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I want to install Steam and other programs to a different partition, how do I pick where Ubuntu Software Center will install them? How do I pick where Steam games will be installed?

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Why do you want to install programs on another partition? –  Flimm Feb 16 '13 at 9:44
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Because my Steam games are too large to fit on the one that Linux originally was installed to. Normally, I would just increase the size the partition, however I can't increase it any more due to space (I have it installed alongside Windows 7). –  user132530 Feb 16 '13 at 9:46
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3 Answers

Steam is not located together with the Steam games. The Steam application will be located in your system area and available to all users. Your Steam games will be located in your /home directory.

  1. If you installed Ubuntu using LVM, you can use the Disk Utility to add another disk to the volume. This is the easiest option if LVM is already set up, though not as safe as many others. If you lose one of the disks, your data will be gone. If you didn't set up LVM already, you can't (AFAIK) add it after the installation.

  2. You can migrate your /home to a separate disk. This is option is popular among experienced users during installation because your personal data becomes portable and persists across reinstallations. It's a little like having a D: disk for data on Windows, but not exactly. It will be completely transparent to you as the user. You will need to format a new disk using the Disk Utility, mount it, migrate all the data in the current /home to the new disk, unmount the disk, and permanently mount that disk on /home during boot.

  3. See also: How do I use a different drive as an installation location?

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Packages are installed in different places on the filesystem, they are not just installed in one directory.

For example, here are all the files installed by the steam package:

$ dpkg -L steam 
/.
/usr
/usr/share
/usr/share/pixmaps
/usr/share/pixmaps/steam.png
/usr/share/pixmaps/steam_tray.png
/usr/share/applications
/usr/share/applications/steam.desktop
/usr/share/icons
/usr/share/icons/hicolor
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/256x256
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/256x256/apps
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/256x256/apps/steam.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps/steam.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps/steam.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24/apps
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24/apps/steam.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/apps
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/apps/steam.png
/usr/share/man
/usr/share/man/man6
/usr/share/man/man6/steam.6.gz
/usr/share/doc
/usr/share/doc/steam
/usr/share/doc/steam/steam_install_agreement.txt.gz
/usr/share/doc/steam/README
/usr/share/doc/steam/changelog.gz
/usr/lib
/usr/lib/steam
/usr/lib/steam/bootstraplinux_ubuntu12_32.tar.xz
/usr/bin
/usr/bin/steam
/usr/bin/steamdeps
/etc
/etc/apt
/etc/apt/sources.list.d
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/steam.list

You could move all these files to a new partition, and then create symlinks from the original locations to the new locations, but this is more trouble than its worth.

If you want to combine two hard disks into one partition, you can use LVM or RAID to do that.

In Steam's case, downloaded games are installed in ~/.local/share/steam by default, and you can change the download location of each installed game. You could make ~/.local/share/steam a symlink to a directory on another partition if you wanted.

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I ended up using LVM to combine the partitions. Didn't know that was possible. Thanks again! –  user132530 Feb 16 '13 at 9:54
    
If this answer is satisfactory to you, could you accept it by clicking on the tick icon? –  Flimm Feb 16 '13 at 10:07
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You could also manually move the ~/.local/share/steam directory to where you want it. When you restart steam it'll ask, where it's directory went, you point it where you put it and there you go. :)

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