Linux Gaming Guide: How to Easily Install and Update Proton GE


If you’re a PC gamer or have been keeping up with the news around Valve’s Steam Deck, you’ve probably heard of Proton, a “compatibility layer” built into Steam that makes Windows games only playable on Linux. Valve and Codeweavers (the company behind WINE) are responsible for this magic that makes Linux games surprisingly impressive.

Perhaps you have also heard rumors about Proton-GE, or seen YouTube videos referring to “Glorious Eggroll”. Glorious Eggroll is also known as Thomas Crider, senior engineer at Red Hat. And he creates a customized version of Proton which is extremely useful.

Why you might want Proton-GE

What is Proton-GE and why would you want it? Think of Proton-GE as a state-of-the-art, progressive version of Proton. Many of the changes and features here are merged later into Valve’s official Proton.

One of the latest versions of Proton-GE has improved the Final Fantasy XIV launcher, patched one GTA V save the bug, fixed the launcher for Swords of legends and added AMD’s FidelityFX (FSR) super resolution to most games in the Steam library.

(Yes, almost any game you play through Steam on Linux can benefit from FSR. I’ll write about that soon.)

I always advocate a great out-of-the-box experience, but if you want the latest games to run on Linux whenever humanly possible (sometimes with better performance), you’ll love using Proton-GE.

To do this, I’ll show you how to install and use ProtonUp, a simple tool that downloads and updates Proton-GE for you.

How to install and update Proton-GE

1: Head to ProtonUp’s GitHub page. The instructions listed are pretty straightforward, but I’ll walk you through. You can also watch this video for a visual guide:

Step 2: Install the ProtonUp utility

Open your Terminal application and type: “pip3 install protonup”(Without the quotes).

Pip is the Python package manager. If you run this command but get an error saying “No such file or directory”, you probably haven’t installed Pip. To do this, follow the procedure for your package manager to install it.

Since I am on a Debian based system, this will be the command “sudo apt install python3-pip”(Without the quotes).

Step 3: Set your Proton-GE installation directory.

All that remains is to define the installation directory in which Proton-GE will be installed. This will live in one of the Steam folders on your system, and the structure looks like this: “your / compatibilitytools.d / directory”

(Don’t worry, this “compatibilitytools.d” directory is created automatically during the Proton-GE download process.)

So just go back to your Terminal window and type the following:

protonup -d “~ / .steam / root / compatibilitytools.d /” (this time with the citations !)

Step 4: Use ProtonUp!

Fair course “protonup“(without quotes) from the command line to download and install the latest version of Proton-GE.

Run it again each time you want to update Proton-GE.

Step 5: Restart Steam

Restart Steam to detect your custom versions of Proton and navigate to your settings. Select the Steam Play tab and you will be able to set which version of Proton you want to use globally across your entire library.

You can also configure Proton game by game, by right-clicking the game title or thumbnail, choosing Properties, and then clicking the Compatibility tab.

Extra tip: Manage / delete versions of Proton-GE

You can stop reading here, but I want to share a few more options that you will find useful. Especially since each recent version of Proton-GE can consume up to around 1.5 gigabytes when installed. This can quickly take up space on your storage drive.

  • For a list of the versions of Proton-GE you have installed, type “protonup -l”(For list).
  • Delete a Proton-GE version by typing “proton -r”(To delete), then the version you want to delete. So it might look like: “protonup -r 5.4-GE-1
  • You can also list all available versions, install specific versions, etc. Go to the ProtonUp GitHub page for all available options.

If you like this tool, consider giving the developer the gift of your star on GitHub. And keep an eye out for versions of ProtonUp, as the developer says he’s working on a GUI version!

Hope you found this guide useful and useful! If you have any questions about Linux, Steam Proton or ProtonUp games, you can ask them in this Telegram group, or on Twitter.