steam for linux with tux

Backup your game saves on Steam for Linux

Looking for an easy way to backup Steam for Linux game saves and config files?

Well, we’ve found you one.

Steam Linux Swiss-army Knife (SLSK) lets you backup and restore games, game saves, and config files for Steam for Linux games on any distribution.

You may have heard of an app called GameSave Manager, which lets you make Steam backups on Windows.

SLSK is basically an open source GameSave Manager alternative for Linux — but with even more features on offer.

Easily Backup/Restore Steam Linux Game Saves & Config Files

backup linux game saves on steam with SLSK

Making manual backups of Steam Linux games which don’t offer cloud save isn’t super difficult to do — but as a quick Google on the topic will show it can be a dull task.

The task is compounded by the fact that some games have spread their files out across several different directories, often in places you wouldn’t think to look.

Steam Linux Swiss Knife is an open-source app that relies on a community-maintained database containing information on the save and config paths of various Linux Steam games.

While most Linux games should follow the standard “XDG Base Directory Specifications” for writing saves and configs (i.e., ~/.local/share and ~/.config, etc.) some games use their own specific paths.

Using this database as a backend, SLSK is able to make automated backups of your Steam Linux games save files.

Just like GameSave Manager (GSM).

But it gets better.

While GSM is only able to backup and restore game saves. SLSK can backup/restore game saves, game configs and entire games! If you use custom config files or edits to get a game working correctly this app can back ’em up too.

SLSK’s open-source nature and community-based backend mean it is well positioned to keep pace with new Linux games as they’re released.

That said there are a stack of games which you can’t back up using this app, or whose config paths are not fully complete. You can see a list of these games in the “missing list” page on Github.

The app features:

  • Fetch known paths for Linux Steam games, saves and configs
  • Automate backup/restore of Linux Steam games, saves and configs
  • GUI interface

Install SLSK on Ubuntu & Linux Mint

Arch users can install SLSK from AUR. OpenSUSE users can make use of an OBS repo.

But those of on Ubuntu and Linux Mint users?

We have to compile the app from source.

Wait—don’t panic or break in to a sweat. This isn’t as scary as it sounds. The project even shares a step-by-step tutorial on their Github page.

So, providing that you’re running Ubuntu 17.10 or later, open a Terminal and install the build dependencies:

sudo apt install sqlite3 qt5-default g++ make qt5-qmake git

Next, to clone the SLSK Github repository to your home folder, run this git command:

git clone

Now uses the terminal to move into the SLSK working directory:

cd ~/SLSK

Finally, run the build script and install script inside:

./ && sudo ./
    1. If the app compiles and installs without a hitch — if you see any missing packages/dependencies be sure to install them and try to build again — you should be able to launch the app from the Unity Dash or another application launcher.


    From there you should be able to work out how to use the app yourself (it’s very self explanatory).