What are those hidden items named 'steam*' for?

I am not new to Linux but fairly new to manjaro. Exploring the system I have noticed a couple of hidden files in my home folder of which one (~/..steampath -> /home/manolo/.steam/sdk32) is even blinking [that’s probably what caught my attention in the first place].

$ ls -lah ~ | grep .steam
drwxr-xr-x  1 [user] [group]  148 29. Jul 08:08 .steam
lrwxrwxrwx  1 [user] [group]   31 29. Jul 08:08 .steampath -> /home/[user]/.steam/sdk32/steam
lrwxrwxrwx  1 [user] [group]   29 29. Jul 08:08 .steampid -> /home/[user]/.steam/steam.pid

Can anybody explain to me what those are for and whom they belong to (and maybe even why the mentioned symlink [~/..steampath -> /home/manolo/.steam/sdk32] is blinking)?

The only context I have heard of of anything name steam would be the gaming engine (if ‘gaming engine’ is even the correct term).

Hi @vrms, and Merry Christmas!

I’m not sure if you play games. From what I read in your post, I doubt it.

AFAIK It is the Steam gaming engine. And Manjaro comes shipped with it pre-installed. Meaning that even if you don’t use it, even if you don’t play games, it and all the files and links for it is already on your system.

I’m guessing you can uninstall it if you want to, but it’s not necessary.

you are absolutely right. I do not play any games whatsoever. And the steam gamin engine was my first guess as well…

however …

$ sudo pacman -Q steam
[sudo] password for [user]: 
error: package 'steam' was not found


$ sudo pacman -Sl | grep steam
multilib linux-steam-integration 0.7.3-5
multilib steam-manjaro
multilib steam-native

… indicates there is no steam installed on my machine. I have no recollection of having de-installed it neither, so I am not 100% certain whether we are on the right track here and I could just remove those folders.

You could use the pamac gui to search for steam and then remove them with the gui. Probably the easiest way

> sudo pacman -Q | grep steam                                                                                                  


on the other hand I have detected a ~/.local/share/Steam folder which, accroding the arch wiki is the standard location for a stem installation on arch (package name steamcmd)

I can not identify any package named steamcmd neither installed nor not installed though.

so, based on this i looked at the only thing that seems to exist: game-devices-udev

And this is somehwat connected to steam, so I’ll get rid of it and see whether that does away with those folders whe started off from here

Uninstalling packages will only remove files that are system-wide, i don’t think (99% sure) no uninstall will touch any files inside a users homedir…
In this case you can just remove those directories manually, which will be re-created whenever you start using Steam again in future…


at least it is a pointer the ~/.steam* folder originates from it and does not belong to anything else.

What is strange though is that game-devices-udev is marked as a dependency for another (unnamed) package. Is there a way to find out which that might be? pacman -Qi game-devices-udev does not give this info

This, probably :point_up:

However, you don’t need to worry about it, I think. It comes “pre-installed”. You have to run it once and have it download ~250GB’s worth of libraries. Yeah, I don’t know, or care really, how this works, it works and that’s all that’s important to me.

So, my guess is it’s installed, but also not really.

> pacman -Qi game-devices-udev                                                                                                 
Name            : game-devices-udev
Version         : 0.10-1
Description     : Udev rules for controllers
Architecture    : any
URL             : https://gitlab.com/fabis_cafe/game-devices-udev
Licenses        : MIT
Groups          : None
Provides        : steam-devices
Depends On      : udev
Optional Deps   : None
Required By     : steam-manjaro
Optional For    : None
Conflicts With  : steam-devices
Replaces        : steam-devices
Installed Size  : 11.38 KiB
Packager        : Mark Wagie <mark@manjaro.org>
Build Date      : Mon 12 Oct 2020 11:26:25 PM +03
Install Date    : Mon 30 Nov 2020 05:14:45 PM +03
Install Reason  : Installed as a dependency for another package
Install Script  : Yes
Validated By    : Signature

As you can see it clearly shows that info on my system…

oh sorry. yes absolutely. I was mislead probably because my system says required by: None

I guess it’s all save to remove the package then. Even though the mystery of how it got there in the first place remains. thanks for your help everybody

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Welcome to manjaro … and linux I suppose.

A few things…

  • As with all distributions (this is the name for different linux releases - ubuntu, manjaro, etc), we have preinstalled applications. One such is steam. If you dont need it you can uninstall it.

  • Linux is a multi-user system. Each user on the system will have a HOME directory.

  • Linux also has some filesystem conventions … such as ~ equates to HOME and . proceeding a directory or file name will make it ‘hidden’.

  • User-specific files such as personal downloads and photos populate HOME, as well as configuration files and caches … often in ‘.hidden’ directories like .cache etc.

  • Manjaro is a linux Distro based on Arch Linux, as such we use ALPM (arch linux package management) in the form of pacman or pamac. Often regarded as one of the best package management systems, one feature is it will not touch your HOME directory.

So … you have steam installed. Its quite normal to have some .directories related to it in your HOME.
But uninstalling Steam wont remove them … you will have to do that yourself.
I repeat: this is a feature, not a bug - the package manager should not touch files in your HOME.


thx for explaining all this to us. I am sure somebody (me included to some degree) will benefit from this being laid out here.

However, I personally would have preferred a little more ‘basic’ selection of applications on the core install. A gaming engine, in my world, would not be part of a default. And (as it was established before I believe) it did not even seem to exist entirely, only one single package out of several needed.

… I guess this leads us to a whole different discussion though.

This is provided by ‘minimal’ editions and/or Manjaro Architect.

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