Steam for Linux

Steam for Linux

Air Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:17pm
Using an NTFS drive for Steam games?
So, on my computer, the hard drive that I use for Ubuntu 13.10 isn't exactly the newest hard drive ever. I tried installing a game to an external NTFS drive but Steam was saying something about execute permissions.

I'm somewhat new to Ubuntu and Linux in general(started about a month ago), so I'm not exactly sure how(and if) I can get a NTFS drive to mount with execute permissions. Also, I do want to avoid creating an ext4 partition on that drive simply due to personal preferences.
Last edited by Air; Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:18pm
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Showing 1-10 of 10 comments
MadXav Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:27pm 
I think you can as long as you have permisions for read/write on the drive (I'm not a 100% sure about it), but I wouldn't recomend it since NTFS has limitation that a ext4 partition doesn't, and you might encounter errors while playing/installing some games.
Last edited by MadXav; Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:27pm
Toquinha Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:40pm 
Why not ext4? It's a newer file system, doesn't fragment as nearly as NTFS, you can easily encrypt it with the Linux Kernel (dm-crypt), has cool advantages too!
Air Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:59pm 
Originally posted by Linux Junior s2 Camila:
Why not ext4? It's a newer file system, doesn't fragment as nearly as NTFS, you can easily encrypt it with the Linux Kernel (dm-crypt), has cool advantages too!
It's simply a matter of compatibility, not the file system itself, as I switch between Windows and Ubuntu a lot. I couldn't personally be sure if I would make the partition too small or too big.
Last edited by Air; Jan 30, 2014 @ 8:00pm
Toquinha Jan 30, 2014 @ 8:08pm 
In this case, I think you have a small / partition, am I right?

Here's what my setup looked like when I dual-booted (1 TB HD):

320 GB for Windows
40 GB for Linux (/)
4 GB for swap
The rest (around 560 GB) for my /home partition, which easily held all my Windows and Linux games, in case I formatted my Windows partition, enabling me to just copy the games to the Windows partition.
I think if you are an expert / go into it – you can use even NTFS to store programs - and not only data. If you are new to Linux –> use ext4 for example. Format it.

FAT would not work at all without massive enhancements. NTFS can work – but this will probably require that you know how it works and what Linux expects and how you can bring it together. It's stuff you could earn a living with if you know about it I would say. :)

This is the short version of course :) – You will have your needs and demands… If you say you are new though you will make it easier for yourself if you do not use NTFS. (Except for storing documents or other non-executable files.)
Originally posted by Air:
It's simply a matter of compatibility, not the file system itself, as I switch between Windows and Ubuntu a lot. I couldn't personally be sure if I would make the partition too small or too big.
It's a common problem.
There are drivers that make ext partitions usable under Windows as well…

The question is: What kind of data are you storing on your disk?

For example I use an external hard drive for Steam-games and another for data like photos/documents/backups/movies etc. The problem with the Steam games is just as you say… It requires the use of executable files. Therefore you need a file system that supports this. And that is on first place one of the native Linux file systems. Ext4 is the most common currently.

When I was using both Linux and Windows on one machine I was using drivers and programs to be able to access the Linux data under Windows. This does probably not solve everything…
MadXav Jan 30, 2014 @ 10:35pm 
Originally posted by sounds like a wooosh:
Originally posted by Air:
It's simply a matter of compatibility, not the file system itself, as I switch between Windows and Ubuntu a lot. I couldn't personally be sure if I would make the partition too small or too big.
It's a common problem.
There are drivers that make ext partitions usable under Windows as well…

The question is: What kind of data are you storing on your disk?

For example I use an external hard drive for Steam-games and another for data like photos/documents/backups/movies etc. The problem with the Steam games is just as you say… It requires the use of executable files. Therefore you need a file system that supports this. And that is on first place one of the native Linux file systems. Ext4 is the most common currently.

When I was using both Linux and Windows on one machine I was using drivers and programs to be able to access the Linux data under Windows. This does probably not solve everything…
Huh? It is possible to read ext4 under Windows? That's interesting. I never would've thought it is possible to do that since Windows is a very... limiting system. I guess I'll have to do some research about it for reading my Linux files without booting.
Last edited by MadXav; Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:28pm
Originally posted by MadXav:
Huh? It is possible to read ext4 under Windows? That's interesting. I never would've thought that it is possible to do that since Windows is a very... limiting system. I guess I'll have to do some research about it for reading my Linux files without booting.
Sorry, I did not link this because my source is not in English. My source wiki ( http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Linux-Partitionen_unter_Windows ) says:

Under Windows…
* Ext2IFS is able to use an ext3 system (in ext2 mode) –> http://www.fs-driver.org
* Ext2FSD seems to be able to write on ext4 –> http://www.ext2fsd.com/
* Ext2Read may READ ext4 –> http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2read
* ext4tc is a plugin for Total Commander which can read ext4 –> http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext4tc
* "Linux Reader" is a program that enables you to browse(read) several Linux systems –> http://www.diskinternals.com/linux-reader/
* ExtFS should be able to read and write ext-systems (2,3,4) –> http://www.paragon-software.com/de/home/extfs-windows/

I remember when I used programs and drivers back then there have been strong warnings about writing stuff. I am not up to date how the development went on now.
In several cases it is already great to be be able to read files from Windows. Just reading should be safer!

And yes, this can be a security issue because you can read everything (no root-password needed).


Idk. If someone wants to use and try such thing I would propose to watch out for a great source like a good forum or wiki for your own Linux distribution. It's not that this shouldn't work in general – just: It's sometimes better to have it more specific. Steam forums are more general mostly and the focus are gamers of course not specific help for the distribution one uses.
Lord Battlesheep Jan 31, 2014 @ 4:07am 
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/steam-for-linux/issues/596
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS-3G
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NTFS-3G
http://cjenkins.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/steam-for-linux-on-optimus-enabled-computer-running-ubuntu-12-04-64bits/#optinal_configure_ntfs_partition
Maybe this could help. Install ntfs3g-tools (or how they call it in Ubuntu), and mount your NTFS drive, with ntfs-3g driver and exec (or umask/dmask/fmask) attributes (maybe it'll work out even without exec and mask).

Hmm... It's possible (at least, to some extend) to use NTFS under Linux, as well as EXT4 (and some others) under Windows, but it's hardly the right way to go... NTFS is Microsoft's proprietary filesystem, and MS people don't care how well it's supported on OSes other than Win. For a long time NTFS was poorly supported, and even now it's still pretty experimental.
Last edited by Lord Battlesheep; Jan 31, 2014 @ 6:30am
MadXav Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:22pm 
Originally posted by sounds like a wooosh:
Originally posted by MadXav:
Huh? It is possible to read ext4 under Windows? That's interesting. I never would've thought that it is possible to do that since Windows is a very... limiting system. I guess I'll have to do some research about it for reading my Linux files without booting.
Sorry, I did not link this because my source is not in English. My source wiki ( http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Linux-Partitionen_unter_Windows ) says:

Under Windows…
* Ext2IFS is able to use an ext3 system (in ext2 mode) –> http://www.fs-driver.org
* Ext2FSD seems to be able to write on ext4 –> http://www.ext2fsd.com/
* Ext2Read may READ ext4 –> http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2read
* ext4tc is a plugin for Total Commander which can read ext4 –> http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext4tc
* "Linux Reader" is a program that enables you to browse(read) several Linux systems –> http://www.diskinternals.com/linux-reader/
* ExtFS should be able to read and write ext-systems (2,3,4) –> http://www.paragon-software.com/de/home/extfs-windows/

I remember when I used programs and drivers back then there have been strong warnings about writing stuff. I am not up to date how the development went on now.
In several cases it is already great to be be able to read files from Windows. Just reading should be safer!

And yes, this can be a security issue because you can read everything (no root-password needed).


Idk. If someone wants to use and try such thing I would propose to watch out for a great source like a good forum or wiki for your own Linux distribution. It's not that this shouldn't work in general – just: It's sometimes better to have it more specific. Steam forums are more general mostly and the focus are gamers of course not specific help for the distribution one uses.
Thanks, I'll take a look into it, and I don't really think this is a security issue since I suppose it can't read encrypted files (If you're concerned about security I bet you would have your files encrypted).
Last edited by MadXav; Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:26pm
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Date Posted: Jan 30, 2014 @ 7:17pm
Posts: 10