Proton 5.13: A Massive Update

(boilingsteam.com)

141 points | by ekianjo 8 days ago

16 comments

  • lmedinas 8 days ago

    short story: I installed recently Linux (on Dual Boot) on my main Desktop at home after 8y of not using Linux as Desktop.

    Yesterday i boot up my Majaro with i3, installed the latest Proton on Steam and decided to install Path of Exile. The results are, for me, very surprising how good was the experience:

    - Started Steam. Set Proton version to 5.13-1.

    - Install Path of Exile. Install went really fast compared to my Windows 10. Im using both on SSD, Windows NTFS and Linux Btrfs.

    - Started Path of exile. Put settings on high/ultra and set graphics backend to Vulkan. I have a RTX 2080S with a 6700K im sure PoE can run on high/ultra.

    - Restarted. Played for like 1h between 150-200 fps without any glitch or anything i could say its worse than Windows.

    - During this time i had Discord on background, Firefox, Terminals and was able to switch workspaces without any issue with i3.

    I'm really surprised how smooth the experience was. I have really to give kudos to the Team working on Proton and Steam for this nice "Desktop" experience. Plus it seems from my Steam library, apart from some MP games that have anti-cheat, it seems most of the games are playable and classified as gold or platinum. I really recommend to anyone not playing competitive MP games to give Linux a try with Steam. Well done!

    https://www.protondb.com/

    • BearOso 8 days ago

      Path of Exile was actually broken a few weeks ago and required a third-party Proton build to work. It was sheer luck that Proton 5.13 came out just in time for you to try it.

      • Thaxll 8 days ago

        You're lucky, I tried a "platinum" game that was not just playable, every time I opened the inventory I had a black screen. Known problem, that has no solution. Then if you want to fix it:

        - custom config

        - custom drivers

        - lot of hacky solutions

        - compile wine / proton on a "fix" branch

        If you want to play just use the native platform the game was built for, Linux will never be like Windows until the games are natively supported.

        • lmedinas 8 days ago

          > If you want to play just use the native platform the game was built for, Linux will never be like Windows until the games are natively supported.

          sure, i guess the same can be said about WSL on Windows 10 but that does not mean people don't find it useful. The whole point is that Proton is a very welcome addition to Linux due to the lack of native games.

          • boudin 8 days ago

            It's not luck, there's a good amount of games that runs perfectly out of the box and it keeps getting better. Yes, it's not perfect, but for me the trade-off is worth it. I much prefer not having to use the native platform and be able to play using the operating system of my choice.

            • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

              I am sorry but it really depends on the games you are playing.

              1) Alt-tab out of a game without the game crashing. 2) Random Stuttering on Framerate. 3) Games crash at random 4) Can't stream games to discord without significant performance drop (I have a 3950X and a 1080Ti and a Unity game is struggling).

              IME if it is a Unity Game the game will work fine but with significant performance issues.

              The ProtonDB they have I find to be practically uselss as a lot of games that work "perfectly" don't.

              • boudin 7 days ago

                protondb is a community project and is not official. It is still a good ressource though, but it's worthwhile to read comments.

                1 - I'm actually surprised about that, it's working much better on Linux than when i had windows where it was really often a "crossing fingers experience". Granted, i haven't used windows for years, so i hope it's in a better state now. 2 - i had some suttering when i was using the llvm backend for shaders (i have an amd gpu). Since i switched to ACO (which is the default in mesa now) i just have one games with suttering, Heavy Rain. 3 - The only crashing game i had was C&C, it seems it was more an actual bug of the game, it was fixed after the game was updated, not proton. 4 - don't use discord so can't comment there.

                I've finished quite a few games using proton/wine and what you describe is definitely not a generality at all (appart from discord which i don't use, so can't comment).

                • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

                  > protondb is a community project

                  And? The information is incorrect and misleading. It doesn't get a pass because it is a community project. I would rather have no information than incomplete information.

                • rektide 7 days ago

                  the thing is, it will get better. your post will slowly rot & deprecate & grow wrong, while the parent's hope & optimism will shine through. and perhaps it might be even better than native. perhaps you'll be able to stream faster, load levels faster, run more interesting config than you could before. in my very very humble opinion i recommend a more unlimited perspective.

                  perhaps it will always be a struggle. even if we never make it, i believe it offers diversity & new chances at betterment. that project of betterment is one i for one would have us embark upon.

                  • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

                    All you've just stated is platitudes. Platitudes are for children.

                    It will never be better than native because it is always going through a translation layer, that coupled with streaming not actually working particularly well means that it will not be an option for the vast number of people.

                    What people like yourself don't seem to grok is that a lot of people just want stuff that works and not a work in progress. I wanna relax and blow off some steam when playing games I don't want to have to work out why my game isn't working.

                    All I am giving is my accurate account of my experiences with this technology.

                    • rektide 7 days ago

                      oh I get it I just don't care about those into not caring. i for one see too many interesting promising things as near at hand to let such willful unconcern reduce my gusto.

                      your assumption that the translation layer is all that counts assumes driver parity between os'es. both for 3d & game streaming, there are significant performance and capability differences between os'es.

                      but mostly, long run, i think it's important that the gaming ecosystem remain technically healthy. i see a lot of interest again in cross-platform tech like Vulkan. linux is thankfully in a great position to just run, very well, with modern engines. the long work building & optimizing compatibility systems has, thamlnkfully, given Linux a lot of experience to get fast & otherwise (audio, input, netcode, &c) capable, which all pays off again now that games run natively too.

                      your honest account is welcome. you are free to not care, to assume this would only ever be an ill fit for you. i'm not sure why you'd spend so much effort so loudly making your personal point about your expectations on a day when others are happy & revelling in the ongoing progress & hope & freedom & opening of possibilities that they want to see. it's, again, ok that you are opting out. but a lot of us are excited that cutting edge gaming can & is happening in more diverse places than it used to, & we foresee only better.

                      • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

                        It not that I don't care. It that I am realistic about the situation. I would rather have Linux native options for my games rather than a translation layer. However for that to happen there has to be a viable market.

                        In some ways I think a translation layer will make it less likely there will be a Native port because devs will just rely on the compatibility layer. I am aware of counter arguments to my position and I could be wrong. We will fin out in time.

                        > your assumption that the translation layer is all that counts assumes driver parity between os'es. both for 3d & game streaming, there are significant performance and capability differences between os'es.

                        Nope I never said that the translation layer is all that matters. But given everything else being equal (it normally is btw) it will always have lower performance.

                        One native games Linux and Windows performance stats is roughtly the same framerate (if both games are using OpenGL or Vulkan). The difference in performance is 1-2FPS. If the game isn't native then then there will be a penalty in using a translation layer and compatibility issues. This aligns perfectly with what I have observed.

                        > i'm not sure why you'd spend so much effort so loudly making your personal point about your expectations on a day when others are happy & revelling in the ongoing progress & hope & freedom & opening of possibilities that they want to see.

                        I've left a comment on a website it isn't a huge effort. It takes me a few minutes to write a reply at most.

                        In any event it is important for people to be informed by the pitfalls. This is mainly because I've seen many people tout all the positives of alternatives without people informing people of the potential pitfalls.

                        • rektide 7 days ago

                          > it's not that I don't care. It that I am realistic about the situation. I

                          imo you are perhaps realistic about the present situation, in a closed way where experimenting is not worth your time. I don't think you've made much affordance for the progress & success & accomplishment, and I don't think you've recognized any of the good points of diversity, of value at stake here. this isn't at all an unreasonable contemporary stance towards the situation, but it's also considering only the real & not the possible, not the fruits that open source & cross-platform has been working towards.

                          > In any event it is important for people to be informed by the pitfalls.

                          agreed that this is a value. but I don't think people should have to take such thesis (Linux gaming good getting better) and antithesis (Linux gaming bad will not do waste of time) & smash together their own synthesis. I'd like to see some recognition that you do think there are worthy & compelling reasons for Linux gaming and/or tech like proton. I have tried, amid my "platitudes" to accept some dings, but I have not seen any places where you acknowledge or realize that there maybe something good for humanity at stake here. is there anything you could offer that shows that your realism also has a sense of the possible & virtuous here?

                          • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

                            Can you say anything without word salad? It is so dense to read. I distrust people that don't speak in plain English.

                            > I'd like to see some recognition that you do think there are worthy & compelling reasons for Linux gaming and/or tech like proton. I have tried, amid my "platitudes" to accept some dings, but I have not seen any places where you acknowledge or realize that there maybe something good for humanity at stake here.

                            Why? I don't owe you anything.

                            Good for humanity? We are talking about video games. It is just entertainment we are talking about. Get a grip!

                            If we were talking about access for information and censorship, I do think open source is important? Yes I do. That why I run Linux and try to use it in my work (however most companies want me to use MS tech). But I can create my own tools and software if I wish to.

                            If you wanna muck around with proton and game on Linux. Do it. I am not stopping anyone.

                            • dang 6 days ago

                              Yikes and whoa, you can't do this kind of flamewar comment on HN! We're trying for something very different here.

                              Would you mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and taking the intended spirit of this site to heart? You're welcome to keep posting if you'll do that. We have to moderate and ban accounts that won't, however, because they destroy the community and curious conversation that HN is meant for.

                              • DavyJones1983 6 days ago

                                Fuck off dang. Your censorshit (yes that is correct) isn't welcome.

                              • rektide 7 days ago

                                > Good for humanity? We are talking about video games. It is just entertainment we are talking about. Get a grip!

                                I picture you decrying the same thing about the telephone, in 1949 when the us government sued at&t & forced them to sell off Western Electric, the maker of telephones. And again in 1959 when Carterphone was created & AT&T sued, forbidding anyone else from connecting their own devices. It's just a telephone! What harm is there in consumers being forced to use only no-fuss officially endorsed solutions. You can say whatever you want, do whatever you want, as long as you say it & do it with an AT&T product.

                                There are limits to innovation & diversity, & when left to rot, when too protected, systems ossify & stagnate. Beyond the scary platform wars afoot, I think Linux has absolutely cutting edge drivers in some places that can do things absolutely no other tech out there can. DMA-BUF & PipeWire are in early early days but already showing incredibly promising zero-copy streaming that few if any can replicate, for example. Linux drivers push advanced features to devices that mainstream support has moved past years ago, while increasingly offering best of breed implementations of cutting edge features & rapid adoption of Vulkan standards & extensions.

                                The other topic worth mentioning is systems like Stadia, which is Linux based. Maybe that wasn't necessary, but it is a strong indicator to me that Linux is an interesting & worthwhile place for gaming. That there's interesting stories of system utilization & decreasing latency that no other platform could have provided. New frontiers are possible, because the platform is not closed, and that enables new interesting gaming to emerge.

                                • DavyJones1983 6 days ago

                                  > I picture you decrying the same thing about the telephone, in 1949 when the us government sued at&t & forced them to sell off Western Electric, the maker of telephones. And again in 1959 when Carterphone was created & AT&T sued, forbidding anyone else from connecting their own devices. It's just a telephone! What harm is there in consumers being forced to use only no-fuss officially endorsed solutions. You can say whatever you want, do whatever you want, as long as you say it & do it with an AT&T product.

                                  Get over yourself. Your repeated Strawmans are while amusing quite disingenous.

                                  > There are limits to innovation & diversity, & when left to rot, when too protected, systems ossify & stagnate. Beyond the scary platform wars afoot, I think Linux has absolutely cutting edge drivers in some places that can do things absolutely no other tech out there can. DMA-BUF & PipeWire are in early early days but already showing incredibly promising zero-copy streaming that few if any can replicate, for example.

                                  I am sure they are very good. We aren't talking about those though.

                                  > Linux drivers push advanced features to devices that mainstream support has moved past years ago, while increasingly offering best of breed implementations of cutting edge features & rapid adoption of Vulkan standards & extensions.

                                  I don't think you know what you are talking about. OpenGL and Vulkan are specfications for a graphics API. If I wrote a driver for Amiga OS 4 that implemented the Vulkan API then I could play games that use Vulkan on that system. I think

                                  > The other topic worth mentioning is systems like Stadia, which is Linux based. Maybe that wasn't necessary, but it is a strong indicator to me that Linux is an interesting & worthwhile place for gaming. That there's interesting stories of system utilization & decreasing latency that no other platform could have provided. New frontiers are possible, because the platform is not closed, and that enables new interesting gaming to emerge.

                                  Stadia was google's attempt to get into gaming pie and it hasn't worked. Their streaming technology didn't actually provide what was promised. Thing "latency" was terrible and made games unplayable due to network latency. It was all a bunch of lies.

                                  It could have been running "Google Magic Kernel" and it wouldn't have changed things because latency in this situation is still bound to the realities of network it is connected to, the physical world.

                                  I don't think this is the best example of what you are attempting to argue.

                                  After this discussion with you, I am quite sure you have no idea what you are on about.

                • shazow 8 days ago

                  Which platinum game? Which known problem? I wish complaints were less vague, then it wouldn't sound like exaggeration and would be actionable for people who are working on these technologies.

                  For what it's worth, I've played dozens of platinum (and gold, and silver) games since Proton came out with nearly flawless experiences. In many cases, it ran more reliably than Windows.

                  • Thaxll 8 days ago
                    • justinclift 8 days ago

                      It's doesn't appear to have an entry on ProtonDB:

                      https://www.protondb.com/search?q=diablo%202

                      Looking at that WineHQ list, it's kind of interesting. Didn't know that existed.

                      The info on ProtonDB - for other games anyway - seems fairly accurate.

                      • rektide 7 days ago

                        old software, software from a time before, often uses weirder more arcane code paths than modern apps might pick.

                      • dx87 8 days ago

                        Valfaris is rated platinum on protondb, and it crashes on launch for me, same with Titan Quest, which is rated gold. Proton has been a godsend for gaming on Linux, but I don't put much stock in protondb beyond checking to see if a game is known to not run at all.

                        • viraptor 7 days ago

                          I hope you reported your experience as well then? This is a user-maintained database, so unless people keep putting in their information, it will not be accurate/complete.

                      • Fnoord 3 days ago

                        > Known problem, that has no solution. Then if you want to fix it [..]

                        This is contradicting.

                        I can recommend Lutris for situations like these. It allows you to use a custom config/hacky solution/wine version which works with a certain program.

                        • dleslie 8 days ago

                          Windows doesn't even natively support windows games.

                          Go try installing the original Civilization 2, or Rocket Jockey.

                          Both run fine in wine and can run on Windows 10, but not on windows without serious effort.

                          • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

                            I dunnot if you are old enough, but generally getting PCs games working at that time was a nightmare.

                            I suspect that it is because it is using ancient version of DirectX/Direct3D. Same thing happens with the classic Resident Evil games.

                            • dleslie 7 days ago

                              I'm old enough to have been excited for the release of DOS 3.3.

                              Configuring autoexec.bat, config.sys, or hand-tuning X timings are fond memories of mine.

                              The reason why I picked those examples is because one is a 16-bit executable, and the other is hardcoded to a specific DirectX version for which Microsoft has _also_ stopped shipping necessary libraries.

                              With PlayOnLinux or Proton it's really not any more or less effort, and they run great on an OS that is overall superior for the sort of user who is _able_ to make those games run.

                      • WhatIsDukkha 8 days ago

                        """The unofficial flatpak distribution of the Steam client is not compatible at this time.

                        The flatpak solution wraps the entire Steam client, whereas Valve's approach is to wrap individual games first. Both approaches rely on the same technologies and we are looking into improving compatibility in the future."""

                        I'm super pleased about the sandboxing getting worked on and polished.

                        Flatpak Steam is working pretty great for me but I'll be happy to deal with a little weirdness as they work this out.

                      • screye 8 days ago

                        Genuine question. What is in it for Valve ?

                        We are talking an incredible amount of effort for something that benefits a pretty small crowd.

                        The only real money making avenue would be that Valve launches its own mature Linux based OS for gamers. Low key tho, they would be trying to be the first real alternative to windows/macs.

                        • gravypod 8 days ago

                          They've wanted to get into the console space for a long time. Their most recent attempt, the Steam Machines, were not very well received mainly because most games wouldn't run on it. I'm assuming Valve is gearing up for one of a few things:

                          1. Steam Machine 2: VR

                          Pairing a Steam Machine with an "it just works" concept of the Index that can play all of your old PC games (even ones that don't run on Windows 10) and all of your VR games at a decent resolution.

                          2. Oh shit... Xbox Game Pass is actually a great deal....

                          They may want to piggy back off of Microsoft's UWP concept to make a game-subscription service for the entire (or most) of the Steam catalog. Valve knows that games industry is going trough a large industry shift. Most consumers don't really care that they're selling out all of their rights for convenience (hell that was Steam's main realization).

                          3. lol Google thinks people trust them with games haha... but Stadia isn't too bad of an idea...

                          Containerizing games and packaging up their streaming software (Steam Remote Play) and maybe some edge hardware from #1 would be a great value for a PC gamer. The industry has been attempting to push itself to thin client fat server models for quite some time and I wouldn't be surprised if Valve wanted in on the action with some of their existing investments.

                          4. They may actually think they're a compelling offering to the couch gamer.

                          Steam Machines, Steam Links, and the Steam Controllers were neat but, maybe, the execs at Valve think there's enough traction to beat out the existing competition (Nintendo Switch/WII/Gamecube/..., Xbox Series ..., Sony PS..).

                          • screye 7 days ago

                            > but Stadia isn't too bad of an idea

                            I used to think that, but I think computers will get cheaper faster than latencies will get better.

                            Look at Xbox. Anyone who can afford stadia, would much rather just buy a cheap loss-leader Xbox. Unlike industry compute (where the perks of AWS/Azure/GCP far outweigh having on-premises hardware), gaming is incredibly well suited to having on-prem hardware.

                            • gravypod 7 days ago

                              I don't think it's better for the consumer. It's great for the producer since they can keep selling you the things you "own" on standard MRR and have a forever-growing catalog. That's why MS is gobbling up studios.

                              Make them super cost effective (single rendering team/networking team/physics team) and have them churn content into Game Pass and have an impossible to resist offer.

                          • Teever 8 days ago

                            Valve is worried that Microsoft is moving towards a model where users can only install programs through the Windows Store which would threaten their business model of selling games through the Steam Platform.

                            By making Linux more compatible with the games that Valve sells through their store it puts Valve in a better situation to survive this possible course of action by Microsoft because they can switch to selling hardware preloaded with their SteamOS.

                            • pjmlp 7 days ago

                              It work great last time they attempted it.

                              • eitland 7 days ago

                                Unlike Google whoever Valve seems to be in this for the long haul.

                                They can iterate round after round on this even if it doesn't become a billion dollar revenue stream in 6 months.

                                • pjmlp 7 days ago

                                  Keep the dream alive, Linux customer base never grew beyond 2%, if they ever try this it will be an epic fail (pun intended).

                                  • eitland 7 days ago

                                    > Keep the dream alive

                                    Happily :-)

                                    We haven't conquered the desktop yet, but I see more and more people - including even in sales - voluntarily using Linux at work.

                                    And while we haven't conquered the desktop, Linux is huge on mobile - where Microsoft has given up.

                                    Even (parts of) Microsoft realizes where this is likely to go as shown by the fact that they are busily positioning themselves for it.

                                    • pjmlp 7 days ago

                                      Where on the mobile? You mean the failed attempts like Purism?

                                      If you mean Android, the Linux kernel is an implementation detail, only exposed to device OEMs and Google itself.

                                      Userspace is Java based runtime, and in what concerns the NDK, there is nothing Linux specific about the public APIs,

                                      https://developer.android.com/ndk/guides/stable_apis

                                      Since Android 7, Google has increasingly introduced measures to kill process that try to get dirty with private stuff, like directly calling int Linux stuff.

                                      On of the main reasons why termux might not have a bright future, specially since its developers refuse to contaminiate their workarounds with Java/Kotlin code.

                                      If you mean ChromeOS tablets, well even less given that Web platform doesn't care what OS it runs on, and Crostini actually runs on top of a virtualized container, WSL v1 style.

                                      As for Microsoft, they have been one of the first UNIX vendors for PC with Xenix, had an initial POSIX support on NT due to goverment contracts, and have just reacted to the market of Linux guys that give Apple money instead of sponsoring Linux OEMs, so that they give money to Microsoft instead of Apple. The Linux OEMs still don't see any money from those "Linux" lovers.

                            • uponcoffee 8 days ago

                              To add to some good answers...

                              Succinctly, it's easier and cheaper to port games wholesale than it is to: build out yet another platform for developers to target, on board them, and on board consumers to this new console.

                              What steam has that consoles don't, are is massive preexisting library. The problem is it mainly targets windows. Their options for bringing this to the console market are either pay for windows licenses (which on top of hardware, would make them more expensive than the alternatives), or port in wholesale. Most console games get a pc (windows) port eventually.

                              So if they can get proton to a mature point, they'll be the defacto winner of the console wars.

                              • bitwize 7 days ago

                                APIs are copyrightable within the United States. So they may end up having to pay for a license anyway.

                                I know the issue isn't settled yet, but does anybody expect the SCOTUS to do anything besides rule for Oracle?

                                • uponcoffee 7 days ago

                                  There are many different ways that ruling could go, some of which could decide the google vs oracle by itself while not universally ruling on wether APIs can be copyrighted.

                                  • bitwize 6 days ago

                                    But the way it is likely to go is to affirm the CAFC's copyright rulings, which will become precedent nationwide, if the justices' lines of questioning are any indication. To do otherwise would be to completely undermine the copyrightability of software, if not copyright in general.

                              • qppo 8 days ago

                                Valve doesn't strike me as the organization with well planned or strategic investment, they're kind of famous for letting people work on side projects like this.

                                That said it's an attempt to break the chicken/egg cycle. The crowd is small because the crowd is small, if you offer a way to grow it artificially than you can gain critical mass.

                                The big wrench is DRM/anti cheat though. That's the major thing holding me back from gaming with proton exclusively.

                                • shazow 8 days ago

                                  > What is in it for Valve?

                                  Aside of political motives regarding Microsoft, the technological problem that Valve is solving with using the flatpak technology is creating a single Linux build target for all Linux game releases.

                                  A recurring complaint from gamedevs is that it's difficult to support many different Linux distributions/versions/runtimes. Steam already does a decent job providing its own runtime to link against, but this goes several steps further in abstracting away from the distribution that a user may be running.

                                  • flohofwoe 7 days ago

                                    Insurance against Microsoft closing up Windows "walled garden" style. Currently this seems to be low-priority for MS again (probably because the Windows Store has tanked and "the cloud" has become the main business focus), but when Valve started investing in Linux as gaming platform the possibility of Windows becoming a closed platform where software can only be installed from the Windows Store looked much more likely than today.

                                    • pvg 7 days ago

                                      Having a viable alternative target platform for their massive catalog (as well as the libraries of the zillions of users) that they control and maintain is very valuable to Valve. It's not really about making Linux enthusiasts happy (as you might think, reading the reactions of happy Linux enthusiasts) - that just happens to be a pleasant side-effect.

                                    • krastanov 8 days ago

                                      I am a big fan of Proton and Wine, but I was wondering, how much of the work on Proton gets back to Wine? Is anyone aware of how the two projects feel about each other?

                                      • unknown2374 8 days ago

                                        A lot of it, and all of it eventually. The folks at codeweavers (wine maintainers) have partnered up with valve (and likely sponsored) to work on this since last year.

                                      • coolspot 8 days ago

                                        > it enables the following games to run: > Red Dead Redemption 2 > ...

                                        It is interesting because RDR2 has yet undefeated DRM.

                                        • mmm_grayons 8 days ago

                                          There's some speculation CPY may have cracked it after the recent Death Stranding crack.

                                          Edit: also interesting note that the cracker behind it, EMPRESS, has basically taken the youtube crowdfunding model to the scene: https://old.reddit.com/r/CrackWatch/comments/iyj73x/i_will_n...

                                          • Wowfunhappy 8 days ago

                                            Whatever your opinions on DRM, I find the mindset of someone who would donate money to support cracking efforts to be... strange. Wouldn't it be easier to just buy the game?

                                            I mean, it might be one thing if the cracker was also producing blog posts about their reverse engineering efforts and the internals of DRM, or if the audience was a bunch of Linux users... but in practice it seems to be a bunch of children (frankly) who want free stuff. I wonder who is donating?

                                            • kaeforas 8 days ago

                                              Well, from a certain mindset, a publisher that embeds drm in their game absolutely does not deserve your money (vote with your wallet and all of that).

                                              Now, supporting someone cracking that same drm for people to run their games however they want? Makes much more sense.

                                              Like many times before, just shows that piracy is not (just) about being cheap, it's (often) a matter of principle.

                                              • causality0 8 days ago

                                                Moral opposition to the concept of DRM perhaps. For me in fact it's that DRM is such a massive pain in the ass that I usually buy the game and then pirate a copy that I can actually play without any storefront/UPlay/EPIC horseshit.

                                                • m-p-3 8 days ago

                                                  And some DRMs like Denuvo are massive in size (add several hundreds megabytes to the executable) and resource intensive. It's quite common to see a significant performance gain and reduction in stuttering from the cracked version compared to the original version.

                                                  For this reason I tend to prefer buying my games from GOG, which sells all its games DRM-free.

                                                  I do value the work game developers put in these games and I buy all of them, but I like having the peace of mind that if something happens to my purchases down the road I could run a cracked executable later on.

                                                  • Wowfunhappy 8 days ago

                                                    > It's quite common to see a significant performance gain and reduction in stuttering from the cracked version compared to the original version.

                                                    It's quite common when a developer updates a game to remove Denuvo, or when an official Denuvo-free executable is accidentally leaked (as appears to be surprisingly typical), but I don't think it's that common for cracks.

                                                    Cracks generally do the absolute minimum to get a game to run, which often means leaving neutered but still performance-intensive DRM in place. Once a game works, I've never seen anyone take a second pass to improve performance. (Games that actually crash are of course a different matter.)

                                                    IMO, this is again an indicator of the scene's priorities.

                                                  • Wowfunhappy 8 days ago

                                                    I actually do the same thing when a game isn't available without DRM, because I really dislike storefronts, but I get the strong impression we're a tiny minority among the people who use these cracks.

                                                    I dunno, I suppose a tiny minority is all you need, so maybe that's it...

                                                    • breakfastduck 8 days ago

                                                      There are lots of people who do the same.

                                                      Plus there's a huge number of people who go through a piracy 'phase'. Usually to get games when they're a teen with no cash. Most of the games they love are purchased once they've matured with a stable income.

                                                      Speaking from experience!

                                                      • cforrester 8 days ago

                                                        Poverty was also a major factor for a lot of us. Entertainment is a basic human necessity, and video games were so compelling to me as a child. When you have days where your mom has sleep for dinner so you don't, it's tough to find any money to spend on entertainment. I can see how it might seem like a better investment to chip in $10 to a cracker who will then release multiple games.

                                                        We were fortunate to benefit from a program meant to help get lower income families access to computers and the internet, in the early 2000's, so piracy opened up entertainment options far more diverse than the TV channels we could get over the air. On top of games, I remember burning music CD's for my friends and family. Hell, I remember long hours fiddling with the concept of transcoding and burning VCD's (basically a DVD, but on a CD) for my family to watch.

                                                        • m-p-3 8 days ago

                                                          That basically what I went through, I acquired many pirated games when I was studying and trying to make ends meet, and I believe I bought all these classic games since.

                                                    • ezoe 8 days ago

                                                      The one reason I can guess is for the preservation effort. Copyright holder may go bankrupt and video games becomes orphaned works in any days. DRM is an obstacle for the software preservation effort.

                                                      • Wowfunhappy 8 days ago

                                                        I totally agree! I just don't quite believe that's the audience in this case.

                                                        If "EMPRESS" was hoping to get donations from preservationists, or Linux enthusiasts, she (?) would presumably be making a very different donation pitch.

                                                        But, who knows, maybe you're right and she just sucks at marketing. I don't have a better explanation!

                                                      • hezag 8 days ago

                                                        When someone donate money to support cracking efforts they are not just buying the game (in an unusual way). Publicly available cracked software makes it accessible to thousands of other people who would not have enough money to access it otherwise.

                                                  • adamnemecek 8 days ago
                                                    • throwaway69123 8 days ago

                                                      Won’t this project have legal troubles in the future because the google / oracle Java api case? I assume valve has implemented the same apis as directx?

                                                      • abhorrence 8 days ago

                                                        The difference here is that valve has implemented the apis for the purpose of compatibility with existing software, which is explicitly a protected use by law.

                                                        • jcranmer 8 days ago

                                                          It's actually not explicitly protected by statute, but the interpretation is precedent in all circuit courts.

                                                          And Oracle is trying to overturn that precedent at SCOTUS.

                                                        • humblebee 8 days ago

                                                          If Value does the work to get Game Pass on Linux working I don't think Microsoft would mind too much.

                                                          • eximius 7 days ago

                                                            Many, many projects will (in theory) unless there is specific licensing that open sources the APIs.

                                                            If Oracle wins, laws will change because it is a fundamentally incompatible position for our industry.

                                                            • mhh__ 7 days ago

                                                              This is valve's lifeline if Microsoft get ballsy, so even if that were the case I think it's a fight Valve are prepared to take.

                                                              • No, Microsoft <3 Linux and Open Source.

                                                                • 29athrowaway 8 days ago

                                                                  Microsoft <3 Mono so hard that is now almost defunct.

                                                                  • lern_too_spel 8 days ago

                                                                    You forgot to add a /s. Microsoft is happy to let you run Linux applications on their platforms that you pay for.

                                                                • wetpaws 8 days ago

                                                                  While it's not immediately obvious, you can use proton as wine replacement by adding windows apps through the steam lubrary. I found proton stability and support to be exceptional even outside of games.

                                                                  • goldcd 8 days ago

                                                                    I can appreciate the effort in allowing windows games to run under linux, but can't actually see the point.

                                                                    Whilst Valve was pushing to create their own OS/ecosystem, it did make sense - but even then there was a niggling feeling they just wanted to make their own walled-garden.

                                                                    To a gamer today, a windows license is cheap (maybe $10) and 'everything works' - you can happily dual-boot/VM for non-gaming if that suits you better.

                                                                    Happy to be corrected if I'm missing out on anything - but can't think there are many people saying "Great - now I can finally buy RDR2"

                                                                    • dx87 8 days ago

                                                                      I think it's mainly as a safety net in case Microsoft decides to only allow applications to be installed through their own store. IIRC, that was the original reason they started work on SteamOS. They're also working on their own cloud streaming platform, so they might figure it's cheaper to develop Proton than have to pay for a bunch of Windows Server licenses.

                                                                      • goldcd 8 days ago

                                                                        Actually, that makes sense. I don't think MS will ever (as much as they'd like to) make us use their store - but "steam-stream" is at a massive disadvantage if they need to submit to whatever MS asks for in license (and presume nVidia, google and anybody who isn't Sony - so Steam would end up with something pretty valuable)

                                                                        • dogma1138 8 days ago

                                                                          They already did to some extent with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

                                                                          I haven’t really bought any games recently because of it, and unlike the other premium pay monthly gaming services Xbox Game Pass actually brings on a lot of new games.

                                                                          With Microsoft buying more and more studios and the fact that they pretty much releasing most of not of all their first party new games on the pass combined with a persistent library of a lot of older games it’s a game changer for me.

                                                                          Basically with Game Pass Ultimate you can currently play games on your Xbox, PC and mobile device (via streaming) all for $15.

                                                                          It’s by far the biggest mover Microsoft has and what I see giving them a huge edge this coming generation over Sony.

                                                                          Microsoft also doesn’t care anymore about Xbox hardware exclusives they see Xbox as their cross platform gaming brand now.

                                                                      • brnt 7 days ago

                                                                        The problemen with dual booting is that it is a barrier. Takes a few minutes or so (don't forget the update avalanche if you havnt booted into your Windows partition for a while, and steam+games itself).

                                                                        With Proton I finally fully switched, I can play at least half of my games, any time I want. Its great.

                                                                        • kevincox 7 days ago

                                                                          Plus when I'm playing games I also have my browser open (Music, Calls, ...) so now I need two browser configs (or to carefully share them between OSes). Of course if I use non-web things for any of the listed activities now I need two installs of those.

                                                                          Honestly when I wanted to game on Windows I usually just used a VM (with GPU passthough) as it was nice to have my preferred environment still up and running.

                                                                          I haven't tried to play a Windows only game in a while but dual booting was definitely a pain that I would try to avoid.

                                                                        • ordx 8 days ago

                                                                          Windows Home is $140, not cheap even for the US and certainly not cheap for poorer countries. Where did you see $10?

                                                                          • dx87 8 days ago

                                                                            You can buy grey market keys off ebay, but that's the only way you're getting a $10 license.

                                                                            • goldcd 8 days ago

                                                                              Just that - Win 10 Pro keys are dirt cheap from many online key sellers - and just work. I suspect that and OEM sales are how 99% of windows licenses are now sold - unless you know of people who buy them in a box from a store. Was a little bit 'worrisome' before that MS might clamp down - but the last decade of 'free updates' and 'Win 10 will just evolve' indicates their thinking. Windows is near-as-damnit a free platform (which MS can then use as upsell from)

                                                                              • viraptor 7 days ago

                                                                                And now that you can just install windows 10 pro and click "nah, I'll give you the license code later", many people won't even bother. As far as I can tell, the message in the corner is the only issue without activation.

                                                                                • bitwize 7 days ago

                                                                                  Windows 10 is pretty much shareware at this point. You can download the full version for $0, just with features knocked out until you pay to "register".

                                                                                • wpdev_63 8 days ago

                                                                                  Those are volume licenses that are given to microsoft partners for mass deployment. At some point those keys can/will be revoked when they reach a certain number of activations.

                                                                                  • clams 7 days ago

                                                                                    If the 4 dollars I spent on ebay lasts a couple of years (it already has) its easily worth it. I really don't want to spend 200$ on a pro license.

                                                                                • robotnikman 6 days ago

                                                                                  IIRC European countries can sell the OEM licenses that come with their computers.

                                                                                  This means you can easily get a Home or Pro license from resellers or ebay for around $20

                                                                                • podiki 8 days ago

                                                                                  Some of us just prefer to be in Linux [0]. And either way, you're likely using your computer the vast majority of time for non-gaming related stuff. I for one don't want to dual boot to play for a few minutes, or really have to do anything in Windows, games or not. As a commenter below points out, it's a choice.

                                                                                  [0] https://boilingsteam.com/my-journey-to-finally-ditching-wind...

                                                                                  • eitland 7 days ago

                                                                                    > To a gamer today, a windows license is cheap (maybe $10) and 'everything works'

                                                                                    TLDR: Many people don't trust Microsoft.

                                                                                    Full: New Microsoft seems really nice but (fortunately) they always keeps reminding us who they really are:

                                                                                    - Put ads on my start menu or login screen, even if I have the extra expensive "Professional" license.

                                                                                    - Poorly hidden attempts at strangling non-store distribution of open source software like Krita (discussed the other day).

                                                                                    - Inviting an open source developer of a popular packaging tool for a talk, developing their own and then ghosting him and launching their own.

                                                                                    - Relentlessly pushing Edge until they cave in and push Edge as a frontend to Chromium

                                                                                    - etc

                                                                                    Warning, slight hyperbole ahead:

                                                                                    Some people at Microsoft do some really great work (Azure, VSCode etc). Sadly for them they seems to have to fight another part of the company that desperately miss being despised and desperately miss the thrill of multiple ongoing high profile lawsuits for monopoly abuse.

                                                                                    • chacha2 8 days ago

                                                                                      What's there to understand? This is like saying why buy an iPhone when you can just get an Android.

                                                                                    • dschuetz 7 days ago

                                                                                      Proton 5.13 is a dud. It breaks ALL other non-Linux games for me. I will continue using 5.0-9 until they fix that.

                                                                                      • oehtXRwMkIs 8 days ago

                                                                                        Why does the title not mention proton and differ from the article's title?

                                                                                        • mmm_grayons 8 days ago

                                                                                          Probably because one who already knows of proton would understand such a title, but one who does not would understand the HN title better.

                                                                                        • rektide 8 days ago

                                                                                          Oh sure it supports smash hits like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Final Fantasy XV,

                                                                                          But oh snap, Tron 2.0 support? Nice. All commands prepare for disc wars!

                                                                                          • rawoke083600 7 days ago

                                                                                            Proton(Steam) = doing gods work

                                                                                            • DavyJones1983 7 days ago

                                                                                              I can't alt-tab out of games unless they are Linux native typically. I am using Arch Linux with Gnome.

                                                                                              I've noticed games that are unity or another cross platform toolkit always run better than engines that seem to be console/windows only.

                                                                                              • lightgreen 8 days ago

                                                                                                This is a great effort, but in my opinion, uphill battle.

                                                                                                If you have Linux, you are likely a casual gamer, and your best option is to stick to a gaming service like Stadia.

                                                                                                And if you are pro, Linux is not an option for you anyways.

                                                                                                • babuskov 8 days ago

                                                                                                  > stick to a gaming service like Stadia.

                                                                                                  And when Google shuts it down in a couple of years, you will lose your entire library you spent money on. You can see by the selection of launch games how Stadia was another Google toy project. Or the fact that the new Chromecast won't have Stadia support until 2021.

                                                                                                  At least with Steam, you know that the games will remain in your library and you can buy and install Windows and play them in the future if, for any reason, Linux support gets dropped.

                                                                                                  • lightgreen 8 days ago

                                                                                                    > And when Google shuts it down in a couple of years, you will lose your entire library you spent money on

                                                                                                    As a casual gamer I don't really care. I play games once, twice at most, and forget about them forever. I guess that's true for vast majority of casual gamers.

                                                                                                    Same way I have thrown away all my PlayStation 2/3 disks, and never looked back.

                                                                                                    • simion314 7 days ago

                                                                                                      I consider myself a casual gamer, and I play Skyrim all the time. There are also games that do not have an end goal or a set story that you can play forever a few hours a week when you have time(Minecraft,Sims ...) . Just wanted to show that not all casual games are play once or twice and then you delete them forever.

                                                                                                    • Thaxll 8 days ago

                                                                                                      If Steam stops working you don't have games anymore.

                                                                                                      • babuskov 8 days ago

                                                                                                        It depends what "stops working" means? I have an old Mac where Steam isn't officially supported anymore, but I can still run all the games that I installed on it. The Steam client simply stopped updating and the last version that worked still works fine. Put the Steam client in offline mode and it works.

                                                                                                        Or you mean Valve shutting down Steam? Then yes, it could be a problem for some games that use Steam servers for online multiplayer. But, Steam is Valve's core business with proven track record and many loyal customers. It's much more likely that Stadia would shut down then Steam going away.

                                                                                                        • breakfastduck 8 days ago

                                                                                                          Not quite. With Steam you can download the game files. Yes getting them to run without steam is a little trickier, but its not quite the same as stadia. That's a total loss of any form of ownership.

                                                                                                          • robotnikman 6 days ago

                                                                                                            Most of the time you can just launch the game executable and it works fine for most games

                                                                                                            • lightgreen 8 days ago

                                                                                                              I cannot imagine casual player doing such things. It's only a theoretical possibility.

                                                                                                              • judge2020 7 days ago

                                                                                                                Any mass-extinction event for Steam would most likely mean an application/tool would be widely distributed which removes drm from their already-installed games.

                                                                                                              • Thaxll 8 days ago

                                                                                                                You can download the files but it's not your game it's just some gamefiles that most likely won't work without steam / internet.

                                                                                                                Tomorrow Steam shutdowns you lose every games, period.

                                                                                                                • dx87 8 days ago

                                                                                                                  No you don't. Devs don't have to use Steam's DRM if they don't want to, so you won't lose every game. Period.

                                                                                                                  • babuskov 8 days ago

                                                                                                                    Most games do use DRM. However, you can use Steam client in offline mode as long as you were last logged into your primary account. So, even if Steam shuts down, you can still run the games on your computer.

                                                                                                                    So, you really won't lose any game.

                                                                                                                  • breakfastduck 3 days ago

                                                                                                                    This is just blatantly false

                                                                                                            • imtringued 8 days ago

                                                                                                              >If you have Linux, you are likely a casual gamer, and your best option is to stick to a gaming service like Stadia.

                                                                                                              If you're a casual gamer you don't care about high end 3d graphics which completely eliminates the need for Stadia.

                                                                                                              Stadia has a worse selection of games than even just native Linux and Proton lets you play most Windows games which has an even bigger selection.

                                                                                                              • lightgreen 8 days ago

                                                                                                                > completely eliminates the need for Stadia

                                                                                                                Having games working flawlessly, and not having to purchase the hardware, and do long downloads and installs is quite useful, especially for casual gamers.

                                                                                                                > Stadia has a worse selection of games

                                                                                                                Give it (or some alternative gaming service) more time.

                                                                                                                So far Valve is doing good. But in the long term, it is dead end.

                                                                                                              • therouwboat 8 days ago

                                                                                                                How do people see linux gaming? All the games I play run just fine on linux, doom eternal atleast 60fps, rocket league 100fps+, MGS V, deus ex, etc. no problem. I cant imagine them being much better on windows.

                                                                                                                • babuskov 8 days ago

                                                                                                                  Preformance was never a problem. Some games worked even better on Wine than native Windows. The thing is that you're never 100% sure it will be 100% compatible.

                                                                                                                  If you have two computers in your home, one Windows, one Linux and you, for example, share your Steam libraries with other gamers in your family, then it's great. If something doesn't work on Linux, you always have Windows around.

                                                                                                                  But, if you only have Linux, then you need to do some research before every purchase.

                                                                                                                  • eggsome 8 days ago

                                                                                                                    I generally don't bother researching beforehand thanks to Steam's excellent return policy.

                                                                                                                  • qppo 8 days ago

                                                                                                                    Well Epic killed Linux support for Rocket League awhile ago so it's a bit redundant how it performs

                                                                                                                    • kgwxd 8 days ago

                                                                                                                      They killed native Linux support. It runs perfectly with Proton. Actually, better than it did natively for me.

                                                                                                                  • glouwbug 8 days ago

                                                                                                                    But if you're Valve, and your windows catalogue of games run on Linux, you can sell cheap consoles to play your catalogue of games

                                                                                                                    • If they plan on doing that they should do to hardware what they did to their software. Have a single set of fixed hardware so you only need to test it once for the commercial part of Proton. What they did with Steam Machines was pure madness but maybe they see something I don't. I know that there are multiple runtimes by now but you get the idea.

                                                                                                                    • jorl17 8 days ago

                                                                                                                      I think possibly one of the goals of Proton is to allow for a gaming streaming service like Stadia without needing to pay the Microsoft tax, or to tweak the Linux kernel in other ways as to increase RoI.

                                                                                                                      Wishful/Crazy thinking?

                                                                                                                      • babuskov 8 days ago

                                                                                                                        The goal of Proton is probably to have an alternative ready in case Microsoft decides to go Apple and require 30% payment for everything that runs on their OS. They started to lean that way with UWP and Windows Store and it made Valve work on Linux compatibility since.

                                                                                                                      • jorams 8 days ago

                                                                                                                        I don't think your distinction works. There's a very large group of people with relatively good computers (so they don't need something like Stadia) who can't really be considered pro either.

                                                                                                                        I count myself in that group, and Proton has been a godsend. It finally allows me to completely avoid my Windows partition (Windows 7, which isn't supported anymore), while keeping my large Steam library almost entirely functional.

                                                                                                                        • dsego 8 days ago

                                                                                                                          For me, one of the bioshock games crashes constantly on win 10 but works flawlessly on ubuntu. Go figure.

                                                                                                                        • deadbunny 8 days ago

                                                                                                                          That's some odd gatekeeping there. By "pro" do you mean professional? As in makes money playing games? Sure, you're probably right but I'm not sure how !pro == casual.

                                                                                                                          • lightgreen 8 days ago

                                                                                                                            You are right.

                                                                                                                            Not professionals, let's say, people who play at least 20 titles per year. People who play all major new games. Or people who play at least 5 hours a week. People who care what the mouse model is. People who really care about screen refresh rate. People who are into gaming.

                                                                                                                            • deadbunny 8 days ago

                                                                                                                              You've just described me, a happy Linux user & gamer.

                                                                                                                              My 1440p 120hz ultrawide works perfectly with my 1080ti (which will be upgraded to a 3080 once there is some stock). Xorg and libinput both support disabling mouse acceleration so no issues there.

                                                                                                                              Thanks to Proton Glorious Eggroll I've been playing Doom Eternal, RdR2, H:ZD and many other non native titles for a lot more than 5 hours a week. I've also got my seperate VR box running on Linux with my Index which has provided hours of fun in HL: Alyx, Boneworks, and other admittedly more casual games like Beat Saber, Superhot, and Pistol Whip.

                                                                                                                              I do eshew all RGB though, maybe that makes me a filthy casual by some arbitrary standard, maybe you could add that to your gatekeeping list?

                                                                                                                              • olah_1 8 days ago

                                                                                                                                > I do eshew all RGB though, maybe that makes me a filthy casual by some arbitrary standard

                                                                                                                                I’d say what makes you a “casual” is that you didn’t list a multiplayer game. If you’re not sweating against other players, then you probably prefer to keep it casual. That’s fine!

                                                                                                                                But if I can’t play Overwatch, the latest Call of Duty, Escape from Tarkov, etc on Linux, then I wouldn’t bother. I think it’s more about multiplayer when talking about casual vs more serious.

                                                                                                                                • lasagnaphil 7 days ago

                                                                                                                                  Overwatch seems to work pretty well with Lutris and DXVK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMEHaSVrk1I

                                                                                                                                  Of course your mileage may vary depending on the type of GPU. (My RX 5700 XT worked well, though you have to wait a few minutes after opening the game for the shader compilations to finish.)

                                                                                                                                  • deadbunny 7 days ago

                                                                                                                                    Multiplayer is pretty much the only area Linux falls down due to anticheat.

                                                                                                                                    With that said Titanfall 2 works and I can get pretty sweaty in that, csgo also works natively though I've not played for years. I used to play R6: Seige a lot before ditching my dual boot which I miss but dualbooting gets old when you have to shut down everything just to switch OS.

                                                                                                                                    There is work to get anticheat working in Linux but it's kinda a pipedream as Linux is still seen as a haven for cheaters by anticheat developers so it feels like a never ending arms race rather than something that seems likely to happen any time soon.

                                                                                                                                    • olah_1 7 days ago

                                                                                                                                      Does Stadia actually run on Linux? If so, I think that has tons of mp games, yes?

                                                                                                                                      Maybe it actually is worthwhile to support it as a vehicle to get anticheat on Linux?

                                                                                                                                      • deadbunny 7 days ago

                                                                                                                                        I've not checked anything to do with Stadia - or any other game streaming service - as they don't really appeal to me. Who needs lag single player games? :D

                                                                                                                                        With that said there are anticheats which work on linux like Battleye but only with linux native versions of games which negates all the proton work unfortunately. IIRC Valve are working with AC developers to get it working via wine/proton but I'm not holding my breath.

                                                                                                                            • rpdillon 8 days ago

                                                                                                                              A curious outcome, considering Stadia servers run Linux!

                                                                                                                              • mhh__ 7 days ago

                                                                                                                                This also proves that some game companies clearly have internal Linux builds of their games that they can't/won't actually publish on Linux.

                                                                                                                              • offtop5 8 days ago

                                                                                                                                Stadia isn't a great option for anyone. You just need to dual boot unless you want random issues popping up every other day. With Steam OS dead I'm not sure who this is even for.

                                                                                                                                I can't imagine more than a significant of users will only purchase a game with Linux compatibility. Which the Epic store not supporting Linux your increasingly missing out on more and more games if your Linux only .

                                                                                                                                I will say I did have tons of fun in my desktop Linux days. Recently I've found it more a pain in the butt though. I feel like an old man. Windows npm and Python are now good enough I don't feel a need to run Linux locally. WSL for anything that doesn't work right

                                                                                                                                • deadbunny 8 days ago

                                                                                                                                  Not sure Valve are doing this all for me but I certainly thank them for their efforts.

                                                                                                                                  As for games sold by the EGS, they work fine via Proton (baring those with anticheat) and you can even get the EGS working via wine trivially.

                                                                                                                                  I can't speak to your experiences with the Linux desktop but it's certainly my platform of choice both professionally and for personal use. Each to their own as they say.

                                                                                                                                  I'm very happy that Valve (and all the other contributors) putting all this effort into getting as many games as possible to run on my platform of choice.