Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Monday, December 24, 2018

What is Proton?

Proton is a new tool released by Valve Software that has been integrated with Steam Play to make playing Windows games on Linux as simple as hitting the Play button within Steam. Underneath the hood, Proton comprises other popular tools like Wine and DXVK among others that a gamer would otherwise have to install and maintain themselves. This greatly eases the burden for users to switch to Linux without having to learn the underlying systems or losing access to a large part of their library of games. Proton is still in its infancy so support is inconsistent, but regularly improving.

There’s a new beta release of Proton, version 3.16-5. Among the changes:
  • Completely new implementation of XAudio2, using the FAudio project. This should provide much higher quality audio for games that use XAudio2. Notably, this now supports volume mixing and audio effect processing features that were missing from the old implementation.
  • Better support for embedded Chromium-based web browsers. Games and launchers that contain an embedded web browser may now work better.
  • Update DXVK to 0.93. Also include a fix for some Unity VR games when run with DXVK, like SUPERHOT VR and Job Simulator.
  • Compatibility improvements for changing paths between Linux and Windows using the Steam API. Among other things, this should fix Steam Controller icon images in certain games.
  • Minor fixes for PulseAudio users with certain hardware.
  • For developers, optional support for Vagrant, which should ease the process of creating Proton build VMs.

Linux users can install this beta version of Steam Play by opting into the Steam Client Beta.

Note: Not all games will work

My test system:

Proton, version 3.16-4
Distro: Pop!_OS 18.10
Kernel: 4.18
RAM: 16 GB
GPU Driver: NVIDIA 415.18
CPU: Ryzen™ 7 2700 processor CPU Cores 8 Threads 16

Games I got to work:
  • Castle Crashers
  • Yakuza 0
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • DOOM 
  • King of Fighters XIV: Steam Edition

Games I had issues with:

  • ArcheAge
  • Trove
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Shenmue I and II
  • Friday the 13th: The Game


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