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So, I am fairly new to xubuntu, and have just made a fresh install. I decided to get steam, so I used the Software Center to install steam, but i am encountering problems. Running steam from the start menu simply brings up a box saying:

Couldn't set up Steam data - please contact technical support

And running it from the terminal produces:

alex@Craptop:~$ steam
Repairing installation, linking /home/alex/.steam/steam to /home/alex/.local/share/Steam
rm: cannot remove ‘/home/alex/.steam/steam’: Is a directory
Setting up Steam content in /home/alex/.local/share/Steam
rm: cannot remove ‘/home/alex/.steam/steam’: Is a directory"

Tried re-installing twice now, and am still getting the error saying it couldn't set up steam data.

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try to reinstall steam. – Avinash Raj May 22 '14 at 5:36
Rename the folder /home/alex/.steam – davidbaumann May 22 '14 at 22:53
Renaming the folder worked, but steam still isn't working,I will ask a new question that applies to it. – Snail284069 May 23 '14 at 0:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You could try this:

mv ~/.steam/steam/* ~/.local/share/Steam/
rmdir ~/.steam/steam
ln -s ../.local/share/Steam ~/.steam/steam
rm -rf ~/.steam/bin

Which is essentially doing what the steam executable is trying to do, but failing.

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I know it's been a while and you've probably solved the problem already, but here is a fix that also works.

This error can result if you HAD Steam installed, then did a "nuke and pave" to re-install your system but had /home on a different partition. When you reinstall Linux, your home directory is intact, including your Steam settings, which are in the ~/.steam directory. Remove the directory by opening the terminal and typing:

cd ~
rm -rf .steam

This will delete the settings folder, and Steam should install normally.

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+1 for the simple solution – TAAPSogeking Aug 23 at 17:56

considering that you had already the ff:

  1. /home/.steam
  2. steam launcher


  1. at terminal:

    $ mv ~/.steam/steam/* ~/.local/share/Steam/
  2. using GUI, goto .steam folder, by default its located at /home/.steam

  3. inside the ./steam folder, delete the steam folder.. yeah, theres still another steam folder inside the ./steam folder.. just delete it.

  4. press Ctrl+T at terminal.. $ steam --reset then hit enter

  5. your steam should working and updating.

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