I found that it's possible to trick Steam into downloading by manually creating appmanifest files.
When Steam starts up, it loads appmanifest files from ~/.steam/steam/SteamApps, which contain app meta-data. If the variable StateFlags is set to 1026, Steam starts updating (downloading) it regardless of platform. It is possible to create a custom appmanifest file with only the variables AppID, Universe and StateFlags, and let Steam handle the rest.
I explain this in more detail on github. I also wrote a python script which does most of the work for you.
Edit: I should point out that this doesn't let you actually play non-Linux games on Linux.
The use case for this is if you have a DRM-free game or you only need the data-files to play (like Doom or Quake).
Thank you, worked perfectly for getting the pak files for Doom3.
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