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As we speculated previously, Valve have now officially announced their new version of 'Steam Play' for Linux gaming using a modified distribution of Wine called Proton, which is available on GitHub.

What does it do? In short: it allows you to play Windows games on Linux, directly through the Steam client as if they were a Linux game.

What many people suspected turned out to be true, DXVK development was actually funded by Valve. They actually employed the DXVK developer since February 2018. On top of that, they also helped to fund: vkd3d (Direct3D 12 implementation based on Vulkan), OpenVR and Steamworks native API bridges, wined3d performance and functionality fixes for Direct3D 9 and Direct3D 11 and more.

The amount of work that has gone into this—it's ridiculous.

Here's what they say it improves:

  • 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.

It currently has a limited set of games that are supported, but even so it's quite an impressive list that they're putting out there. Which includes DOOM, FINAL FANTASY VI, Into The Breach, NieR: Automata, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and more. They will enable many more titles as progress on it all continues.

To be clear, this is available right now. To get it, you need to be in the Steam Client Beta.

There will be drawbacks, like possible performance issues and games that rely on some DRM might likely never be supported, but even so the amount of possibilities this opens up has literally split my head open with Thor's mighty hammer.

Read more here.

Holy shit. Please excuse the language, but honestly, I'm physically shaking right now I don't quite know how to process this.

Update #1: I spoke to Valve earlier, about how buying Windows games to play with this system counts, they said this:

Hey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

158 Likes, Who?
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606 comments
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Finalizer 22 August 2018 at 7:29 pm UTC
These news are great!But it's a bit worrying what happens to the native games. Still I'm glad that Valve made this move. It could be harder to walk only native games path if you know what I mean. And hey don't lead me into temptation, I sure can find it by myself: I must try this steamplay system soon....
Imnotarobot 22 August 2018 at 7:59 pm UTC
7870. All games crash with amdgpu.
No Vulkan for me then.
wvstolzing 22 August 2018 at 8:07 pm UTC
GuestOh and while it's nice and all to have DOOM II, Ultimate DOOM and Quake on that list, some great source ports already natively support linux, presumably to use a source port this way would involve using a windows version of said source port.. But what would be the point in that? :p

To be honest, it seems to me that including those titles in the list has no point other than making it look a little longer.
I'd like to think that a Linux user interested in playing DOOM (or Quake) would probably know that there's 'stuff' (chocolate-doom, the shareware levels for both DOOM & Quake 2, freedoom) in the core repos of pretty much every distro.
Though, then again, I might be overestimating the extent to which 'the average buyer' has a clue as to why it's better to play on source ports as opposed to dosbox.
jarhead_h 22 August 2018 at 8:22 pm UTC
wvstolzing
GuestOh and while it's nice and all to have DOOM II, Ultimate DOOM and Quake on that list, some great source ports already natively support linux, presumably to use a source port this way would involve using a windows version of said source port.. But what would be the point in that? :p

To be honest, it seems to me that including those titles in the list has no point other than making it look a little longer.
I'd like to think that a Linux user interested in playing DOOM....

Actually, that DOOM is Doom(2016). DOOM II is the original. From what I can tell, I'm not really certain that Valve planned to release this yet, but that when word broke out they just kinda bit the bullet knowing that the games list isn't exactly impressive, yet. Steam itself didn't run right at launch back in 2004 to the point where I was sure it would fail, but here we are and it's our most important weapon to liberate people from Microsoft. Give them a little time and i think that list will grow and grow and grow.

Just random testing of my available titles I revealed one working perfectly and all others either not starting at all(most common) or starting with serious issues.

I fired up the original FEAR. It just ran. All the graphics setting worked. Kind of comically, I fired up RWBY: Grim Eclipse and it all worked until I started a level and no character models displayed. I could see Pyrra's sword and shield but not her or any grim. Far Cry 2 booted and ran with Minecraft-like trees until I turned up the graphics settings and it crashed and wouldn't run after that. Plus it hung up during the uninstall a couple of times. Was going to try Alan Wake this morning but when I woke and turned on the system and tried to run Steam, I got this :

Running Steam on fedora 28 64-bit
STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
Pins up-to-date!
ERROR: ld.so: object '/usr/$LIB/libgpg-error.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded (cannot open shared object file): ignored.
ERROR: ld.so: object '/usr/lib64/libjemalloc.so.2' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded (wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64): ignored.

Please note, there was a Breakpad install exception and about twenty more lines of errors before I reinstalled a few libraries. I tried to install World of Warships and clearing it out might have caused this. Not sure.
bradgy 22 August 2018 at 8:23 pm UTC
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NonjuffoHave you tested RS2014 with Proton? That title is a serious mess of uplay, hardware dongles and ... Denuvo? WTH? Pretty sure that DRM wasn't there in 2014. Maybe that is the "remastering" they did later.

I haven't yet no, and I haven't played it under Wine for a while, although the last time was post the Remaster, which suggests if Ubi have shoehorned UPlay and Denuvo in, it's happened recently. Really hope that's not the case, as it worked well under Wine before, and I was hoping the integration into Steam/Big Picture would mean a lot easier set up under Linux in the future. I'll test and report back when I can.
stretch611 22 August 2018 at 8:28 pm UTC
So, is roughly 400 comments in less than 24 hours some type of record for the site?
barotto 22 August 2018 at 8:32 pm UTC
John Carmack in 2013:
"Improving Wine for Linux gaming seems like a better plan than lobbying individual game developers for native ports. Why the hate?" and "Translating from D3D to OpenGL would involve more inefficiencies, but figuring out exactly what the difficulties are and making some form of “D3D interop” extension for OpenGL to smooth it out is a lot easier than making dozens of completely refactored, high performance native ports."

He was right, after all. A bit too soon tho, that "extension for OpenGL" is today's Vulkan, that didn't exist back then. A lot of pieces had to be put in place to make it a viable solution.
MayeulC 22 August 2018 at 8:34 pm UTC
KabouikNot sure if this has been posted, but I am 32 pages late and that is a bit much to catch up while I'm at work.

There is a community-driven list of games that run or crash with Steam Play/Proton, it is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ3_odz8JzEVK80vkku-b6FsICWb45xGf4VYnzYz5cNSMVQ-5BA2WoHBGAScw96MgLj1ONA7Cx0tyGa/pubhtml#
Cary on, you can do it! (read on this post...) And it's a special occasion, your work colleagues should commemorate too! [liam, need evil tux emote here, or the gangsta one someone had in their profile in the thread].
I've also noticed a similar page here, with far less data, but better organized (for now). Not sure if it was posted here already, but I did see it on reddit.

mirvJust really want to point out that Valve see and fund things that are very useful, and that's not to be underestimated, but I personally dislike the treatment that it's all and entirely Valve doing everything.
[...]
while the impact might be large to users, the effort itself from Valve is actually not equivalent.
Of course, but expecting them to do a lot wouldn't be realistic. Last time I checked, their head count was ~250. Point is, they're playing to win. And as such, they make strategic decisions, investing where it counts, and not duplicating efforts. The way we Linuxers always tried to do it, actually. They get a lot of praise for that. They are doing now what people have suggested to them for ages, and it seems that they're listening; or at least their actions are aligned with the way the community thinks/expects them to behave.
And valve being privately-owned means that it's only as evil as its owner, GabeN. Which is a huuge difference from the corporations that are owned by their bottom line and quarterly results. Valve can think longer term.

And valve currently is our champion. All hail our lord and Savior GabeN! Liam, we need a special emote for this to commemorate this victory!

fabertaweWow... big news, big thread (and I'm late to the party as usual!). I have actually read every post
Yeah, me too I'm just finding it hard to keep up

Mohandevirthis thread is way too long to read through
It's doable! It's only 26 pages if you put 15 posts per page ;)

GuestI'm also wondering, do devs/publishers have to give Valve official permission to put their games on this new feature?

Nope, valve stated themselves that they were completely handling this one. I can't find where, but this excerpt from the FAQ gives the right idea:
Spoiler, click me
QuoteQ: I'm a developer; my game got whitelisted in Steam Play; does this mean I have to support an additional platform?

No; if a game was whitelisted as a result of our testing, we've assessed the experience to be identical (save for an expected moderate performance impact). Users playing through Steam Play experiencing Linux-specific issues should be directed to Steam for support. Keep in mind users were most likely already playing your game using Wine; you just have better visibility into it now.

ImnotarobotHmmmmm... Proton on Github that MS owns.
That's an interesting thought... If anything, it means that they could have been aware of it ahead of the announcement. I wonder if GitHub was used for development, then. It was probably just pushed at the last minute.

Lcs006OK! I am in a bit of challenge. I have Jagged Alliance - Back in Action Linux version. As everybody knows - it does not work. I would like to try Windows version through Steam Play, but how do I download Windows version? Linux version already uninstalled, Steam Play enabled.

You could try to do it one of the old ways. Then either build proton yourself, or try to hijack another game to run it. It looks like it isn't supported at the moment.

Imnotarobot7870. All games crash with amdgpu.
No Vulkan for me then.

Do you have followed Valve's recommendations for the GPU drivers? And by amdgpu, I assume you mean the kernel module, not the "-PRO" driver?

barottoJohn Carmack in 2013:
"Improving Wine for Linux gaming seems like a better plan than lobbying individual game developers for native ports. Why the hate?" and "Translating from D3D to OpenGL would involve more inefficiencies, but figuring out exactly what the difficulties are and making some form of “D3D interop” extension for OpenGL to smooth it out is a lot easier than making dozens of completely refactored, high performance native ports."

He was right, after all. A bit too soon tho, that "extension for OpenGL" is today's Vulkan, that didn't exist back then. A lot of pieces had to be put in place to make it a viable solution.
Link to an interesting reddit thread where he elaborates a bit. Yeah, but there are acually OpenGL compat extensions that do this, like GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted (see the description there). And as pointed out in the thread, we might see a new one in Vulkan for the stream outputs DX11 feature.


Last edited by MayeulC at 22 August 2018 at 8:43 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
F.Ultra 22 August 2018 at 8:42 pm UTC
silentprocyon
Alm888So, in case Valve in fact gets somewhere with its small WINE trick…

How long will it take for Microsoft® to sue WINE and Valve® for copyright infringement regarding Windows™ API and unlicensed DirectX™ implementation?

After all, WINE was tolerated only as long as it was relatively useless. I dobt Microsoft® will allow someone to chew off some 20…30% of its market share with basically its own API.

This. In regard to Wine, that's been something at the back of my mind for a while. Since the Oracle vs Google case, a new precedent was set that APIs can be copyrighted. I think if this does start to make a significant dent in Windows marketshare, I doubt MS is just going to sit still. Even if MS doesn't go the "API copyright" route, nor pursue any other kind of legal action, I'm half expecting MS to launch a big FUD+shill campaign.




Here's some a links to the articles regarding Oracle vs Google...
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/04/oracles-ip-war-against-google-finally-going-to-trial-whats-at-stake/
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/05/google-wins-trial-against-oracle-as-jury-finds-android-is-fair-use
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/05/round-2-of-oracle-v-google-is-an-unpredictable-trial-over-api-fair-use/
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/oracle-refuses-to-accept-pro-google-fair-use-verdict-in-api-battle/

By the way, the case is still going... And this is why judge appointments from a President are something to be concerned about...
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/03/googles-use-of-the-java-api-packages-was-not-fair-appeals-court-rules/


TL;DR... Outcome of Oracle feuding with Google is that APIs can now be copyrighted. It started with Oracle acquiring Sun, wanting to make lots of money from Java; not satisfied with just some money, they also attempted to launch their own smartphone venture that failed; after failing in the smartphone business, Oracle sought to make more money from Java by suing Google over the latter copying code from Java (which was not the case) and claimed they owned copyright of the APIs; Oracle had lost in court and appealed, then another court ruled in Oracle's favor over copyright, but ruled that Google's use is "fair use"; not happy with the "fair use" ruling and wanting $9 billion for copyright infringement, Oracle appealed again, battle is still going on in Federal court; might or might not reach Supreme Court.

It's a bit different, AFAIK the Oracle vs Google is about building software for Android using Googles tools and not Oracles and in doing so Google have to expose the Java API:s (aka include files if this where C/C++). Proton does not need to expose the API since the people who build the games build on Windows and not on Proton. Anyway I think that Valve have enough lawyers to determine the legality of this all by themselves.
Joeyboots80 22 August 2018 at 8:48 pm UTC
Wow. This is crazy. A lot of games I couldn't seem to get to work before now magically work with this steamplay feature. Can't say I'm mad about being to play more of my library without touching windows.
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