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Nice to see more Linux distributions make changes to ensure the gaming experience is good. Arch Linux is now following Fedora and Ubuntu on upping the vm.max_map_count value.

The issue is the default from the upstreaming Linux kernel is just too low for some games like The Finals, Hogwarts Legacy, DayZ, Counter-Strike 2 and various others causing them to crash. Not a good experience for end-users.

Announced in an official news post:

The vm.max_map_count paramater will be increased from the default 65530 value to 1048576.

This change should help address performance, crash or start-up issues for a number of memory intensive applications, particularly for (but not limited to) some Windows games played through Wine/Steam Proton. Overall, end users should have a smoother experience out of the box with no expressed concerns about potential downsides in the related proposal on arch-dev-public mailing list.

This vm.max_map_count increase is introduced in the 2024.04.07-1 release of the filesystem package and will be effective right after the upgrade.

Before upgrading, in case you are already setting your own value for that parameter in a sysctl.d configuration file, either remove it (to switch to the new default value) or make sure your configuration file will be read with a higher priority than the /usr/lib/sysctl.d/10-arch.conf file (to supersede the new default value).

Pictured - DayZ

Want to know what your current value is? You can run this in terminal cat /proc/sys/vm/max_map_count

If you want to test a different value, in terminal you can run sudo sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=1048576 which will persist until a reboot.

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pb Apr 8
$ cat /proc/sys/vm/max_map_count

Why am I hearing about it just now?
pb Apr 8
BTW why is default 65530 and not a round number like 65536?
fabertawe Apr 8
Mine's already at 16777216. Can't remember why that figure exactly though, probably after reading something Proton related previously.

Edit: I added it a year ago, from

Last edited by fabertawe on 8 April 2024 at 8:47 am UTC
Sojiro84 Apr 8
Mine is set automatically to 2147483642.

I run EndeavourOS.
Jajcus Apr 8
Quoting: pbBTW why is default 65530 and not a round number like 65536?

Probably the structure holding those takes some extra space for 'bookkeeping'. In such case allocating exactly 65536 entries would require some number of full memory pages and a few bytes on another page that would be mostly empty, which would be inefficient.
Nice to see everyone agreeing on this ☺️✌️
Xpander Apr 8
It seems i already have changed mine way higher in the past. Still rocking the same Arch install i installed back in 2013. Just keep on Rolling!

xpander@archlinux ~ $ cat /etc/sysctl.d/80-gamecompatibility.conf
vm.max_map_count = 2147483642

Last edited by Xpander on 14 April 2024 at 7:23 am UTC
tfk Apr 8
Ahem, I use Fedora BTW...
WMan22 Apr 8
I'm actually surprised this wasn't already a thing for a while.
So for those of us who don't know, what would upping this actually help with, and how would one know if one was running into problems with it in the first place?
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