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Valve have announced the release of Steam Play Proton 4.11, this is a pretty exciting one and it's pretty huge overall.

Firstly, it was re-based on top of Wine 4.11. So it brings thousands of improvements over, considering that's quite a version bump. Additionally, 154 patches from Proton were upstreamed directly to Wine!

The next exciting bit is that Valve are now funding D9VK (and have been since June according to developer Joshua Ashton), along with shipping it in Proton as part of this update. This Vulkan-based Direct3D 9 renderer is still experimental, so it's not enabled by default as you need to use the "PROTON_USE_D9VK" setting.

Additionally DXVK was updated to 1.3, your current display refresh rate is now actually reported to games, there's more fixes to window management and mouse cursor focus, VR users rejoice as there's support for the latest OpenVR SDKs, FAudio was updated to 19.07, GameMaker titles got a fix for networking and there's a joystick input lag fix and rumble support for certain games.

Possibly just as exciting, is that a bunch of Wine "modules" are now built as Windows PE files instead of Linux libraries. Eventually, this will help some DRM and anti-cheat systems as work progresses on it. Fantastic to see work on that being done!

Is that all? Oh no—there's more.

When Valve identified issues with multi-threaded games as Proton development was being ramped up, CodeWeavers worked on developing the "esync" patchset to address it. It worked well but it came with multiple issues. As Valve said it needed a "special setup" and can cause "file descriptor exhaustion problems in event-hungry applications", they also think it "results in extraneous spinning in the kernel". So, they're working on what they're calling fsync and suggesting changes to accommodate it in the Linux Kernel.

Valve also showed off some proof-of-concept glibc patches, to expose the Kernel patches as part of the pthread library to get it all working. They said that if it's all accepted, "we would achieve efficiency gains by adopting it in native massively-threaded applications such as Steam and the Source 2 engine". You can read more about all that work in this Steam forum post and fsync testing instructions here.

As always, the Proton changelog for Steam Play can be found here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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74 comments
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Liam Dawe 31 July 2019 at 1:00 pm UTC
Eike
liamdawe
EikeWhat I dislike about their post though is they used Shadow of the Tomb Raider as an example for Proton.
One of the very, very few big games coming native to Linux...
Which is almost a year old and Feral don't seem to have mentioned it again since initially announcing it. How long is everyone supposed to wait?

So we can declare Game Over on native Linux gaming besides "retro-inspired"?
We get far more than retro inspired games and you know that. The reality though is that we rarely got bigger games before anyway: Feral only did a few Linux releases a year, Aspyr mostly stopped and VP only recently did some pretty poor ports of less than popular racers. I will take 1000s of games thanks to Steam Play than continue to see less bigger games with no other option.
dubigrasu 31 July 2019 at 1:01 pm UTC
About the Linux'port of SOTTR, there was an update few days ago on their "domesticated" branches. Not sure what that means, just saying.
Arehandoro 31 July 2019 at 1:01 pm UTC
liamdaweAlso, sorry for the delay everyone. Yesterday was my 31st birthday so I took a rare 100% day off, I'm in catch-up mode now.

Happy bday Liam! It seems yesterday Valve gave you some nice gifts to play with
linuxcity 31 July 2019 at 1:06 pm UTC
speaking of shadow of the tomb raider,huge speed increase.less stuttering
chelobaka 31 July 2019 at 1:06 pm UTC
liamdawe
EikeWhat I dislike about their post though is they used Shadow of the Tomb Raider as an example for Proton.
One of the very, very few big games coming native to Linux...
Which is almost a year old and Feral don't seem to have mentioned it again since initially announcing it. How long is everyone supposed to wait?

SotTR was announced for Stadia. It's highly likely Feral is polishing it for Stadia first so we don't hear any updates from them.
Eike 31 July 2019 at 1:16 pm UTC
chelobakaSotTR was announced for Stadia. It's highly likely Feral is polishing it for Stadia first so we don't hear any updates from them.

I was unsure about their mobile activities. Might help us by having them on the lucrative side - or pull developers away from Linux. Stadia should be a different thing, as it could support them financially while still porting to Linux.
iiari 31 July 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
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liamdaweWe get far more than retro inspired games and you know that.
Quite right. This has actually felt like a busy year so far. Of course, we're in a moment of transition where Linux gaming is going from Linux "primary programming" to a future of "Linux compatible." Cloud gaming is, of course, part of this too. You know this, of course, and your coverage has been reflecting that. And all of this is tremendously exciting and scary at the same time. I think there will always be a place for native Linux gaming and Windows and Cloud compatibility to still be relevant and to need media coverage. We'll need sites like yours to keep future Cloud and streaming providers focused on making Linux clients and to follow all of the tech coverage as Linux becomes the universal, platform agnostic OS powering all of these systems.

Oh, and regarding Feral, I've always wondered if they would become a more behind the scenes company now focusing on helping other game makers transition to Linux. I guess time will tell...

Addendum: Ohmygosh I'm so happy D9VK has been integrated into Proton. I've been busy and haven't bothered tinking with it yet, so the opportunity to try it with my many DX9 using titles (especially Angels Fall First) is exciting.


Last edited by iiari on 31 July 2019 at 2:20 pm UTC
mylka 31 July 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
i just bought new vegas on sale a few days ago
anyone tried it already with d9vk?
EagleDelta 31 July 2019 at 2:40 pm UTC
QuoteWhen Valve identified issues with multi-threaded games as Proton development was being ramped up, CodeWeavers worked on developing the "esync" patchset to address it. It worked well but it came with multiple issues. As Valve said it needed a "special setup" and can cause "file descriptor exhaustion problems in event-hungry applications", they also think it "results in extraneous spinning in the kernel". So, they're working on what they're calling fsync and suggesting changes to accommodate it in the Linux Kernel.

That is awesome, though It's probably important to have everyone temper expectations for a stable version of fsync for a while. The kernel patches were submitted, but it will probably take some time to actually get those changes into the kernel, followed by even more time waiting for Desktop distros to update/patch their own kernels with the changes.

Still cool nonetheless
Kimyrielle 31 July 2019 at 3:00 pm UTC
EikeSo we can declare Game Over on native Linux gaming besides "retro-inspired"?

While its also my impression that native ports of AAA games are on life support, it sounds a bit worse than it is. Outsides of a very brief period of time when Feral and Aspyr were pampering us with multiple AAA ports a year, big-box games have NEVER really been a thing on Linux. Linux gaming has always mostly been about Indie games and the odd mid-range publisher that chose to support us, such as Paradox. Which is why Steam Play is so important for us to have - it finally gives us access to a vast library of big-budget games we never really had before.
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