Some months ago I tried using Ubuntu (18.04) as my gaming setup. There I used Steam and its compatibility layer Proton. It worked just fine.

Now, I am using Debian (12), because my gaming PCs sata controller has given up. I use the same graphics card (Nvidia GTX 1070 FE / Drivers nividia-driver 470.x). Also I am using a fresh Steam installation. But unfortunately, I can't get Proton running correctly.

I always have errors about DirectX (9, 10, 11). The most games will only start on using the PROTON_USE_WINED3D=1 var, but in some games this seems to be even slower than starting the games directly in Wine. Also I don't remember that I have ever needed this to get the games running on Ubuntu 18.04.

So what I have to do to get Proton on Debian running as on Ubuntu?

  • 2
    I would suggest asking this on unix.stackexchange.com Dec 29, 2021 at 12:24
  • Ubuntu and Debian are still very different animals despite similarities, so it may simply not be possible for your setup to be made to work properly without dev intervention.
    – l3l_aze
    Jan 3, 2022 at 10:39
  • 3
    Can you elaborate how you're running Proton? Are you enabling the compatibility layer through Steam settings, or running it independently?
    – Dr-Bracket
    Jan 4, 2022 at 5:48

1 Answer 1


I recently ran into this problem on MX-Linux, which is Debian based. If it's still relevant, I solved the problem by doing the following:

  1. Running sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
  2. Installing Steam sudo apt install steam
  3. Signing into Steam and going to settings and enabling the "Enable Steam Play for all other titles" option under Compatibility.
  4. Selecting my desired title, going to Properties, and enabling a compatible version of Proton (usually the latest).

I attempted to launch the title afterward, and it actually launched and was playable!

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