I want to buy a new notebook in the near future to play games on it. I'm looking forward for the new Steam for Linux client. My question is that where does the Steam install the games, on the home partition, or in the usr folder, or somewhere else? I do not use pre-release (i.e. beta) versions of either Steam or Ubuntu.

11 Answers 11


In newer versions of Steam, games seem to be located at:


  • 5
    Are you sure about Steam no longer being in ~/.local/share? On my system, ~/.steam/steam is just a symbolic link to ~/.local/share/Steam (which is the real folder). Apr 8, 2015 at 5:32
  • 1
    Just checked - on my system, ~/.steam/steam is a real folder, and ~/.local/share/Steam doesn't exist. As obvious from other answers, YMMV. Apr 8, 2015 at 7:00
  • 1
    Note: the reason some see the ~/.steam path as a symlink, or not seeing the ~/.local at all is that when Valve were transitioning they linked it for a little while. They also at the very tail end in a SteamBeta (that I can no longer find) did a symlink of .local/share/Steam to .steam on new installs. Going forward since then though, only ~/.steam/ has existed. So for those writing tools/scripts beware that it may be in either and to check both.
    – admalledd
    Sep 10, 2018 at 1:17
  • 4
    Almost that. Path is in lowercase in my case ~/.steam/steam/steamapps/common
    – aloisdg
    Nov 1, 2018 at 20:25

The default install location appears to be ~/.local/share/Steam. This is where Valve games are installed by default, which can't be changed using the Steam Libraries system.

The setup of this directory mirrors how Windows Steam is laid out, with the SteamApps folder containing both the .gcf files shared across Steam accounts and the individual steam account directories.

  • Thats exactly where the folder exists. not the /home/<username>/steam, it's just a shortcut to /home/<username>/.local/share/Steam .
    – Pavak Paul
    Nov 22, 2013 at 12:26
  • 2
    @pavak ~/ brings you to /home/<username> of the current user - so you don't need to explain to people to replace "username" with their username and without the <> ect... please don't edit things to be harder for people.
    – Mateo
    Nov 22, 2013 at 15:11
  • OK, actually i didn't know that. I just wanted to help :) . Anyway thanks for the intel about ~/
    – Pavak Paul
    Nov 22, 2013 at 16:00
  • Mine is ~/.local/share/Steam/common Jun 13, 2015 at 15:23

~/Steam is only for log files Downloaded data (client updates, etc) seam to go to ~/.steam instead.

If you don't want to pollute your $HOME, you can create a folder somewhere on a partition, give it your own user accounts's ownership and access rights and create some symlinks.

I personally did before launching the Steam Client second time:

sudo mkdir /opt/SteamFiles
sudo chown myuser:mygroup /opt/SteamFiles
cd ~
ln -s /opt/SteamFiles .steam

After installing and updating the client, all game and Steam client data ended up under /opt/SteamFiles and installing games directly pointed me to my created file system.

This can easily shared between multiple Linux installations on the same PC.


It install in this path:


Where ${USER} is the name of your ubuntu user.

  • 3
    This is just the default path, so you can put it anywhere else if you want.
    – Timo
    Dec 10, 2012 at 12:24

As other users have already said, Steam is installed under ~/.local/share/Steam (where the ~/ means /home/<username>). The games themselves are installed in ~/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common.

However, when I attempted to find this directory in Wine, for some reason Wine wouldn't show any folder names starting with a ".", so it couldn't find the .local folder in order to get to the Steam directory. I was able to resolve this by going up in the directory tree to My Computer and then drilling down into the correct drive letter for your Ubuntu file system, which for me was Z:. Note that C: is an internally used drive letter in Wine for compatibility with Windows applications and won't show your Ubuntu files. From there you have to find your /home directory and follow the folders down to your Steam directory, i.e. Z:/home/<username>/.local/share/Steam.

  • 1
    ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common for me thanks !
    – Moebius
    Mar 9, 2016 at 21:10

It actually depends how you Installed Steam. (at least on 16.04LTS)

Via the steam.deb on steampowered.com the location ist ~/.local/share/Steam

Via ubuntu's own multiverse repository the location is ~/.steam

The second install method is the recommended one. http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/06/install-steam-on-ubuntu-16-04-lts


If you installed the flatpack version you may find it here:


  • Why? Why is this a thing? Why is there a different path depending on what package you install? Aug 10, 2023 at 3:54

Mine are in ./.steam/steam/steamapps/common


In my case I had a different place.


The best way to know (at least for me) is to go to the root and find for Steam or steam.

cd /
sudo find -name steam

The directories on Linux is separated by user.

Assuming the user name is John the user folder will be '/home/john/' and Steam directory will be:

/home/john/.steam/steam/ # absolute path , i.e., full path
$HOME/.steam/steam/ # using environment variable

All above is the same

The character tilde ~ is the same of $HOME, both represent the 'home' directory.

  • Tilde expansion depends on the shell too. Moreover, if you quote tilde, it won't be expanded to the value of $HOME. For example, compare the outputs of echo "~" and echo "$HOME".
    – Kulfy
    Jan 3, 2021 at 13:55

In my case (Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS), all the steam data can be found at the following path:


(In case someone uses snap, this should be the default folder)

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