How to Open the Terminal on the Steam Deck

In this quick guide for beginners, we will walk you through opening the terminal on the Steam Deck.

Steam Deck Open the terminal

The terminal is how you can issue commands to your Steam Deck and allows you to expand what is available to your through the graphical settings.

If you have ever used a Linux system, you will be familiar with using the terminal to manage your operating system. However, many Steam Deck users may find this experience jarring but don’t worry. It is not as scary as it may look.

Some of the various use cases for using the terminal are installing third-party plugins such as Decky and configuring options that can’t be changed through the various system applications.

The application that the Steam Deck uses for its terminal goes by the name Konsole. You can only access this application while you are in desktop mode.

The following section will show you where to find Konsole on your Steam Deck.

Opening the Terminal on the Steam Deck

Opening the terminal on the Steam Deck is a super straightforward process, especially when you know where to look for the application.

Changing to Desktop Mode

1. The first thing you need to do is change to desktop mode on your Steam Deck.

While in gaming mode, you will want to open the Steam menu. You can open this menu by pressing the STEAM button on your Deck or tapping “STEAM menu” in the bottom-right corner.

Open the Steam menu

2. With the Steam menu open, you must open the “Power” option at the bottom.

Contrary to its name, this is where you will also find the option to change to desktop mode.

Open power menu

3. Now, to change to desktop mode, you only need to select the “Switch to Desktop” option

You must wait a bit as the Steam Deck moves from gaming mode to desktop mode.

Switch to Desktop mode to open the terminal on the Steam Deck

Opening the Terminal on the Steam Deck

4. Now that you are in desktop mode, you can finally move on to opening the terminal on your Steam Deck.

Start by opening the start menu by clicking/tapping the Steam Deck icon in the screen’s bottom-left corner.

Open the start menu

5. With the start menu open, hover over the “System” option (1.)

Next to the System option, you should now see a list of applications. Find the application called “Konsole” (2.) and tap/click it to open the terminal on your Steam Deck.

Open Konsole on the Steam Deck

6. You now have the terminal open on your Steam Deck. You can now type commands into this window using the Steam Deck desktop mode keyboard.

One of the first things you might want to do is set a password so you can use sudo on your Steam Deck.

Terminal open on the Steam Deck


This quick guide aims to show you how to open the terminal using the Konsole application.

Knowing where to find the terminal can be helpful when you are following our various guides. Not everything on the Steam Deck can be installed with only the GUI, especially once you leave gaming mode.

Please comment below if you have any questions about opening the terminal on your device.

We have many other guides that are well worth exploring if you want to improve your experience on the Steam Deck.

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