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Use DNG PE to build a profile whose base curve is Linear (do not add any custom curve points to the curve pane). Export the profile.
In Camera Raw, use the default settings, then set Blacks to 0 (instead of 5).
The result is linear.
(Your issue from your description is that you're setting Linear in DNG PE and then also setting linear in point curve in CR. That's not correct.)
As you say, the final result saved/opened from CR will be gamma-encoded but that is easy to undo.
OK, so you're saying that if you use a linear base curve in DNG PE, then selecting the "medium contrast" point contrast curve (the default) in ACR will result in a linear output file? So, the "medium contrast" is really passing through the unmodified base tone curve whereas "linear" is really lower contrast than the base curve?
I just tried this and it does indeed seem to work correctly with some slight deviation near the extremes, but that may be due to how dcRaw vs. ACR does the demosaicing.
Yes, Brent. CR/LR's controls are setup so that, at default values (with the exception of Blacks, mentioned above), they will give you exactly what the profile describes.