Valve Continued Doing A Lot For Linux Gaming & Open-Source Radeon Drivers In 2020

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 30 December 2020 at 06:13 AM EST. 31 Comments
Valve this year continued contributing significantly to not only improving the Linux gaming experience but also the Linux desktop at large with their continued open-source graphics driver enhancements and other infrastructure work.

Open-source driver developers working under contract for Valve continued pushing along the open-source Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver, pushed the "ACO" compiler back-end for RADV into excellent shape that it's now enabled by default and delivers excellent performance, continued work on the Linux VR support as well as their engagements with Collabora and the like, and other infrastructure work such as backing the SUD functionality and other ongoing kernel work.

Steam Play's Proton downstream of Wine also continued evolving nicely this year and saw many new games running on Linux -- including new titles like Cyberpunk 2077. Thanks to Valve's backing, DXVK and VKD3D-Proton also continued maturing excellently for Direct3D atop Vulkan.

So while Steam on Linux still struggles for a 1% marketshare, Valve continues investing a lot into the Linux scene and with areas like the Vulkan driver work benefit the Linux desktop at large. It will be interesting to see in 2021 what more Valve will do and whether we will see the reintroduction yet of SteamOS or Steam Machines.

Here's a look back at the most popular Valve/Steam-related articles on Phoronix for 2020:

Valve Is Working On Another Extension To Help In Direct3D-Over-Vulkan
Valve's open-source developers responsible for DXVK and VKD3D-Proton are working on a new Vulkan extension to help in their porting/layering effort of Direct3D on top of the Vulkan API.

Valve's Proton 4.11-12 Released With DXVK 1.5.1, Updated SDKs
The Wine-downstream Proton that powers Valve's Steam Play is up to version 4.11-12 following a release today by a CodeWeavers developer.

Cyberpunk 2077 Can Run On Linux With Steam Play's Proton 5.13-4
The highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 game will run on Linux on launch day by means of Steam Play!

Steam For Linux Beta Finally Fixes Post-Login Annoyance
Valve has finally fixed an annoying bit about logging into the Steam client from the Linux desktop in recent months.

Valve's ACO Shader Compiler Back-End For Radeon Vulkan Is Now In Good Shape For GCN 1.0
As last minute material for Mesa 20.0 is making Valve's "ACO" AMD compiler back-end for the RADV Vulkan driver in better shape for GFX6/GCN1.0 graphics hardware.

Proton 5.0-1 Released As Valve's Basis For Steam Play Now On Wine 5.0, Latest DXVK
Valve has just released Proton 5.0-1 as a big upgrade to their Wine downstream that powers Steam Play for running Windows games on Linux under Steam.

Steam Play's Proton 5.0-3 Released With Support For Metro Exodus Direct3D 12 Mode
CodeWeavers working under contract for Valve on their Wine downstream Proton is out with a new update to their Proton 5.0 series.

Valve's ACO Helps The Radeon RX 5600 XT Compete With NVIDIA's RTX 2060
As shown yesterday the new video BIOS of the Radeon RX 5600 XT paired with the corrected SMC firmware on Linux yields impressive performance improvements that -- similar to Windows -- allows the card to compete better with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060. For Linux users, activating the Valve-funded ACO compiler back-end for the Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver helps turn up the competition even more.

Valve's Half-Life: Alyx Released - Linux Build Still Coming
Valve today released their Half-Life: Alyx virtual reality first-person shooter game and built atop their Source 2 engine.

Futex2 Proposed In Latest Effort For Linux Kernel Optimization That Can Benefit Gamers
Last year Valve in cooperation with consulting firm Collabora published their work on extending the futex system call for more optimal thread pool synchronization with a means of waiting on any of several futexes. This kernel-level work paired with patched user-space for Wine/Proton allows better matching behavior on Windows. It's been months since hearing anything on Valve's futex effort while today a futex2 system call was published for discussion.

Proton 5.0-2 Released To Fix Crashes For Steam Play Linux Gamers
Proton 5.0-2 is out with fixes over last week's big Proton 5.0-1 release that brought many features to this Wine 5.0 downstream focused on powering Valve's Steam Play for running Windows games nicely on Linux.

Steam Survey Updated For February 2020 With Latest Linux Figures
After hitting 0.9% in January for the Steam on Linux marketshare that was a high for at least the past year, the Linux gaming percentage dropped slightly for February.

Half-Life: Alyx Update Adds Native Linux Support, Vulkan Rendering
On launch-day Valve had Half-Life: Alyx running on Linux via Steam Play while with the VR game's latest update is now a Linux-native build and Vulkan rendering support.

Steam Play's Proton 5.0-6 Released With DOOM Eternal Fix, Other Game Improvements
Following the Proton 5.0-6 release candidate from earlier this month that brought out-of-the-box support for DOOM Eternal under Linux, Valve today promoted Proton 5.0-6 to being officially available.

Steam Survey Points To Tiny Uptick In Linux Percentage For March
With Steam and other online gaming platforms seeing record usage in recent weeks as a result of home isolation around the world as a result of the coronavirus, one of the matters of curiosity has been how this will impact the Linux gaming percentage.

Proton 5.0-4 Released With DXVK 1.5.5, Denuvo Fixes, Performance Work
Proton 5.0-4 is out as Valve's Wine-based layer for running Windows games on Linux via Steam Play.

Steam Kicks Off 2020 With Linux Gaming At The Highest Point In A While
Valve has just reported their January 2020 numbers from the controversial Steam Survey.

Valve Updates Steam Survey Data For April With A Slight Linux Increase
Valve has published their Steam Survey results for April, which is the first full month where the US and still much of the world has been in lockdown over the coronavirus, and thus interesting to see how it has impacted the gamer metrics.

RADV Lands AMD GCN 1.0/1.1 Fix For DOOM Eternal On Linux Under Steam Play
Doom Eternal was released this week by id Software as their first game atop the Vulkan-focused id Tech 7 engine. While it's another id Software game not seeing a native Linux port, with some tweaking the game can run under Steam Play / Proton. And now Mesa's RADV Vulkan driver has landed a fix for AMD GCN 1.0/1.1 era GPUs with a fix allowing those older graphics cards to handle this latest Doom title.

Proton 5.0-7 Released With New Game Support, Updated VKD3D/DXVK
Following the Proton 5.0-7 release candidate from a few days ago, this critical part of Valve's Steam Play is now available for weekend gamers.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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