Steam/Valve Readdressing Gaming on Linux

Announced yesterday: Introducing a new version of Steam Play

I’d assume we have a decent amount of gamers here on the forum along with a obviously hefty amount of Linux users. Unfortunately, the two often don’t go hand-in-hand. The only reason that I run windows on my main machine is because gaming on Linux has consistently been suboptimal. But it seems that Valve is now leading the charge to make fluid gaming on Linux (and macOS) a reality.

The current driving force to the improved performance and portability of traditional Windows games over to Linux is achieved through Valve’s Proton project. This project is essentially a extension of wine that includes even better display software/drivers with the help of Vulkan graphics API, esync multi-threading library, and other 3D/VR graphics library and API improvements.

There are a limited number (~20 or so) games that have been targeted for the initial release (see full list in original new article), which are Windows-only games, but can now be played on LInux with the help of Steam Play. It seems they will be adding and testing more games little by little in the near future and have a wishlist going that people can request certain games be added.

How to opt in:

  1. Run LInux with Steam installed
  2. Opt into the Linux Steam Client Beta
  3. Be sure that you are using the lastest graphics drivers (quick-start guide)
  4. Install and Play supported games

Disclaimer: I have yet to try this out but I am itching to do so. Will have to fire up Ubuntu on my gaming rig sometime this week/weekend to try it out. If anyone tries it out, please share your experience with the rest of us! :slight_smile:

Happy gaming!


Their article says they will not be supporting macOS. Besides, a lot of the good titles already work on Mac anyway :wink:

Q: Any plans for macOS support?

While Wine and Proton work on macOS, there are no plans to support the new Steam Play functionality on macOS at the moment.

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Interesting. Thanks for the heads up.

The part that made me infer that macOS would be supported is that they have Proton build instructions for Mac, so I figured they were targeting macOS as well for this release – maybe they’ll fully support it later on, though.

Nice timing, recently abandoned some linux installations due to games not being available.

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Got this 2TB drive holding Ubuntu 18, and that space seems so wasted. Maybe not any longer :smiley:


I’m excited and skeptical. I ran Ubuntu from 2006 to 2015, then switched to Arch Linux. Steam on Ubuntu had few issues. Steam on Arch has (had?) major controller issues. I haven’t been able to get any controller working under Arch yet. In the interest of transparency I stopped trying about 6 months ago.
I tried the Xbox 360 controller. 2 different Rock Candy (3rd party) controllers, based on the 360 controller. A USB NES controller, and all 3 of my son’s Xbox One controllers running USB.
I have probably 50 games in my Steam account that I haven’t played in years, and I’d like to be able to play more than the NES games I’ve been playing for the past 30 years.

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Sounds like you spend more time fighting your OS and package manager than you would like to admit :). This was the same issue I had when I was using Arch.

Fighting? Nah. Tinkering lol. I’m an Arch guy. Been slowly converting all my servers over. 1 left at home to do haha.
I have 6 PC’s in the house. I can throw SteamOS on one and play away if I get too desperate. I’d like to be able to play all or most of the games in my library, though. That’d be a bonus. I bought a few Humble Bundles with a bunch of Window$ games.

You tried with xboxdrv?
It was working for me with a USB Xbox 360 controller, but like 5-6 years ago :stuck_out_tongue:

I did try xboxdrv. No luck.
Controller support is built into the kernel now so I tried it both ways. It’s been probably half a year since the last time I installed Steam on an Arch box. Maybe I’ll drinks few :beers: tonight and give it another whirl! Opt in for the beta @Mason posted. Or just fire up my son’s (also named Mason) Xbox One. Play some Fortnite. Ha! Because that’s a thing I can do. :grin:


I’d just like to interject for moment. What you’re referring to as Wine, is in fact, DXVK+Wine+esync, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, Proton. Proton is not a proprietary solution by itself, but rather an amalgam of open-source components that utilizes Vulkan as a wrapper for DirectX calls.


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I think the article stated that it was Proton, a Valve Project. So in essence valve maintains and drives the development of this project.

Sounds really nice, next step in replacing a gaming windows machine with linux.

Ah that was just a modified version of this legendary thing: Interjection - InstallGentoo Wiki

Got it, never saw that before!

I prefer red sauce on my Copypasta