If your Steam client gives you the error An error occurred while installing Your Game (content servers unreachable) whenever you want to update or install a game, you might have to check your network connection in the first place. However, if the error isn’t related to your network, this quick and easy workaround will help you to get rid of the error.
Who is affected by this problem?
Basically everyone can be affected by this. I for myself got confronted with this problem twice under Windows and almost every time when I’m using the Steam Windows version under Linux with WINE. Because of this fact, this article only covers Windows and Steam WINE installations. If you’re a user of the Mac or Linux native Steam client, this workaround could help as well. However, you have to find the specific file (which has to be edited later on) on your own.
This workaround has originally brought up by a user in the askubuntu.com forums. We have to add a list of servers to the config.vdf file from your Steam installation. This list of servers are representing the content servers provided by Valve. Navigate to the config directory within the Steam installation directory. It is located under Windows by default in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\config. For a default Linux WINE prefix you have to navigate to $HOME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Steam/config. Search for a file called config.vdf. Open the file with the Notepad editor under Windows or with the editor you’re typically use under Linux and add the following line after the line starting with the word cip:
Save and close the file. If you’re a Windows user you may see a message saying that you can’t save the edited file at the given location. If so, simply save the new config.vdf file on your desktop. Move the so saved file to the Steam config directory afterwards.
I’m unable to tell you why Steam sometimes isn’t able to find the Content servers on it’s own. The list above represents the content servers provided by Valve. The list of servers could change in the future of course. But right now, the workaround gives you the capability to download and update your Steam games again.
If you know more about this issue, especially why it actually occurs on some installations, please let me know in the comment section below.