Valve deploys open-source Proton tool for Linux gaming
Valve has just announced and deployed a new piece of open-source software to enable Linux to run games that could only previously run on Windows.
This compatibility solution for Windows games on Steam not natively compatible with Linux distributions comes eight years after Valve launched its Steam Play cross-purchasing program for users to run compatible games on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems without having to pay for them more than once.
According to its official announcement Valve's push for this new and improved version of Steam Play started two years ago with direct financial and development support of open-source software including as Wine and DXVK.
The open-source software that Valve has announced and is utilizing is called Proton. Based on Wine, it offers the following improvements to Linux gaming on Steam, according to the official announcement:
- Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
- DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
- Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
- Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
- Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.
This improved Steam Play is now available for beta testing. Valve did not provide a time table for when the software would launch outside of beta.