Playing DayZ on Arch Linux

Penguins versus zombies!

Playing DayZ on Arch Linux
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In the post-apocalyptic world of DayZ , you must fight off the infected, other players, wild animals and even the environment in order to survive. The landscape is overrun, and you must learn to scavenge and manage your resources wisely, or you will perish. You’ll encounter other players as you adventure across the land, but will you choose to kill or team up with strangers in order to survive?

DayZ (AKA DayZ Standalone) is a multiplayer third-person open-world zombie survival game created for Windows by Bohemia Interactive. It’s been called the spiritual successor to the DayZ (mod) , which was created by Dean Hall way back in 2010 for the tactical shooter game ARMA 2 and the expansion pack ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead .

Play DayZ on Linux

DayZ is a “Windows only” game, meaning there is no native port of DayZ for Linux from the publisher. However, thanks to Steam and its Proton compatibility software, we can run it. DayZ is rated as “Gold” on protondb and claims to run perfectly after a few tweaks.

For this guide I’m using Arch Linux, though, the same steps should translate to most Linux distributions. Just ensure to have Steam, Proton and the BattlEye Runtime installed and enabled first.

Step 1: Install Steam

First, you need to ensure you have Steam installed.

Open a terminal and enter:

sudo pacman -S steam

Step 2: Enable Steam Play

After launching Steam, open the Steam > Settings menu. Select the “Steam Play” tab and ensure that “Enable Steam Play for supported titles” and “Enable Steam Play for all other titles” are ticked. Then, under the drop-down list, select “Proton Experimental” and press “Ok”

Enable Steam Play in Settings

Enable Steam Play in Settings

📝 You may need to restart Steam in order for Steam Play to install correctly.

Step 3: Enable Proton for DayZ

You can now download and install DayZ, however, before you can run the game on Linux, you must enable Proton for it. To do this, right-click on the DayZ game in your library and select Properties.

Select game Properties.

Select game Properties.

In the Compatibility section, tick the box that says “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool” and in the drop-down list select Proton Experimental and close the window.

Select Proton Experimental

Select Proton Experimental

Step 4: Install BattlEye Runtime

Since this game uses the Battleye anti-cheat software for many of the servers you will be playing on, ensure you have the “Steam Battleye Runtime” installed on Steam.

In the game library search string in the left column enter: proton and select Proton BattlEye Runtime and press the Install button if it’s not already installed.

Select Proton BattlEye Runtime and install it.

Select Proton BattlEye Runtime and install it.

Step 5: Fix Loading Screen Crash

Even with Steam and BattlEye installed, the game will still crash to desktop after trying to load. Therefore, you need to do the following each time you wish to play it .

Open a terminal and enter:

sudo sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=1048576

You should see this output in the terminal after entering your user password:

vm.max_map_count = 1048576

You should now be able to launch the game. Select the DayZ Client, press play and you should now get past the annoying loading screen crash and be able to play as normal.

Press play on Run Dayz Client.

Press play on Run Dayz Client.

Apply Setting Permanently

If you want to apply this setting permanently, then you will need edit the following file:

sudoedit /etc/sysctl.d/99-sysctl.conf

On a new line enter:


Save the file and then run:

sudo sysctl --system

The new settings should apply automatically after each reboot of the system.