How to enable SSH on Steam Deck? – Ultimate Guide

how to enable ssh on steam deck

The Steam Deck, Valve’s highly anticipated handheld gaming device, has overtaken the gaming community. Packed with power and potential, the Steam Deck offers many features beyond gaming, making it an intriguing choice for tech enthusiasts. One such feature is enabling SSH (Secure Shell) access on the Steam Deck.

SSH enables remote access and control over the device’s operating system, opening up possibilities for customization and tinkering. In this guide, we’ll walk you through enabling SSH on your Steam Deck, unlocking its full potential for tech-savvy users.

Understanding SSH and Its Benefits

Secure Shell (SSH) is a cryptographic network protocol that allows secure communication between two computers over an insecure network. It provides a secure channel for data exchange, enabling users to access and manage remote devices over a network. By enabling SSH on your Steam Deck, you can interact directly with its Linux-based operating system, allowing advanced configurations, software installations, and troubleshooting.

Enabling SSH on Steam Deck: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Powering Up Your Steam Deck

 Ensure your Steam Deck is powered on and ready for setup.

Step 2: Accessing the Steam Deck Settings

 Navigate to the “Settings” menu on your Steam Deck. You can do this by clicking on the gear icon in the SteamOS interface.

Step 3: Enabling Developer Mode

 In the “Settings” menu, locate the “System” section. Here, you’ll find the “Enable Developer Mode” option. Turn this option on to enable developer mode on your Steam Deck. This mode allows you to access advanced settings and features.

Step 4: Setting a Password 

After enabling developer mode, you’ll be prompted to set a password. This password will be required whenever you try to access your Steam Deck via SSH.

Step 5: Connecting via SSH 

With developer mode enabled and a password set, you can now establish an SSH connection to your Steam Deck. Use an SSH client on your computer to connect to the Steam Deck’s IP address, which can be found in the settings.

Step 6: Exploring Possibilities 

Once connected via SSH, you’ll have command-line access to your Steam Deck’s operating system. This opens up opportunities for various tasks, such as installing additional software, modifying system files, and personalizing your device beyond the default options.


Enabling SSH on your Steam Deck is a gateway to unlocking its potential. It empowers tech enthusiasts to dive deeper into the device’s operating system, customize their experience, and explore various possibilities beyond gaming. Just remember to exercise caution, follow best practices, and enjoy the journey of discovery that SSH access can provide. Happy tinkering!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is enabling SSH on my Steam Deck risky? 

Enabling SSH itself is safe, but setting a strong password is important to prevent unauthorized access. Exercise caution while making changes to system files.

Can I use SSH to play PC games remotely? 

SSH is not designed for remote gaming. Its primary purpose is to provide secure remote access to the operating system.

Will enabling SSH to void my warranty?

Valve has stated that enabling developer mode, including SSH, might impact your warranty. Be sure to understand the implications before proceeding.

Can I revert back to normal mode after enabling developer mode? 

Yes, you can switch back to normal mode, but doing so may require a factory reset, which erases all data on your Steam Deck.

What advanced configurations are possible through SSH? 

You can install third-party software, modify system settings, and create custom scripts to enhance your Steam Deck’s functionality.

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