Python scripts to preserve Steam content
link to mailing list in README (why did I not do this before)
update README to fix outdated info relating to manifest authentication
login: don't print 'enter password' prompt when password has been given on CLI


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You can also use your local clone with git send-email.


A set of utilities to preserve Steam content, including tools to archive app information, archive depots in SteamPipe CDN content and extract them, and download versions of the Steam client.

Patches and feedback can go to the mailing list.


For the Python scripts, install the requirements:

pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Many scripts require authentication, which can be passed on the command line using the -u [username] flag. -p [password] will allow you to pass the password on the command line as well; if you do not do this, you will be interactively prompted for a password.

Usage for the Python scripts:

  • depot_archiver.py downloads depots (the logical groupings of game content files Steam delivers). You can give it an appid, in which case it'll download the latest depots for that app, or you can give it a specific appid, depotid, and manifest number (manifests are specific versions of depots.) It will download the manifest, appinfo, and encrypted depot chunks. Ownership of an app is required to download its manifest; you can only download an app without logging in if its manifest has previously been downloaded. Most (non-dedicated server, non-Valve) free apps are not available to anonymous users; you will still need to log into an account to download free games!
  • get_depot_keys.py logs into a Steam account and dumps all the depot keys it has access to, which can be used to decrypt downloaded depots. To get the key for a depot, your account must own a package that includes access to the depot, and it must also own a package that includes an app which specifies the depot should be installed; you cannot get keys for depots you have access to that aren't included in any released apps, since that's how Steam prevents you from decrypting preloaded game content. Keys will be saved to depot_keys.txt
  • depot_extractor.py extracts downloaded depots. It requires the key but can work completely offline.
  • list_downloaded_manifests.py can be used to verify if a particular depot/manifest has been downloaded, or it can list out the manifests used by branches of an app and check if they've been downloaded.
  • get_appinfo.py downloads the latest appinfo for the specified apps, or for all publicly visible apps if run with no arguments.
  • update_appinfo.py attempts to download appinfo for only the apps that have changes since the last time get_appinfo was run.
  • get_client.py downloads the manifest for the Steam client and downloads all needed packages. When run without arguments it'll download the release version of the Steam client for Win32; you can also specify a different channel, e.g. get_client.py steam_client_ubuntu12, get_client.py steam_client_publicbeta_osx, get_client.py steam_cmd_linux, get_client.py steamchina_win32, etc.
  • unpack_sis.py unpacks a Steam game backup or retail master (which consists of a sku.sis manifest, csd files containing depot data, and cdm files containing metadata about the locations of chunks in the csd.) Unpacking with this script is free, but for actually extracting the data afterward with depot_extractor you need to have a downloaded copy of the manifest (you can get one by running depot_archiver in dry run mode, using the -d flag) and the decryption key.
  • pack_sis.py goes the other way, packing depot chunks from a depots/ subfolder into .csd and .csm archive files. This is useful for transferring (as moving two files is usually much faster than moving a couple thousand), or for restoring a backup using the Steam client (requires specifying a depot manifest so an sku.sis file can be generated.)
  • diff_manifests.py displays the difference between two manifests of the same depot, showing which files were added/changed/removed, the download size of the depot, and the change in on-disk size after download.
  • steam_websocket_mitm.py is an mitmproxy script to inspect Steam's WebSockets network traffic. This is only really useful for debugging.
  • login.py runs an interactive login for testing purposes.
  • chunkstore.py loads a .csd/.csm and lists the depot ID, encryption, and number of chunks without unpacking anything.

The folder steamlancache contains an HTTP server (written in Golang) that you can use as a LAN cache for Steam to speed up downloads and automatically archive all the content you download in the formats these scripts expect. Just run the server with the folder the Python scripts are in as the working directory, and set a DNS record to point "lancache.steamcontent.com" to the IP of the server.

For help finding appids, depotids, and manifestids, check out https://steamdb.info (requires logging in with a non-limited Steam account to view older manifests)


Get all the depot keys available to anonymous users:

python3 get_depot_keys.py

Log into a specific account and get all its depot keys:

python3 get_depot_keys.py -u [username] -p [password]

Download all the depots for Team Fortress 2:

python3 depot_archiver.py -a 440

Download the Team Fortress 2 Linux client binaries that were released at 2022-08-11 22:29:49:

python3 depot_archiver.py -a 440 232253 5841585021586447253

Extract those binaries:

python3 depot_extractor.py 232253 5841585021586447253 bdbeae4f56fa865d8df2f76623d3346fcd7e56df6dee13b0f23e4a0fe160a446

(Note: the key for the above command was found in depot_keys.txt, in this line:)

232253		bdbeae4f56fa865d8df2f76623d3346fcd7e56df6dee13b0f23e4a0fe160a446	TF2 Linux client


Copyright 2021-2023 Benjamin Lowry

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.