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Old 05-14-2010, 07:10 AM   #1
Narbat
 
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Lightbulb Solution for Server Too Busy Messages and Case-Sensitive Filesystem

I finally figured out that the "server is currently too busy" messages I was seeing were another side-effect of running from a case-insensitive disk image mounted on a case-sensitive filesystem. I documented what I've done to work around the problem; hopefully it'll help someone else out as well.

RUNNING STEAM ON A CASE-SENSITIVE FILE SYSTEM

If you have a case-sensitive filesystem, you've noticed that Steam refuses to install. It expects a case-INsensitive system. By default this is what you get with a Mac. This guide is for those of us who, for whatever reason, want or need to run with a more Unix-y case-sensitive filesystem.

I'm going to assume that anyone who's gone to the trouble of making a case-sensitive filesystem can deal with Disk Utility and Terminal. You'll need to make a disk image and some symbolic links, and maybe write a little AppleScript.

1. Decide Where You Want Steam to Live

The first thing to do is to decide where you're going to keep this disk image and associated files. I tend to keep big things (VMware images, CD ISOs, that sort of stuff) in /Users/Shared rather than in my home directory. I'm going to keep all things Steam in /Users/Shared/Library/Steam. You can choose wherever's convenient for you and substitute your own path in the instructions below.

2. Make a Disk Image

Use Disk Utility to make a case-insensitive disk image. I chose to make a 32 GB sparse image. I figure 32 GB is big enough for my needs, and using a sparse image means it won't consume a lot of real disk space until it starts to fill up. I saved it as '/Users/Shared/Library/Steam/Steam.sparseimage'.

3. Pick a Mount Point

This isn't as straightforward as it seems. Normally disk images are mounted in '/Volumes/{image name}'. It turns out that Steam not only wants to be on a case-insensitive filesystem, it wants the whole path to the mount point to be case-insensitive. The easiest way to ensure this is to avoid letters in the path altogether. I decided to make the mount point '/.000'. If you're an old Unix hand (and why else would you have formatted the disk as case-sensitive?) you're probably appalled at that. Yeah, me too. At least the dot means I don't have to look at it.

4. Mount the Disk Image

I wrote a little shell script to do this, but I had trouble getting it to run as a login item like I wanted. So I pulled up the AppleScript Editor and wrapped it in some really cheesy AppleScript. I saved it as an application in '/Users/Shared/Library/Steam/MountSteam.app'.

Code:
do shell script ("if [ ! -e /.000 ; then /bin/mkdir -m0777 /.000; fi")
do shell script ("/usr/bin/hdiutil attach -mountpoint /.000 -nobrowse
    /Users/Shared/Library/Steam/Steam.sparseimage")
This creates the '/.000' mount point if necessary and mounts the disk image there. It makes a dandy login item (System Preferences->Accounts->Login Items) to make sure the image is mounted whenever you're logged on.

5. Make Folders

Steam needs two folders to store its data. These normally live in your home directory as '~/Library/Application Support/Steam' and '~/Documents/Steam Content'. Substitutes for these need to be made on the disk image. You can use Finder or Terminal; I'm a Terminal guy.

Code:
mkdir /.000/Steam
mkdir /.000/Steam\ Content
6. Make Symbolic Links

Now you need to link these directories to where Steam wants to find them.

Code:
ln -s /.000/Steam ~/Library/Application\ Support/
ln -s /.000/Steam\ Content ~/Documents/
7. More Link Love

You'll want to make a lowercase path to your home directory, and to the Steam directories. Steam itself doesn't need it, but I've already come across at least one game that does.

Code:
cd /; sudo ln -s Users users
cd /users; sudo ln -s {YourName} {yourname}

cd ~; ln -s Library library
cd ~/library; ln -s Application\ Support application\ support
cd ~/library/application\ support; ln -s Steam steam

cd ~; ln -s Documents documents
cd ~/documents; ln -s Steam\ Content steam\ content
8. Run Steam

Have fun with your new toy!

9. The Price of Freedom Is Eternal Vigilance

Some games will try to drop their own files in '~/Library/Application Support' instead of in the Steam directories. This is good; that's where they should go. Unfortunately, those same games are not always careful about case sensitivity. Torchlight, for example, makes its home in '~/library/application support/runic games', all lowercase. If you see a game acting funny, it's probably a good thing to check where it's keeping its files. You might need to add more symlinks or move the game's support directory onto the disk image.

Code:
mkdir /.000/Support
mv ~/Library/Application\ Support/runic\ games /.000/Support/
ln -s /.000/Support/runic\ games ~/Library/Application\ Support/runic\ games
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
Vynce3
 
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Awesome! Thanks for the excellent guide. It worked perfectly for me.

This case sensitivity issue is ridiculous. It seems like Valve could provide a better work around than me having to spam my system with symlinks.

They should make Steam itself work on a case sensitive volume. Then have a configuration option that lets you specify where Steam should put all of its settings and game files. I think it's pretty bad that games dump files all over the place.

Perhaps even just a command line argument that you can use to point it to a case insensitive volume where it can put everything. Blizzard games have a similar problem, but at least they're self contained and just work if they're installed to a case insensitive disk image.

Argh!
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:32 AM   #3
Bitey McBitey
 
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In addition to making a insensitive image, you could also use the disk utility to shrink your sensitive volume, then add a second insensitive volume.

I used to run my insensitive games out of a disk image because I thought the OS prevented two different volume types, but either I was wrong, or Snow Leopard now allows two different volume types.

Running from a insensitive volume is much faster then running from an insensitive disk image.

Links I've set up for Steam: (Callous is my insensitive volume)

/Users/ed/Documents/Steam -> /Volumes/Callous/Documents/Steam
/Users/ed/Documents/Steam Content -> /Volumes/Callous/Documents/Steam Content
/Users/ed/Library/Application Support/Steam -> /Volumes/Callous/Library/Steam
/users -> /Volumes/Callous/Users/
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:50 PM   #4
tosto
 
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Hi,

do you have any performance information regarding running Steam and games out of a disk image?

ciao
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
NSGod
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey McBitey View Post
I used to run my insensitive games out of a disk image because I thought the OS prevented two different volume types, but either I was wrong, or Snow Leopard now allows two different volume types.
You were definitely wrong, but I'll explain why. OS X itself would never prevent you from having 2 different volume types; it could really care less about that kind of stuff. Well, what I mean is, the volume on which the OS exists may need to be a certain format, but if you have other partitions or volumes, it doesn't matter what they are. I have -- well, it's probably just easier to show you:

http://www.markdouma.com/developer/images/diskSetup.png

I'm booted off a software RAID 0 across 2 volumes. (Yes Windows users, this is possible with a little clever functionality that OS X uses). One of the partitions on the Seagate is an NTFS previous Bootcamp partition. You could have any number of partitions in any volume format that DiskUtility supports (HFS, HFS+, FAT, and probably ext3 or ext4 or NTFS if you added file system plugins/or FUSE). Now, from within OS X, I can't write to my NTFS volumes, but I'm okay with that, and because I'm generally not a fan of repeated BSODs from Apple's crappy AppleHFS.sys windows drivers, I removed them so that from within Windows 7, my HFS+ volumes aren't visible.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:50 PM   #6
iStryker
 
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When I try to make a disk utility image it says "Unable to checksum 'Steam'. Operation not supported on socket."

What do I do?
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
Sinani201
 
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I am getting this message, although I am sure that I do not have a case-sensitive drive because the game was working fine a couple of hours ago, now it just doesn't work. First it says it has to verify the files, and then it says that the verification is complete, and it says that the Steam servers are busy.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:41 AM   #8
jujifruit1742
 
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I too had this problem. I found this blog to also be very helpful.
http://blog.andersonshatch.com/2010/...nsitive-drive/

It still wouldn't work after followed these directions, so I just took out the SteamApps folder in (username)/Library/Application Support/Steam. I deleted the ncf files by suggestion of another blog and attempted to download the game I wanted. It downloaded fine and then I copied all the files back over. Steam thought I didn't have the games downloaded and wanted to download them all. However, after a while, Steam recognized the files and they synced in a few seconds.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:08 PM   #9
Chainsawface999
 
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I have no idea how do any of this stuff. Does this affect every mac?
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
Ntt4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainsawface999 View Post
I have no idea how do any of this stuff. Does this affect every mac?
No, Most Mac's will not suffer from this problem. Case sensitivity that is. The Sever Too Busy can relate to many things.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:47 PM   #11
hiU
 
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Thanks for sharing it with us!
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:27 PM   #12
danmking79
 
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So...where's the solution for 'sever too busy' like the title suggests? Not trying to be a smarta**, but just curious.
Steam works fine on my mac desktop (a hackintosh), but on the macbook pro 17", I get nothing but frustration.

Getting a little tired of all the nothing from Steam in regards to this issue
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:15 PM   #13
swish007
 
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seconded.. please can we get a not-ridiculously-complex fix for this? seems like the problem has been around a while...
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:14 AM   #14
Shmilblix
 
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I spent 30€ on that damn orange box and I can't even play TF2 or Half-life 2 because of this glitch. Each time I try to play, it says "wait for steam to verify game files" but it takes AGES. It basically goes to 50% then stalls. Then it completes, it says "servers are too busy" and nothing happens. Seriously. I tried almost everything but I just can't get it to work properly. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but I can't install anymore, because the servers are "too busy"!
Only source games are buggued. Altitude, Civ4 and EVE work properly.
So apparently Source-based games are glitched.

Last edited by Shmilblix: 09-11-2010 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:54 PM   #15
sanguis
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jujifruit1742 View Post
It still wouldn't work after followed these directions, so I just took out the SteamApps folder in (username)/Library/Application Support/Steam. I deleted the ncf files by suggestion of another blog and attempted to download the game I wanted. It downloaded fine and then I copied all the files back over. Steam thought I didn't have the games downloaded and wanted to download them all. However, after a while, Steam recognized the files and they synced in a few seconds.
Holy SH*T. It worked, thanks. Well, there was only one .ncf file from L4d2. Deleted it, restartet steam and the download began. 2 Endless days of "server too busy" juuust ended
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