Steam for Linux bug deletes your data

— 2:00 PM on January 16, 2015

Valve is working hard to make Linux a better gaming platform, and for the most part, the company's effort is paying off. However, a newly discovered bug in Steam for Linux has users fuming. Turns out Steam can delete users' files—and potentially everything on their computers.

As Neowin reports, the bug seems to rear its head when the user moves their Steam directory. Steam then runs this command:

rm -rf "$STEAMROOT/"*

Because the $STEAMROOT variable is empty, the command is interpreted as "rm -rf /"—in other words, delete everything. This is particularly bad news if the user is logged in as root or has write access to more than just their own home directory.

There's a long discussion about the issue on Github, and from what I can tell, work on a patch is already well underway. For now, though, Linux users are probably best off keeping their Steam directory where it is. (Thanks to Slashdot for the link.)

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