Allow Flatpak access to the Steam Deck’s SD Card via Flatseal

In this tutorial, we will show you how to get a Flatpak to access an SD Card on your Steam Deck using Flatseal.

Steam Deck Flatseal

Flatpak’s are a great way to install additional software to your Steam Deck easily; in fact, the software provided through the Discover store is all flatpaks.

These Flatpak’s are the software and everything it needs to run bundled in an easy-to-download, store, and run package.

A flatpak

One disadvantage you may have run into with using a Flatpak on your Steam Deck is that, by default, it might not be able to access your SD card. The reason for this is that Flatpak’s operate within a sandboxed environment, they need permissions to access anything outside of their environment.

Luckily, there is a program we can use called Flatseal that allows you to grant a Flatpak access to your Steam Deck’s SD card. Even better, you can install this utility easily through the Discover store.

Flatseal also allows you to adjust various other options, such as turning GPU acceleration on or off.

Installing and Using Flatseal on your Steam Deck

Over the following steps, we will show you how to install the Flatseal application on your Steam Deck.

You can use this tool to allow a Flatpak to access the contents of an SD card on your Steam Deck. It also allows you to adjust various options that control how the Flatpak works on your Deck.

Of course, you could use the command line to adjust how a Flatpak is launched, but Flatseal gives you a super straightforward graphical utility.

Changing to Desktop Mode

1. To make changes to a Flatpak’s permission so that it can access your SD Card on your Steam Deck you will need to change to desktop mode.

You can get to desktop mode by first bringing up the Steam menu. You can open this menu by clickingSTEAM MENU” or pressing the STEAM button.

Open the Steam menu

2. After opening the Steam menu, select the “Power” option.

This menu is where you will find options for changing users as well as changing to desktop mode.

Open power Options

3. All you need to do now is click the “Switch to Desktop” option.

Switch to desktop mode

Installing Flatseal using Discover on the Steam Deck

4. Once you are in desktop mode, you will want to open the Discover app by clicking the shopping bag icon in the taskbar.

We will use the Discover application to install Flatseal to our Steam Deck. Flatseal, as mentioned earlier, enables us to let a Flatpak access the Deck’s SD Card.

Open the discover app

5. Once you have opened the Discover app, you will want to change to the search screen.

You can do this by clicking the “Search” button.

Change to the search screen

6. Now that you are on the search screen, use the search box to look for “flatseal” (1.).

You should eventually see “Flatseal” (2.) appear as a selectable entry. Double-click this entry to open it.

Open Flatseal Discover Entry on the Steam Deck

7. You should now have the Flatseal page open in the Discover app.

To install Flatseal to your Steam Deck, click the “Install” button.

Install Flatseal to the Steam Deck

Using Flatseal to Allow Access to an SD Card on the Steam Deck

8. With Flatseal installed on your Steam Deck we can now grant access to your SD Card to a Flatpak.

To begin this process, launch Flatseal by clicking the “Launch” button.

Launch Flatseal

9. With Flatseal now open on your Deck, select the application you want to adjust permissions.

In our case, we will be using Flatseal to give “Citra” access to our Steam Deck’s SD Card.

Select Flatpak to modify

10. After selecting an application you want to adjust, scroll down until you see the “Filesystem” heading.

Under this heading, you should see an option called “Other files“. Click the little plus folder icon next to the option to add another folder.

Add new folder to sandboxed filesystem

11. After clicking the “Add folder” button, you should have a new text box.

In this text box, you will want to type in the path: “/run/media“. This folder is where the SD Card is mounted on your Steam Deck.

Allow Access to the Steam Deck SD Card using Flatseal

12. Next time you launch your chosen Flatpak on your Steam Deck, you should be able to access the contents of your SD Card.


Hopefully, at this point, you will now understand how to install and use Flatseal on your Steam Deck.

By using Flatseal, you can easily grant a Flatpak access to the SD card on your Steam Deck with just a few short clicks.

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any issues with getting a Flatpak to access an SD Card on your Steam Deck.

If you found this tutorial helpful, we have numerous other Steam Deck tutorials that are well worth checking out.

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