Back in the 1990’s, there were a number of games that were released that actually had linux support. For example, Unreal, released in 1998 actually had a linux port. Doom had a port, Quake, and a few others. Then during the early 2000s to about 2010, linux gaming struggled. Sure you had WINE, but it wasn’t perfect, or even good in some cases. 

Then steam became a thing and Valve decided linux was something worth supporting. 

Most of my computers, aside from a powerbook(see this post for why i have this), a 2010 MacBook and a newer MacBook pro, all of my other computers run linux. I decided not using the Spyware that is Windows 10 was not worth being able to play every single game out there. 

Then a co worker mentioned proton. Proton is Valve’s solution to linux gaming. You can enable this setting in steam and play a large number of games on linux. So I tried it out. 

I booted up my Kubuntu machine (I like the native cube desktop support because it’s pretty, no other reason), and opened steam. To turn on proton, you need to open steam, click settings, click ‘Steam Play’, and check the box to “Enable Steam Play for all titles” then you get to pick a proton version. I just defaulted to the newest version. It seems like some games work better on older versions. Google is your friend here if you’re having issues with some titles. 

Steam will install some packages and restart. Once steam opens back up, just download your game, launch it, and hope for the best. 

I will admit I was skeptical at first. However, once I booted up a few games, I was surprised. It’s honestly wonderful! I was able to play almost every game in my library on my laptop. There were a few games that seemed to have some issues running but overall proton worked very well. I was able to play about 85% of my library (which isn’t that big compares to some of my friends), with little to no issue. Even Doom 2016 worked, though I imagine that is because id software had linux ports for their older versions of Doom, and John Carmack is a big proponent of open source software. 

side note: I can’t wait until I have a computer so powerful that Doom 2016 has the same relative system requirements that the original Doom from 1993 requires today. 

I can’t wait to see what Valve does with this and I’m looking forward to more developers supporting Linux natively. 

If you have tried proton and you like what it does for your linux computer, let me know in the comments! I will probably be posting more linux stuff in the future since it’s my main Operating system for development, writing, and now gaming! (aside from retro games, see my G4 PowerBook post for details on that.)

Published by Guindel

90's nerd, dad, retro computer enthusiast. I created a blog as a way to talk about things I find interesting, care about, and try to help other people in similar places. Hit me up if you want me to write about something!

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