|Initial release||August 21, 2018|
5.0-7 / May 2, 2020
Proton is a compatibility layer for Microsoft Windows games to run on Linux-based operating systems. Proton is developed by Valve and based on a fork of Wine. It includes several patches and libraries to improve performance and compatibility with Windows games. Proton is designed for integration into the Steam client as "Steam Play".
Proton was initially released on 21 August 2018. Upon release, Valve announced a whitelist of 27 games that were tested and certified to perform like their native Windows counterparts without requiring end-user tweaking. These include Doom (2016), Quake, and Final Fantasy VI.
Proton incorporates several libraries that improve 3D performance. These include Direct3D-to-Vulkan translation layers, namely D9VK for Direct3D 9, DXVK for Direct3D 10 and 11, and VKD3D for Direct3D 12. As of December 2019, D9VK has been merged into DXVK, which it was originally forked from.
Valve has released five major versions of Proton. The versioning scheme refers to the upstream Wine version it's based on, with an appended patch number. As of May 2020[update], supported versions are:
- Proton 5.0-7 with Wine 5.0 and DXVK 1.6.1 (latest)
- Proton 4.11-13 with Wine 4.11 and DXVK 1.5.1
- Proton 4.2-9 with Wine 4.9 and DXVK 1.2.1
- Proton 3.16-9 with Wine 3.16 and DXVK 1.0.2.
- Proton 3.7-8 with Wine 3.7 and DXVK 0.80.
A community fork known as Proton GE is maintained by Thomas Crider (GloriousEggroll), which aims to rebase Proton on more recent versions of Wine. Patches introduced by this fork are occasionally merged upstream.
Being a fork of Wine, Proton maintains very similar compatibility with Windows applications as its upstream counterpart. In addition to the official whitelist, a very large portion of the Windows catalog is reportedly compatible, albeit unofficially, with Proton. The user can optionally force use of Proton for a specific title, even if a Linux version already exists.
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- "A look over the ProtonDB reports for June 2019, over 5.5K games reported to work with Steam Play". GamingOnLinux. Retrieved November 4, 2019.