Steam suffers from self inflicted drive-wiping bug

Steam for Linux users face complete data loss with a rare bug that only affects those who have moved the default installation folder.

@paulyalcorn
Published Tue, Jan 20 2015 8:55 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:10 PM CST

Steam for Linux has a nasty bug, one that can wipe entire drives of all information in a matter of moments. The problem stems from users that have moved their installation directory from the default location. Steam for Linux features a command, 'rm -rf "$STEAMROOT/" that is used to refresh the Steam directory, which is usually required if there are installation problems with a game.

Steam suffers from self inflicted drive-wiping bug | TweakTown.com

Unfortunately, many users move their game directories to SSDs, or to other locations on the computer. This removes the part of the code that specifies the correct directory, instead issuing a 'rm -rf "/"' command. Users opening the app trigger a deletion of the entire contents of their drives, including external devices. Valve has confirmed the issue affected a "handful of users". Valve also states they are unable to replicate the issue internally, and are still attempting to do so.

Steam for Linux users are best to stay with the default Steam installation directory until Valve has either ruled out the bug, or corrected it.

The quest for benchmark world records led Paul further and further down the overclocking rabbit hole. SSDs and RAID controllers were a big part of that equation, allowing him to push performance to the bleeding edge. Finding the fastest and most extreme storage solutions led to experience with a myriad of high-end enterprise devices. Soon testing SSDs and Enterprise RAID controllers at the limits of their performance became Paul's real passion, one that is carried out through writing articles and reviews.

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