Nvidia today announced at Computex 2021 that it’s partnered with Valve to bring its Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) graphics tech to Linux via Steam Proton. Now people who game on Linux systems should be able to put their Nvidia graphics cards—including the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti—to even better use.
DLSS is Nvidia’s solution to the problem of improving a game’s performance without having to compromise too much on presentation. The first version of the technology debuted in September 2018; the second version was released in March 2020. Both versions were limited to RTX graphics cards used to play games on Windows.
That’s about to change. Nvidia said in a press release that it, Valve, and “the Linux gaming community are collaborating to bring NVIDIA DLSS to Proton – Linux gamers will be able to use the dedicated AI cores on GeForce RTX GPUs to boost frame rates for their favorite Windows Games running on the Linux operating system.”
Proton is Valve’s open-source tool “for use with the Steam client which allows games which are exclusive to Windows to run on the Linux operating system,” as it’s described on GitHub, with some assistance from the Wine utility that Linux users have relied on to run Windows programs since its debut in 1993.
Valve said that Proton is built in to the Linux Steam Client Beta; the open-source project is meant to give “advanced users” more control over their experience. Presumably, the upcoming DLSS support will be part of the core Linux Steam Client Beta, but it could also be implemented as an optional feature, at least to start.
Nvidia didn’t offer many other details about its partnership with Valve or to whom it was referring when it said “the Linux gaming community.” But it did make it clear that Linux gamers won’t have to wait long for DLSS: “Support for Vulkan titles is coming this month,” the company said, “with DirectX support coming in the Fall.”
The continued expansion of DLSS arrived shortly after AMD announced that its FidelityFX Super Resolution technology, which promises similar features but will be available on many hardware platforms, will be available on June 22. At least now Nvidia can say that DLSS will be available on multiple operating systems, right?