How to Install and Use Proton GE on SteamOS and Linux

Proton GE is a bleeding-edge version of Steam’s Proton. It adds many patches and fixes ahead of main Proton releases. Proton GE even has a counterpart for non-Steam games called Wine GE. Many Linux gamers consider Proton GE and Wine GE to be essential software for Linux gaming.

Proton GE and Wine GE are also easy to install. You can either install them manually or through an app. Linux gamers can use this guide to get Proton GE and Wine GE in a breeze. This tutorial will work for Steam Deck users, as well as any desktop running a Linux distribution.

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Manually Installing Proton GE From GitHub

Let’s begin with a manual installation of Proton GE, the bleeding-edge compatibility layer for Linux games. This guide mainly works for non-Flatpak releases of Steam.

First, you’ll need to head to the Proton GE GitHub page with your web browser. The repository page has a detailed readme on Proton GE, as well as a link to releases of Proton GE.

Click on Releases on the sidebar.

On the repository’s Releases page, download the latest version of Proton GE by clicking the GE-Proton[VERSION].tar.gz download link. You are also free to download other releases of Proton GE.

From here, open your terminal emulator of choice. If it doesn’t exist already, create the directory for Proton GE releases:

mkdir ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d

Next, navigate to the Proton GE release’s download folder. It’ll most likely be in the Downloads folder unless you moved it somewhere else.

cd ~/Downloads

Finally, extract the downloaded tarball into the directory that you created:

tar -xf GE-Proton*.tar.gz -C ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/

And that’s all you need to do! After restarting Steam, Proton GE will show up on the app.

By the way, Arch users can also use the AUR to download Proton GE. Note that the Arch community, not GloriousEggroll, runs the AUR version. You can install the AUR version of Proton GE using Yay.

Installing Proton GE for Steam’s Flatpak Version

Users with the Steam Flatpak will have to tweak their install process a bit. This is because Flatpak installs Steam in a different directory.

If it doesn’t exist, create the directory for Proton GE releases:

mkdir ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

Next, navigate to your release’s download folder.

Finally, extract the downloaded tarball file into the directory that you created:

tar -xf GE-Proton*.tar.gz -C ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

You’ll have to restart Steam if it’s open so that Proton GE can show up on the app.

A community-made Flatpak version of Proton GE is also available as an alternative. Again, note that this version is not run by GloriousEggroll.

To install the Flatpak version, run this command:

flatpak install com.valvesoftware.Steam.CompatibilityTool.Proton-GE

Restart Steam so that you can enable Proton GE.

Installing Wine GE From Lutris

Wine GE is ideally used from Lutris, a Linux gaming client. Both Linux desktop and Steam Deck users can run Lutris. It’s a useful app for playing non-Steam games.

To install Wine GE, you should first have Lutris downloaded and installed.

Download: Lutris (Free

Next, hover over the Wine tab, listed under Runners in the sidebar. Click the open box-shaped Manage Versions button that shows up.

A window for managing Wine versions will pop up.

Lutris automatically detects new releases of Wine GE. All you need to do in this window is scroll to find the latest or desired release of Wine GE and click its Install button.

Using ProtonUp-Qt to Install and Update Proton GE and Wine GE

If you want to avoid manually installing Proton GE altogether, then ProtonUp-Qt is the app for you.

With this app, you can install compatibility tools like Proton GE from a graphical user interface. ProtonUp-Qt works on Flatpak and non-Flatpak versions of Steam and Lutris.

Download: ProtonUp-Qt (Free)

Once you install ProtonUp-Qt, click the Add version button. This will show a pop-up window prompting you to install a compatibility layer.

Select GE-Proton in the dropdown box under Compatibility tool, if it isn’t already selected. Next, select your Proton GE version of choice under Version, then hit the Install button.

Restart Steam or Lutris, and Proton GE should be ready for use!

Enabling Proton GE and Wine GE

To enable Proton GE on your Steam game of choice, open Steam and navigate to your game library.

Next, right-click on the game and click Properties on the context menu that pops up. This will show the Steam game’s properties window. Click the Compatibility tab.

Finally, tick the checkbox to Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool. Click the dropdown box beneath that, then choose the version of Proton GE that you installed.

Exit the Properties window to save your changes. Whenever you open that game, Steam runs it with all the patches and fixes of Proton GE!

To enable Wine GE on Lutris, right-click on your game of choice and click Configure on the context menu. A game configuration window will pop up. Click the Runner options tab.

Click the dropdown box next to the Wine version, then choose the version of Wine GE that you installed. Click the Save button to save your changes.

Now, you can run that game with Wine GE enabled!

You can also have Wine GE enabled by default for all games on Lutris. To do this, hover over the Wine tab in the sidebar, then click on the gear-shaped Configure button that shows up.

A Wine configuration window will pop up. Again, click the dropdown box next to the Wine version, then choose the version of Wine GE that you installed.

Finally, click Save to have all your games run on Wine GE!

Play More Games on SteamOS and Linux With Proton GE and Wine GE

With Proton GE and Wine GE, you’ll have an even bigger library of games to play on Linux. We’ve shown that getting them running on your games is easy. From here, you can take gaming on Linux to the next level of ease.

With the right gaming Linux distro, gaming on a Linux desktop can feel better than gaming on Windows.

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