Confused on Steam Play and Proton? Be sure to check out our guide.

There's so much going on when it comes to Linux gaming it can be hard to keep up with it all, especially with many different companies getting involved. Collabora is one that has contracts with Valve and they have a refresher up on some of the work they're doing.

During the LCA2021 (linux.conf.au 2021), André Almeida of Collabora did a presentation on futex2. According to the presentation overview: "futex2 is a work in progress system call to replace the current futex implementation. This new interface will have features to allow better resources utilization from the system, like NUMA-awareness, and different futexes' sizes. This talk will provide an overview of the interface, along with the current state of the development and some initial results that we got by modifying Proton/Wine to use it."

Note - Wine and Proton are compatibility layers, designed to run Windows games and other software on Linux and other operating systems. Proton is Valve's version of Wine that's available through Steam. See our dedicated page for more.

The overview in the below video starts at about 3:26, our embed should be set for it:

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One of the key points from the talk is that the current interface dates back to 2002, and has not seen any new feature work since 2008. Modern games on Windows need new functions in place in the Linux Kernel that Wine and Proton can hook into for compatibility, and for speed too. So that's what this is all about, to get those Windows games running and faster on Linux. Almeida showed a couple benchmark results which showed it was a good bit faster compared to the original futex.

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5 comments

Luke_Nukem 10 Feb, 2021
QuoteNote - Wine and Proton are compatibility layers, designed to run Windows games and other software on Linux and other operating systems. Proton is Valve's version of Wine that's available through Steam. See our dedicated page for more.

I just noticed you put a similar refresher in almost every article (and similar for Nvidia stuff). That's awesome forward thinking and very helpful especially for newbies :)

futex2 is exciting. Blows my mind how much Valve has helped kick Linux gaming in to high gear.
Liam Dawe 10 Feb, 2021
Quoting: Luke_Nukem
QuoteNote - Wine and Proton are compatibility layers, designed to run Windows games and other software on Linux and other operating systems. Proton is Valve's version of Wine that's available through Steam. See our dedicated page for more.

I just noticed you put a similar refresher in almost every article (and similar for Nvidia stuff). That's awesome forward thinking and very helpful especially for newbies :)

futex2 is exciting. Blows my mind how much Valve has helped kick Linux gaming in to high gear.
Thanks for the kind words. I try not to assume too much from readers, because there's tons of special terms everywhere that are easy to forget or just be confused on. People who know can ignore it but it I think it's helpful overall :)
BielFPs 10 Feb, 2021
Can't wait to see those improvements in practice

And it's always nice to see a developer from my country making part of it :)
Bumadar 11 Feb, 2021
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: Luke_Nukem
QuoteNote - Wine and Proton are compatibility layers, designed to run Windows games and other software on Linux and other operating systems. Proton is Valve's version of Wine that's available through Steam. See our dedicated page for more.

I just noticed you put a similar refresher in almost every article (and similar for Nvidia stuff). That's awesome forward thinking and very helpful especially for newbies :)

futex2 is exciting. Blows my mind how much Valve has helped kick Linux gaming in to high gear.
Thanks for the kind words. I try not to assume too much from readers, because there's tons of special terms everywhere that are easy to forget or just be confused on. People who know can ignore it but it I think it's helpful overall :)

It is pretty helpful.
In case your bored you might try to move it to a pop up/balloon 5hingie when hovering the mouse over the first instance of the word wine or proton, and then automate it so when you post an article it does that for certain words...... yeah I am full of ideas ;)
ShabbyX 14 Feb, 2021
Quoting: Bumadarhovering the mouse over the first instance of the word

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