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Created Mar 4, 2021
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How to launch games via Proton from CLI (useful for debug)

How to launch games via Proton from CLI (useful for debug)

In just 2 steps

First. Run this:

export STEAM_COMPAT_DATA_PATH=~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata

Second. Now in the same terminal, run your game (this example: Raft)

~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton\ 5.13/proton run ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Raft/Raft.exe

If you want different proton version, replace it in the first part of path, for example, this is "Breathedge" game on Proton-Experimental:

~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton\ -\ Experimental/proton run ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Breathedge/Breathedge.exe

I recommend you doing (and publishing) your own notes if your app is running, but unstable.

Q & A

Q: What actually is Proton? A: Improvement to WINE written by Valve/Steam. More info here:

Q: Will my game "X" actually run with proton? Which Proton version do I need? A: Check out the database by typing your game name in search here:

Q: I've tried my game with proton, it does not work, what else to do? A: Check if guys at WINE itself was able to run it, by searching in "Browse Apps" here: Also, as with proton, try different versions of wine, and maybe even on different linux distros or with different hardware (CPU, GPU, etc.)

Q: My game still don't work neither with WINE nor with Proton, can I try something else? A: Yes, you can also try different other ways:

Q: I want to manage Wine Bottles, or run different software, but I don't want to do it via CLI. I need GUI. How do I do that? A: There are plenty of different software for that. Check out:

Q: Nothing helped! What else I can do? A: Run VirtualBox, VMWare, Parallels, add GPU-passthrough, or just make a dual-boot with Windows.

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thugcee commented Jun 25, 2022

It doesn't work for me. I get error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/home/user/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton 7.0/proton", line 1407, in <module>
    g_session.init_session(sys.argv[1] != "runinprefix")
  File "/home/user/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton 7.0/proton", line 1209, in init_session
  File "/home/user/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton 7.0/proton", line 723, in setup_prefix
    steamdir = os.environ["STEAM_COMPAT_CLIENT_INSTALL_PATH"]
  File "/usr/lib/python3.8/", line 675, in __getitem__
    raise KeyError(key) from None

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