Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.

The Linux market share still appears to be rising

By - | Views: 20,075

Looking at multiple places, it appears like the Linux desktop has been on something of a roll lately with the market share starting to trend upwards. As always with any kind of statistics gathering, you need a pinch of salt.

On the NetMarketShare website, the Linux share as we reported last month suddenly had an upwards surge from 1.36% to 2.87%. You could easily write it off once but here we are again and the Linux share has risen up to 3.17%. Even on their stats, it rising twice in a row is quite rare and never usually this much either. Looking into their stats further, it appears Ubuntu is the clear winner and what's pushing it going from 0.27% in March up to 2.11% in May.

It's somewhat backed up by Steam's statistics too, when you look at their monthly hardware survey. The Linux user share on there has risen now three months in a row which we keep an eye on with our Steam Tracker, and the trend there is pretty darn clear. Currently Linux is sat on 0.91% according to Valve's Steam survey.

We can speculate as much as we like as to why but we may never really know what's going on. More people at home, more people using Linux in the home than the old Windows machines at the office? Could be any mixture of things but it's still interesting to see.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Misc
50 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
57 comments
Page: «5/6»
  Go to:

The thing which gives me hope every time I see Linux marketshare go up, is the thought that more marketshare makes further growth even easier.

It's hard to gain marketshare when your platform has no organic third party support. But if you can achieve it, and bring users to your platform, then organic third party support will always follow. Developers and manufacturers of software and hardware always follow users. So if we get more users, we get more support.

At 0.91%, we're not exactly commanding a noticeable portion of the marketshare yet. But every little bit of growth means a bit more organic third party support. Which only makes it easier for more users to make the switch to Linux, as more of the stuff they want is already here.

It's really a feedback loop in both ways. No users means no developers. No developers means no users. The chicken and egg problem that has haunted Linux for years. But it goes the other way too, more users means more developers. More developers means more users.

I really feel like Wine/Proton has short circuited the chicken and egg problem. Which is the second thing which gives me hope. Proton is really only partially complete in a sense, it's missing what I consider to be more or less 'the final piece of the puzzle', ie; anticheat support.

It feels like we're getting closer to the point where something is going to happen on that front. When it does, that's going to make even more games playable on Linux that aren't currently. Which will just bring more users to Linux, even faster.

At some threshold, between where Linux is now, and where MacOS is today, is the level of threshold which makes a company decide to support an OS. Origin has a Windows and MacOS client, but no Linux. Same with Battle.net. Same with EGS. Same with GOG.

We're not far from that threshold, if we can keep getting steady rises, plus anticheat support, we could reach that threshold for at least one of those platforms, which will see even more gamers come to Linux as a result.

We just gotta keep pushing, keep improving the experience of gaming on Linux in every way possible and keep our eyes on whatever roadblocks exist that are keeping Windows gamers from making the switch, while ensuring those who do stick around. As long as we have a better retention rate than Windows, we'll keep gaining ground.
Ardje 3 Jun
Back around 2000-2005 we had several companies (Like Stichting Internet Reclame) in the Netherlands that denied the existence of people using Linux and firefox. None of their metrics showed the existence of these visitors.
They failed to mention that the way they measured was by installing snooping software on the windows systems of the volunteers. The bogus results of Stichting Internet Reclame and other companies destroyed the self hosting of advertisement servers and software, because they showed different results. This eventually has lead in the Netherlands to the intrusive ad networks we see today. Mass spread of virusses thanks to these
As a matter of fact: I am battling one right now, as a client even, because just serving a pixel to give feedback the ad has worked, actually redirects them to parties I've never heart of.
The original was a javascript that they called pixel. It basically downloads other javascripts from unknown sites, and runs that. On a simple GDPR compliant page, the page went to 60% marketing network and gross violation of GDPR, and to have an add run on their network is very expensive.
How did I get here ranting like that?
Oh yeah: I don't trust stats like that.
I never did. But at least you can twist the stats of NetmarketShare to something that supports what I want to see:
https://tinyurl.com/tv-operating-systems
There are apparently only 2 operating systems for TV's: Gnu/Linux and Linux/Android.
So my attempts to use the NetMarketShare yield some interesting results

If I use the dates from 2016-5 to 2018-4 then I get a total linux share of 2.16 %

But if I use the dates 2018-6 to 2020-5 then I get a total linux share of 2.09 %

So this means linux share is increasing ??
KohlyKohl 3 Jun
CatKiller
KohlyKohlI get the survey on Linux all the time. I'd say once every 3-4 months.

Do you reinstall or distro hop a lot? My understanding is that Steam is only supposed to ask at most once a year.

I switch every couple of years.
KuJo 3 Jun
Shmerl
KuJoIt depends on the browser used and from which sources it was installed.

Which means this method is pretty useless if not even misleading for analyzing distros data.
This is not useful for an accurate calculation. I agree with you.

But at least there are clues from which a extrapolation can be made. Especially in comparison to data from previous months.
randyl 3 Jun
View PC info
  • Supporter
Shmerl
KuJoIt depends on the browser used and from which sources it was installed.

Which means this method is pretty useless if not even misleading for analyzing distros data.
From an analytics perspective, I don't feel it is misleading at all. Misleading would tell something that isn't. It's incomplete, not misleading. Reasonable conclusions can be drawn from the data such as a minimum floor of specific users. For example we could know that 10% of all users are Linux based and of those at least 47% are Ubuntu based. That doesn't mean there aren't more, so the conclusion we can draw is that a FLOOR value of people use Ubuntu. We can't draw a conclusion that there are exactly 'X' number of users, but that fuzzy set is still useful. It can be added to other sets of data as a point of reference too.
Shmerl 3 Jun
randylFrom an analytics perspective, I don't feel it is misleading at all. Misleading would tell something that isn't. It's incomplete, not misleading. Reasonable conclusions can be drawn from the data such as a minimum floor of specific users. For example we could know that 10% of all users are Linux based and of those at least 47% are Ubuntu based. That doesn't mean there aren't more, so the conclusion we can draw is that a FLOOR value of people use Ubuntu. We can't draw a conclusion that there are exactly 'X' number of users, but that fuzzy set is still useful. It can be added to other sets of data as a point of reference too.

Sure, if you analyze it correctly, you can draw proper conclusions. Misleading means that it's easy to draw incorrect conclusions if you treat it as "look, Ubuntu must have this percentage". Which I easily can see happening.


Last edited by Shmerl on 3 June 2020 at 5:33 pm UTC
randyl 3 Jun
View PC info
  • Supporter
Shmerl
randylFrom an analytics perspective, I don't feel it is misleading at all. Misleading would tell something that isn't. It's incomplete, not misleading. Reasonable conclusions can be drawn from the data such as a minimum floor of specific users. For example we could know that 10% of all users are Linux based and of those at least 47% are Ubuntu based. That doesn't mean there aren't more, so the conclusion we can draw is that a FLOOR value of people use Ubuntu. We can't draw a conclusion that there are exactly 'X' number of users, but that fuzzy set is still useful. It can be added to other sets of data as a point of reference too.

Sure, if you analyze it correctly, you can draw proper conclusions. Misleading means that it's easy to draw incorrect conclusions if you treat it as "look, Ubuntu must have this percentage". Which I easily can see happening.
I can see that happening too, but most data can be misinterpreted if a user isn't trained or has an agenda. I do agree that presenting distro data too strongly could easily be misinterpreted. In context of the data collection being able to assert claims based on the distro data has some pretty strong limitations.
I hope it's people migrating from deceased windows 7


Last edited by BrazilianGamer on 3 June 2020 at 5:46 pm UTC
dude 3 Jun
The push of nature. No halt here
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams