Now you can run plenty of Windows games on Linux. All thanks to Valve and the incredibly talented community, providing gamers with a choice for the operating system. Running Steam on Ubuntu with Proton is by far the easiest process to run Windows games on Linux.
What is Steam Proton?
Proton is a compatibility layer that allows running Windows games on Linux-based operating systems. Further, it is the same as that of Steam Deck’s Steam OS.
Earlier, playing PC games on Linux required you to run Steam games through software known as Wine. Wine stands for Wine is not an emulator. Valve worked with CodeWeavers, the developers behind Proton. They mixed the technology right into Steam itself as part of Steam Play. It includes Steam’s buy once play on any PC platform tagline.
Valve made Proton after its living-room-focused Steam Machine initiative failed, due to their reliance on a much smaller Linux gaming Library.
How to install Proton (Steam Play) on Linux
We will be using Ubuntu as the main distro for installing Steam as it is one of the most popular versions of Linux. Moreover, you will find this guide valid for other Linux distros as well including Mint.
You can install Steam through the Ubuntu Software store app, but we always recommend using the Terminal wherever possible to help you learn more regarding Linux.
One thing we would like to say is don’t use the Flatpak version of Steam otherwise you may encounter some problems later. Now let’s begin to prepare our system and install Steam, which will further handle all things including Proton. Follow the steps below:
Step 1: First of all, we need to ensure that the Ubuntu multiverse repository is enabled. Use this command to check:
sudo add-apt-repository multiverse
Step 2: Now update the repositories using this command:
sudo apt-get update
Step 3: Now you are ready to install Steam using this command:
sudo apt install steam
Step 4: Now open Steam and enter your Linux account password into the terminal window
Step 5: Log in to Steam using your credentials.
In case you are unfamiliar with Linux commands such as “sudo”, allows us to tell you that it essentially runs a command with the security privileges of the Superuser, i.e., main admin account.
Besides, by default, Ubuntu lets you create your own user account that doesn’t have full system privileges for added security. Advanced Package Tool allows us to install and update software along with requisites from repositories.
Steam Play uses Proton, therefore all you need to do is when Steam is installed, click install on any game, and the client with download all the necessary files.
You may need to clear the filter on your library and that unfortunately is excluding all games that don’t support Linux natively. However, even with the best graphics card, you will need to make sure that Ubuntu is running using the latest device drivers.
What games work with Proton on Linux?
A lot of games work with Steam Play and Proton, and you can check them yourself by using the website ProtonDB. Besides informing you about which games will work on Linux, it will also give additional details about how well each game performs. In addition, any extra steps one needs to follow in order to get everything working will be displayed.
Gaming performance on Linux has always been a setback for users and this was mainly due to compatibility issues. But this time Steam changed the scenario with Steam Play and Proton.
Valve actively participates in the development of Proton, a new tool that has been integrated into the backend of Steam and makes it easier to play Windows games on Linux.
Along with other open-source tools, Proton works together to make the process of downloading, installing, and playing Windows games on Linux as easy as Windows. Best of all, the Steam Client handles everything for you.