(Solved) - Steam for Mac - Download/Install games to alternative drive?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by NATO, May 12, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #1
    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?
     
  2. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Darkplace Hospital
    #2
    I know on PC Steam that you can just copy the steam folder to an external drive. Not sure about OSX though.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    slpdLoad

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #3
    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.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Mattww

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #5
    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.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #6
    That would have been the sensible option, it does seem like a bit of an oversight...
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    ert3

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    #8
    how big is steam by the way? my ssd is only 64gb
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #9
    Yes please, I would like to know how to do that.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    ert3

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    ert3

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #11
    This is copy pasted from an email i sent out durring the beta and it would seem that this worked for most people

    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
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #12
    Cheers dude.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    gumbyx84

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Xavier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus
    #14
    This worked out great! I definitely do not have enough space on my laptop for games. Now steam directs to my external :)
     
  15. Gex
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
    Worked like a charm here too, so now i got Steam installing Portal to my FW 800 drive ^^
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    mixel

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #16
    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. :D
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #17
    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 [U]Steam[/U] now points to [B]SteamMac[/B])
    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 [U]runic games[/U] now points to [B]SteamMac/runic games[/B])
    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.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #18
    FAT32...? That will get sticky with bigger games
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    #20
    Ahh!! I feel like I'm about to explode! :mad:

    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.
     
  21. Huntn, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #21

    I direct pity in your direction: MacRumor Symbolic Link Guide :D

    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.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    #22
    That's the thing, I've been dragging in the relevant folders the guides have suggested, but still it's not working.
     
  23. Huntn, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #23

    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. :)
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    #24
    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.

    :)
     
  25. macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains

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