Valve is making it a little easier to be a gamer with a Linux computer. A few years ago the company started encouraging game developers to port their titles to run on Linux… but the vast majority of PC games are still Windows-only.

So last year Valve introduce Proton, a new tool for Steam Play, a tool that lets Linux users use a custom fork of WINE to run Windows software on a non-Windows device. In this case, Proton is optimized to let users run Windows games on a machine running a GNU/Linux operating system, even if the developers don’t officially support that OS.

Technically you could already run some Windows games using WINE, but Proton added support for many games that don’t normally work with WINE.

Now Valve has rolled out an update to Proton/Steam Play that makes it possible to run even more games — including games that aren’t event distributed via Valve’s Steam client.

image credit: BoingSteam

There are two significant changes in the latest Steam Beta client for Linux:

  1. You can force Steam to use Proton even for Steam games that have a native Linux version (in other words, you’ll run the Windows version of the game instead of the Linux port).
  2. You can add shortcuts to Steam for Windows games downloaded from other sources… and then use Proton to run those Windows games on Linux.

The first update is helpful because some Linux ports aren’t very good or aren’t actively supported by their developers. Users are already reporting that the Windows versions of some games run better on Linux than the Linux ports.

The second update has a few benefits. First, if you’ve already paid for a Windows game in an alternate store like GOG you may now be able to use Steam Play to run it on Linux without buying the game again from Steam. And while Steam is one of the most popular game clients/stores around, there are still plenty of games that aren’t distributed through Steam. This update means you might be able to play more of those games on a Linux computer.

So far it looks like Proton allows at least 3,500 Windows PC games to work on Linux… but there are still thousands of games that aren’t supported. Still, Proton seems to be the best option to date for running Windows games on Linux computers, and it’s encouraging to see that Valve continues to add new features to make it even more useful.

via Hacker News

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6 replies on “Steam Play for Linux update supports more games (including non-Steam games)”

  1. I think it is high time that I tried my GOG sourced Witcher3 install to transfer to the Steam Client.

    I have a hand-crafted Wine prefix for the TW3 but I think it should now work better under Proton which has newer DXVK and better controller support.

  2. I would hope that a future SteamBox becomes available, and causes further push to strengthen the Gaming Industry.

    Nothing too outrageous, maybe an AMD Ryzen3/Zen2 APU with a 4GHz 8core/16thread CPU, and a Navi32 iGPU, with 16GB GDDR6 sRAM, and a stock 256GB M.2 SSD (eg WD Blue3D) with an extra SATA port for more. A couple USB and TB3 ports, DP/HDMI and Freesync2 support. Ship it for US$499 and allow people to dualboot it with SteamOS, ElementaryOS, Android, Windows, Hackintosh etc etc.

    It could be sweet.

    1. I would buy that in a heartbeat, especially if it had a nice case that looks good around the TV set.

      However, I somehow doubt that they can go so low in price for the above specs.

    2. As cool as those specs sound for $499, I don’t see a system like that being sold for near that price. What you described is pretty close to the Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HNK, which sells for $700 with no RAM or Storage. And you’re talking about something with an even stronger GPU than that. I think $1000 is a better guess.

      Also, Thunderbolt is an Intel product, you would never get it as an included feature with an AMD system. You can add it as an add-in PCIe card accessory, but Thunderbolt is available by-license only, and Intel would never issue the license if they caught wind of it being an AMD machine (an AMD tech showcase product, none the less).

      1. Nope.
        Intel quite some time ago decided to open-up the TB3 license to other companies. So you can expect to see TB3 on AMD hardware, or Apple Hardware, or even Qualcomm hardware.

        Intel NUC/Hades have always been overpriced, and is a horrible metric to go off. I would suggest looking at something like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, which are sold at break even prices with tax and third-party profits factored in.

        So such a SteamBox can be made with those specifications at that price, it all depends on scale. The biggest problem would be to have a M.2 SSD with that performance and capacity, within that budget. But someone large like Intel, Nvidia, AMD, Sony, Microsoft, and Valve would be able to sort it.

  3. I would not be surprised if the move to cloud gaming influenced game studios to create a linux version as part of their initial release.

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