On Linux, how do I allow Steam to download games into the root drive? Space on my home drive is very limited, but trying to create a new library folder in /usr throws the error "Drive is read-only".

I am on Pop!_OS dual-booting with Windows and I've set up the boot, home and swap partitions on my SSD with 2, 10 and 2 GB respectively, but have set the root partition to be on my HDD, which allowed me to allocate more space since Windows isn't on it.

1 Answer 1


The filesystem itself probably isn't read only, although you can double check that it's not mounted with ro in /proc/mounts. What's more likely is that, since /usr is owned by root and typically has 755/rwxr-xr-x permissions, you're simply not allowed to write directly inside that directory to create a new directory for your Steam library.

To allow you to do so, you need to first create a subdirectory that has write access for your user (/opt is generally a better place for these system-independent installations, but you can do it under /usr, too, if you want):

# as the user you run steam as
sudo mkdir /opt/steamlibrary
sudo chown "$(id -un)" /opt/steamlibrary

Now you should be able to create your Steam library under /opt/steamlibrary.

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