I'd like to launch a proton app installed via steam but without using steam.

the point being I can make my own command-line launcher and pass parameters etc...

since I'm entirely new to this I don't know by which horn to grab the bull.

will I be able to course through steam's lib or will I be forced to install my own separate version of proton?

Here's the system info steam gathered of my system :

Computer Information:
    Manufacturer:  Unknown
    Model:  Unknown
    Form Factor: Desktop
    No Touch Input Detected

Processor Information:
    CPU Vendor:  GenuineIntel
    CPU Brand:         Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3930K CPU @ 3.20GHz
    CPU Family:  0x6
    CPU Model:  0x2d
    CPU Stepping:  0x7
    CPU Type:  0x0
    Speed:  3800 Mhz
    12 logical processors
    6 physical processors
    HyperThreading:  Supported
    FCMOV:  Supported
    SSE2:  Supported
    SSE3:  Supported
    SSSE3:  Supported
    SSE4a:  Unsupported
    SSE41:  Supported
    SSE42:  Supported
    AES:  Supported
    AVX:  Supported
    CMPXCHG16B:  Supported
    LAHF/SAHF:  Supported
    PrefetchW:  Unsupported

Operating System Version:
    Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (64 bit)
    Kernel Name:  Linux
    Kernel Version:  4.15.0-33-generic
    X Server Vendor:  The X.Org Foundation
    X Server Release:  11906000
    X Window Manager:  GNOME Shell
    Steam Runtime Version:  steam-runtime-beta-release_2018-06-14

Video Card:
    Driver:  NVIDIA Corporation GeForce GTX 760/PCIe/SSE2
    Driver Version:  4.6.0 NVIDIA 390.48
    OpenGL Version: 4.6
    Desktop Color Depth: 24 bits per pixel
    Monitor Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
    VendorID:  0x10de
    DeviceID:  0x1187
    Revision Not Detected
    Number of Monitors:  2
    Number of Logical Video Cards:  1
    Primary Display Resolution:  1920 x 1080
    Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Primary Display Size: 20.04" x 11.26" (22.95" diag)
                                            50.9cm x 28.6cm (58.3cm diag)
    Primary Bus: PCI Express 16x
    Primary VRAM: 2048 MB
    Supported MSAA Modes:  2x 4x 8x 16x 

Sound card:
    Audio device: Realtek ALC898

    RAM:  15988 Mb

    UI Language:  English
    LANG:  en_US.UTF-8
    Total Hard Disk Space Available:  491396 Mb
    Largest Free Hard Disk Block:  250110 Mb
    VR Headset: None detected

Recent Failure Reports:

The specific game I'm trying to run is Supreme Commander Forged Alliance and it runs fine via steam.

I don't know why people have been giving it garbage steam play reports on the steam play compatibility site but personally; it runs perfectly:


all I have to do is press alt-F4 two times and wait a lot to trick the main menu into showing up and past the main menu there are no bugs at all the in-game experience is fluid and stable.

but yeah, that game's entire online community is on FAF not on steam, both FAF python and FAF java run naively on Linux nowadays for the final key is getting java-FAF to make the correct proton calls to Forged Alliance for the game to fully work :)

Guide to get to where I'm at :

To install FAF :

cd /faf

and run FAF :




now you should have FAF started. If you do not have an account you may create one.

after this, you can go into FAF's settings and there you can configure run folder and run arguments for FA.

Update :

I've since made a guide for how to set up FAF : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv3ZXA4FNFk

  • If you just want to pass parameters, you can use Steam's built-in option: right click your game > Properties > Set launch options Sep 15, 2018 at 1:13
  • no the point is specifically to not have steam running and launch the game with parameters
    – tatsu
    Sep 16, 2018 at 10:45
  • I mean it doesn't matter if steam is running but FAF isn't built to communicate with steam which would then pass the params to Forged Alliance, FAF is only built to communicate with Forged Alliance directly.
    – tatsu
    Sep 16, 2018 at 10:46
  • Could you please post text files, dialogue messages, and program output listings as text, not as images? To achieve the latter two you can either 1) select, copy & paste the dialogue text or terminal content or 2) save the program output to a file and use that. Longer listings (the editor will tell you what’s too long) should be uploaded to a pastie service and linked to in the question. Thanks. Sep 17, 2018 at 10:04
  • I did that; I feel that without the pictures it's much less clear what's happening and there is no text to be googled, google will just redirect you to @simplegamer 's answer because that's where it's written. have you got any ideas for this issue? I feel I'm really close and am just missing params.
    – tatsu
    Sep 18, 2018 at 5:14

2 Answers 2


Proton/SteamPlay's wine is located in ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton*

Your game's wineprefix is located in ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/$appid/pfx, you can find the $appid in ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/$your-game/steam_appid.txt (to use it, set the WINEPREFIX environment variable to that path)

Edit: Your game files are located in ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/$your-game

To run a *.exe file with Proton you can use the following commands:

Change working directory to Proton's:

cd ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Proton*

Run the executable, for example:

STEAM_COMPAT_DATA_PATH="$HOME/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/$appid" ./proton run dist/lib/wine/fakedlls/cmd.exe
  • but that means I'm coursing through my own installation of wine, not steam's, and wine is notoriously broken (in the case of FA in particular) on ubuntu 18.04.1. is there a trick to getting the same exact wine setup as steam, or would it be possible to path to steam's wine executable first then with args tell that to run my FA?
    – tatsu
    Sep 13, 2018 at 7:18
  • oh is that what WINEPREFIXing to that directory would accomplish? I'll try this
    – tatsu
    Sep 13, 2018 at 7:22
  • I found the folder and the corresponding app id but that folder is devoid of any actual game files. I don't understand how I would run the game. the app id is 9420 in this case.
    – tatsu
    Sep 13, 2018 at 19:06
  • 1
    Game files (Proton and native) are located in /home/gabriel/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/, see edit Sep 15, 2018 at 1:03
  • hey thanks for your help so far : I'm not having any success, please look at the picture I attached to my post. would you mind a stack overflow chat?
    – tatsu
    Sep 16, 2018 at 10:58

You need to create ~/.proton. It can be any directory and can be empty.

On the command-line you can use:

mkdir ~/.proton
  • ./something points to the file "something" and runs it, in the command above ./proton is not a directory it's a runnable file. you can tell because of the ./ and also because we immediately pass it run as an argument and a file to run as second argument. the file proton exists if it didn't, running the command wouldn't open up a window and we wouldn't drop out of that command upon closing that without any output in terminal, instead, terminal would tell us : "file or directory "proton" does not exist."
    – tatsu
    Sep 19, 2018 at 9:26
  • 1
    @tatsu: Please read again. It’s ~/.proton, not ./proton, and both are simply path names that can refer to any file object, whether they’re regular (and possible executable) files or directories. It just so happens that your command-line interpreter interprets the first "token" of each instruction as a command name which may come in the form of a path to an executable file. Sep 19, 2018 at 19:41
  • I added concrete instructions how to create the directory mentioned in the answer. Sep 19, 2018 at 19:42
  • oh my bad. Ok. and this would fix the error and correctly run the game? why?
    – tatsu
    Sep 20, 2018 at 7:13
  • @tatsu did it worked or you want to know how or why it will work? Sep 20, 2018 at 9:32

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