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Valve adding a Steam feature for game transfers between PCs and Steam Decks

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Something it seems Valve has been working on for a while now, is an easy way to transfer game installs between PCs and Steam Deck.

We've known about it since at least October last year, where the SteamDB founder Pavel Djundik talked about it on Twitter. However, in a follow-up post on Twitter just recently, Djundik mentioned more work on this has appeared recently with strings appearing that say "This feature allows your PC to transfer game files to and from other PCs or Steam Decks on your local network, reducing your Internet traffic while downloading or updating a game" and also noting that you can "Can limit to own devices, friends, or any user.".

Once actually out it would mean you don't need to re-download on other systems, or use the Steam Backup feature (which doesn't always work right) along with some form of file syncing which I've done multiple guides on for Steam Deck including Warpinator, Syncthing and Filezilla FTP.

Sounds like an incredibly useful feature for Valve to add to Steam desktop and Steam Deck don't you think? Looking forward to giving that a test when it's available.

This and more was recently covered in my News Flip #2 video round-up.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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13 comments
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Eike 10 Jan
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I wanted to say that I've got no need for this as my internet access is not limited (size-wise), but then, my WiFi is probably way faster than the internet connection and I should use it...!
MayeulC 10 Jan
Nice! I wish I had this available while in boarding school 10 years ago (10-40 MBps for 150 people). It will also make distributing content much smoother for LANs (though you could always deploy a local content server). It would be great if that could be applied to updates too.

I used to use pacredir for the same use-case with Arch/Manjaro updates.

Torrents would be very well suited to the task (peers on the same LAN would statistically request different chunks, then exchange those), though the tech can be improved upon.

By the way, they should probably distribute game files as immutable images mounted with an overlayfs, and distributed using something like casync.

In my case, I'm probably going to play around with storing game files on a local NFS server.


Last edited by MayeulC on 10 January 2023 at 11:49 am UTC
anyone_yun 10 Jan
This would be great! Especially for rural areas that have limited data (like mine)
Pompesdesky 10 Jan
This is long overdue ! It's good for you (faster install in principle), good for Valve (less bandwidth use, less stress on their infrastructure) and good for the environment as Internet downloads have a non trivial CO2 footprint.
Kneewax 10 Jan
This is superb news, living in the sticks with a very poor internet connection, this feature will make a world of difference. I've been able to do it manually using the desktop and terminal but it's a 3-step process using a USB-drive and can take nearly as long as downloading afreash. Bring it on Valve. Bring it on!
Matombo 10 Jan
it's basically steamcache but now official? nice
Sounds like a particularly useful way to be able to free up space on your Deck by removing games you're not currently playing, but with quick transfer back from your PC when you want it back again.

N.B. I don't own a Steam Deck myself so I can't vouch for how useful that would actually be. Just my musings
Flashdim 10 Jan
Would love when this comes about so I can repurpose the disk space I'm using for my lancache! I also do not really trust my computer to handle the DNS requests that involve that all that well. 😆
Hm, I do have a laptop I leave idle'd as my makeshift self-hosted cloud/backup storage. I could get a game installed there, and then distro-hop, and quickly get everything back running. Peer-to-peer tech is cool, I wish we have a simple self-hosted peer-to-peer cloud suite (Syncthing and Resilio is decent for storage, but they don't come with a full suite of stuff that would be useful on phone and PCs).
zgillet 11 Jan
Quoting: KneewaxThis is superb news, living in the sticks with a very poor internet connection, this feature will make a world of difference. I've been able to do it manually using the desktop and terminal but it's a 3-step process using a USB-drive and can take nearly as long as downloading afreash. Bring it on Valve. Bring it on!
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