lenkazav Mar 23, 2018 @ 1:38am
Steam requires a case-insensitive filesystem
Suddenly Steam stopped working and when I try to open it I get a message that says that Steam requires a case-insensitive filesystem. I tried googling the issue, but the only posts on this topic that I found were from 2010-2014. It seems that it was a common issue back when Steam was just starting on mac, but it shouldn't be a problem now. I didn't do anything unusual that could've caused the problem: one night it works, next morning it doesn't. The only thing I did do that day was updated Origin (don't know if it could've had any effect). I tried restarting and reinstalling Steam but it didn't help.
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Showing 1-15 of 45 comments
N8ey Mar 23, 2018 @ 4:37am 
The latest update "improved detection of case-sensitive file systems" - so people with a workaround, i.e. having run a script in the shell to remove the error, now have to do something else.

Like reinstall steam in a virtual drive that is case-insensitive. Because Mac hasn't had case-sensitive file system capability for years, and hasn't been warning developers about this for years, and Steam has had NO chance to make compatibility updates for years.

How much money have I spent on my library of games that is just inaccessible to me today because Steam updated last night? Possibly a thousand dollars. And they just turned it off. This is a disturbing lack of awareness on Steam's part.
NoksNonsense Mar 23, 2018 @ 8:22am 
So i just have to download steam on a flash drive and put it onto my mac? If thats all I have to do, thank you so much Im having the exact same problem and didnt know what to do. Otherwise, i'm stuck.
Edit: I've been trying a lot of stuff and nothing seems to be working so far and its really frustrating.
Last edited by NoksNonsense; Mar 23, 2018 @ 9:16am
iq-0 Mar 23, 2018 @ 1:34pm 
I was lucky to have an external HDD connected to my mac which is formatted as FAT32.

I effectively did:

mv ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam /Volume/Foo/Steam.user ln -s /Volumes/Foo/Steam.user ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam

My HDD is called 'Foo' and I moved the Steam folder to it with the name 'Steam.user' (because 'Steam' already existed, as it contains a number of games). Hope that helps.
N8ey Mar 23, 2018 @ 4:13pm 
Yeah, it's fixable. But Steam was made aware of this issue 8 years ago, at least, and feature requests were made to fix it, and they've ignored it the whole time.

I guess I'm used to doing this kind of legwork to make products I paid for work on a Mac. I'm just disappointed in Steam. I didn't expect better, just disappointed.
N8ey Mar 23, 2018 @ 7:45pm 
Well, that worked, but I lost all my downloaded games and saves. Now I gotta hunt all of them down and do the same.

Dammit, Steam. Dammit, Valve.
Last edited by N8ey; Mar 23, 2018 @ 7:45pm
Jail Bird Mar 26, 2018 @ 7:47pm 
Another workaround. Open Disk Utility, go to File->New Image->Blank Image. Put "Steam" under "Save As" and "Name", change the Size to however much all of your games will take (eg, 100 GB or so), and make sure Format is set to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". I put mine under my home directory, but you can put it anywhere, just remember where!

Once done, open a Terminal window. Do something like:

$ open ~/Steam.dmg (change the path as needed)
$ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam
$ pax -rw -pe . /Volumes/Steam/
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf Steam
$ diskutil eject disk2 (You might have to change the 'disk2', or just eject using Finder)

From now on, you can do:

$ hdiutil attach ~/Steam.dmg -mountroot ~/Library/Application\ Support (again, change the .dmg path as needed)

Before you run Steam, and you're golden! This is annoying and isn't as easy as using another drive, but at least you don't have to use another drive!

I don't get why this is so hard for Valve to fix. Steam works fine on Linux, and Linux isn't case insensitive!

** Fixed typo, thanks Ienkazav!!! ***
Last edited by Jail Bird; Apr 23, 2018 @ 12:01am
peter Mar 27, 2018 @ 6:54am 
This is so stupid. Why is this required when Steam runs fine on Linux with a case sensitive filesystem.
From the changelog:
"Improved checks for case-sensitive APFS file systems. The Steam client only supports case-insensitive file * systems on macOS, and will continue to warn users when running with an incompatible file system"

Improved checks? More like don't allow it run at all on a case-sensitive filesystem, and thus breaking the whole client. I have run it for several months on my case-sensitive filesystem without any issues, but now they decide to remove the support. Why?
No, the client doesn't just warn. It doesn't even start anymore.

I can't see any good reason for enforcing this. Especially as long as Linux is supported.
ChunkyPretzel Mar 27, 2018 @ 11:36am 
This issue makes Steam games unplayable for practically every High Sierra user with an SSD main drive. The Mac user base is moving more and more toward SSDs and APFS every day. Valve, PLEASE fix this. If nothing else, please stop blocking execution with the case-sensitive warning. I could play Rocket League on my iMac just fine last week -- now Steam prevents it.
lenkazav Apr 2, 2018 @ 10:37am 
Jail Bird's method generally works but the second line of code should be:
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam

Also, you might want to use sparse bundle disk image format if you're short on disk space.

PS: Don't ask me what it all means, someone just helped me with all this and came up with this comment :-)
FiveGHz Apr 2, 2018 @ 3:12pm 
Same happened to me. Steam was running fine for months, then it updated automatically and is now broken :-(
Anh Apr 11, 2018 @ 6:00am 
Until the new update. I can't play because this issue. Please fix it asap.
rieunn Apr 22, 2018 @ 10:08pm 
Same thing happened to me, except none of the above fixes are working for me... ffs it sucks because I'm trying to find a workaround but I know absolutely nothing about coding or terminal whatsoever so I don't really understand why it's not working and I don't know what to do about it. It'd be nice if Steam would like, hm, I don't know, just let us buy games through them and download them onto our systems instead of being odious twonks and not allowing access to games we ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ paid for because they can't get their mess together with Mac OS. This is ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ridiculous, it's 2018
Last edited by rieunn; Apr 22, 2018 @ 10:14pm
Jail Bird Apr 23, 2018 @ 12:01am 
Originally posted by lenkazav:
Jail Bird's method generally works but the second line of code should be:
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam

Also, you might want to use sparse bundle disk image format if you're short on disk space.

PS: Don't ask me what it all means, someone just helped me with all this and came up with this comment :-)

Thanks for catching that, I just fixed my post. :)
F1emov Apr 23, 2018 @ 5:56am 
.m /m
Kirin Apr 25, 2018 @ 6:32pm 
It seem so stupid !
I have used steam in case sensitivity file system for a year without problem until it updated.
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Date Posted: Mar 23, 2018 @ 1:38am
Posts: 45