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Old May 12, 2010, 01:38 PM   #1
NATO
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(Solved) - Steam for Mac - Download/Install games to alternative drive?

I've just downloaded Steam for OS X, I have a slight problem in that I don't really have vast amounts of space to install games to my boot volume (160GB SSD drive). Does anyone know if it's possible to select a different drive to install games to?
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Old May 12, 2010, 01:51 PM   #2
Dagless
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I know on PC Steam that you can just copy the steam folder to an external drive. Not sure about OSX though.
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Old May 12, 2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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Once you find where it is storing the files, you should be able to make move the files to another drive, and drop an alias in the original location.

I haven't yet used the Steam client for Mac though, there may be an easier way to specify the install locations in the Preferences.
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Old May 12, 2010, 03:19 PM   #4
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Sorted!

I found out how to do it, it seems that Steam saves games to 'Steam Content' located in ~/Documents.

I tried moving the folder to another drive and creating an alias but Steam threw up an error message on startup. I then tried a Symlink instead and this seems to work 100%. Steam even seems to recognise the new drive when installing games as the available space is updated to reflect the new location.
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Old May 12, 2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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Nice that a symbolic link works but it would be nice if there was an option in the preferences to change the location for the Steam Content folder.
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Old May 12, 2010, 03:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mattww View Post
Nice that a symbolic link works but it would be nice if there was an option in the preferences to change the location for the Steam Content folder.
That would have been the sensible option, it does seem like a bit of an oversight...
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Old May 12, 2010, 04:28 PM   #7
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We had a guy ask this same thing during the beta, however the windows version has also never supported this.

If any would like instructions how to use the symbolic link trick I will gladly post them.
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Old May 12, 2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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how big is steam by the way? my ssd is only 64gb
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Old May 12, 2010, 05:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ert3 View Post
We had a guy ask this same thing during the beta, however the windows version has also never supported this.

If any would like instructions how to use the symbolic link trick I will gladly post them.
Yes please, I would like to know how to do that.
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Old May 12, 2010, 05:03 PM   #10
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Steam and the entire library of games from VALVE (not counting third party games) should only suck up 20gigs of space maximum, HOWEVER when you start to play Counter strike or Team fortress online your drive will start to fill up with custom content from multiplayer servers.

i have seen a counter strike install grow as large as 50gigs after years of playing online.


EDIT: for the noobtastic people out there, the custom content downloads are on demand when you join a custom map server and are not mandatory files you can keep around. infact if your handy with bash you can make a script that scrubs counter strike of all none valve files inorder to keep your size down.
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Old May 12, 2010, 05:07 PM   #11
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This is copy pasted from an email i sent out durring the beta and it would seem that this worked for most people

Quote:
Move your steam folder to the desired location

open up terminal and get ready to use your mac like a man (sorta).

type in "cd /Users/<your user name>/Documents/" (the home location of "Steam Content" by default

you can do this by draging your documents folder into the terminal window after typing "cd " (note the space) but we are doing things the manly way.

press enter and type "ln -s /paths/to/Steam\ Content Steam\ Content"

NOTE THE SPACES. yet again you can do this by drag and drop just note that there is a space without the escape character \ in between the folder your linking and the link its self.

this should help if you have any questions about procedure.

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...01110610290643
and for those of you who risk drowning when attempting to eat soup I made a video going over the short part of it.

http://gallery.me.com/peter795/100076

and thus ends my effort
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Old May 12, 2010, 05:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ert3 View Post
This is copy pasted from an email i sent out durring the beta and it would seem that this worked for most people
Cheers dude.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ert3 View Post
This is copy pasted from an email i sent out durring the beta and it would seem that this worked for most people

[Instructions]

and for those of you who risk drowning when attempting to eat soup I made a video going over the short part of it.

http://gallery.me.com/peter795/100076

and thus ends my effort
Video is hard to see. Can't make out text entered in Terminal window. Also can't full screen it.

Also, your directions are a little hard to follow. Re-wrote them to be a bit clearer:
  1. Move the "Steam Content" folder from your Documents folder to where you want your steam content stored (in this example, /Games)
  2. If you want, rename the folder (for example, Steam)
  3. Open another Finder window to your User folder.
  4. You should have two Finder windows open: One open to your new steam content location (/Games) and one open to your User Folder
  5. Open Terminal
  6. Type
    Code:
    ln -s
    into Terminal window. NOTE: There is a space after -s
  7. Drag the new steam content folder (the Steam folder in /Games) to the Terminal window
  8. Drag your Document folder from Finder
  9. Delete the space after "Documents", then type "/Steam\ Content" (Steam <Slash then space> Content)
  10. Double check that the line looks similar to this:
    Code:
    ln -s /Games/Steam /Users/<your username>/Documents/Steam\ Content
  11. Press Enter
  12. Open your Document folder. There should now be a alias folder named "Steam Content". Double click-it
  13. The Finder window should now be at your new steam content folder (/Games/Steam). If not, delete the "Steam Content" alias in your Documents folder and try again from step 6

I used to work tech support for a research company and had to write stuff up like this for less tech-savy users in the office. Here's hoping the way I wrote it makes it easier for less techy Steam users to understand. If I made it more confusing, sorry.
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Old May 14, 2010, 09:38 PM   #14
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This worked out great! I definitely do not have enough space on my laptop for games. Now steam directs to my external
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Old May 15, 2010, 02:00 PM   #15
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Worked like a charm here too, so now i got Steam installing Portal to my FW 800 drive ^^
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Old May 15, 2010, 02:26 PM   #16
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If it's like the Windows version you can use the same method to selectively keep each game wherever you like too. On my iMac's bootcamp install I keep all my big single player games on an external drive and my multiplayer ones that need as fast load times as possible on my main drive.

I'm really glad you can do this on the Mac version too.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 09:33 PM   #17
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I just put Steam on my 10.6.3 MBP, found this thread, and noticed that my directory setup is different for some reason.
Instead of ~/Documents my Steam files are in ~/Library/Application Support, which is where I would have looked for them before seeing this thread.

So here are the commands for making the symlinks in that case...
My external drive is a FAT32 volume called GAMES.

Code:
ln -s /Volumes/GAMES/SteamMac /Users/username/Library/Application\ Support/Steam
(symlink Steam now points to SteamMac)
I installed Torchlight, which also used ~/Library/Application Support, and I decided to move that inside SteamMac:
Code:
ln -s /Volumes/GAMES/SteamMac/runic\ games /Users/username/Library/Application\ Support
(symlink runic games now points to SteamMac/runic games)
Everything working great so far, Steam reports the correct free space on /Volumes/GAMES when installing. I will have to keep an eye on Application Support to see what other titles use it directly. More symlinks may be required.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 10:34 AM   #18
shakzilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrudelTurnover View Post
...My external drive is a FAT32 volume called GAMES...
FAT32...? That will get sticky with bigger games
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 09:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakzilla View Post
FAT32...? That will get sticky with bigger games
I don't think any single file will be bigger than 4gb, although I've seen it on WoW.

Anyway, thanks for the tips guys, but since my default "home" folder location has already been linked to an optibay HDD I think I'm good. I just googled to find out where the games install to and found this thread =) great!

I found out they moved the folder to application support file under library.

http://store.steampowered.com/news/3857/

since I've moved my default home location via sys preference - accounts - advanced options it's automatically on the extra drive. I'm good too now.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 06:50 AM   #20
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Ahh!! I feel like I'm about to explode!

I honestly have tried everything to the letter that has been described here, so I'll post up what I think I should be adding into Terminal in hope that someone more able is able to qualify that what I am doing is indeed correct, or not...

The directory that at present my Steam Directory is located in:
/Users/appleadmin/Library/Application Support/Steam

The acutal directory I want my Steam Downloads/Content to is:
/Volumes/HITACHI/Steam

So in Terminal I have been typing the following:

ln -s /Users/appleadmin/Library/Application\ Support/Steam /Volumes/HITACHI/Steam

But when I do this and I subsequently load up STEAM again and then try to download it is still directing those downloads to the wrong drive - IE with only 32gb's of free space left. Where as the other one, /Volumes/HITACHI/Steam has like 170gb's of free space.

Please, please help if you can - appreciation in advance for anyone who has pity on me.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 11:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runebinder View Post
Yes please, I would like to know how to do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobblersuk View Post
Ahh!! I feel like I'm about to explode!
Please, please help if you can - appreciation in advance for anyone who has pity on me.

I direct pity in your direction: MacRumor Symbolic Link Guide

If you look at the directions in the guide under Using The Terminal, you can mitigate some of the typing problems by dragging the desired folder into the terminal window, see step No.6.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 02:12 PM   #22
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That's the thing, I've been dragging in the relevant folders the guides have suggested, but still it's not working.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 03:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobblersuk View Post
That's the thing, I've been dragging in the relevant folders the guides have suggested, but still it's not working.

Your example:
-s /Users/appleadmin/Library/Application\ Support/Steam /Volumes/HITACHI/Steam

Guide example: MyMac:~ jharris$ ln -s /Volumes/WDMac2/Steam\ Content /Users/jharris/Library/Application\ Support/Steam

It's not working because the command is not formatted correctly. If you want to cut through all the details, just go to the last paragraph in my post.

A quick look comparing your example with the example in the guide seems to indicated you arranging the content backwards. In the Guide Example the Steam content was dragged to an external hard drive named: WDMac2. When creating the symbolic link you are 1) telling it what to point at, then 2) telling the Terminal where to put the symbolic link and giving it a name. In addition, you did not type in the 'ln' command. (Will lack of doing this break the process? I don't know, but you should still do it.)

At this point my advice is to start from scratch and follow the MacRumor guide exactly. Try to avoid trashing any game content you have all ready down loaded. Format is critical, no errors allowed. In the MR Guide, only type in what you must type in. Establish file paths by dragging the folders to the terminal window when told to. You'll get it.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 05:28 PM   #24
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Hey, thanks. You are correct, I was doing it the wrong way around! :S

Oh well, all sorted. But thanks for the reply, was annoying the hell out of me.

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Old Feb 19, 2011, 10:04 AM   #25
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Glad I could help.
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