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With Proton and Steam Play, many Windows games now work on Linux (protondb.com)
932 points by bdefore 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 311 comments



I'm rather impressed with Proton.

I was using wine quite obsessively well over a decade ago, wine tricks, fiddling with settings for one game, change them for another. Proton removed all of that for me.

I'm not at the forefront of gaming, though i have a nice card, CPU and a heap of RAM (Perks of the job.

Skyrim is my jam lately, I'm spending an insane amount of time in game at ultra settings. Played some Batman - Arkham Asylum, also a windows game, both run well. I'm happy!


Wine was already mostly at that point a couple of years ago. It used to involve a lot of manual fiddling, but in the later days of DX9, the majority of games worked out of the box.

DX11 is where things went wrong again, and mainline Wine has been quite slow to implement DX10+ features. There have been some great projects like DXVK which have made DX11 games playable in Wine, as well as a lot of work going on in different branches and patches of Wine to improve certain functionality. Fortunately Proton brings all of these together, and has all of this configuration dealt with for you.

After a period of stagnation and not being able to play any games released in the last few years, we're back to the point where brand new AAA games can run with Wine/Proton with solid framerates - I was very surprised to see Monster Hunter World running well in Proton within a few days of release.

DRM and anti-cheat remains the biggest blocker though. Some Denuvo games run, but many don't. Anything using BattlEye or Easy Anti-Cheat won't work, or if you're lucky, the anti-cheat might let you in, but then ban you for a false positive. I hope these can be solved at some point, but the nature of Wine works and how anti-cheat identifies tampering means they'll probably never play nice together.


> but the nature of Wine works and how anti-cheat identifies tampering means they'll probably never play nice together.

Unless you're also the distributor and can get the publisher/developer to remove those mechanisms, since you have your own. E.g. Steam.


I heard reports of some Overwatch players getting banned for using wine/proton. Just a heads up if anyone tries to run Blizzard/Activision games with these tools.


No, it was just a mistake. Blizzard said in their own official forums that Linux (or Mac) users will not be banned for using Wine or Proton.

https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/overwatch/t/can-we-get-ban...

https://old.reddit.com/r/linux_gaming/comments/9g111m/blizza...

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Blizzard...

> UPDATE - 14 Sep 08:03: Blizzard is investigating and they will be looking to overturn the bans if this is indeed the case. There appears to be at least five reports of bans so far and does indeed seem that the most likely explanation is a false-positive from Blizzard's anti-cheat technology having issue with DXVK.


It's interesting because an emulation layer like that being present definitely would make cheating easier. I'd imagine a few clever modifications to DXVK itself would be all that's necessary to implement a wallhack or similar.


I am guessing that they look for cheating based on actions in addition to scanning the memory looking for known cheats. Aimbots are pretty recognizable to experienced players, and no doubt some machine learning is going on to look for those patterns. This lets them stay ahead of the curve on exploits... if it looks like an aimbot, it doesn't matter that it's some new binary they haven't yet heard of.


For some reason it never occurred to me that they'd use ML for detecting suspicious behaviour, until I read your comment.

I've never considered this but it makes perfect sense, thanks for that!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObhK8lUfIlc

Watch this! It's about using ML to catch cheaters.

I searched youtube to show you this video; I used the search term "cs go machine learning". The first video was actually this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w88RIcTuGZQ

Looks like it's using ML to make better aimbots--lol!



I thought WINE stood for 'Wine Is Not an Emulator'

https://www.winehq.org/about/


True, it's essentially an emulation not of the hardware but of the API. I was using it loosely, but the point is, hijacking Wine's already re-implemented API would be trivial given that limited verification are possible on it and hooking all critical Windows API functions is essentially trivial.

Not really a huge issue - professional cheat developers invest huge amounts of effort in subverting and patching the Windows kernel itself just to get a step ahead of anti-cheat. Thinking about how much fun that kind of thing is really makes me rethink my career choices...


If you get your hands on a VR headset, try out Skyrim VR. It works almost perfectly on Proton (you just have to do some stuff to get dialog/music working) and is by far the best VR experience with the most replayability I've tried so far.

I stopped playing the original Skyrim after only one (heavily modded) playthrough because I was just burned out on TES games but Skyrim VR brought back a sense of wonder I can only remember from my Morrowind days. Every dragon battle, every scenic backdrop is an order of magnitude more impressive and I can even tolerate a large part of the dialog without skipping through.

The only downside is how much time you have to waste getting the game configured and modded just right (afaik vast majority of major Skyrim mods work out of the box or were updated for Skyrim VR) and the cost. Bethesda has really been milking Skyrim.


which headset? Oculus works through proton?


I haven't tried it myself, but Proton works with SteamVR so it should be compatible with any headset supported by SteamVR.


If you're up for it, there are some really good high quality texture packs available on Nexus Mods that have really improved the visual experience in the game. https://www.dsogaming.com/news/skyrim-high-quality-textures-...


I enabled it on my Fedora laptop and tried a handful of games. About half a dozen of them bombed out immediately. So, very glad to see improvement, but we're still a ways off from being able to chuck my last Windows 7 machine.

I find myself more often just biting the bullet and re-buying some old classics when they get "Enhanced" editions (ala Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, etc)--even though I still have the original CD's kicking around--just so I get native Linux support.


>I find myself more often just biting the bullet and re-buying some old classics when they get "Enhanced" editions (ala Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, etc)--even though I still have the original CD's kicking around--just so I get native Linux support.

I think it's a good thing to do anyways. It shows that there's a solid market interest in gaming on Linux.


That's another hidden feature of Steam/Proton:

Whichever platform you play a new game on the most during the initial two weeks after getting it will be registered as the platform you bought it for.

E.g. play a Windows-only game for two weeks using Proton and both Steam and the gamedev will see it as a Linux purchase in their stats. Meaning they get actual numbers how big their Linux demographic is.


Really? Wow. That's awesome. Of course, that's kind of unfortunate for games that don't work with Proton right now.

Does that remove the Windows purchase too? That could be seen as 2 purchases for the same game.


AFAIK it's only for new purchases. So if you've played a game for some time under Windows it won't change the stats for that game.


Are you sure about this? I would think using wine or any other emulator would show up as windows in the statistics.


The game might think it's running under Windows, but the Steam process that launched it is Linux-native.


Also, IIRC Steam under Wine was/is able to detect that it's running under Wine and thus adjust its reports accordingly.


FYI, I tried this with tyranny and while it didn't work with steam play (started but super slow and crashed) it did work nearly at native quality using steam itself running under wine with play4linux.

So with the windows binary for the steam application running under wine, the game worked better than the Linux steam client running wine under the hood. Unclear why, but maybe worth trying both ways if one fails.

I also couldn't figure out how to report this, sadly. If it works better in play4linux steam than directly it seems like it should be straightforward to copy some configuration settings to improve things.


>I find myself more often just biting the bullet and re-buying some old classics when they get "Enhanced" editions

People have to do real work to produce newer versions of software, often this work is quite extensive (newer graphics APIs, resolutions, art assets, etc.) If it wasn't a viable enterprise this work wouldn't get done. It's not reasonable to expect perpetual free upgrades.


It still does get done, in many ways, by the fan community. Commercial entities updating games en masse as it is happening now is fairly new.


Got the enhanced BG...but I didn't know there was an enhanced Planescape Torment, that's awesome news. That was such a favorite game. Does the enhanced release work well for you under linux? Any big breaking issues?


Not OP, but for me it works flawlessly. Load times are instant, lots of nice quality of life features.

Not tried multiplayer, but it's hard to make that worse.

Also never worked out how to mod things, but if you're just after the vanilla experience, it's very good.


Modding on linux is a little finicky. For all Beamdog's edition, I wrote a script[1] that would symlink datafiles as a lowercase version everywhere (unless they were already lowercase). After this, all WeidU mods were working okay (at least for BG I&II). I have P:TEE but never modded it however, but the process should be relatively similar.

[1]: http://pastebin.com/raw/nmkSGj0L


Another option is to setup a FUSE mount for a case-insensitive virtual FS. I remember having to do this to get Civ5 mods to work.


tolower and related things I'm comfortable with - the main question I can't answer is where do you run the weidu mod?


Sorry, indeed this can be useful to know.

You must run weidu where chitin.key is


Fedora's default fd limit is too small for many games, so that might be causing your problem.

I'm not sure if the games you played rose above that threshold, but if they did then you'd probably see "eventfd: Too many open files" on the console or in the systemd journal.

It looks like Fedora will change the limit in a future update of the systemd package, but you can fix it manually if you chose to.


I can imagine still keeping Windows around for gaming, it really depends on the person but Linux is really becoming a nice alternative.

Myself, I chucked Windows 10 a couple of months ago before the SteamPlay news (which was a really nice cherry on top). But it was easy for me since I'm not quite the gamer anymore that I used to be.


I've been Linux-only (plus other oddballs like OpenBSD and the occasional Haiku or 9front or FreeDOS) since about 2012 or so (after 4 or 5 years of gradually weaning myself off Windows). Steam for Linux was my nail in the coffin then; the only Windows installs on any of my machines have been virtualized.

Lately I've been tempted to setup Win10 LTSB on a NUC or something to play a couple oddball games that are too modern to be VM-friendly but old enough to be comfortable on Intel graphics and a relatively-weak CPU. Proton was released just in time to indefinitely postpone those plans.


Many of the older games that have problems running under Steamplay also have problems running under Windows 10 (for similar reasons). Another group of games that don't currently run under Steamplay require some form of additional DRM. Once that's supported, most of those games should work.


With very old games you might have problems on windows too...


It really depends on the game.

One that I want to give thumbs up in particular is Age of Wonders (https://www.gog.com/game/age_of_wonders). It's a 2D turn-based strategy that was released in late 1999. Even back then it was unusual in explicitly supporting Windows NT, and perhaps that's why it continued to work just fine with 2K, XP etc.

But what's even more interesting is that they made the UI to resize according to the resolution, and resize it does - it supports literally any resolution (I tried it on 4K!), and it will properly resize everything. Of course, the widgets and the fonts are still bitmap, so everything's tiny - but even so, still impressive.

All in all, I'd say it's a good example of Win32 API stability. Windows upheld its part of the bargain, and a game like AoW that used all those APIs (DirectDraw etc) strictly as documented still works. The ones that don't work are generally the ones that made assumptions that were valid then, but no longer are.


I still occasionally play Malkari, a 1999 4X space game written for DirectX 5. It doesn't work on anything but Win9x, so I have a VM for it. On Win2K/XP it will just draw a half purple screen, even in compatibility mode.

Even then... Windows 98 doesn't work under VirtualBox, unless you run the VM with the Legacy paravirtualisation interface, and with the ICH AC97 audio card, which Windows 98 doesn't have drivers for ... nor does it have drivers for VirtualBox' VGA adapter.

Those problems are easily worked around, of course, but one day, either VirtualBox will drop its Legacy emulation code, or SciTech Display Doctor will stop working with VirtualBox' VGA adapter, or the sound won't work anymore, ...

I'm one glitch away from being unable to play a game I really like, and bought as a teenager...


If you're into 1990s-era games, which would generally be the ones that require Win98, take a look at PCem. It meticulously emulates PC hardware, to the point where it's running the original PC BIOS and video BIOS code against it (which means you have to find and download the corresponding images - but they're easily found online). Needless to say, when it comes to software compatibility, it's superb - you can run the original Win98 just fine under it. Or the original MS-DOS, if you want to dial even further back.

Because of that low-level emulation approach, it's not exactly fast. But modern high-end PCs can just about handle something on the order of Pentium 300 + 3dfx Voodoo, which is adequate for pretty much any game from the 90s.

https://pcem-emulator.co.uk/


> Those problems are easily worked around, of course

Ehm... I think you learned to work around these issues so gradually that you don't realize how complicated the mess that you've solved is


It's not particularly complicated, just extremely fragile.

Only the Legacy VirtualBox paravirtualisation interface provides all of the BIOS interrupts and glue code that the Windows 98 installer requires. The Sound Blaster 16 audio card will work out of the box in Windows 98, but VirtualBox itself has trouble copying the virtual audio out onto the host, playing only 3 seconds of the audio at a time and skipping a little; eventually it crashes. So, use the ICH AC97 audio card instead, but then you need to find drivers for it.

As for the VGA adapter, that used to work out of the box (once you installed the VirtualBox Guest Additions), but the additions' support for Windows 98 was dropped a long time ago, so that's no longer an option either.

Put simply, you need the Legacy interface to run the installer, SciTech Display Doctor for the VGA card (which is now free), and Realtek AC97 Win9x audio drivers (which you can find very easily).

Then it all just works... for now.


>>I'm one glitch away from being unable to play a game I really like, and bought as a teenager...

Tbf, also about $30 ebay purchase away from buying an early 2000 era laptop that will just run win98 and the game natively - so not all hope is lost :-)


I built a Pentium 3-based PC with Windows 98 just for games of that era. (It's complete with a CRT and ball mouse.)


I wonder how well dosbox would fare. It might not do well at all, given the specifics that seem to be required, but it often ends up being an optimal solution for items old enough (which is generally a few years older than this).


Have you investigated what was missing to get the game running in Wine? In the case of one of my favorite games (Worms Armageddon), I was able to fix the remaining issues in Wine with a few simple patches (though, to be fair, I was fortunate to have access to the game's source code...)


I don't have access to the source, I have no idea why it doesn't work on (EDIT: Modern) Windows, and I don't remember what happened when I last tried it on Wine; when that didn't work, I settled for the VM approach I described, which does.


Wine and ReactOS are probably our best bet for archiving programs and making them usable in the indefinite future. With Wine, you have the advantage of having access to the source code, both to peruse and modify. Being able to edit Wine's source code and use its debugging facilities does help a lot in figuring out compatibility issues.


Or indeed more problems. I remember trying to get the original Doom working online with a group of friends at a LAN a few years ago. It was much easier to get it working on Linux via Wine than it was under Windows 7+ due to some old networking layer.


Could you give some more details? The first Doom, as well as Doom II and Quake (except for WinQuake) were DOS games? Or am I missing something.


Yeah, I have a lot of classic game discs from the Windows 98 era, which often require Windows 98 with DirectX support, and sadly, nobody supports DirectX on VMs that old AFAIK. (VMware supports DirectX on XP and up, I believe.)

It's often a much better prospect to see if it's available on GOG with any given fixes or notes on how to make it work.



Yep, bought Populous 3: The Beginning from GoG the other day, would not work (except in software rendering which was so slow as to be unplayable). It was €0.79 so whatever, but it was a bit of a disappointment. What about Windows legendary backward compatibility ?


> What about Windows legendary backward compatibility?

The OS is backwards compatible; nVidia's / AMD's video drivers and hardware, well, not so much...


Kotor runs equally bad in Windows 10 and Wine.

XP is the only way to get all the right grass textures.


Which ones? There was quite some improvement since the release; also you need to consider that some particular types of software don't work well yet (some games related to XNA/.NET, anti-cheats, DRMs with other stores being a big offender)


If your use case for a Windows machine is just for the Games; A Xbox is a decent alternative.


It really isn't. You can't use Steam or GOG, you have to pay to play online, the hardware is much lower end than what you can buy for a desktop, they have advertising all over the place, everything has DRM, and it's still another box.


Not to mention playing with a controller is a very different experience. A lot of younger people are probably already familiar enough with them, but I'm a fossil and need my keyboard and mouse.


Consoles support keyboard + mouse but it depends on game support.


>> the hardware is much lower end than what you can buy for a desktop

Tbf, you can recently get the Xbox One X for £360 with few games included(including Forza 7 and RDR2!), and it will let you play those games trouble free in rock solid 30fps in 4K - I can absolutely guarantee that you cannot build a PC to match that within that money. That's not an anti-PC argument, just wanted to point out that for people who don't want to spend a lot of money it really is an excellent option.


I would like to differ w.r.t to hardware price front, concurring with my initial point; my Windows use-case was only casual Gaming & an upgrade to Xbox One X has been impressive for my use as a casual frugal gamer.

1. Freesync support over HDMI gave good stutter free gaming experience on a low end Ultrawide PC monitor. (I didn't have to switch between my workstation setup).

2. Hardware is power-efficient & silent; I'm extremely power/noise conscious & specifically select extremely low TDP CPU's for my work. I'm not sure if I would have been able to build a PC of such low power/silent feature-set & get same gaming experience albeit; for the value.

3. Value - A new windows machine for similar gaming experience actually costs more in my country (at-least was at the time of my purchase).

4. OS - I didn't have to deal with the gripes which I have with full-fledged Windows OS; a toned down version only for gaming such as the one on Xbox is turning out to be a good fit.

5. Apps - Youtube on Xbox plays 4K without dropping frames; where as my 7th gen intel core i5 U series CPU couldn't. Youtube on Xbox is actually has less distractions than one on the web (Like comments, Ads).


> 7th gen intel core i5 U series CPU couldn't

You probably have software issue with that PC. Video decoding should be done in hardware, and your i5 can decode 4k h264, h265, VC-1, and VP9: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Graphics_Technology#Capa...


SW - yes, I've tested across multiple OS's, browsers & I have high bandwidth-low latency network.

1.Chrome 70 on Linux doesn't drop frames for 1080p but 4K is unwatchable.

2.Windows 10 on same PC is better for 4K but drops some frames for 1080p as well.

3.Safari doesn't have VP9 codec; so there's no support for anything beyond 1080p.

So Youtube on Xbox is the best experience I've had w.r.t to quality of streaming. But it zooms by default on my ultrawide PC monitor.


> A new windows machine for similar gaming experience actually costs more in my country

I suppose it depends on your country but in the US it is significantly cheaper to build a gaming computer. The hardware in consoles is lower than most people realize.


AMD Ryzen 2400G, Linux, Firefox thus no hardware decoding, Youtube 4K@30 - 0 drops. CPU price is almost twice short of 7200U which certainly can't deliver.


Modding is also lacking on consoles (limited on some). Fantastic to see Valve etc doing this, I imagine it's the last thing keeping a fair few people on Windows (certainly for me if I can get a fair portion of Steam games on Linux that's it for the Windows partition). Old classics like Everquest I might need to look at GPU passthrough if VirtualBox supports that now).


Am I the only geezer that absolutely detests 'controllers'?

I prefer to play games with WASD and a mouse like God intended.


Racing games feel terrible with KB. Controllers make them much more enjoyable and immersive (though a wheel is still the best solution). Especially the trigger vibration/resistance on the Xbox One controller when playing Forza Horizon 4.. holy shit, it feels so satisfying to drive.


Have you played Dark Souls? While some crazy people have beaten it with such crippled input devices as DDR pads or guitar hero guitars, it's one of many classes of games that just play better with a controller.


The PC port of Dark Souls was really bad, with the KB+M controls being particularly stupid. Since the developer never felt like fixing it, I found that enough to swear off the developer and their games forever.

I'm sure the game would work fine with KB+M if the port developers were competent.


I think I tried the default KB+M controls, and while you could remap them with DSFix (or since it's a PC, whatever program), I just got a controller instead and everything was fine. You're free to reject a brilliant game over such a petty hurdle, I know someone who refused to play Skyrim because they were insulted by the console-ified UI and waited for someone to make a PC-friendly mod, but it is petty...

I really don't think you can make Dark Souls work well with any KB+M combo, at least without fundamentally changing the gameplay for the worse. Literally every input on an Xbox controller has a purpose (with the exception of left analog press, I think, in later games in the series though they made either that or the classic tap-certain-button-while-running to jump, and I don't recall if they backported that to the 'Remastered' version) and some purposes are contextual.

But maybe you know of another game I could look at that does it right with KB+M, which also meets these constraints: need to move camera freely, need to move 3rd person player freely at variable speeds from a sneak to a walk to a jog, need to toggle-lock enemies, need to 'activate' light action and heavy action for both left and right arms, sometimes at the same time (e.g. spear attack while shielding), need to switch between up to two held items for both left and right hands, need to switch between several spells/hexes/etc. that determines the selected one used when an arm holding the right item is activated, need to switch between several consumable items, need to have a use action to use the currently selected consumable, need a generic action for opening things / dialog selection / etc., need an action to toggle two-handing the right-hand weapon, need an action to trigger back-step, rolling, running fast, and jumping-while-running, need an action to open the game menu for item equipping and other menu things, need an action to open a list of taunts/gestures to use, oh and all of this needs to be done without pausing the game or having some sort of bullet time effect.

Listing it out, I might be able to make something work for myself (as in, I could maybe beat the game despite the controls, I'd give up any sneak attacks) but it'd be using my mouse that has several buttons on it (which incidentally cost about as much as a controller). Common three button mouse? More skeptical. And still I don't think it would be as comfortable for when actions such as holding shield, toggle lock, strike, strike, heavy strike, roll, parry, strike are called for, let alone what I can do if I need to quickly swap equipment for some situation.


> You're free to reject a brilliant game over such a petty hurdle

I'm more rejecting the developer. That port was outright insulting in how bad it was. That'd be forgivable, except that the developers didn't ever deign to fix it. That's an unacceptable level of disregard for your customers in my opinion.


Maybe you'll try out Sekiro when it comes out? Or at least read if the problems look similar from your perspective. There's always a question of how much blame to allocate where, putting it all at the developer's feet doesn't seem fair -- Sekiro differs from Dark Souls (and Demon Souls/Bloodborne) in that it's From Software + Activision as publisher, rather than From Software + Bandai Namco + Sony.

I also wonder if your viewpoint has any room for forgiveness? When I got a friend to try the Prepare to Die edition on steam, it worked without any issues (he used a controller though), he didn't even need to install DSFix, so clearly through patches they made the port acceptable. The 'Remastered' version also works without installing anything extra (except on Linux, you need to install a dll yourself) plus you get reliable 60 FPS. I don't know what Dark Souls 2 or DS3 looked like for PC gamers on launch day but when I got them I had no problems, but I don't know if they would pass your criteria or signal a sign of improvement.

What amazes me is why the Xbox 360 port was so bad with respect to framerate in one particular area. Even the Xbone X drops down to 15 in a small portion of that area (but at least is rock solid 30 pretty much everywhere else, unlike the 360 or the classic Xbone emulation).


> I also wonder if your viewpoint has any room for forgiveness?

Sure, when they patch the game themselves so it isn't broken. Since that hasn't happened and likely never will happen, I'll take my money elsewhere.


> That port was outright insulting in how bad it was.

Only in that the keyboard and mouse control was sub-par. I bought it a few years ago and as my first exposure to the series, I will say I was an instant convert. I have an Xbox Controller for Windows controller, which is what I ended up using, and that has a lot to do with it.

I know that for sure, because I got busy and stopped playing for a few months, and when I started back up I forgot to use the Xbox Controller (I don't use it for much, it's just for those games that it makes much more sense, especially emulated console games), and I was really frustrated and it took me good hour or so to realize it's because that's not how I played it before. The contrast is incredible.

> That's an unacceptable level of disregard for your customers in my opinion.

As opposed to those companies that don't bother to provide a port at all? I mean, I assume I would like Red Dead Redemption given what it's supposed to be (Grand Theft Auto as a western), but I've never played it, and haven't owned a console it's available for.

Plenty of horrible games are released with horrible control schemes. Dark Souls happens to be a masterful game whose default control scheme on PC is horrible unless you have a controller. That's slightly different, and it might actually be that after having developed it for the console, it would require significant differences in the content to allow for a good keyboard and mouse control scheme. I actually think that's completely possible, and in fact likely given how much attention went into everything in that game.

You've heard it from the others, so I'm just repeating it, but you really owe it to yourself to give it a chance with a good controller (Xbox controller for windows is amazing, I suspect a PS4 USB/bluetooth controller is just as good), especially if you tried it in the first place because you thought it was something you might like. Otherwise you're just that guy complaining that Quake is a crap game because it's too hard to play with your keyboard like you played Doom, when really the problem is that you're not playing it as it was meant to be played. I was that guy, for a little while at least. Don't be that guy. The only person you're punishing when you are is yourself.


> As opposed to those companies that don't bother to provide a port at all?

Yes. Because they didn't put a product on the market in exchange for money. If you are asking people to exchange money for your product, you should endeavor to produce a good product, and if you fuck it up you should at least try to fix it instead of just leaving your customers to rely on community fixes.

I get the impression that you don't understand just how bad the port was. It's not that KB+M was an inappropriate input method for the game (though that may well be true to an extent), it's that they fucked up how mouse input works.

"With a mouse, the angle of the turn is a function of the distance the mouse is moved. With an analog stick, the angle of the turn is a function of both time and stick displacement (with a relatively small maximum displacement value) . The problem when mapping a mouse to an analog stick should be be immediately apparent, then: when the mouse is moved very quickly, the maximum displacement value is immediately achieved but the duration of the input is much shorter, resulting, counterintuitively, in a shallower turn angle. " [0]

Additionally it had numerous graphical issues, including being locked to a low frame rate and a low internal resolution. To say it was a lazy port would be to give the porters too much credit. As far as I'm aware, the developer never lifted a finger to fix any of these issues and everyone relies on DSFix.

[0] http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~petska/dsmfix.html


> I get the impression that you don't understand just how bad the port was.

An interesting way to put it. I've already gone on record as playing it on PC. A lot. The port is the only thing I've played, and I found the mechanics worked quite well, as long as I used a controller.

Additionally it had numerous graphical issues, including being locked to a low frame rate and a low internal resolution.

I think you're nitpicking here. 30 FPS is generally considered acceptable, as long as it doesn't go below that. There's a big difference between a game that plays at an average of 30 FPS unlocked, which will undoubtedly drop much lower, and a game that plays at 30 FPS locked, which is capable of much more. The latter will be a much more stable experience. That said, since the dsfix stuff that unlocks the framerate ends up causing gameplay issues if you allow the framerate too high (e.g. you walk through ladders), it's both obvious why that happens, and why they locked it. The collision detection is based on it.

As for the internal resolution, that's exactly how it works on the Xbox 360 as well. That console is only capable of 720p at the most natively, so 1080i and 1080p are upscaled from the base resolution.

I get it, when they ported it, they didn't change a bunch of stuff to make it more PC specific. That's still a port though, and there's been plenty like it in the past. You can either accept that as long as your computer is power enough you get the exact same behavior as the console, or you can complain that it's a horrible port because they didn't change the game. It's obvious you chose the latter, that that's your right. I just think it's a shame because you focused small technical issues that all stem from the original targeted platforms, and decided it must therefore not be worthwhile.


> I think you're nitpicking here.

If it were the only issue it might be a nitpick, but it is just one of many issues screaming "we put forth the least effort possible to port this". In other words, the developers do not give a shit about the customer's experience on the PC. I mean seriously, mapping a mouse to an analog stick input like that? I'm a little shocked they didn't just hardcode the buttons to be XYAB while they were at it.

And the worst part, the most damning and unforgivable part, is that they never bothered to fix it themselves. I honestly don't know how people can defend this behavior. Be a fan of the game all you want, I hear it's pretty good, but this is bullshit and you know it.

> That's still a port though, and there's been plenty like it in the past.

Some people make crap software. This does not excuse making crap software.

Frankly, if they're going to do this bad a job porting a game, they should just not have bothered.


> I mean seriously, mapping a mouse to an analog stick input like that?

You know, I just loaded Dark Souls up and that's completely wrong. I'm not sure if it was a very poor initial version and got updated, but that's not how it functions on my system. The mouse rotates the camera exactly as you would expect. Just as Tomb raider and every other 3rd person PC game does. I'm not using any third party tools.

> And the worst part, the most damning and unforgivable part, is that they never bothered to fix it themselves.

Well, someone sure did. Maybe it came with the DLC pack for the first one. I got it as a bundle in the Prepare to Die edition which includes the DLC. Then again, I'm pretty sure the Prepare to Die edition was the only PC version.

> I hear it's pretty good, but this is bullshit and you know it.

Yeah, I sorta don't, because at this point I'm not sure how much you've even played the game, because you seem to be getting details that are core to your argument completely incorrect.


According to Steam, I did my best to give it a chance for just over an hour. This was with DSFix mind you. I purchased the game in 2013, but the changelog mentions nothing about having fixed any input and DSFix is still front and center on its PCGaming wiki page [0]. Honestly I'm having a hard time believing anything you say, since it seems to be backed up by liking the game enough to overlook the port's obvious flaws.

[0] https://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Dark_Souls:_Prepare_to_Die_Edi...

> Yeah, I sorta don't

If they have indeed fixed it (despite all evidence to the contrary), then good for them and I can forgive them. But if they haven't, and you don't think that's bullshit, then your judgement is highly suspect.


There is a mod that fixes it. Dark Souls was the best game I played in the last 5 years, it's worth the hassle.


Last I tried that mode still had screwy mouse input, but even assuming that it corrected it completely I don't feel I should reward a developer for producing a product that the community had to fix for them.


Well it's up to you. I think in this case you lose waaay more than the developer does.


It depends on the game.

Batman Arkham Asylum is the game that made me appreciate controllers.

And it is one of the first games, if not the very first, that works seamlessly using keyboard + mouse, or controllers, of several kinds I guess.

If I play with the mouse + keyboard, I get hints for the actions with the key or mouse button required. Without changing any setting, or restarting the game, or anything that interrupts my game, if I just pick up the controller, all the hints are now controller related.

After that, I use the controller for Batman games.


I've switched to controllers when I can to avoid hand and shoulder pain. I've found that, ergonomics aside, which is better depends on the type of game you are playing. I'd agree that, mostly, mouse + keyboard is the superior input mechanism. But the 'WASD' bit fails when the controls require two analog inputs rather than 1 analog and one digital (driving games, flight sims).

I'm still looking for the 'best' controller though, as I don't think it exists yet. I don't know if you can combine a device like a mouse suitable for 'twitch' FPS games with controls suitable for a 6 degrees of freedom game like Descent, Elite or Star Citizen (which currently require two joysticks, pedals, and ideally voice control to play in 'advanced' mode).


> I prefer to play games with WASD and a mouse like God intended.

Yeah, that works for some subset of games. If you're doing is playing FPS games and some workable subset of side-scrollers, sure. But games designed for a specific control scheme generally play much better with that controller.

I've played my fair share of emulated NES/SNES games, and while workable on a keyboard, let's not kid ourselves and say it's just as good.

And I remember playing DOOM not with WASD (because I don't think anyone was at that point), but with the numeric control pad so I could easily strafe (when the default most people seemed to use were arrow keys), so it's not like WASD came out fully formed and obvious from the start.[1]

Control schemes change, and people usually end up adopting what works best for a specific genre (or specific game, if it's genre-bending enough).

Don't get me wrong, I abhor the idea of playing a FPS game with a controller as well... but not all games are FPS games.

1: https://www.pcgamer.com/how-wasd-became-the-standard-pc-cont...


No. Many classes of games are better with a keyboard (even those which don't heavily rely on mouse input, i.e. FPS/RTS/MOBA). In addition to a mouse's advantage, you can use all five fingers, instead of making the thumbs do almost all of the work.


Personally, I feel that platformer games work well on gamepads, while RTS and FPS games work well on keyboard and mouse. Fighting games work well on arcade sticks (trying to pull off a 360 or 720 motion on a keyboard is definitely not what God intended).


No there are a lot of us.


Depends on the game. Totally agree for FPS, but e.g. EA Skate was basically designed to be played with two sticks.


Not if you like games like "Baldur's Gate", as per parent comment.


A windows license is a lot cheaper than an XBox.


We bought a Windows computer so the kids could play some old classics. Not a single game worked on Windows 10, not even in compatibility mode. But most of them worked in Linux/Wine ...


Must be some old titles, it's pretty rare for a 32-bit Windows game to flat out not work in Windows 10. I'm even able to run Incredible Machine 3 (a game from 1995), albeit without CD audio. DOS and 16-bit Windows games however require an emulator like DOSBox.

Many 3D games from the mid-late '90s and early '00s relied on now esoteric hardware accelerators and APIs (like Glide) or GPU features that behave differently on modern hardware than the games expect. These might require a wrapper like nGlide or dgVoodoo 2.

Check the entries for your games on the PC Gaming Wiki (www.pcgamingwiki.com).


I've actually had to add Wine DLLs to a few older games to get them running on Windows. Games that use DirectDraw are the main suspects.


DOSBox? ScummVM? Depending one what age you're talking, those games should work fine on either OS really.


Yes, but... that's actually the product that Steam (and GOG) is selling you: The ability to just click 'launch' on a game and it knows what collection of DOSBox, Scumm, Wine, Frotz, WinUAE, whatever is needed to just launch the game.

Trying to get a Windows game running under Linux is an adventure in itself. This opens up the door for people who don't like those kinds of adventure games.


How old are we talking here?


I think they're from 2003-2005 System requirements: Pentium 166 or better. Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, or XP. Standard installer, nothing special. They are on PC cd-rom. Got them used for a bargain, mostly learning type games. Could probably run them in an emulator, for example emulating windows XP in the browser. But you shouldn't need to be a sys-op to install a game. And you don't want to fiddle around if you have inpatient children waiting. My point is that the games specially made for Windows, doesn't work on Windows. Byt they do just work on Linux after installing Wine, most of them.


Did you get these games from Steam? I found that games distributed by GoodOldGames usually work pretty well on Windows10. I have a dozen of them and never ran into an issue.


GOG releases often includes compatibility and even unofficial community patches. You can generally assume that even their old games will work on modern computers.


Fallout 3 being an example, where Steam states it is only compatible with Windows 7, and the Steam reviews guide people to the GOG version which apparently works fine with Windows 10.

(It's weird that Fallout 3 is an 'old game'. Am I an 'old man' too?)


If the user has played more on Proton than on Windows in the first two weeks, it will count as a linux sale, not a Windows sale.


This is really good to know.

On a related note, I finally got a hardware survey on one of my Linux machines! Was even running SteamVR at the time.


Do you have a source for this?


>Update #1: I spoke to Valve earlier, about how buying Windows games to play with this system counts, they said this:

>Hey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/valve-officially-conf...


Personal anecdote: Since SteamPlay dropped I have not rebooted into Windows once. I've been pretty impressed at its ability to handle the games in my catalog. That said I'm pretty sure I've just been lucky thus far.

The only problem I have is when a game has a broken Linux port there doesn't appear to be a way to tell Steam to use the Windows version instead. An example of this is Eador, which has horrible graphics problems and is effectively unplayable on Linux due to it being a very slipshod port. I'm willing to bet that using SteamPlay on the Windows version would work much better if Valve would give me the option.



What broke my uptime was when I decided to try and play Gothic... Not that it "just works" on windows, there's a series of patches etc. you have to install, but with Proton I kept getting a dreaded access violation error about a minute into the game that I couldn't work around.

I too hope they make an option to run a so-called Linux compatible game using Windows instead. I've got a little category "failed in linux" for those. I bet you could do it manually by downloading the game using Steam running in wine and then using Steam's wine binary to run the exe...


If you need the Windows version of a game on Linux, you can use SteamCMD[1] to do so.

[1]https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SteamCMD


they do give you the option to use Steam Play over native Linux client. Under the steam play menu in the preferences, select 'enable for all titles' along with 'use this tool instead of game-specific selections'.


Doesn't seem to work for Eador. Even with both of those options checked it installs the Linux version and doesn't seem to have an option for anything else. I was hoping there would be a dropdown by the install button asking which version I wanted, but it was just a regular install button and it gave me the broken Linux version.


Admittedly rather reductionist, but I'd love it if there was some single number representing how close to Windows performance each title gets. The main issue I have is that I'm not about to bother with any titles when I consistently find that titles "work" but don't really work well enough.


Around 85% of native D3D11 performance in most games. Certain Vulkan games can outperform their native Windows version (running under Wine/Proton).


it's at the bottom

Current Game Rating Distribution Tier Rated Highest Report Highest Report (But Pending) Platinum 286 2356 1467 Gold 372 399 232 Silver 319 472 367 Bronze 178 195 158 Borked 245 1162 960

each game has this rating in winedb


  ╔══════════╦═══════╦════════════════╦══════════════════════════════╗
  ║   Tier   ║ Rated ║ Highest Report ║ Highest Report (But Pending) ║
  ╠══════════╬═══════╬════════════════╬══════════════════════════════╣
  ║ Platinum ║   286 ║           2356 ║                         1467 ║
  ║ Gold     ║   372 ║            399 ║                          232 ║
  ║ Silver   ║   319 ║            472 ║                          367 ║
  ║ Bronze   ║   178 ║            195 ║                          158 ║
  ║ Borked   ║   245 ║           1162 ║                          960 ║
  ╚══════════╩═══════╩════════════════╩══════════════════════════════╝


Nice, it's been quite a while since I've seen such tidy use of ASCII in a forum message.


Nit-picky, but these are Unicode box-drawing characters which are not part of ASCII: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box-drawing_character


I think they actually fall under extended ASCII:

https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/E/extended_ASCII.html


It's… complicated.

> The use of the term [extended ASCII] is sometimes criticized, because it can be mistakenly interpreted to mean that the ASCII standard has been updated to include more than 128 characters or that the term unambiguously identifies a single encoding, neither of which is the case.

— Wikipedia[1]

I would agree w/ Wikipedia here: the term is ambiguous at best, and misleading at worst.

Hacker News delivers its pages in UTF-8, so saying they're part of the box drawing characters in Unicode is not incorrect. Nor is the statement that they're not part of ASCII: they're not.

That said, the box drawing characters exist in Unicode, I would guess, largely because the IBM PC included those characters in the numerous character sets it used. Particularly, in North America, it used the character set known today as "Code page 437"[2]; other regions had other character sets w/ similar names, and they usually had at least some (though not always all) of the box drawing characters. IDK if the PC itself included them because some predecessor had them, but it wouldn't particularly surprise me if that was the case; the Atari and the Commodore had similar characters, though not exactly the same set. And again, they might have had them b/c of a predecessor; for all I know it's turtles all the way back to the first person who drew a table on a clay tablet :-)

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_ASCII [2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_page_437


In the BBS world we added some color and called it ANSI Art.


It's hard to reduce all of that data to a single number. In general average framerate matters, but not nearly as much as a discrepancy in 95% or 99% percentile low framerate or stuttering, etc.


As of two years ago (before proton), 40% of my Steam library was available on Linux and play identically to the windows version (on the same computer). So I imagine Proton is an improvement beyond that.


If steam spends some time working with the larger "anti-cheat" vendors, I think they could really bump up the list. Many of the 'borked' games use anti-cheat, like battle-eye.


I'd much rather those games just become unplayable.

I've had so much trouble with anti-cheat systems that I will now refuse to buy or play any game that uses easyanticheat or battleye. I don't care how much it costs, how many of my friends are playing it, I'm not giving another penny to any company that uses those programs.

I get that it's not an easy problem to solve, but i'm so goddamn tired of having to shut down services dedicated to controlling fan speeds in my machine, having to disable network adapters, uninstall vpn software (not just turn it off, uninstall it), and wasting hours trying to figure out why it would crash on startup only to find that it was finding a pcap.dll in a random folder in my downloads from when I was messing with some traffic sniffing stuff on this system like a year before that, and it decided to crash without any warning or error...

Cheaters suck in games, and they can ruin it for many others, but there has to be another way other than forcing your paying users to jump through this many hoops. And if there isn't, then i'm happy to be doomed to playing against/with hackers and cheaters rather than not being able to play at all.

And I know it's kind of co opting the purpose of Proton, but if they refused to accommodate these anti-cheat systems, then maybe either the game developer or the anti-cheat vendor themselves will see some of the potential paying customers they are excluding and will significantly retool their systems to work.


> Cheaters suck in games, and they can ruin it for many others, but there has to be another way other than forcing your paying users to jump through this many hoops. And if there isn't, then i'm happy to be doomed to playing against/with hackers and cheaters rather than not being able to play at all.

Back in my day, we just played on community servers with moderators who'd just ban cheaters!

I know that's not really a solution with the scale of today's online games, but cheating isn't a new problem. It's only become a problem of today's world of matchmaking systems, global public servers, and the removal of community hosted servers. Still, I feel like just hiring a few more people to manually check suspected cheaters would reduce the need for such heavy handed anti-cheat.

On the other hand, Valve run 2 of the most popular online games (CS:GO and Dota 2), which both have Linux clients, and don't have the same level of intrusive anti-cheat compared to EAC and BattlEye.


> I know that's not really a solution with the scale of today's online games

Most of these games have not scaled up. "Scale" is not the issue here.

The issue is that companies want to provide their own server hosting, and charge users for the privilege of hosting games. This leaves no room for community moderation.


I've gotta wonder about your system config. I've got Wireshark, Viscosity, probably a TUN driver or two from another VPN install, fan control, system monitoring and I've had no problem at all.

Not saying it doesn't happen - I'm pretty sure there was one that didn't like VirtualBox and I haven't tried again since switching to Hyper V. Maybe I got lucky?


Yeah i'm sure i'm one of the outliers, but if I'm not voting with my wallet then why would they ever listen.

easyanticheat is by far the worst i've ever experienced. That was the one that would crash if it saw pcap.dll, and I use virtualbox as my VM software of choice so that could be part of it as well.

The fan control system is a bit weird since it's a pretty unknown little program, but it took me a while to find because at least easyanticheat wouldn't tell me which program was causing the error, so I had to manually close them until it worked. This is what actually put me over the edge and made it so I'll never buy another game with easyanticheat again unless they significantly rework how much access and power they need.

There are so many games out there now, and so many different developers and styles, that I don't need to put up with these kind of problems to play a good game. Especially when that software is almost always beatable by how often I'd still see cheaters in the games, which meant that the only ones being punished by this are the lazy hackers, or paying customers.


> Yeah i'm sure i'm one of the outliers, but if I'm not voting with my wallet then why would they ever listen.

I mean, if you are an outlier, voting with your wallet is never going to work. That is the problem of being an outlier.


It probably won't work, sure, but I'm not going to continue to support games that I can't play without downloading cracks. And I feel they are crossing a line requiring that much control and integration with my system to run.

And being an outlier doesn't mean you are insignificant. Sure, the latest Call Of Duty won't miss my income, but a smaller dev that was thinking about using easyanticheat because it was cheap and easy to integrate might think twice when reading comments from me, or if their demographic overlaps with people like me that won't put up with it.

I can't in good conscience talk about how much I dislike invasive anti-cheat programs while still buying every game I want that has them.


Depending what is his objective. If he would want to change their bahaviour, then it will not work. If he want to spare himself headaches and wasted time making their product work, it will work perfectly.


There is another way. Statistical analysis on game performance. No one is 3 standard deviations above the mean in terms of their skill. So ban anyone who hits that. Cutting that off leaves cheaters that are cheating just to be as good as pretty good players, but it keeps them defeatable.


> There is another way. Statistical analysis on game performance. No one is 3 standard deviations above the mean in terms of their skill.

Assuming normal distribution, 0.1% should be; with top games reaching 1+ million active players, that'd be on the order of 1,000+ players.

And if you start banning people for being too good with no other evidence of cheating, you'll drive of the people who would likely be your most avid non-cheating players.


And I'm not sure the assumption of a normal distribution is even correct. Players will naturally get better at a game the more they play it. Most measures of skill available to a game will end up picking this up more strongly than anything else. The end result would be automatically banning anyone who has been playing the game for too long -- this would be terrible for retention...


> No one is 3 standard deviations above the mean in terms of their skill. //

Maybe, but then surely the cheaters will just set their cheats to be 2.99 sd above the mean. Probably best to use it as a signal rather than a fixed limit.


I set up a separate user account for Steam precisely because I don't want anti-cheats sniffing my main account's memory through /proc. Anti-cheat can go fuck itself, doubly hard if it tries to install a kernel module just to play a damn game.


Unfortunately it probably will want to have itself loaded as a kernel module, if they ever were to decide to even begin supporting it.

Anti-cheat has been one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of gaming on Linux for a long time.


Considering the lengths these anti-cheat vendors go to to detect bad behavior (including but not limited to kernel-mode drivers and kernel-hooks), I doubt they have any incentive to go along with this until a massive amount of momentum for gaming on Linux exists.


Valve and steam are large enough to provide incentive themselves if they so choose.


I remember not being able to play anything BattlEye because it breaks on a Windows Insider version late 2017, and stuck for half a year until the next stable update cycle. It’ll be a loooong time until they even consider to support anything remotely interesting at all.


Is it possible to do those anti-cheat checks on wine/linux? Valve could work with the vendors to have them work on it.


From what I understand, the anti-cheat checks work, it's just that the permissions model on Linux is so much more coarse than on Windows that there isn't really a good way to tell the difference between a cheat and benign behavior. They end up with so many false positives that it's better to just not let the game run at all. Even something as simple as running "ps" on Linux looks through procfs and can show where in memory different things are loaded, probably getting flagged by the anti-cheat.


Linux being open source and gpl licensed is a problem for anti-cheats.


Why does the operating system's license matter for software running on top of it? The software can still be proprietary.


An anti-cheat relying on a kernel module would have to provide the source code of that module (the glue part, at least). One could then modify and compile that module as he want. Also, you could easily write a sandbox environment at the kernel level dedicated to a specific anti-cheat.


You can recompile every component of your system to lie to the s*y anti-cheat.


This smacks of "security through obscurity" to me. Windows has been thoroughly reverse-engineered by black-, gray- and white-hats: is there a single windows .dll, .sys or other component whose purpose is remains a mystery or cannot be subverted by a person with physical access?


It is. Any anti-cheat system that relies on having explicit control of the client is inherently flawed, but it is considered "good enough" by most people.


Two days ago, I read an article on why kids should not interact with screens too much in their early life and I reflected on how that affected me.

I also found that I have no fun in playing games lately. It feels like a chore, a heroin-like distraction, an addiction basically.

So yesterday I decided to ditch my PC in favor of my Linux-only GPU-lacking work notebook.

And now this.

Me 0:1 Irony


I feel the same way but I can’t stop. When I do other things I get bored and find myself thinking about video games. It’s pretty frustrating. I feel pretty shitty about it.


Same. I just kind of reached the climax of boredom in gaming. To be fair, I mainly played CS:GO, LoL, and WoW. Basically games where I could also watch YouTube videos or do other stuff during downtimes in-game (such as death, queueing, wipes)

I am quite safe with still having a gmaing console, since they are much more immersive in a sense that distractions will actually hinder the enjoyment. If I can only either do something productive or play a game, I usually try to be productive.

What's your poison?


I'm not using Proton, but using regular Wine+dxvk (for DX11 games).

dxvk[1] is an amazing project (it's translating D3D11 → Vulkan). With Vulkan finally landing VK_EXT_transform_feedback[2] and Wine and dxvk using it (Mesa has it in master for radv, and there are patches for anv; Nvidia blob has it in beta), games like The Witcher 3 can be played on Linux perfectly, without graphics distortions.

1. https://github.com/doitsujin/dxvk

2. http://jason-blog.jlekstrand.net/2018/10/transform-feedback-...


A note for people who want to go faster than Steam/Proton certification - in Steam settings you can turn on Proton for all Windows games, not just the ones that are certified by Valve. So far I haven't run into any problems running non-certified Windows games under Proton.


In my quick test it seems it depends enormously on the quality of Linux support for your graphics card. If you have a graphics card that DXVK works for then you are in business. Otherwise, not so much.


Right. It's important to have up to date drivers. ProtonDB receives many reports with outdated ones (those are colored in red and not counted toward the aggregate rating)

https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/wiki/Requirements


I've been out of the WINE scene for a long time, is Steam submitting patches to the upstream project?


Yes, for the most part. All of their work on Proton (their fork of Wine) is open source, they're working with Codeweavers (the largest contributors to Wine) closely, and contributing as much as they can back to upstream Wine.

Part of what makes SteamPlay work so well is actually outside of Wine though - a lone developer started a project called DXVK a year or so ago, which is a separate translation layer for converting DX11 to Vulkan, and runs alongside Wine. Valve hired this developer and sponsored a few similar projects, and integrated them into SteamPlay.

It also seems like Wine is slow and quite opinionated on merging in changes. For a while now, most people who used Wine for gaming would use forks and patches to improve performance. Some of it got merged into upstream Wine eventually, some things get rejected as it works differently to the usual Wine way of doing things. So Steam has used some of these patches and their own work for Proton, but some of it may not be suitable to be merged into mainline Wine.


Is anyone running this setup? The last time I used WINE was probably 12 or so years ago and I always got the impression it was a slow "it will do for now" experience

Has it come on leaps and bounds since then?


I've used wine forever to play games with, it's actually really good these days.

The difference between the past and now is that it lets you use your current native steam client and still run games through wine, in the past you had to run a separate steam client in each wineprefix and you'd end up with steam installed for each game.

The addition of DXVK makes directx10/11 games really speedy, runs great! World of Warcraft runs better in DXVK in its dx11 mode than what it did with OpenGL when they still offered that.

The "game-breaking" thing is usually DRM like denuvo though.


Is Proton tightly integrated into the steam platform or can it also be used to play DRM free games like GOG? I imagine Steam wouldn’t be too appreciative if GOG galaxy also integrated this


It is not tightly integrated. You can use it to play GOG games manually (from the command line) or using GameHub (https://github.com/tkashkin/GameHub).


I’m so glad that this is for ElementaryOS. It’s a good sign that their package management system is gaining popularity. It’s the only Linux based OS that I’m comfortable installing on friends/family old PC’s that can’t or shouldn’t run Windows 10. Runs fast enough and decent UX. I haven’t had much complaints from the non techies I install it on. Normally I’ll make Firefox the default web browser and throw on Ublock Origin and Privacy badger as well as installing LibreOffice before I hand it back to them. Great simplistic concept for an OS that I can really support.


I've been using it on my Ubuntu box and its as easy as double clicking any game like you do for any native-Linux game in Steam.

Games run smoothly, no frame rate issues, no Wine to setup manually, no Wine configuration files to play with. It just works.


I'm using Wine actively to play on my Linux machine (Dell XPS 13 dual boot with Win 10). In my particular configuration, the game (Rome: Total War) works better and smoother with Wine. YMMV.


Uhh WINE so unreliable. The summer when I started high school (like 7 years ago or something like that?) I played Skyrim in WINE in my shitty ass laptop. No kidding, it was an extremely good experience. My laptop was ~$800 and wasn't a gaming PC. I was running archlinux with some unknown version of WINE. The setup was super easy, I don't remember spending time on instaling Skyrim. The game was 100% working.

Then I tried this one more time the summer I started college (3 years ago?) It was working but lagging, and sound wasn't working, and some controls weren't working and it was randomly crashing. But it was still playable.

Then I tried it one more time this summer when I graduated from college. I spent an entire week and couldn't get it done. At some point I was applying patches in C and recompiling Wine which apparently fixed something? I also spent a lot of time trying to find the Wine version and Skyrin executable I used 7 years ago. For the love of God I, a CS graduate, couldn't get something my high school self done.

If you find something working in Wine, save the executable and Wine version. There is no guarantee any other combination will work. But I swear to god, 7 years ago whatever Wine+Skyrim combo I used was working flawlessly, I can't imagine it working any better in Windows back then.


Wine configuration can be a bit of a mess - luckily tools like Lutris and PlayOnLinux are a huge help, since they essentially give you the Wine version and install script that automatically sets everything up and has been tested to work.


Yeah. I just turned this on last week to try it out. I downloaded a game listed as "gold", Skyrim, and it installed and played just like any other Steam game.


Some games have very bad performance. VR games are noticeably slower than in Windows (but I've heard this being the case for native games; haven't tried, cause there weren't many). Some are actually faster in some aspects (loading screens for instance). And for many you won't notice any difference.


You probably had a bad GPU driver. There have been a really long time (more than 12 years) that Wine has native-like performance (it's not an emulator, after all), but if your system can not use the GPU adequately, no game will run well.


I tried Banished which works perfectly, it's hard to tell any difference from native. I have integrated graphics though, so maybe if you are looking to play an FPS at 144Hz you might notice it...


I'm using Wine+dxvk and can play quite demanding games.


Why not just dual boot to Windows? It's going to be a better experience.


Hasn't the 2 decades old goal been to be able to run Linux without the need for owning Windows? Windows is still 89% of the desktop market. A free alternative is still a worthy goal.


I wouldn't choose Windows Home for Ruby on Rails development for the same reason that I wouldn't choose CentOS for gaming.


Because I don't want to lose my state, and I don't want to have to take ten minutes to switch to doing something useful.


I tried this for a while but I used Windows so infrequently that I was constantly interrupted by updates whenever I did boot it up.


Of all the replies to my comment, this is the only one that really makes sense to me. I have a PS4 and every time I want to play a game on it, either the PS4 needs an update or the game does or both.


Well, except for the dual booting part.


Or buy only games that have a native Linux port - which is what I do.


This is actually mind blowing. Because in the last six months (I think) there are more developments in this front compared to last six years. Sure, there are little warts and niggles as of now but with this development speed I think we'll have a proper linux systems which can play non-linux games with negligible performance loss.

In addition to proton and steam play one has to add Lutris as well. It makes the emulation of games in wine really easy.


If you're having trouble reading this on mobile, the Chrome Simplified Reading View will help.

Visit `chrome://flags` and set Reader Mode Triggering to Always. The prompt is a minor inconvenience but I use it so much.


Something interesting to me is how many people are using either Debian family or Arch family of distros.

Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint are over half, and Arch & gang are about a 1/4


Some context may be helpful, but the short of it is that I wouldn't look too far into those numbers.

1. Officially, Proton is only supported on Ubuntu. It doesn't stop you from trying though and many Arch-based OS reports are just as successful. 2. Reports people submit includes pasting Steam system info, which for some Arch installations reports as 'Linux 4.x' unless they install additional an additional library.

If you're feeling generous, count the 'Unknown' category as Arch-based.


I've recently converted my primary operating system to linux and--although Proton is very good--I still find myself unable to unlatch from Windows. My solution was to install Windows 7 on a separate hard drive for those games that are still unplayable. Among those games are Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remastered and The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth. Although I'd like to kick Windows to the curb for good, it's hard to believe that some legacy titles (like BfME) with nontrivial minimum specs will ever run on linux.

My other big concern with SteamPlay in particular is save game compatibility. It depends on the game, but a lot of the time your save games just won't be compatible across operating systems, which is quite a difficult problem to solve.


I wonder what ever would make savegames incompatible between systems. Endianness? That should be handled by wine. Different path separator? I would think it's up to wine as well. So... unreported bugs in wine, or is there something fundamentally different about game state?


I'm guessing most saves--besides some really old games--are probably fine on a fundamental level. But even if a save technically works, the effort it takes to find that save in your old windows filesystem, then place it in the new location in your linux filesystem is actual quite substantial, especially when you imagine doing that for an entire catalog of games that you've played over the years. And if you're relying on steam cloud saves to keep track of it then you can expect to lose the saves for many of your games when changing OS. If you're looking to retain saves, its far from a simple migration. Which is another reason why I have trouble making the switch entirely.


That reminds me: a few years ago I got bored of playing Skyrim on my Xbox 360 and I wanted to play with mods on the PC. I didn't want to build a new character, but turns out that there are tools to extract Skyrim save games from the Xbox and are perfectly compatible with the PC version. In fact, not having a Windows installation at home I managed to play them with Skyrim on wine under linux. Everything worked pretty much flawlessly, mods included.


> the effort it takes to find that save in your old windows filesystem, then place it in the new location in your linux filesystem is actual quite substantial

That shouldn't be an issue either. Steam ought to be handling game saves anyway.


As soon as cs:go worked on Linux, I uninstalled windows. I never looked back.


I wonder if we can get Steve Carell to do a "Goodbye Windows" song.

Been dual booting for many years now only for steam.


I've been using GPU passthrough for Windows gaming on and off for a while now.

I think it's fundamentally a better solution. edit: (for desktops).

Why is it better than dual booting? Well, it's faster, and you can use whatever backing store you like (e.g. ZFS volumes for snapshots, LUKS encryption, ...), run services in the background, etc.

Why is it better than WINE? Far more compatible. Setting it up can be a hassle, but once you get it working it's (as far as I can tell) identical to a native boot. Better sandboxing (VM's aren't perfect and GPU passthrough likely introduces more holes, but that's better than running proprietary code on your main system).

That said, it's a power user thing and probably always will be. But then, isn't that the PC gaming market anyway?


> Why is it better than dual booting? Well, it's faster, and you can use whatever backing store you like (e.g. ZFS volumes for snapshots, LUKS encryption, ...), run services in the background, etc.

Any way to avoid dual-booting is also good because if you do your work on Linux, you don't lose state. After a day of work, I sometimes want to play games, and I like it when I don't have to shut down my editor and the image of the program I am working on. In fact, having to reboot is a quite effective deterrent for me.


Hibernation?


Not really viable if you want services running in the background.

Passthrough allows me to have one beefy machine that does everything. It's just another VM.

That said, I game very rarely anyway, but sometimes you just want to blow things up, y'know?


Is quite wonky on Linux. Causes quite a bit of software to misbehave and in general instability after resume is an issue - at least in my experience over the last ten years.


Hibernation doesn't seem to be reliable on my Linux system, and on Windows it locks all NTFS drives into read-only mode, which interferes with my setup on Linux (I run Dropbox on Linux symlinked to the Dropbox folder on Windows drive, in order to not duplicate data on the Linux SSD).


This also requires a separate, dedicated GPU for the VM, which is a deal-breaker for many users.


I use a single GPU.

I do however have a secondary machine (laptop) to manage the VM from, though.

It's never going to work for everyone, sure, but most will just game on Windows anyway. I like to evangelize because I think it's really quite neat.


So you don't reboot, but do you stop X, right?


Yeah. I don't really "use" X, though. I don't lose any state other than browser tabs, which reload anyway (it's really just the same as switching from desktop to laptop, you want tab state synced anyway so it's a non issue I find).

Firefox and a terminal window (tmux or similar) is enough for my needs.

90% of the time (right now for example) my screen is 70% terminal and 30% browser.

I have a Linux VM for actual work that also gets GPU passthrough that I "restart" into (e.g. kill qemu1 windows, start qemu2 linux). It's sort of like dual boot except long running processes stay in the background.

You could basically think of it as the VM's being a thin client on to a server, except they're all on the same box.

The host is pretty much a hypervisor only.

I might do a write up of all of this at some point if you're interested. I kind of figure that most Linux users enjoy this sort of masochism. :)


So you do reboot.

...your Linux VM.

which means that you can't run windows and your Linux desktop at the same time.

It's an improvement, but still a dealbreaker for me personally.


Please do a write up. I've been interested in doing something like this, but it's hard to find appropriate resources to do it.


Here's a write up of a GPU passthrough solution involving two GPUs: https://medium.com/@dubistkomisch/gaming-on-arch-linux-and-w...


> I think it's fundamentally a better solution. edit: (for desktops).

Not really for Linux users who don't want to use Windows.


There are plenty of programs that simply don't and won't work on Linux. For the people who need any these, using a VM with passthrough is the best solution if you prefer using primarily Linux.


> There are plenty of programs that simply don't and won't work on Linux.

Ditching games that don't work is not a big deal, given that a huge amount works just fine. So avoiding Windows is preferable to running it in VM.


Programs. Not games. Re-read. Adobe, CAD, etc.


You don't need Proton or dxvk for that. Above was about gaming scenario.


Using Windows in a VM is a necessity and the best solution if you need such programs but still want to use primarily Linux. How are you not getting this? Games aren't the only reason to use Wine, but Wine also doesn't solve everything.

This is relevant because games aren't the only thing holding back people from switching to Linux. As long as there are programs that don't work on Linux and for the foreseeable future won't ever work, plenty of people won't switch.


See the original comment above by @esotericn:

    I've been using GPU passthrough for Windows gaming on and off for a while now.
    I think it's fundamentally a better solution. edit: (for desktops).
It's not about CAD and etc. I disagree with the idea of using Windows in VM as a better approach for Linux gaming than running games in Wine.


Sweet.. haven't checked the list in a while.


I see Skyrim, right at the top. And New Vegas. Wow. Any chance Valve could offer this support for Mac as well?


As soon as someone makes them a DXMT to use instead of DXVK, I suppose. Isn't there some Rust project working on that..?


There's a VKMT. So they could double up and go DXVK -> VKMT.


Most major games still don't work. Sadly.

Take the AC series, for example: https://www.protondb.com/search?q=creed


Most of the difficulty in getting these to run circles around the uplay stuff, for example it won't even launch unless you have the Microsoft fonts installed, and then there's an outdated libgnutls library in the steam runtime that you need to workaround.

But once you do that the games actually run, I've gotten Odyssey and Unity to run and they run surprisingly well. If Valve can convince Ubisoft to at least make the launchers not be too intrusive and can solve that last 10% of the config issue then it'd be viable.


Microsoft can sue them in the same way Oracle sued Google, and win, right? Because you can't reimplement the Windows APIs without the reimplementation containing 'derivative work', I think.



Will the court consider it? I understand that suing Valve would be hypocritical for Microsoft, but, I think, legally speaking it's a separate issue. Will the Linux Foundation file a retaliatory counter suit against Microsoft because of its attack on Valve? I doubt it.


After buying Github, it will be a pretty shortsighted move for MS to do it. Everyone remembers their position on API copyrightability in Oracle vs Google case. It's the reason many projects left Github after they bought it. If MS will attack projects like Wine based on that junk, a lot more will ditch Github for good.


The issue here is that games and commercial productivity software are the two main reasons people(power users) still use Windows. If Proton/wine begin to seriously threaten the market share of Windows (say loss of 5-10%), they'll have to do it, I think.


They'll lose gaming lock-in, that's already inevitable. Their only remaining leverage now is Xbox, and even there translation layers can undermine their API lock-in grip.

However attacking FOSS projects using such copyright trolling will backfire and very strongly. In doing that, MS will admit their hypocrisy and all this "MS has changed" will be proven completely wrong.

I'm not saying it's not possible for them to do such attack. But it will basically completely ruin the image they are trying to build now.


Just noticed Deus Ex: Human Revolution on that list. I'm pretty sure there's a native linux port for that one already out, I was playing it about a year ago.

(Unless that was proton and I didn't know it?)


There's a port for deus ex: mankind divided. HR has not been ported AFAIK.


Hmm title is confusing. Maybe changing to the original post title will be better?

That being said, I wish I can run CAD like fusion 360 on Linux. Anyone know of any way to make this happen?


I'm in the same boat. Would love to be able to use Fusion in linux, especially with Apple dropping OpenGL support. Last I read they were looking to move the app to web-based and be platform agnostic.


I tried the web beta version and it's pretty limited and super slow. Nothing compared to OnShape but OnShapes license, policy and direction has been so bad that I dropped them pretty much after the official release (I used them during the beta phase).


I use FreeCAD. It is sometimes annoying, but much better than any alternative I've tried.

For more programmatic CAD, OpenSCAD is also good.


I use FreeCAD and OpenSCAD (especially "automated" file generation) and like what they stand for but unfortunately neither really compares to a standard CAD program. Maybe I'm too used to the big three CAD software.



Can they make this work for the Adobe Creative Suite too?


Maybe this could work for you? https://github.com/corbindavenport/creative-cloud-linux

I suggest making your own script instead of using PoL (abandoned, check Phoenicis).


They're just using WINE with some additions for games. So if it doesn't work with WINE yet, there's nothing from Proton that would help.


I've been happy just dual-booting Windows and Linux. Windows 10 is free as long as you don't care about personalizing it, which I definitely don't, since it's just for games. I look forward to having a Linux-only machine but I'm not in any hurry.


It's not about money though, at least for me. I can afford Win 10 just fine, and would also be paying for archlinux and/or Debian if they actually cost anything. But here I am using a free-as-in-beer OS because of other factors. If all games could run in my OS things would just be more practical, regardless of their cost.


How does this compare with PlayOnLinux? It seems to be a very similar concept: coordinate Wine+other tools, package configurations and game-specific tweaks in a script that can be one-click ran by users, aggregate user reports on compatibility. What's new?



Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I still can't play Windows-only HL2 mods.


Oh, I had missed a step in the configuration. I can now announce that Windows-only HL2 mods play beautifully. _Minerva_ rocks.


It's at the point now where the intro logos and stuff for games take longer than a reboot, so now I just reboot into windows.


> The Linux desktop experience has improved by leaps and bounds in the last year or two.

Does anyone know which improvements they are referring to?


Not sure what he means tbh. The Linux desktop has been improving steadily for years. It's in a good spot now, Proton makes it even more viable, but it's still not perfect. I'd say the biggest barrier is if you require Windows-only programs that don't work with Wine (of which there are a lot).


Too bad Linux still has no proper mouse support... I would be glad if even the games that are Linux native would be playable...


Is this an advert for Proton? Why would you not just use windows 10, the platform that games were made to work on.


PC gaming is a struggle for me as of now, I have an older rig which I would love to update but simply cant justify the cost. It is pretty frustrating when my friends xbox can run 4k games but the only GPU that is comparable is north of 500$.

The ML and crypto hysteria as well as AMD not willing to compete is not healthy for the long term PC gaming industry. It is certainly keeping me out of it.


Most PC gamers don’t play in 4K and 30 frames per second, much less 60 fps. That’s graphically taxing for many contemporary games, especially if other graphical quality is turned up.

The consoles also typically don’t run at full resolution. In the 1080p era, I recall many games topping out at 900p. It was a great source of pc gamer smugness due to the fact most of them could easily run 1080p and 45+ fps. I suspect modern console 4K is the same.

Since the generally accepted fps for consoles is 30, and that’s pretty low, it means developers can either compromise on resolution or other things like how many entities can be on screen at once, or how large open areas can be. I suspect catering to console audiences is why a lot of the last ten years some games feel either empty or constrained in scope.


> The consoles also typically don’t run at full resolution. In the 1080p era, I recall many games topping out at 900p. It was a great source of pc gamer smugness due to the fact most of them could easily run 1080p and 45+ fps. I suspect modern console 4K is the same.

Consoles tend to do dynamic resolution - they'll drive the display at 4K (together with UI), but the actual rendering resolution will drop and adapt to the load. It actually looks pretty good - the UI and text keeps being sharp while you generally don't notice the resolution drop that much. Unfortunately most games lose this capability on PC, so you're stuck with blurry looking text if you have a good monitor or TV :(

The other trick they do is checkerboard rendering - the console only renders approximately half the scene each frame. The partially rendered frame is then combined with the previous one with added filtering. The result is not unlike the interlaced CRT TV rendering of 80s era consoles/micros - just with better filtering. Again, this capability tends to disappear on PC versions of those games.

Lack of those two things means that in a lot of cases games on PC look/run worse on equivalent hardware than they do on the console :/


Some newer first-party Microsoft games have dynamic resolution scaling in the PC versions. I thought Battlefield One / 5 had it, but apparently not.

It works well in Forza Horizon 4. And yeah, I wouldn't mind the option for checkerboard rendering on PC. I understand purists want nothing to do with it, but hey, too many options is what PC is all about.


While 4K is still somewhat far away on a reasonable set-up, a surprisingly large amount of games can comfortably push 3440x1440@60.


Most gamers don't play in 4K, but a large number (maybe most? Surely the largest minority) on PC probably get 60 FPS. You can look at the Steam hardware survey results here: https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/Steam-Hardware-Softw...

I've been holding out to do a big upgrade myself, but I got a Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti last year for $147 to comparably replace my dying AMD 7950. Same card today is $190 (on Amazon). It's more than capable for things at 1080p, and does just fine for some games at 4k too (or I survive with 30-50 FPS and/or tweak with the graphics options; "high" is usually acceptable even if it's not "ultimate").

The new xbone x can do 4k pretty reliably, but that's $500, plus $60 per game. Getting your aging PC (mine is nearly a decade old) up to par (and often exceeding) graphics wise is a cheaper investment in a GPU, and games on PC are routinely on mega sales.


30 FPS? AHHH mah eyes! ;-)


Eh. I can get similar performance as an Xbox One X out of my not-built-for-4K gaming computer if I too lower all my other graphics settings. Soul Calibur VI, for example, runs around PC's "low" settings on an Xbox One S and around "medium" on an Xbox One X.

Instead I play at 1440p and 144FPS with most of the knobs in most games turned up near max (and my graphics card is a couple revs out of date).


I agree. I used to build my own PCs and I was a big-time PC gamer, but these days I struggle to find the energy for it. I recently bought an Xbox One for $200, which is half what my PC GPU cost. Not to mention I prefer working on a laptop, but laptops that have beefy GPUs and CPUs tend to be heavier and more expensive with worse battery life. So to play PC games, I have to have a desktop in addition to my laptop, which doubles the cost and in effect just turns my desktop into a really expensive and oversized game console anyway.

It's so much easier and cheaper and convenient to have one box dedicated to playing games and one box dedicated to doing work. Instead of a $2000 laptop or a $1000 laptop and a $1000 desktop, I can have a $1000 laptop and a $200 Xbox.

It's a shame the "PC Master Race" thing has become such a meme lately to fragment and radicalize the gaming community. All I care about is playing video games to relax and enjoy myself. It doesn't matter one bit how I accomplish that goal.


I bought an Dell "gaming edition" laptop last year for about 700 bucks. It's my daily driver dual booted with Ubuntu, and Windows, and it handles any modern AAA game with 30+ fps or more.

To me the PC Master Race meme started with FPS games (CS 1.6/SourceGO vs COD on console), the cultures around the various platforms, and how video games in general just seem to be more enjoyable with a mouse and a keyboard than a joystick (not to mention you can be much more accurate with the crosshairs),. The only exception to me are fighters and drivers.

The meme then slowly morphed into this pseudo-elitism about graphics and performance, but most "pc master racers" have at least one console, if not two.


I still don't understand how Microsoft can charge people a monthly fee to play multiplayer games on Xbox--or Sony doing the same on PS4--when the very same games can often be played on a gaming computer for no more than the cost of the internet connection and the individual game subscription fees (if any).

That type of blatant rent-seeking by gatekeepers can never happen in an open-source OS gaming ecosystem with unrestricted HID hardware. It's a structural impossibility. That's what I think about when I see the phrase. It's PC-master race, not PC master-race. Owning your own device means being its master, and master over any software that must petition you to run on it.


For that $60/yr you pay for Xbox Live, you also get $700 worth of games included with the price. Every month you get two or three free games, usually older AAA games like Assassins Creed Black Flag or one of the Halo or Gears of War games. This month you get Hitman Blood Money and Overcooked for free, which are both great games. Xbox Live is only the cost of one brand new AAA game per year, and again you get games included that you can download and play forever, so it really offsets the cost.

You also have better anti-cheat systems (get caught cheating on PC, you have to buy another copy... get caught cheating on Xbox you have to buy another Xbox). I tried playing CoD4 on PC when it came out and very quickly switched to Xbox because I didn't want to have to install an aimbot.

But that's ignoring all the games that exist on PC that you do have to pay money to play online...


Great. If that's such a great deal, unbundle the games from the network access. I am perfectly happy not getting bonus games if I can use my own network connection without getting permission.

None of this addresses the fact that console manufacturers are erecting tiny tollbooths on the wire between the computing device that the customers own and the network router that the customers own, extracting rents from transactions that they no longer have any business being a part of.

The best anti-cheat system I have ever seen is the ability for users to refuse to play with other users whom they suspect may be cheaters. Whether they actually are or not is immaterial. You should be able to not play with someone who makes a game less fun for you (blacklisting). And you should also be able to play with only friends whom you know and have invited (whitelisting). Needing anti-cheat measures beyond that is usually a symptom of not allowing customers to run their own private servers, likely because they won't pay for access to the main company servers if they don't have to. Get caught cheating or griefing on my server, and you can only play in the trashbag-exile instance, which is somehow still fun for some twisted weirdos. Get caught cheating on a centralized corporate server, and someone has to Report you, then there is a Process, and then that guy is banned and maybe just replaced by yet another guy just like him, doing all the same stuff that got the last guy banned. If your culture turns toxic, the good players abandon the game altogether, instead of just switching servers.

I don't know of any games that have both a PC and a console version that charges for the PC version, but not the console. That money to the games distributor pays for the server maintenance and the development team salaries, and there is a clear line of demarcation between what I own and what I am paying for. But there have always been free servers, pay servers, prince/pauper servers, and donation begging servers out there in the computing world, since shortly after 1 Jan 1983. It has been entirely possible to waste all your spare time online, from your home computer, without spending a single dime above the cost of the network link, for decades now.


Even the Xbox one X cannot run all games on 4K. Most games have dynamic resolution somewhere between 1440p and 4K and/or run at low frame-rates.

You can grab a GTX970/GTX1060 and be able to run any game on 1080p-1440p.


Even the most powerful Xbox is only comparable to a RX 480. You can find a RX 580 on Amazon right now for $250.


If you compare specs that is true, but if you actually run the games at 4k on high settings etc, the xbox will be fairly smooth where as the RX 480 will struggle. In reality you need to get a 1080ti to get the same 4k experience, and the new RTX cards are priced way too high.


If you actually run the games at 4K and at high settings, you will be running them at higher settings than the Xbox One X. Hence the problem with the comparison.


Is it an actual 4k experience, or is it an upscaled image?


I'm really hoping that this will change soon. The fact that AMD's making competent CPUs again is such a relief that I ended up upgrading to an 8 core Ryzen 2700X from a 4790k. I got a Vega64 knowing that it won't be as fast as a 1080ti, but still adequate. I don't like nvidia. I'm really hoping that once AMD starts regaining some more satisfying market share then they'll do whatever they can to get Radeon Technologies Group to be competitive again.


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