OS X Steam and multiple Mac accounts

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by TonsOfFun420, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #1
    I just downloaded Steam and Borderlands 2 on my mac, but I have two user accounts on this Mac. With apps from the app store they are available to use from either user account. Steam is available from either account, but I have to download Borderlands 2 again to the 2nd user account, so now I have two copies on my computer it seems. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way around this so that Steam games are available from either user account? (I use the same Steam account on both user accounts) Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #2
    My impression is that each Steam account is a stand alone account with a unique email attached to it. Game serial numbers/Games are attached to a single Steam account. You might be able to talk to Steam support and get them combine the content into one account. Admittedly, I am no expert on this subject. You only had to pay for Borderlands2, one time? Obviously you'd be better off if you kept everything on a single Steam Account?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the input but I'm not sure you understand what I am saying, I only have 1 steam account. When I say user account I mean for the computer.

    I should be able to access the game from either computer account, instead of having to download and install the game on both computer accounts.

    What makes this problem worse is the saved game from computer user 1 is not available on computer user 2.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #4
    This is entirely Valve's fault in that they shove everything - game apps, saves, prefs, etc. in the User folder.(user/library/app support/steam) That's why steam games are isolated to one account. It's asinine that it works this way (app support should never actually have applications) but there you go.

    To share the data, move /user/Library/Application Support/Steam/ to /Users/Shared/Library/Application Support/Steam/ and then in each account run this in the terminal:

    if [ -d "~/Library/Application Support/Steam/" ]; then rm -rf "~/Library/Application Support/Steam/" fi; ln -s "/Users/Shared/Library/Application Support/Steam/" "~/Library/Application Support/Steam/"
     
  5. macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #5
    Ok gotcha. What is confusing is that you don't have multiple mac accounts. You have a single Steam account sitting on multiple computers with duplicate content on each account. There is a way to move folders. I think the previous post has it, but if you want more explanation, there is are two guides I created which include info on moving your Steam Content: Steaming Your Mac Guide which links to a Symbolic Link, Moving Steam Content Guides (last updated in 2011). You can use this guidence to copy over the appropriate folder from one computer to the other and then create the symbolic link so when you start up Steam it looks at the newly created folder you just moved. Unless you are using Cloud saves, you'll also have to move saved games from one computer to the other I believe.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    There is an option in the steam preferences to move the steam folder.
     
  7. macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    #7
    To another computer? :) Regardless that is probably an improvement from the last time that guide was updated. I'll check it out and update the guide as necessary.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
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    #8
    No, I think he's saying you can move the steam folder on account #2 to the location of account #1. Then, when you log in to steam account #2, it will see the games are already present, and won't download them again. In a sense, both steam accounts will "fuse" into one directory, with each account being able to access games that are registered to them.

    Brilliant!
     
  9. macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    #9
    I think it would be helpful to talk in terms of Steam Accounts vs Steam Installs. In the OP's case there was only one Steam Account, but he was accessing this account from two different Steam Installs residing on two different computers. It is easy to move the Steam Content folder to another location. What you used to have to do was, then create a symbolic link so when the Steam Application starts it would know where to look for Steam Content. I not sure what Cluthz was referring to when he mentioned the "Steam Folder". I'll also check out Steam and see what preference he was referring to within Steam.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #10
    The OP has one computer, two OS X user accounts. Not sure where you are getting that from.

    I haven't tried it, but it looks like symlinks are indeed no longer needed. The Library button at the bottom of the Downloads+Cloud tab in preferences lets you create and select them. So you should be able to move it out of your user folder in the finder, and then point Steam to its new location in both accounts.
     
  11. macrumors G3

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    #11
    I must be confused. I thought we were talking about Steam Accounts, not OSX accounts. I'll reread the thread. Sorry guys!
     
  12. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #12
    I reread this post- duh (directed at me). I assume, having not tried it, that if there are no ownership issues, you should be able to, log into the OSX account that you want to tie to your primary SteamApp (Steam content folder), and create a symbolic link using the guide previously mentioned.

    A quick tour of Mac Steam did not reveal this preference. Could you point me at it? Thanks!
     
  13. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #13
    As I said, it's in the Downloads+Cloud tab. It doesn't let you move the library per se, just select and create them (so you could have two, a "private" account one and a shared one.) All you need to do is move the folder to the desired shared location in the finder and then point Steam to it with this preference. No Symlinks needed.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #14
    Many thanks to everyone for your help, I did this:

    The only thing is in /Users/Shared there was nothing so I manually created a folder called Library, another folder inside that called Application Support, and then moved the Steam folder in there, is that ok?

    When I ran the command in terminal nothing seemed to happen, and it did not make Steam recognize the game, so I went to Preferences, Downloads+Cloud tab and added the shared location. Steam recognized the game in my library now (sounds like we're on the right track) but when I press "play" it has a popup saying 'preparing to launch borderlands 2' that goes away and nothing happens, the game doesn't launch. Any ideas? Could the command I put in the terminal be causing a conflict, or should I undo that command? Thanks!!
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #15
    Sounds like the symlink didn't work. Not sure why, but the library selector in Downloads+Cloud obviates the need for it anyway.

    It could be a permissions issue, the game might not have liked being moved outside your /user folder. Do a get info on your steam folder and give everything read and write permissions. Be sure to click the gear and choose "apply to enclosed items."

    If that fails, I would right click on the game in steam, go to properties-->local files, and verify the cache integrity. If that fails, reinstall the game.

    Also, are there any other games in your library you can try?
     
  16. TonsOfFun420, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #16
    I ended up first reinstalling the game, moved steam to the shared folder, then followed your instructions for giving read and write permissions for everything on OSX user#1 and user#2. Next I added the new shared location in Downloads+Cloud.

    I can play the game on OSX user #1 (where the game was originally installed, and moved to the shared folder) but still when I try to press "play" on OSX user#2, it has a popup that says 'preparing to launch borderlands 2...' which disappears after 2 seconds and nothing happens. I was able to verify the cache integrity, the only thing I can tell is different is that the game was originally installed, and the Steam folder was moved to the Shared user while I was logged into OSX user#1

    Thanks for your help, appreciate it.

    ----------

    Also I do not currently have any other games in Steam that I can try.

    I am no expert in this, but it almost seems like it is still trying to pull the game data from the original Steam folder from OSX user#2, and not from the Shared folder I created.

    In the downloads+cloud > Steam Library Folders, I have listed the original steam folder (0 items installed 0 bytes) but I cannot remove it, says the original cannot be removed. There is also the new shared steam folder (1 item installed 5.95gb) that is the game it just doesn't seem to want to access it.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  17. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #17
    No, if you see Borderlands 2 in your games list for User 2, then it's looking at your Shared folder (because User #2 doesn't have another copy of the game in user2/appsupport/steam)

    It appears that there are Borderlands 2 files that exist outside the Steam folder, in user/Application Support/Borderlands 2/. My guess is that it's looking for that folder and cannot find it.

    Copy that folder to user2/Application Support/Borderlands 2.

    You will end up having two separate copies of saved games, but they should get synced through steam cloud.

    Edit: I just saw your edit. That's very perplexing. I'm not sure why it would suddenly not work. Now that you've moved your steam folder to shared, you might try reinstalling it there and see if that helps.

    Other than that, have you tried contacting Aspyr?
     
  18. TonsOfFun420, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #18
    I really appreciate your help, honestly this is all a bit over my head. I feel like everything is messed up at this point, so I uninstalled Steam and got rid of every trace of Steam and borderlands on all OSX users including shared.

    I am thinking I will reinstall Steam, then create the shared Steam folder, and then download Borderlands, I just don't see any option in Steam to tell it which library to put the game in.

    Edit: Actually now that I have given each user permission to everything, now I can select user#1 Steam folder as the library when I am logged into user#2 which I couldn't before, I am downloading the game now so we will see what happens
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #19
    Running as a different user

    I tried various solutions (moving SteamApps to /Users/Shared/Library/Application Support/Steam and making symbolic links, doing various other directories). I kept having permission problems, either from:
    - a log file being left behind when switching back and forth between users
    - not being able to load SAVED directories

    Here's what finally worked for me. Assume user1 has the games installed:

    visudo
    # Add this line
    user2 ALL=(user1) NOPASSWD: /bin/bash

    Then, from user2's session, run:
    % HOME=/Users/user1 sudo -u user1 /bin/bash /Applications/Steam.app/Contents/MacOS/steam.sh

    Et voila! Now you're running Steam as user1 within user2's session.

    But... what if I don't want user2 to be able to run /bin/bash as user1? In that case, this solution isn't for you.
     

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