Proton (compatibility layer)

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Original author(s)Frank Ruben (Wine)
Developer(s)Valve Corporation
Initial release21 August 2018; 11 months ago (2018-08-21)
Operating system
Platformx86-32, x86-64, ARM
Available inEnglish
TypeCompatibility layer

Proton is a compatibility layer allowing software designed to run on Microsoft Windows to be used on Linux. It is developed by Valve Corporation. Proton itself has the main objective of allowing Steam games only available for Windows to run on Linux, but games not available on Steam and software either available or not available on Steam can also be run using it.


Proton was initially released on the 21st of August 2018, with 27 games sold on Steam 'whitelisted' - i.e. officially confirmed as working by Valve with Proton - including DOOM (2016) and FINAL FANTASY VI.[1][2][3] It is partially based on a fork of Wine, also incorporating DirectX over Vulkan (DXVK), a Vulkan-based translation layer for Direct3D 10/11.

An unofficial website, ProtonDB, collects and displays user-created reports describing how well (if at all) titles on Steam perform when run under Proton.[4] This is similar to WineHQ, a website dedicated to reports on how well software runs under Wine.


  1. ^ "Steam for Linux :: Introducing a new version of Steam Play". 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  2. ^ Evangelho, Jason. "Valve Changes Everything: Windows-Exclusive Games Now Run On Steam For Linux". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  3. ^ "Steam adds Proton, making Windows games playable on Linux (at least in theory)". PCWorld. 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  4. ^ Evangelho, Jason. "Linux Gaming Tip: Don't Buy That Game On Steam Without Using This Tool". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-12.