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Removing non-Steam apps now cleans up on Steam Deck and Linux desktop

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A change that Valve missed in the big recent upgrade of the Steam client, is that on Linux systems either desktop or Steam Deck, removing non-Steam apps should now be cleaner.

Previously, if you added something into Steam that ended up making a shader cache and compatibility data, like running something with Proton, when you removed the shortcut from Steam it would leave everything behind. That should no longer be the case, as Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned on Twitter:

Linux change we forgot to call out in the new client: removing non-Steam apps now properly removes all related files like shader caches and compatibility data (which would previously be left as 'other' storage space)

So people can eventually stop asking "What's taking up all my "Other" storage?!", which has been an ongoing problem since the Steam Deck's release and especially a problem on the 64GB Steam Deck model.

Even though Valve don't actually support non-Steam apps directly, it's nice to see them make steps to make the experience better.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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10 comments

ssj17vegeta Jun 16, 2023
Now THAT's a change I like :)
elmapul Jun 16, 2023
QuoteLinux change we forgot to call out in the new client: removing non-Steam apps now properly removes all related files like shader caches and compatibility data (which would previously be left as 'other' storage space)

non steam games? Resident evil 4 classic took 24GB to install and when i removed it, 15GB were free'd...
i think steam games may leave stuff behind too...


anyway i hope they do something about game sizes for the lower storage steamdeck, games for switch use low res textures and low poly models to save disk space as well as other resources, i hope valve do an partnership with devs to provide that option, but i doubt they will.
benstor214 Jun 17, 2023
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Quoting: elmapulanyway i hope they do something about game sizes for the lower storage steamdeck, games for switch use low res textures and low poly models to save disk space as well as other resources, i hope valve do an partnership with devs to provide that option, but i doubt they will.
That’s mostly on the developers and we all know developers just LOVE to push 4K texture packs to a 720p device… 😕
elmapul Jun 17, 2023
Quoting: benstor214we all know developers just LOVE to push 4K texture packs to a 720p device… 😕
cough cough playsation 5 cough cough xbox seriex
TheRiddick Jun 18, 2023
Quoting: elmapuli think steam games may leave stuff behind too...

Yeah HUGE stacks of Shader Cache, some games shader cache is BIGGER then the originally installed game.
It is a bit crazy.
Calinou Jun 18, 2023
Quoting: elmapulanyway i hope they do something about game sizes for the lower storage steamdeck, games for switch use low res textures and low poly models to save disk space as well as other resources, i hope valve do an partnership with devs to provide that option, but i doubt they will.

A lot of AAA games (such as Ubisoft's) already use optional HD texture packs, but it's not the only thing that makes AAA game sizes so large. Localization and voiceovers for all languages has a significant impact too.

Some AAA games don't bother splitting HD textures since it's quite a lot of work for relatively little gain (in terms of additional sales). In most modern engines, it's not exactly a 5-minute job to implement a system to load HD textures that works properly with no negative side-effects.
elmapul Jun 18, 2023
Quoting: Calinou
Quoting: elmapulanyway i hope they do something about game sizes for the lower storage steamdeck, games for switch use low res textures and low poly models to save disk space as well as other resources, i hope valve do an partnership with devs to provide that option, but i doubt they will.

A lot of AAA games (such as Ubisoft's) already use optional HD texture packs, but it's not the only thing that makes AAA game sizes so large. Localization and voiceovers for all languages has a significant impact too.

Some AAA games don't bother splitting HD textures since it's quite a lot of work for relatively little gain (in terms of additional sales). In most modern engines, it's not exactly a 5-minute job to implement a system to load HD textures that works properly with no negative side-effects.


you got another good point: why download all languages if i only gona use 1?
steam need an option to download those "free dlcs" while download/install the game.
Breizh 4 years Jun 22, 2023
Quoting: elmapulyou got another good point: why download all languages if i only gona use 1?
steam need an option to download those "free dlcs" while download/install the game.

A fun fact is that often, piracy repacks have theses options Sometimes piracy isn’t for money, but for disk space and bandwith (notably when it’s recompressed a lot more than the Steam version).
Grogan Jun 22, 2023
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I noticed last night, when removing a Steam game, that it completely removed the appid directory in compatdata, probably for the first time ever. Before I remove a Proton game I always grep the .acf files in steamapps, so I can find its appid in the compatdata directory to remove the wine prefix.

One time I cleaned out my Steam directory of all disconnected flotsam (leftover game directories in steamapps/common and wine prefix data in compatdata, and some of them were full blown 500M or 1G wine prefixes) and freed up 22 Gb of space after several years of using the same Steam directory. (I have mine on another drive, I consolidated it and moved it a few times and it's survived like 4 linux distro changes) 22 Gb, that's significant on a 2 TB NVME drive that's filling up, that's prime real estate.

It's not a problem anymore, but for a while (several years ago) Steam was storing its own fontconfig cache files in the game directories and they were piling up because new directories were getting plunked down. I used to nuke those with a script, thousands of them.

So I'm glad to see they are paying more attention to cleaning up after themselves. I have a no littering policy.


Last edited by Grogan on 22 June 2023 at 9:02 pm UTC
benstor214 Jun 29, 2023
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Quoting: Breizh
Quoting: elmapulyou got another good point: why download all languages if i only gona use 1?
steam need an option to download those "free dlcs" while download/install the game.

A fun fact is that often, piracy repacks have theses options Sometimes piracy isn’t for money, but for disk space and bandwith (notably when it’s recompressed a lot more than the Steam version).
Those filthy pirates just provide the best customer service. *.*
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