these images.

I held down the power button and rebooted my Steam Deck. This time it booted up properly, but since I was already aware of the fact that this is inconsistent from my testing previously that nothing has changed for the 64GB model since July 2023.

I was able to get mostly by with keeping my Steam Deck on sleep as opposed to shutting it down like I originally have been. This avoided rebooting into these errors, but other problems started happening too. Switching to Desktop Mode can freeze during the “Switching to Desktop Mode…” dialog requiring a hard reboot anyways.

Some games also crashed, however, I am not sure if this would have happened on SteamOS too. Games that crashed the most were Saints Row 2 (with Gentleman of the Row patch applied), Grid Autosport, and Receiver. Most of the time it was as smooth sailing though. I even played modded Grand Theft Auto IV, Wolfenstein II, and modded Resident Evil 4 (2005) without a problem most of the time.

The Ugly

Sadly even though I could have gotten by with some of these other issues, there was one major deal breaker. Updates are broken for the stock 64GB Steam Deck. I could not update after installing Bazzite with this configuration. I was stuck on whatever build was installed the day I installed it with no way to actually update. Rebasing to other images and branches for Bazzite were also broken too.

Game Mode would not update anything and going into Desktop Mode and opening Konsole and entering ublue-update would not work either. The terminal outputs something about (paraphrasing here) composefs metadata error (not available.) This error prevented any upgrades to any of the system packages.

It’s a shame since updating is much more convenient on Bazzite versus SteamOS since it also updates Flatpak applications, Brew packages, Nix packages, and Distrobox containers too.


Here are the logs of the first day using it

Why did I do this? For science! I was curious to see if anything has changed since the Fedora 39 builds of Bazzite were released.

Even with the issues I’ve faced, Bazzite was somehow a more stable experience for having a bootable system than SteamOS on the “main” update channel, when it booted. At least I never had to reimage back to SteamOS or reinstall Bazzite during my testing. However, like I said before the “main” update channel of SteamOS is like using Bazzite Unstable. I only wanted the new SteamOS 3.5 features early especially since it benefited my smaller storage.

Sadly, it’s still in the same state that it was months ago, and this seems to be an upstream issue because other Universal Blue images have the same effect with the stock 64GB Steam Deck.

If you have a 64GB Steam Deck and want to try Bazzite, then you might be better off upgrading the drive first if you feel comfortable. Unless you plan to keep your Steam Deck sleeping all of the time once you get past the filesystem corruptions, and then plan to update by reinstalling the OS. While also putting up with the occasional freezes due to the filesystem corruptions, maybe it can work. I do not recommend it to even the most dedicated of masochists.


If you have a stock 64GB Steam Deck, then I do not recommend using Bazzite. The warning is clearly there for a reason and this post is here to warn users who ignore the 64GB warning.

If you really want to use it for some very specific reason on your 64GB Steam Deck, here are all the downsides exclusive to the 64GB eMMC drive in the Steam Deck:

  • May not consistently boot and require a hard restart.
  • No system updates after installation.
  • Frequent freezes (Mostly occuring in Desktop Mode & Shutdown).
  • Can’t rebase to another Fedora Linux image.