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The Steam Console Client or SteamCMD is a tool to install and update various dedicated servers available on Steam using a command line interface. It works with games that use the SteamPipe content system. Most games have now been migrated from HLDSUpdateTool to SteamCMD.

Downloading SteamCMD


1. Create a folder for SteamCMD.


2. Download the SteamCMD (Windows) Update Tool.

3. Extract the contents of the zip to the folder.


1. Create a user for SteamCMD and login.

Note: For security best practice do not run SteamCMD as root.

adduser steam

su - steam

2. Create a directory for SteamCMD.

mkdir /home/steam/steamcmd

cd /home/steam/steamcmd

3. Download the SteamCMD (Linux) Update Tool.


4. Extract the contents to the directory.

tar -xvzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz

Mac OS X

1. Open and create a directory for SteamCMD.

mkdir ~/steamcmd

cd ~/steamcmd

2. Download the SteamCMD (OS X) Update Tool.

curl -O

3. Extract the contents to the directory.

tar -xvzf steamcmd_osx.tar.gz

Running SteamCMD

On first run SteamCMD will automatically update and enter you in to a Steam> prompt. Type help for more information.


Open a Command Prompt and start SteamCMD.

cd C:\steamcmd



Open a terminal and start SteamCMD.

cd /home/steam/steamcmd


Mac OS X

Open and start SteamCMD.

cd ~/steamcmd


SteamCMD Login

To download most game servers, you can login anonymously.

login anonymous

Some servers require you to login with a Steam Account.

Note: For security reasons it is recommended that you create a new Steam username just for SteamCMD.
Note: A user can only be logged in once at any time.
login <username>

Next enter your password.

If Steam Guard is activated on the user account check your e-mail for a Steam Guard access code and enter it. This is required first time only.

You should see a message stating that you have successfully logged in with your account.

Downloading an app

1. Start SteamCMD and set your app install directory. (note: use forward slashes for Linux and backslashes for Windows)

force_install_dir <path>
Example: cs_go directory in the current directory:
force_install_dir ./cs_go/

2. Install or update the app by using a Steam Application ID or <app_id>. To also validate the app add validate to the command. To participate in HLDS beta testing add -beta beta to the command. To participate in SRCDS beta testing add -beta prerelease to the command.

app_update <app_id>
Example: install and validate Counter Strike: Global Offensive:
app_update 740 validate
Example: install and validate Team Fortress Classic:
app_set_config 90 mod tfc
app_update 90 validate
Bug: HLDS (appid 90) currently require multiple installs before the game's files are installed. Workaround for this problem available
Example: install and validate beta version of HLDS (Half-Life):
app_update 90 -beta beta validate
Example: install and validate beta version of Counter Strike: Source:
app_update 232330 -beta prerelease validate
Example: install and validate a private beta version of Natural Selection 2:
[beta name] is the name of the private beta branch
[beta code] is the password for the private beta branch
app_update 4940 -beta [beta name] -betapassword [beta code] validate

3. Once finished, type quit to properly log off of the Steam servers.



Validate is a command that will check all the server files to make sure they match the SteamCMD files. This command is useful if you think that files may be missing or corrupted.

Note: Validation will overwrite any files that have been changed. This may cause issues with customized servers. For example if you customize mapcycle.txt this file will be overwritten to the server default. Any files that are not part of the default installation will not be affected

It is recommended you use this command only on initial installation and if there are server issues.

Supported Servers

This is a list of known servers that use SteamCMD to install. Any listed extra command line options need to be before the app_update line.

Supported Servers has now moved to its own page

Dedicated Servers List

Automating SteamCMD

There are two ways to automate SteamCMD. (replace steamcmd with ./ on Linux)

Note:When using beta on the command line, it must be quoted in a special way, such as +app_update "90 -beta beta"

1. Add commands to the command line. Examples:

steamcmd +login anonymous +force_install_dir ../csgo_ds +app_update 740 +quit

To install a specific game mod for HL1, such as Counter-Strike: Condition Zero:

steamcmd +login anonymous +force_install_dir ../czero +app_set_config 90 mod czero +app_update 90 +quit

For a game that requires logins, like Killing Floor

steamcmd +login <username> <password> +force_install_dir c:\KFServer\ +app_update 215350 +quit

2. Create a script.

a. Put your SteamCMD commands in a text file. Example:
// update_csgo_ds.txt
@ShutdownOnFailedCommand 1 //set to 0 if updating multiple servers at once
@NoPromptForPassword 1
login <username> <password>
//for servers which don't need a login
//login anonymous 
force_install_dir ../csgo_ds
app_update 740 validate
b. Run SteamCMD with the +runscript option. Example:
steamcmd +runscript csgo_ds.txt

Cross-Platform Installation

It is possible to choose the platform for which SteamCMD should download files, even if it isn't the platform it is currently running on. This is done using the @sSteamCmdForcePlatformType variable. (Yes, those are two "s"es at the beginning of the variable name.) For example, to download the Windows CSGO dedicated server on Linux, you can run the following command:

./ +@sSteamCmdForcePlatformType windows +login anonymous +force_install_dir ../csgo_ds +app_update 740 validate +quit

or use the following script:

@ShutdownOnFailedCommand 1
@NoPromptForPassword 1
@sSteamCmdForcePlatformType windows
login anonymous
force_install_dir ../csgo_ds
app_update 740 validate

The supported values are windows, macos and linux.

Windows Software/Scripts


This tool allows the user to use SteamCMD on Windows without command lines and/or batch files.

GitHub Repo:

SteamCMD Guardian 1.2

View and download here:

Linux Scripts

Linux Game Server Managers

by Daniel Gibbs

Linux Game Server Manager

The Linux Game Server Managers are command line tools for quick, simple deployment and management of various dedicated game servers using SteamCMD. This includes the following features.


  • Server installer (SteamCMD)
  • Start/Stop/Restart server
  • Server update (SteamCMD)
  • Server monitor (including email notification)
  • Server backup
  • Server console

Various servers are supported including:

  • Counter Strike
  • Counter Strike: Condition Zero
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Counter Strike: Source
  • Day of Defeat
  • Day of Defeat: Source
  • Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
  • Insurgency
  • Killing Floor
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • No More Room in Hell
  • Natural Selection 2
  • Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Team Fortress Classic

Full list of servers and instructions:

GitHub Repo:

SteamCMD Guardian 1.2

The following script was tested on Debian Wheezy.

View and download here:


To make this script work, we need a location. Preferrably you created a user (e.g. steam) with it's own home directory (/home/steam) and are logged in as it via SSH, tty or using su.

  1. Make the file.
  2. Paste in the code
  3. Modify the code, add at least 1 game to the DL_SV*= rows.
  4. Close the file with Ctrl+O, followed by Enter and concluding with Ctrl+X.
  5. Give the file execute rights for the user
    chmod u+x ./
  6. Run the file

The file will auto-download SteamCMD, update it and install all chosen games (up to 4). Run the file again to update the games.

Known issues

ERROR! Failed to install app 'xxxxxx' (No subscription)

If you get the 'No subscription' error you will need to enter a Steam username and password to allow authentication to the steamCMD system.

Note: For security reasons it is recommended that you create a new Steam username just for SteamCMD.

For example

steamcmd +login <username> <password>

32-bit libraries on 64-bit Linux systems

Since SteamCMD is a 32-bit binary, 32-bit libraries are required.

The following error may occur:

steamcmd: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The resolution depends on your distro:

Debian based Distros (Ubuntu, Mint, etc.)

apt-get install lib32gcc1
Note:ia32-libs are not required to install SteamCMD instead use lib32gcc1

With Debian 7 "Wheezy" you may encounter this error:

The following packages have unmet dependencies: ia32-libs : Depends: ia32-libs-multiarch but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

do the following:

 dpkg --add-architecture i386
 apt-get update
 apt-get install lib32gcc1

Red Hat based Distros (RHEL, Fedora, CentOS, etc.)

yum install glibc.i686 libstdc++.i686

Arch Linux

Don't forget to first enable the multilib repository.

pacman -S lib32-gcc-libs

Login Failure: No Connection

On linux servers, you may experience a "Login Failure: No Connection". This is related to missing iptables rules. You will want something along these lines:

iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --sport 27000:27030 --dport 1025:65355 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --sport 4380 --dport 1025:65355 -j ACCEPT

The port list is found here:

On Windows servers, you may experience "SteamUpdater: Error: Download failed: http error 0" and "SteamUpdater: Error: Steam needs to be online to update. Please confirm your network connection and try again.". This is usually fixed by checking "Automatically detect settings" in IE (Internet Explorer) through the lan settings in the Internet option menu.

1. Open Internet Explorer (IE)

2. Click on Tools > Internet Options

3. Click on the "Connections Tab"

4. At the Bottom, you should see "Local Area Network (LAN) Settings".

5. Check the first box "Automatically detect settings"

6. Hit ok, and apply. Try running the SteamCMD again, if it still doesn't work. try lowering your "Internet Security level zone" to medium or lower. You can find that in the "Security" tab in "Internet Options".

SteamCmd startup errors

Unable to locate a running instance of Steam

You may get the following error when starting a Server with Linux

[S_API FAIL] SteamAPI_Init() failed; unable to locate a running instance of Steam, or a local steamclient.dll.

Resolve the issue by copying to the ~/.steam/sdk32/ directory

cp steamcmd/linux32/ ~/.steam/sdk32/

Ulimit linux startup error

Some users may get ulimit error (no permission/can not open file) while script is starting up. This error caused by low setting of -n-parameter of ulimit. SteamCMD uses standard command inside of shell-script to change ulimit automatically, but some servers may be protected from changing values to custom from different (set by root). It fixes only with changing ulimit parameter up to 2048: ulimit -n 2048. It may cause error (no permission), so you may need login as root to change the parameter. To check your setting: type ulimit -a, system will reply with many rows, you need to find one:

open files                      (-n) 1024

"1024" is the value of setting in system.

In most instances you will get a warning message however it will not stop SteamCMD from running.

Only the HLDS engine is downloaded

When trying to download a HL1 mod like TFC, initially it only downloads the engine files of the HLDS, but not the mod. This happens with both the regular version and the beta. You may have to try a dozen of times till it works, but once it does, the issue seems to be permanently fixed.

Work-around for this issue here:

On a side note, for some reason CS is always installed as well.

See Also