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How to play Grand Theft Auto 5 on Linux

It is now possible to play Grand Theft Auto 5 singleplayer, as well as the GTA: Online component on Linux, thanks to Valve’s Steam Play and Proton technologies. In this guide, we’ll show you precisely what to do to make it work. Let’s get started!

Enabling Steam Play on Linux

The first thing to do to get Grand Theft Auto 5 working on your Linux PC is to log into Steam and enable the “Steam Play” feature. This feature makes it possible to render Direct X graphical calls and execute windows code on Linux, so this step is critical. To enable Steam Play on your Linux PC, follow this guide here. Be sure to enable it for all titles, or GTA 5 will not work!

Installing Custom Proton

Grand Theft Auto 5 does work on Linux with Steam Play and Proton; however, none of the default Proton files included with Steam Play will run the game correctly. Instead, you must install a custom build of Proton that fixes the many issues with the game.

Installing a custom version of Proton on Steam for Linux is relatively easy, thanks to Valve’s support for custom builds. To start, open up a terminal window and use the wget command to download Proton-4.21-GE-2 to your computer.

cd /tmp
wget https://github.com/GloriousEggroll/proton-ge-custom/releases/download/4.21-GE-2/Proton-4.21-GE-2.tar.gz

After the custom Proton build is done downloading to your /tmp folder, it is time to install it on the system. Using the mkdir command, create the ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/ directory in your home folder.

mkdir -p ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/

Or, if you’re using the Flatpak version of Steam, use this command instead.

mkdir -p ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

Next, extract the contents of Proton-4.21-GE-2.tar.gz to the compatibilitytools.d directory with the tar command.

tar xvf Proton-4.21-GE-2.tar.gz -C ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/

Or, for the Flatpak version of Steam:

tar xvf Proton-4.21-GE-2.tar.gz -C ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

Once the files are extracted, you can verify that the custom Proton files are in the correct directory by running the ls command on the compatibilitytools.d directory.

ls ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/

Or, for Flatpak.

ls ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

Assuming running the ls command in the compatibilitytools.d directory shows Proton-4.21-GE-2 , the installation is successful. Move on to the next section of the guide.

Installing GTA 5 in Linux

Now that the custom build of Proton is set up on your Linux PC, we can get down to installing GTA 5 on Linux. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Find “Store” in Steam, and click on it to access the Steam Store.

Step 2: On the Steam Store page, locate the search box, and click on it with the mouse. Then, write in “Grand Theft Auto 5.”

Step 3: Click on “Grand Theft Auto 5” in the search results to go to its Store page. Then, purchase the game.

Step 4: After purchasing GTA 5 from Steam, find the “Library” tab, and click on it with the mouse to find your Steam games library.

Step 5: Look through your Steam game library for GTA 5, and install it to your Linux PC.

Let GTA 5 download and install it on your Linux system. When the downloading process is complete, move on to the next section of the guide.

Configuring GTA 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 is now installed on your Linux PC. The next step in the process is to set it so that it correctly runs. To start, find “Grand Theft Auto 5” in the Library list on the left-side of Steam and right-click on it.

After right-clicking on “Grand Theft Auto 5” in the Library list, find “Properties” in the right-click menu. Then, select the “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool” option by checking the box next to it.

Once the “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool” box is checked, a drop-down menu will appear. Select the drop-down menu, and set it to “Proton-4.21-GE-2”.

Following setting GTA 5 to Proton-4.21-GE-2, locate the “Set Launch Options” button, and click it with the mouse to access the custom command box. Then, inside of the custom command box in Steam, paste the code below. It will fix the GTA: Online crashes that occur on Linux.

WINEDLLOVERRIDES=winedbg.exe=d %command%

When you’ve added in the launch options, find the “Close” button, and click it. The custom launch command will automatically apply to the game.

Playing GTA 5

Since the custom version of Proton is configured to run with GTA 5 on your Linux PC, and the custom launch options are taken care of, it’s time to play GTA 5.

Go back to the “Library” section of Steam, and find “Grand Theft Auto 5” in the list on the left. Then, click on it with the mouse to access its game page in “Library.”

On the GTA 5 game page, find the green “PLAY” button, and click on it with the mouse to launch the game. Keep in mind that the first time you start it, things may take a bit time, as Steam needs to configure Steam Play with the game.


  1. Appreciate the guide, but.. that version of Proton is super outdated and doesn’t seem to work anymore. Error windows pop up requiring the user to install Rockstar’s launcher now (which is obviously only windows compatible). :/

    • That’s correct despite what the moderator might say. Steam sucks because their updates sucks. It’s a fallacy to think you can play games out of their native environment. Steam has proven that to me forever. GTA 5 stopped working early in 2021. They refuse to fix it despite what damn version of Proton you might use. If you don’t use Windows, your gaming life is miserable and always will be. Simple as that.

  2. I did every step you listed in the website. But still i got stuck on the launching window, where a small ‘R’ with a star appear in the middle.

    So should i update the proton version or what?

  3. Thanks, this is very helpful. But my problem is that the correct version of proton doesn’t show in the properties menu. What have I done wrong?

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