I recently got an invitation for Steam. I want to download games but my SSD drive which I have Ubuntu will not be enough. How can I install Steam on a different hard drive?

I went into the "Steam Library Folders" but I can't delete the original folder so steam can install on that drive. I have also tried to change the place but it is again on the down side:

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Some points not addressed in the above answers:

  • While Steam lets you create multiple libraries, it appears some games can only be installed in the primary library. I suspect this applies to games (eg, those using the Source engine like TF2) with shared content.

  • Using a symlink to move the SteamApps library folder out of the Steam directory causes problems, since some games appear for whatever reason not to follow symlinks. Certainly this TF2 bug is related, but others may also be. (It appears you can do this successfully using a bind mount, but this is unnecessary - see below).

However, to answer the original question - you can just move the Steam folder entirely to a new location (eg, to move it to /opt/Steam):

sudo mv ~/.local/share/Steam /opt

Once it is moved, attempt to start Steam (using the Unity icon or /usr/bin/steam). You will get a message:

Couldn't find Steam content, did you move it?

Which will let you select the new Steam directory. Subsequently it will start normally.

  • This worked moving Steam to another ext4 filesystem. I do not know whether this will work if you change the permissions or attempt to use a non-linux filesystem.

  • I have not tried sharing a library directory between Windows and Linux steam. I suspect this would end badly.

  • Moving the Steam directory will usually make SteamGuard require an unlock code the next time you start Steam.

  • ntfs works too.
    – Klesun
    Mar 26 '17 at 23:39

Apparently it gives you the option when downloading a game.

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I have not tried this myself but I don't see any reason it wouldn't be straight forward. But reportedly it only works for games that uses the new content system.


I usually resolve these problems by mounting the default folder to another location. That way it's completely transparent to the application as it just use the normal filesystem (no symlink).

You can do it temporarly with mount:

sudo mount -o bind /your/preffered/folder /home/you/.steam/steam

Or make it permanent in /etc/fstab:

/your/preffered/folder /home/you/.steam/steam none bind
  • a quick tip, if you mount a folder with spaces in the name you have to use: \040 instead of the space, ex: My Folder --> My\040Folder, I tried only escaping but it did not worked, ubuntu 15.10 fresh install Jan 1 '16 at 19:55
  • Thats the correct solution when installing steam as flatpack when it recognizes /home/<user>/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam as system root folder. Then also symlinks don't work. Jan 3 '20 at 8:00

Steam lets you define what they call "Steam Library Folders". In the steam client go to the "Steam" menu item, and select "Settings", the go Downloads+Cloud tab:

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Click on "Steam Library Folders" and adjust accordingly:

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To move a game's installation files from one folder to another, go to "Library", find the game, right-click on it, select "Properties", click the "Local files" tab, and click "Move install folder...".

enter image description here

  • I have did that but I can't delete the original folder so steam can install on that drive. I have also tried to change the place but it is again on the down side.
    – Atladica
    Dec 8 '12 at 19:53
  • 1
    It told me that it must be on a filesystem mounted with execute permissions, how do I mount the filesystem with execute permissions? Jun 11 '15 at 15:14

The easiest way is to move your steam home folder to that new drive and create a link for it, as "Steam Library Folders" is relatively new feature and doesn't work with all games.


You may want to create the new library folder and try manually moving the content. It's best to test this with a single, smaller, game rather than the entire 21GB.


For it dosent work. When i instaled first time Steam i could to instal games in another disk space it was all ok, After instalation i turned on games and playing few houers. Next step i had to reset my PC after rebooting there was no games instaled on my steam. What can i do is to install again games on my disk where is the system. I cant change location. It strange becouse games are on my difrent location instaled properly but steam whant to instal them again.

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