Install programs on another partition?

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Install programs on another partition?

Postby gemini89 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:14 am

I have one SSD with 20 GB which I´m running root and swap on, and one 500 GB hard drive for movies etc. My problem is that I´ve installed Steam and want to buy some games to play. But Steam is installed on my SSD, and one can not change where games are installed, so it is on the SSD, which doesn´t have enough space for it.

Is there any way to go around this, like installing Steam on the other partition? Or do I simply have to install Mint on the hard disk and not use the SSD?

I apologize if there´s already a topic on this or if it´s the wrong category.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby viking777 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:44 am

How big is this 'Steam' then? I have 3 root partitions (3 different distros) complete with all the apps I ever need (but not Steam as I have no interest in it) and none of my root partitions has more than 5Gb on it. Why is yours so full? Maybe if you answer this question you might solve the problem.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby gemini89 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:06 pm

Well Steam itself is not that big. But the games are, for example Team fortress 2 is about 10 GB.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby viking777 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:43 pm

OK in that case I think you are stuck. You could repartition so that only certain parts of / are on the SSD For instance create separate partitions on the ordinary disk for /usr /var /lib (these are always the largest three). But even then if one game is 10Gb I have no idea how much of that will end up on the SSD, it could still fill up quite quickly and I also have no idea how that kind of partitioning would affect the performance of the SSD. :(
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby eanfrid on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:56 pm

You can mount and bind a folder to another one on another partition. All you have to do is to move the content of your overloaded directory to this other partition and edit your fstab:
Code: Select all
sudo nano /etc/fstab

then you add this line:
Code: Select all
/path/to/moved_dir      /path/to/original_overloaded_dir     none    bind

for example I keep my /var/www out of my SSD to have it stored on the /opt volume of my HDD raid array:
Code: Select all
/opt/link/var_www       /var/www         none     bind

and my website is transparently still reachable on /var/www (a better and safer solution than a symlink or hardlink for what I want)...

Similarly I have /usr/local mounted on the raid array:
Code: Select all
/opt/link/usr_local       /usr/local         none     bind

Using the bind-mount option is useful to reuse the same partition for a few mountpoints instead of an expensive one-on-one basis.

/opt itsef is mounted in a quite traditional way:
Code: Select all
/dev/md2    /opt  ext4    defaults,barrier=0,noatime    0   2
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby gemini89 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:51 am

Thanks for replying.

eanfrid: This might work, the problem is that I have no idea which folders I should mount and bind. It´s annoying, because one may add other folders in Steam for it to install games on, but when I´m trying to install something it just goes for the SSD.

Maybe I should try with Steams own forum.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby dRaiser on Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:57 pm

IMO best way to move Steam games is creating symbolic link for SteamApps folder [where Steam stores downloaded/installed game data].

It's placed in home/user/.steam/steam/SteamApps.

1. Make sure that Steam is closed;

2. Move directory SteamApps to folder at another partition (I assume it's mounted already!) It can be a while.

In my example, folder localization is "/mnt/disk/".

Code: Select all
sudo mv ~/.steam/steam/SteamApps /mnt/disk


3. Create symbolic link:

Code: Select all
sudo ln -s ~/.steam/SteamApps /mnt/disk/SteamApps


Now run Steam and check if everything's working correctly - in my case it's working great.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby eanfrid on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:11 pm

A symlink to another disk or to another partition may have unexpected results with some softwares (essentially backup with rsync or similar programs). But if it works correctly for Steam, this simpler solution than mine is worth a try.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby viking777 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:07 am

Good solution dRaiser and so simple :)

I echo what eanfrid says though, symlinks and backup programs sometimes don't play nicely, I used to have tremendous problems with Dropbox and an imaging program because of symlinks - enough to stop using Dropbox in fact, but in gemini89's case I don't think it will be too big an issue.
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby gemini89 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:16 am

dRaiser wrote:IMO best way to move Steam games is creating symbolic link for SteamApps folder [where Steam stores downloaded/installed game data].


It works! Nice! Thanks a lot for sharing your solution.
Desktop: Intel i5 4670K, 16 GB, Geforce GTX 770, LM 17 Cinnamon
"Steambox": AMD FX-6100, 8 GB, Geforce GTX 650Ti, LM 13 Mate
Ultrabook: Acer Timeline U, Intel i3, 4 GB, Intel HD 3000, LM 17 Cinnamon
Mediacenter: Intel NUC, LM 17 XFCE
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Re: Install programs on another partition?

Postby dRaiser on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:32 pm

Glad it's working for you too. Fortunatelly Steam doesn't have any problems with synchronizing files when its folder is symlinked.
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