Fixing slow Steam Deck download speeds

I reserved a Steam Deck last year and recently was able to finish the purchase and it arrived a few days ago. Although it took a long time it was a calm and painless process. Contrast this to buying a PS5 which was stressful and painful (I’m looking at you, Sony).

Anyway, it’s early days yet and I may post more about it later, but an immediate problem was that I had really terrible download speeds over both wifi and ethernet. Trying to install a few large games was going to take several days.

That didn’t seem right, and sure enough searching around Reddit forums showed other people with the same problem. There were many solutions, some of which did temporarily work.

However, I think a lot of these were more down to the networking system being restarted than anything else.

The thing that did the trick was to remove my Pi-Hole DNS server from /etc/resolv.conf.

I don’t know why this caused a speed problem, and nothing else on my network has had any issues with it. I don’t ever know why it appeared there in the first place, as it’s not something I configured.

The steps are:

  • Go to the power menu and switch to the desktop (the Steam Deck runs Linux)
  • Plug a mouse and keyboard in via a USB C dock
  • Edit /etc/resolv.conf (you can use the installed kwrite program)

Maybe there is a way to solve this from Pihole itself, but for the moment it’s a good enough solution.

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