Moving Steam Folder Out of Home in Linux

I like to switch distros from time to time and remembering all of my little system tweaks becomes...problematic over time. Hence, I am documenting this for myself. Maybe it will benefit you too, dear reader.

I have a large SSD I use as my system disk and it annoys me greatly when Steam installs itself to my home folder. Yes, it is a larger disk, but I'd like to reap the benefits of my SSD (faster loading times) when playing games.

Luckily, it is pretty easy to move. After you install Steam, issue the following in terminal:

sudo mv ~/.local/share/Steam /opt
sudo chmod a+rwx /opt/Steam -R

This moves your Steam folder out of home and into opt. Then it updates the permissions to allow everyone read/write/execute access. You may not need to do that last part, but I want to make sure I don't have any permissions issues when trying to install games.

Once that is done, open the Steam client and it will complain that it can't find its files. Tell it to calm down and point it to the new location. This works because the Steam installer only installs a shell wrapper in /usr/bin that sets up the environment to run the Steam client from your home folder.

Chad Lee

Chad Lee

Technical Lead at CivicSource, OSS developer. Expert in distributed systems, REST, messaging, domain-driven design, test-driven development, & CQRS. Beginner dad, novice human.

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