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How to play Grand Theft Auto 4 on Linux

Grand Theft Auto 4 is a game developed by Rockstar Games. It was released in 2009 to critical acclaim and centers around a Serbian immigrant by the name of Niko Bellic as he makes his way through organized crime.

Grand Theft Auto 4 (or GTA 4 as it is referred to) works on Linux, though it takes some tinkering to get it run perfectly. If you love the Grand Theft Auto franchise and you’re a fan of GTA 4, you’ll love this guide. Follow along to learn all about how to get the game working on your Linux system!

Note: Grand Theft Auto 4 is no longer purchasable in the Steam Store. If you want to get GTA 4 working on Linux via Steam, you must already own the game and have it in your library.

Setting up GTA 4

Getting GTA 4 working through Steam Play is possible, though some users on ProtonDB have reported issues. Suffice it to say it will not work 100% of the time, but it is still worth trying, especially since Steam Play is the easiest to configure compared to traditional Wine. To start setting up GTA 4 with Steam Play, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: The first step in getting GTA 4 working on Linux is to install the Steam client. Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, enter the commands below that correspond with the Linux OS you use.


sudo apt install steam


wget https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steam.deb

sudo dpkg -i steam.deb

sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S steam


On Fedora, get Steam through the Flatpak app store.


OpenSUSE users should follow the Flatpak Steam installation instructions for the easiest way to get the app working.


To get Steam working via Flatpak, ensure that the Flatpak runtime is set up on your Linux PC. Then, use the commands below to get Steam up and running.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

Step 2: After installing the Steam app on your Linux PC, log into your Steam account by using the login dialog box that pops up on the screen.

Step 3: Once logged in, find the “Settings” area for Steam and enable the “Steam Play” feature. Be sure to enable the option to allow Steam Play for all titles, as GTA 4 does not work without this setting turned on.

Having issues setting up Steam Play on your Linux PC? Follow this guide here.

Step 4: Locate the “Library” button in Steam, and click on it. Then, find the search box and type “Grand Theft Auto 4” in the box to find GTA 4.

Step 5: Select GTA 4 in the search results, then click on the blue “Install” button to begin downloading the game to your Linux PC. Keep in mind that GTA 4 is a 13 GB game, so it may take some time to complete. Be patient!

Step 6: When GTA 4 is done downloading to your Linux PC, right-click on it in the left-hand side-bar, and select “Properties” in the right-click menu. From there, find the “LOCAL FILES” tab, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 7: In the “LOCAL FILES” tab, click the “BROWSE LOCAL FILES…” button to access the game files on your Linux PC with the file manager.

Step 8: Download the xlive.dll file from Archive.org. Xlive.dll is a modification for GTA 4 that disables Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live, a service that is now broken and prevents GTA 4 from running when enabled.

The xlive.dll file should be in the same directory as GTAIV.exe and LaunchGTAIV.exe.

Step 9: Find the green “Play” button in Steam and launch the game. Keep in mind that when you press the “Play” button, Steam will attempt to install several Windows components so that GTA 4 runs correctly. During this process, press “CANCEL” on the Windows Live ID installer, and the Games for Windows Live installer.

Note: If you do not press “CANCEL” on the Windows Live installer to prevent Steam from installing the broken Games for Windows Live, you will need to repeat Step 8 and re-install xlive.dll.

After clicking the green “Play” button, a pop-up will appear. Select “Play” to start the game.

Note: if GTA 4 does not launch, go to properties, check the box next to “Force the use of specific Steam Play compatibility tool,” and select Proton 4.11, and it should let you run it.

Step 10: Let the game run for a minute. Then, after a minute has passed and everything looks good, click on the “Start” button to start a new game.


Thanks to the latest Proton in Steam Play, GTA 4 should run very smoothly with no tweaking to the graphics. However, if you run into some serious issues getting this game to work well, your best bet is to check into Protondb.com. It is a website where users discuss various games that work on Steam Play/Proton. You can use Protondb.com to troubleshoot and fix any issues with running GTA 4 on Linux.

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