OS X MRs Guide: Steaming Your Mac

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Huntn, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Huntn, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #1
    MRs Guide: Steaming Your Mac

    [​IMG]

    How to Install Steam On Your Mac, Steam Performance Issues, Anything Steam Related.

    Updates
    *17Aug- Added Steam Troubleshooting Section.
    *6Aug- Significant Update! Updated this guide with current info. Thanks much to Janichsan!
    *1Aug2014- In anticipation of Wiki Posts in the Gaming section, resurrected Guide. When wiki option becomes available, will consider deleting this and turn it into a wiki post. Included info from another Guide, Creating a Symbolic Link, info necessary to move Mac Steam content out of its default location.
    *27Oct2013- Added blurb on how to find your invisible Library folder, made invisible under MacOS7 and newer.
    *22Apr12- Added link on running Steam in Offline Mode.
    *28Nov11- Added Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines guidance for running under Steam/Bootcamp/Windows 7 then removed it and placed it under Windows Gaming On A Mac FAQ here at MacRumors. Old Guide Reference. Content may become inaccessible

    Introduction
    This is a work in progress... Please report errors, broken links, or if you find this post generally confusing. Reply to this post or send me, Huntn, a Private Message.

    Misc Steam Links
    *Steaming Your Mac- an old MacRumors Guide reference. Content may become inaccessable.
    *How to Install Steam.Steampowered.com link.
    *How to Uninstall Steam.- Steam PC Version. Steampowered.com link.
    *Steam download link- Download starts immediately: http://store.steampowered.com/public/client/steam.dmg- Also, there is an Install Steam Now link at Store.Steampowered.com. (Right, top side of page)

    * Steam in Offline Mode (added 22Apr12)
    For Moving a Windows Steam Installation (that's Windows not Mac) see Moving A Steam Installation and Games- PC Centric Link or MacRumors Windows Gaming on a Mac Guide Part 1- Under the Specific Game Help Section, look for "Steam". Info for this link needs update or content may become inaccessable.

    Misc Game Links
    *Save Game Location Wiki- PC Centric.
    *Steam Game Save Locations- PC Centric.

    Misc FAQs
    *Where Is The Mac's Library Folder? "Library" used to be located in the User's folder but as of MacOS7 and newer, it is now invisible. You can either MacWorld link or find it by typing "Library" in the Help window and that should make it temporarily appear as a selection in the "Go" menu.
    *Where is the Steam Apps Folder? For Mac: Library>Application Support>Steam>SteamApps. For PC it is located inside the Steam Application folder. If you have a Steam shortcut on your desktop, right click it, and select “Open File Location” to quickly navigate to the Steam folder.
    *Where are my Steam Game’s Saved Games? That depends on the Game. See Misc Game Links for some Save Game Location links. For the Mac, if you don’t know, a good place to look for a game folder for your specific game is in the Application Support (Library>Application Support).

    Installing Steam on Your Mac

    *Install Mac Steam- This link will immediately download Mac Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/public/client/steam.dmg. If the link expires go to Store.Steampowered.com and locate the "Install Steam Now" link on the right side of the page.

    The default install location is to place Steam in your Applications folder. However, you can put it anywhere you want. When using my MacBookPro, I placed Mac Steam on my external drive. So I downloaded Mac Steam, opened the .dmg file and installed it there by simply dragging the Steam application from the .dmg file to the desired location.

    *Launch Steam- Establish a Steam account if you have not done so all ready. By default it is going to automatically install the SteamApps folder in your Library>Application Support>Steam Folder. If you have a teeny weenie hard drive and need to move Steam Game content out of your home drive/partition, see the next section.


    Specific Game Help
    Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines
    *The game will not run under Mac Steam. For information on running this game under Bootcamp/Windows/Steam see Windows Gaming On A Mac FAQ and look for the Specific Game Help Section of that guide. It is found in Part 2 of this Guide. This link needs an update.

    --------------------------
    Part 2: Troubleshooting Steam

    *Incomplete Installation (#) Errors.
    *Six Steam Troubleshooting Tips- Some are PC Centric but may apply to Mac.
    *Troubleshoot Network Connectivity.
    *Troubleshooting Common Steam Problems- PC Centric.
    *Steam For Mac Crashing? Try This Trick- Jan 2013.
    *How to Save Game Data When Reinstalling Steam From Scratch- In other words how to avoid having to re-download your Game Library? Before reinstalling Steam navigate to the Steam Folder (Library>Application Support>Steam) and copy the SteamApps and UserData Folder to another location. After reinstalling Steam, put these folders back into the Steam folder. After these steps, if it says a game is not ready to play, tell it to download and hopefully it will sense the content is all ready there and quickly validate it.
    *Validated Came Cache Files- Is a game not working right or crashes? Link covers both PC and Mac. Try completing all of the following instructions in the order in which they are presented. Skip any steps that do you apply to you.

    • Windows Vista, 7, or 8 users
      Skip this step and proceed to the next one if you do not use Windows Vista, 7, or 8.
      1.Completely exit Steam
      2.Right-click on the shortcut which you use to launch Steam
      3.Select "Run as Administrator"
      4.Launch Steam again and continue to the section of this article titled "Verify integrity of game cache"
    • Windows XP users
      Skip this step and proceed to the next one if you do not use Windows XP
      1.Exit Steam
      2.Go to the "Start" menu, select "Run", type "regedit" and click "OK"
      3.Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\VALVE
      4.Right-click and select "Permissions"
      5.Check the "Allow" boxes for "Admin" and "System" for both "Full control" and "Read".
      6.Launch Steam against and proceed to the section of this article titled "Verify integrity of game cache"
    • All operating systems - Verify integrity of game cache (MAC!)
      1.Load Steam
      2.From the Library section, right-click on the game and select Properties from the menu.
      3.Select the Local files tab and click the Verify integrity of game cache... button.
      4.Steam will verify the game's files*- this process may take several minutes.
      5.Once the process is completed, the Check Window will automatically exit.




    --------------------------
    Part 3: Establishing Additional Steam Libraries and/or Moving Mac Steam Content


    Moving Steam.jpg

    When Steam is installed it automatically places a Steam Application Folder in your Library>Application Support>Steam>SteamApps. Inside the SteamApps folder, game installs will be located inside the “common” folder. BTW, the Steam folder is not to be confused with the Steam Application which by default resides in the Application folder or wherever you installed it.

    Due to space requirements, if you desire to keep your Steam installed games in another location, Steam now allows you to have multiple active Steam libraries. Follow these Steps:

    Establish Additional Steam Libraries
    The advantage of this method, as compared to the old (symbolic link) method is that you don't have to move all of your games to the new location. If you for instance want to keep a few games on your internal MacBook drive, but move others to an external drive, this will work completely fine. Also, Steam won't freak out when you launch it without the external drive, as it would with the symbolic link method. BTW, the symbolic link info has been moved to the archived section of this guide.

    • Create a folder- with an appropriate name at your desired location (partition or hard drive) for a new Steam Library.
    • Create a new Steam Library- Within Steam (Preferences > Download > Steam Library Folders), designate this folder as a new library. Steam will automatically put a SteamApp Folder in this location.
    • When you purchase/download a game from Steam, there will be a box that allows you to choose which Steam Library location to install the game.
    • Very simple!

    Moving Previously Downloaded Game From One Steam Library To Another
    *Moving A Steam Installation and Games- PC Centric Link

    *Mac Info:
    • Activate a new Steam Library as described in the previous section.
    • Navigate to the new Steam Library Folder- Navigate to the folder you designated as a new Steam library folder. Look inside the "SteamApps" folder and verify, that a folder named “common” exists. If no games have been downloaded to that location “common” may not exist. If it’s not there, create it.
    • Move the game folders from the original SteamApps/common folder to the Steam Apps/common folder in the new location.
    • Help Steam Find This Game- Remember the moved game was not download through Steam to this location. Instead it was manually moved over.
    • Find the Steam AppID of the games moved game. It can be identified in the URL of the Steam Store page of the game (for Civ V that would be "http://store.steampowered.com/app/8930/", where "8930" is the AppID) or look it up here.
      *The “appmanifest” file identifies the game for Steam- Move the "appmanifest" file with the same number from the old SteamApps library folder to the new SteamApps folder (not to the "common" folder). For Civ V, that file is called "appmanifest_8930.acf".
    • Remove the game data from the original SteamApps/common folder. Throw it in the trash, but don’t delete until it’s verified that the desired result has been achieved.
      [*]Launch Steam. If all is well, the game status will be “Play”.



    _______________________________________
    Part 4: Archived Info

    Stop!
    This section includes old info that was originally included in this guide. There is no need to review it, unless you want see how to make a symbolic link related to Steam or to be nostalgic. ;) I may delete it soon.

    Old Links
    *Have not verified this content since 2013- Source Finagler- a 3rd party app by Mark Douma that will assist you in moving your Steam game content (the SteamApps folder) out of your Steam folder and on to an external drive or a different partition without having to use the Terminal. Separate Link.
    *A Brief Tutorial on Symbolic Links- MacOSXHints.com. (Note Aug 2014: Symbolic Links are no longer required to add or move a Steam library.)

    Old Updates
    Steam Change: 26June2010 Alert A fundamental change in the physical organization of Steam on your Mac took place in 2010. Via the update, the "Steam Content" folder was renamed, the "SteamApps" folder and moved to the Library>ApplicationSupport>Steam folder.

    * Warning! If you previously moved your Steam Content using this guide before June 2010 and decide to rename your "Steam Content" folder to "SteamApps" you will break the symbolic link you previously created. Either leave it alone or start from scratch and create a new symbolic link using the Terminal as per this guide.


    * For Those of You Who Used This Guide to Create A Symbolic Link Prior to 26Jun10
    ...back in the beginning of June2010, when Steam game content was located in the Steam Content folder and kept in the Documents folder, your Steam setup should still work. As of 26Jun2010 if you previously used the symbolic link instructions to move Steam content out of your Documents folder, you will now see that the Steam Content link is no longer in your Documents folder. It has been moved to the Library>Application Support>Steam folder and it has automatically been renamed SteamApps. At least that is what happened in my case. In addition it points to the "Steam Content folder" you previously moved to another location and most importantly, your Mac Steam application should still be working!

    Instructions for Creating a Symbolic Link to Relocate Steam Game Content

    *The Problem: As of 26June2010, Mac Steam automatically installs games into your Library>Application Support> Steam folder in a folder called "SteamApps" and you don't have enough internal drive space to install games there.

    *The Solution: The current work around is to put these games on an external drive or another partition by moving the SteamApps folder, and create a symbolic unix link in the Steam folder that points to the new location. When Steam launches, it looks for the SteamApps folder in the Steam folder, but there it is directed to the SteamApps folder in the new location.

    *MacOS Note: Don't get confused if you are new to the Mac. The "Steam Application" is different than the Steam Folder that sits in the Application Support folder. The Steam Application (that launches Steam) is a MacOS Package. It is an application folder that is made to look like an application icon. If you click it, it acts like an application and will launch Steam. If you right-click it, a menu will open with a choice to show contents. Unlike Windows, the MacOS is very forgiving for dragging applications and content around. As you move things around, do not place the Steam application inside the Steam folder. Although I have not verified, I think this would be asking for trouble.

    *My instructions are for specifically creating a SteamApps folder on an external drive, but you could do the same thing on another partition. Please note that Valve has indicated it will fix this problem in the future. When exactly? I don't know. -Hunt'n.

    *You may have experience creating an "alias" within OSX, and may have used an alias to to point at another file in a similar manner to this. However for this situation, an OSX alias will not work. Instead you must create a symbolic link using a helper program (listed below) or the Terminal.

    *Caution Some serious ***** can happen in the Terminal if you really mess it up, but on the other hand entering Terminal commands is not that hard. How is that for waffling? :)

    Archived Guide Updates


    *Mar 2013 Update Valve confirmed that the Mac version of Steam does not allow for creating a new Steam Library on another partion/hard drive from within the Steam application. The instructions for creating a symbolic link in this guide still applies for Mac Steam.

    *Feb 2013 Update: As a reminder, this discussion focused on Mac Steam. Steam is now supposed to allow you to establish a new Steam App folder on any drive you desire, except in practice it does not work (for me). If you want to see, launch Steam, select Prefences>Download+Cloud tab (Preferences found under Steam menu, top of Finder window, not within Steam App Window.) An establish "Steam Library Folder" menu choice is located in a box that makes reference to "adding new steam folders on multiple drives" but if clicked on, it appears not to allow navigation to another drive. I've submitted a ticket to Valve and am awaiting a reply.- Huntn.

    *Sept 2012 Update: FOR PC: The Steam Beta allows you to choose Steam Install Locations. See this PC centric RockPaperShotgun link. It speaks of adding "-dev" description to the Steam.exe application. Note, we don't have .exe applications on the Mac. And I don't know how this applies to moving Steam game content after the initial Steam install on your Mac. I assume that what you can do in Windows Steam will be about the same as Mac Steam, but I know where assumptions have gotten me in the past. As I become aware of more info, I'll post it. As far as I know, the instructions in this guide still apply. -Huntn 020913.

    Original Instruction on How to Move Steam Content.
    For moving Steam content the following info is outdated, although the process still works. Create a Symbolic Link to connect Steam to a Steam Library in a location different from the default library>SteamApps location. The downside of this process is that it only allows for one Steam Library, while the current method described previously allows for multiple Steam libraries. In addition I have not verified that Source Finagler still functions properly and the other old method, working with the Terminal is a pain.

    You have two choices:
    *Choice Number One: is to download MarkDouma.com's Source Finagler, download link: SourceFinagler app and follow the directions. The idea is that you are 1)moving your Steam Apps folder to a new location and then 2) using this app to create a symbolic link that goes into your Steam folder. I tested this application in June 2011 and it worked well. This is by far the easiest and quickest method.

    *Choice Number Two: Is to use the Mac's Terminal Application to create a symbolic link, telling Mac Steam where to find the new location of the SteamApps folder. See the next section.

    Using the Terminal
    The SteamApps folder is where Steam stores game content. These steps creates a new unix symbolic link in your Steam folder (where the Steam Application sits) that points to the SteamApps folder location some place other than the default location (Default Location: Library>Application Support>Steam>Steam App folder). In my case, I want my Steam game content to be on my external drive.

    WarningProceed at your own risk!!!

    • To start out, install Mac Steam. This link will immediately download Mac Steam: Steam Client. If the link expires go to Store.Steampowered.com and locate the "Install Steam Now" link on the right side of the page. The default install location is to place Steam in your Applications folder. However, you can put it anywhere you want. When using my MacBookPro, I placed Mac Steam on my external drive. So I downloaded Mac Steam, opened the .dmg file and installed it there by simply dragging the Steam application from the .dmg file to the desired location.
    • Launch Steam. Establish a Steam account if you have not done so all ready. By default it is going to automatically install the SteamApps folder in your Library>Application Support>Steam Folder. Shut down Steam.
    • Locate the "SteamApps" folder in your Steam folder and drag this to the new desired location, where it will be copied. The assumption is that you are moving this folder to a different drive/partition. Therefore the folder will be copied and the original folder will remain in the Steam folder. But we don't want the original SteamApps folder sitting in the Steam folder, so move the original SteamApps folder from your Steam folder to the trash. Hold off on emptying the trash until you know you have a working copy of Mac Steam with the content in the new location.
    • Open the Terminal application, located in your Utility folder. (In your Mac Finder along the top look for the "Go" pulldown menu> Utilities>Terminal). When you launch the Terminal a window opens that has a command line that starts with something like: MyMac:~ jharris$ (where jharris is the user).
    • Type in this command ln -s (with a space between "ln" and "-s", followed by a space. Don't forget the space after the "-s"! If this space is not there, the command will not work. Note the command "ln" consists of the small letters LN, not IN). Your Terminal command line should look something like this:
      MyMac:~ jharris$ ln -s
    • Open the window that shows the new location of your SteamApps folder (the one you just moved). Left click on this folder and drag it to the Terminal Window then release it. This will copy a path to your Steam Content folder. (In my case "/Volumes/WDMac2/" is a partition on my external drive. The folder name is SteamApps. Your command line should look something like this now:
      MyMac:~ jharris$ ln -s /Volumes/WDMac2/SteamApps

      [*] Open your Steam folder. (In the Finder along the top look for the "Go" pulldown menu> Home>Library>Application Support folder). The "Steam" folder is in your Application Support folder. Click on the Steam folder, drag it to the Terminal Window, and release it. The path to your Steam folder will automatically pop in with a space between it and the previous part. After you've finished this step, you may notice a back slash (\) between Application and Support. This is normal. In the Terminal for the folder named "Application Support" it indicates there is a space between the two words. Your Terminal command window should now look something like this:
      MyMac:~ jharris$ ln -s /Volumes/WDMac2/Steam\ Content /Users/jharris/Library/Application\ Support/Steam

      [*] On the Terminal command line, type in the name of the link that will be placed into the Steam folder (by using this Terminal command). Right after the word "Steam" type in this syntax with no space: /SteamApps. Your terminal command line should now look something like this:
      MyMac:~ jharris$ ln -s /Volumes/WDMac2/Steam\ Content /Users/jharris/Library/Application\ Support/Steam/SteamApps

      [*] Select the Terminal Window, and now hit the "Return" key to enter the command. A new command line will appear that looks like:
      MyMac:~ jharris$


    Quit the Terminal. If you have formatted this command correctly, a new alias of your SteamApps folder should show up in your Steam folder. Verify. Now launch Steam and see if it worked.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Does this not work?

    [​IMG]

    Code:
    [plain][IMG]http://guides.macrumors.com/images/0/06/Steam.small.png[/IMG][/plain]
     
  3. Huntn, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #3
    I copied and pasted the url into my OP, it did not appear as an image. But when I used the IMG tags it worked. How are you familiar with this, if I might ask? I used to know how to upload graphics to the Guide area, but my impression is that that area is being decommissioned? I can no longer access it to upload graphics.

    * How did you come up with this URL, the /images/0/06/Steam?
    * Do you know if there is a way to browse all of the images stored in the MacRumors graphic library? The other question becomes, will this area of "guides.macrumors" remain a resource for images used in wiki posts?

    Any info you have would be appreciated.
     
  4. Janichsan macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #4
    Regarding the moving Mac Steam Content thing… there's a somewhat more elegant way now, that works at least for non-Valve games.

    Step 1: Create a secondary Steam library from within Steam (Preferences > Download > Steam Library Folders).
    Step 2: Navigate to that new folder you just designated as new Steam library folder. There will be a folder called "SteamApps" inside. If it not exists already, create a folder called "common" within that.
    Step 3: Move the game folders from your old SteamApps/common folder to the new one.
    Step 4: Find the Steam AppID of the games you just moved. You can find them for instance in the URL of the Steam Store page of the game (for Civ V that would be "http://store.steampowered.com/app/8930/", where "8930" is the AppID) or look it up here.
    Step 5: Now move the "appmanifest" file with the same number from the old Steam library folder to the new SteamApps folder (not to the "common" folder). For Civ V, that file is called "appmanifest_8930.acf".
    Step 6: Profit.

    The advantage of this way is that you don't have to move all of your games to the new location. If you for instance want to keep a few games on your internal MacBook drive, but move others to an external drive, this will work completely fine. Also, Steam won't freak out when you launch it without the external drive, as it would with the symlink method.
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #5
    This 1.8 MB video (.mov, H.264) should be able to show you how I did it. Easier than a wall of text.
     
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #6
    I'll check this out, thanks! :)

    Thanks, I'll look at this! :)
     
  7. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #7
    Thanks for this info. I am working on incorporating it into the Guide. Once you have a new library established, and say you have several active libraries, when you go to download a game, will Steam ask you which library to install to, or do you have to go through these steps (download it, then move it) for every game? If this is so, I imagine the symbolic link would be better in that there is one library and games will always download to it.

    Thoughts? Thanks! :)
     
  8. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #8
    Guide Updated with current info. Thanks Janichsan! :D
     
  9. Janichsan macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #9
    When you download a new game, you can select on the very first page of the installation dialog in which library to install it. You can even directly create a new library from there.

    So, the method I described is only necessary for games you already have installed and don't want to download again.
     
  10. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #10
    Hi,
    I m having a issue with Big Picture after the last update of steam, whenever i click Big Picture it sometimes doesn't load & the screen just scroll right as this app uses spaces but the steam app doesn't load & i m left with the grey background of spaces. Then i have to use command quit & try again, sometimes it load sometimes it does. Anyone else have this issue? I m on a late 2012 27" iMac if that helps.
     
  11. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #11
    I'm not familiar with Big Picture. Is Steam functional? Is there data associated with this app? I would first try to validate the apps cache, if this does not work, and if it finds an issue, I'm not sure if it will just tell you to reinstall or do something else, but step 2 would be to consider going into Steam and uninstall local Big Picture content and then reinstall it. The final step is to reinstall Steam completely however, game content can be saved if you take a few steps which I don't have the time at this moment to explain. Try the others first. Maybe, someone with BP experience will have another idea.
     
  12. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #12
    Hi,
    Its not related to a game app, it just happens whenever i click "big picture" sometime it goes in that mode sometime it doesn't. Also how can i reinstall just the big picture content? i didn't understand that part.

    Thanks..
     
  13. Huntn, Aug 17, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #13
    *17Aug- Added Steam Troubleshooting Section to Guide.



    You said this problem appeared after an update?
    I'm wondering if you open Steam and look at your (Steam) library, is this program in the list? If it is in the list, you should be able to right-click the program in the list of programs and select >Properties>Local Files and select "verify integrity of game cache".

    The assumption is that you purchased this program through Steam. And when you right-click the program, there should be an option to delete local content. After you do this, the program can be downloaded again and see if that made any difference. Good luck!
     
  14. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #14
    Looking for info regarding Steam game saves being able to be stored/retrieved from the Steam Cloud? Some quick searches did not reveal the answer. If you are familiar, I'd love to hear about it. :)
    Thanks!
     

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