Installing Steam on Your Dedicated Server

April 2015

Dedicated Hosting for Gaming with Steam

steam dedicated server

All games require a platform and dedicated servers paired with Steam provide an excellent and customizable experience. You’ll need to download SteamCMD to host a game server with many of the popular games. It is the command line tool for the popular Steam gaming platform. It allows you to host gaming servers to some of the world’s largest games like Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2 yourself.

System Requirements

The system requirements for SteamCMD vary by operating system, but they include the following across all platforms:

  • Hard drive space to support the games and maps you intend to run. You’ll want a minimum of 5GB disk space for most games.
  • A network connection to support the number of simultaneous players you want your game server to support. A good rule of thumb is that Source games use about 64Kbps per player. All ReliableSite servers have a 1 Gbps connections, so you don’t have to worry about that limitation.
  • You will need to allow incoming TCP connections on various ports depending on the game you are hosting. Refer to the installation instructions of the particular game you want to host for the details. For example, Source requires 27015 TCP/UDP and 27020 UDP.


Windows Installation Instructions

You can install SteamCMD on Windows Server by doing the following:

  1. Create a folder for SteamCMD such as C:/steamcmd
  2. Download the SteamCMD Update tool from
  3. Extract the contents of the file into your steamcmd folder

Running the software

In order to run the SteamCMD software, simply browse to the SteamCMD folder and click on steamcmd.exe. Alternatively, you can open the command prompt, navigate to the installation directory, and type steamcmd to run the program.

Tips and Tricks

Looking for a GUI interface so you don’t have to manipulate the software using the command prompt? Download SteamCMD GUI at: It’s a simple and easy to use tool that performs all of the SteamCMD commands for you so you don’t have to use the command prompt. It allows you to quickly launch game servers for the games available for download using SteamCMD.


Linux Installation Instructions

  1. For best security practices, create a user for Steam by running the following command:

adduser steam

  1. Create a directory for the SteamCMD software and navigate to the newly created directory:

mkdir /home/steam/steamcmd

cd /home/steam/steamcmd

  1. Download the SteamCMD application:


  1. Extract the contents to the directory you created earlier:

tar -xvzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz

Running the software

In order to start the software, SSH to your dedicated service and execute the following commands:

  1. cd /home/steam/steamcmd
  2. ./

Tips and Tricks

There’s a great script called SteamCMD Guardian which provides quick, simple deployment of Steam servers based on the SteamCMD software. It can be downloaded at:

Mac OS X

Mac Installation Instructions

  1. Open the Terminal and create a directory for SteamCMD:

mkdir ~/steamcmd


  1. Download the SteamCMD application:

curl -O

  1. Extract the contents to the directory:

tar -xvzf steamcmd_osx.tar.gz

Running the software

In order to start the server on Mac, open the terminal and execute the following commands:

  1. cd ~/steamcmd
  2. ./

Using SteamCMD

Logging In

The first then you need to do after launching SteamCMD is to log in. You can download most game servers anonymously by logging in with the following command:

login anonymous

Alternatively, you can login with your steam username:

login <username>

Downloading Games

After launching SteamCMD and logging in, you can do the following to download a game.

  1. Setup your installation directory:

force_install_dir <path>

Example: A directory named hl2_go inside the current directory:

force_install_dir ./hl2_go/

  1. You can install or update the game using the app_update command and the following parameters:

app_update <app_id> [-beta <betaname>] [-betapassword <password>] [validate]

Example: Install and validate the Counter Strike: Global Offensive dedicated server:

app_update 740 validate

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


For complete installation instructions and error troubleshooting, visit the SteamCMD Wiki at:

Once you’ve installed SteamCMD, visit: for instructions on how to run a Source game server.

For a complete list of Steam dedicated servers including the game ID, and whether anonymous login is supported, visit: