SteamOS/Read-only Filesystem

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SteamOS by default ships with a read-only file system. This helps prevent users from messing up their system configuration. However, a user might want to install packages that are not available as flatpaks in Discover, for example by using a package manager such as pacman. In that case, the read-only file system must first be disabled.

Note that any changes made to the read-only file system may be reverted by system updates.

Disabling the read-only file system

  1. Open konsole.
  2. Set a sudo password.

    $ passwd

  3. Disable read-only mode.

    $ sudo steamos-readonly disable

    Alternatively, power users may prefer to use this.

    $ sudo btrfs property set -ts / ro false

  4. Initialize the pacman keyring.

    $ sudo pacman-key --init

  5. Populate the pacman keyring with the default Arch Linux keys.

    $ sudo pacman-key --populate archlinux holo

  6. Try installing a package.

    $ sudo pacman -S vi


  • "Install Arch packages on your Steam Deck". Reddit. 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2023-03-20.