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The day I'm sure many have been waiting for, and just as many probably thought it wouldn't happen. Linux has finally hit 1% again on the Steam Hardware Survey.

Not the first time, in fact years ago when Steam for Linux was pretty fresh we actually saw it remain over 1% for a while. That didn't last long though, and it's been bouncing around at sub 1% for multiple years now as we've been showing on our dedicated Steam Tracker.

Want to see what systems our readers are running? Check out our statistics page.

If we take how many monthly active users Steam has which Valve reported at over 120 million at the start of this year, that would give us an estimated 1,204,000 monthly active Linux users on Steam.

The question in my mind is: why are we seeing a sudden surge? Starting in April 2021 it started to gradually slowly move upwards but now it's a much more pronounced jump. Perhaps this is as a result of the Steam Deck announcement? It certainly wouldn't be surprising to see more people try out Linux as a result of it so they know a bit more about what to expect.

What do you think has caused the recent up-tick in users? Let us know in the comments.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
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78 comments
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Eike 2 Aug
Quoting: PhiladelphusI wonder how long ago it was that there were just 1,204,000 total people playing video games of any sort.

Seventies.
barotto 2 Aug
funny how when linux numbers are bad steam stats are considered unreliable, when good they become suddenly correct.

don't look too much into these numbers.
I actually got 2 steam surveys yesterday, so I assume I'm the one that kicked it over 1 percent.

Seriously, though, I did wonder if they might be intentionally trying to show larger Linux numbers.
flesk 2 Aug
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QuoteThe question in my mind is: why are we seeing a sudden surge?

It's because I've started gaming a bit again, after a long hiatus.
Eike 2 Aug
Quoting: flesk
QuoteThe question in my mind is: why are we seeing a sudden surge?

It's because I've started gaming a bit again, after a long hiatus.

Welcome back! ;)
Adrianodl 2 Aug
This 1% of users with Linux distros is a very feasible number, we're talking about 1.2 million users around the globe.
Considering how much people are talking about the use of a Linux desktop, it's not a big surprise seeing those numbers rise and of course with the 'media' boost from the announcement of Steam Deck, much more people are willing to try (maybe again) some distro.
And also some vendors now ship their PCs with Linux preinstalled and some good distros this time like PopOS.
Hori 2 Aug
I've seen a lot of people in LTT video comments, and Gamers Nexus poll comments, considering switching to Linux mostly due to the Win11 fiasco and the Deck making it known that Proton is a thing and it can already play most games and that soon the rest of the gap will be closed almost entirely.

It certainly is a good time to grow right now, but let's see if the people who try it will actually stay.


Last edited by Hori on 2 August 2021 at 12:24 pm UTC
Lachu 2 Aug
I think Proton is the reason!

Valve announcement it release new Proton with Steam Deck. The new version should be able to Play any newer Windows game.

I think the jump could be to early. Windows users will download Steam, Proton and tell: My game did not work. I will be happier if the jump was after releasing this version of proton (which should support any Windows games).

EDIT:
never -> newer


Last edited by Lachu on 3 August 2021 at 12:33 pm UTC
Dan_igrok 2 Aug
I wonder how those results are computed. Are these based on total connected users every day? Are they based on a sample of users? On all users at one particular moment?

Many factors could explain the "up-and-down" pattern shown on the graph.

One possible explanation could be that many Linux users aren't hardcore gamers and don't connect to Steam all the time, which could explain the pattern. If we have a small sample of users, then the amount of Linux users fluctuate more.
CatKiller 2 Aug
Quoting: Dan_igrokI wonder how those results are computed. Are these based on total connected users every day? Are they based on a sample of users? On all users at one particular moment?
A window pops up asking if you'd like to take part in the survey. If you say yes, it collects up some information about your computer and sends it to Valve.
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