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How to play The Witness on Linux

The Witness is a 2016 puzzle-exploration game developed and published by Thekla Inc. In the game, the player explores an open island and solves puzzles hidden in the environment. Here’s how to play it on your Linux computer.

Getting The Witness working on Linux

The Witness is an excellent game, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work on Linux natively. So, if you want to play it, you’ll need to use Proton in the Linux release of Steam.

Install Steam

Sadly, Steam isn’t pre-installed on many Linux operating systems, so we must demonstrate how to get it working. Open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard to start the installation. Or, search for “Terminal” in the app menu and run it that way.

With the terminal window open and ready to use, the Steam setup can begin. Follow the installation instructions down below that correspond with the Linux OS you currently use.


Steam is included in the official Ubuntu repos. So to get it working, you’ll only have to execute the apt install command down below.

sudo apt install steam


Those using Debian will need to manually download the Steam DEB package from the official Steam website. To get your hands on the Steam DEB package, use the wget download command below.

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

After downloading the Steam DEB package to your computer, the installation of Steam is ready to begin on Debian. Using the dpkg command down below, set up the Steam package.

sudo dpkg -i steam.deb

Once the Steam DEB package is installed on your Debian PC, you’ll need to correct any dependency issues that may have occurred during the installation process. Using the apt-get install command down below, fix the problems.

sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

Steam is available to all Arch Linux users via the “multilib” software repository. Sadly, the “multilib” software repo isn’t enabled by default. To set it up, open up the /etc/pacman.conf file in your favorite text editor (as root).

With the text file open in a text editor (as root), locate the “multilib” section and remove the # symbol from in front of it, as well as from the lines directly below.

Once you’ve edited the text file, save it and close it. Then, use the pacman command down below to sync Arch Linux with the official repos.

sudo pacman -Syy

Finally, install the latest release of Steam on Arch with the pacman command.

sudo pacman -S steam


Steam works on both Fedora and OpenSUSE from software repositories included out of the box. However, Steam works much better on these operating systems if you install the Flatpak release, so we suggest following those instructions instead.


With the Flatpak runtime configured, enable the Flathub app store on your computer with the flatpak remote-add command. Then, install the Steam app using the flatpak install command.
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

Install The Witness on Linux

With Steam installed, open up the app and log into your account using your password. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions down below to get The Witness working on Linux.

Step 1: Open up the “Steam” menu, and click on the “Settings” button to access the Steam settings area. Then, locate the “Steam Play” section, and click on it with the mouse.

Inside of the Steam Play area, check both the “Enable Steam Play for supported titles” box and the “Enable Steam Play for all other titles” box. Click on the “OK” button to apply the changes to Steam.

Step 2: Find the “Store” button inside of the Steam app and click on it with the mouse to go to the Steam Storefront. Once on the Steam Store, click on the search box, type in “The Witness,” and press the Enter key to view the search results.

Look through the search results for “The Witness” and select it to access the game’s Steam Storefront page.

Step 3: Once on The Witness’s Steam Storefront page, find the green “Add to cart” button and click on it with the mouse to add the game to your Steam cart. Then, click on the Steam cart icon to purchase The Witness for your Steam account.

Step 4: After purchasing The Witness, click on the “Library” button to access your Steam library. Then, search for “The Witness” and select it. Click on the blue “INSTALL” button to download and install the game on your Linux computer.

Step 5: When the download process is complete, the blue “INSTALL” button will turn into a green “PLAY” button. Select this play button to start up The Witness on your computer.

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