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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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BOYSSSSS 3 Aug
Quoting: PJconstant KDE Wallet nags
I don't know what nags you're talking about. Among all the times I've installed a distro with KDE I've only gotten it once and then I put on a password and that was it. If you're constantly getting notification just uninstall it.
Quoting: PJOMG, how did you get that impression? Because I've said I think ALL de-s are actually amazing, including GNOME? Since when not hating something became fanboyism :D ?
ok, but think about regular folks - for them it is serious tweaking. They wouldn't know where to find those settings.
You're the guy that's recommending GNOME for new people to Linux right? Or was I mistaken? Sorry if I was mistaken.
Quoting: PJKDE looks like someone puked rainbow on your screen, trying to make a windows clone with bad font choices and totally tangled settings and options.
Where did you get that impression from? I like the default settings and so do most people.
Quoting: PJWith Gnome you just install 2-3 extensions, tweak the same amount of settings (for example turn on extra window buttons) and install icon theme.
You think it's easier to make GNOME look like KDE than vice versa? Which do you think is harder, removing KWallet or putting the classical start menu and taskbar on GNOME for a newbie? (I haven't used GNOME since 3 was first released so there are probably other things a Windows user and I will hate about the DE)
BOYSSSSS 3 Aug
Quoting: PJWith Gnome you just install 2-3 extensions, tweak the same amount of settings (for example turn on extra window buttons) and install icon theme. With KDE you add a theme and spend quite a bit going through the settings then disable/tweak stuff that does not work so well

This is one of the biggest misconceptions the Linux community has that makes Linux very unfriendly to new users.
You think that it's easy for a newbie to search the whole internet (Linux wikis, forums etc.) for a command that will need to be put in the terminal to run something. And at the same time you think it's hard for anyone to find a button in System Settings or Launcher Menu.
It's the opposite! You even have a search bar to help you with finding things.
This is what annoyed me to no end when I first started using Linux. Every little thing needed a command. If there's a setting or GUI it's easy for me. I will find it and change it and I'll remember that the setting is there. But I can't remember every single command that is needed to change something that I may never use again. (That's why I have a txt file with all the commands I've ever needed to do in case I need them again)
And that's why Linux will always be unfriendly to newbies. The Linux community doesn't understand that simple fact and instead thinks too much settings are hard to remember.
>Oh NO! I need to remember where this setting in the interface is! That's too hard!
>If only I could install some packages, change some config files with root privileges and run some commands in the terminal after some googling.
Quoting: CatKillerThis is a fallacy, btw. If you're not into computers, you're only looking skin-deep. "This is the Internet, this is the app store, this is the update button" is all they need to know. Linux is the ideal grandmother OS. It's the Windows Power Users that have the hardest time; they're very familiar with the entrails of Windows and freak out about Linux' guts being different when they try to poke at them.
Mm, you have a point, and I don't disagree that Linux can be the perfect "grandmother OS", but if that grandmother has been using Windows I imagine she'd be more comfortable with a DE that looks similar, skin-wise, and doesn't require re-learning where the links to all those things are.
Eike 3 Aug
Quoting: BOYSSSSSThis is one of the biggest misconceptions the Linux community has that makes Linux very unfriendly to new users.
You think that it's easy for a newbie to search the whole internet (Linux wikis, forums etc.) for a command that will need to be put in the terminal to run something. And at the same time you think it's hard for anyone to find a button in System Settings or Launcher Menu.
It's the opposite! You even have a search bar to help you with finding things.

That's the biggest misconception Linux newbies have when getting help with Linux. We're not giving you text commands because we consider it easier (well, most of us). It's because text commands are way more compatible across distributions, desktop environments and such. They are easy to tell and easy to just copy and paste. The results are as well easy to show.
All that way more than
* find out what DE they are using
* find out how the GUI there would be working
* tell them where and what to click
* tell them again where and what to click because they did it all wrong
* try to understand their description of what didn't work
* etc.
Instead:
* give command
* read result

Everything is fine with GUIs, everything is fine with showing newbies GUIs when you're sitting next to them. But GUIs don't work well over net internet.


Last edited by Eike on 3 August 2021 at 1:11 pm UTC
scaine 3 Aug
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I really, really wish people would stop tearing down one thing in order to build up their personal preference for another thing.

By all means, sing the praises of the thing you love, but not at the expense of something else. ESPECIALLY when you know a lot of people already love that other thing. When you do this, all you do is look petty.

Quoting: BOYSSSSSAnd that's why Linux will always be unfriendly to newbies. The Linux community doesn't understand that simple fact and instead thinks too much settings are hard to remember.
I think you're probably under-estimating the modern Linux experience. Perhaps you could share some examples of what commands you need to remember? For myself, I do have one pet peeve, which is that pulseaudio doesn't revert to a sane default sound card, so I have to tell it which one to use... which does indeed need a text file edit. But that's only because I use a pretty complex PC that has an insane number of sound ouputs (PC, monitor, Blue Yeti mic (headphones on a mic!), BT headphones, DualSense PS5 controller and my Index). Probably won't affect a lot of folk.

Quoting: PJyes - and its backed by the OS. For example - on OSX you basically connect an audio device and you have low latency audio out of the box.
On Windows you need to add some special drivers. Oh, and have you tried it on Linux? Yes, in theory it is doable but you need to fiddle with JACK and preferably custom kernel. I doubt most of musicians would go with that - not because they're not capable to learn it, but because fiddling with systems is not their job.
Well, no, this isn't really true. Like you say, you should be backed the OS, right? So if you're a sound engineer or musician and want to use Linux, you make sure you install something like Ubuntu Studio, and then it just works out of the box. Sure, it would be nice if Linux was perfect for everything... but as we're discussing, no OS is perfect for everything. Far from it. But what's amazing is that Linux is shaping up to be the best candidate!

I used to say that I used Linux despite its various issues, so that I didn't have to use Windows. These days, Linux is a better choice (for me) in almost every aspect (okay, we still don't have anticheat, but hopefully that's coming now too!).

My experience right now is so far beyond what Windows or OSX could give me, I no longer have any realistic compromises to make. That's incredible, considering it's only been decade to get there.
Quoting: PJ
Quoting: Purple Library GuyWhat's annoying about Windows is mostly all the Xtra Proprietary-ness.
But you do realize that most of people do not care about that? We may, but most of the folks just want to get their job done.
Did you read my post beyond that point? I spent the next paragraphs itemizing all the annoyances in Windows, most of them flowing directly from the proprietary nature. People might not conceive of all the annoyances in Windows as coming from its proprietary nature, but they still experience them and find them annoying.

Quoting: PJ
Quoting: Purple Library GuySecond, there are two main reasons musicians, graphic designers etc. use OS X. The first is that it has an excellent software ecosystem for that kind of people
yes - and its backed by the OS. For example - on OSX you basically connect an audio device and you have low latency audio out of the box.
On Windows you need to add some special drivers. Oh, and have you tried it on Linux? Yes, in theory it is doable but you need to fiddle with JACK and preferably custom kernel. I doubt most of musicians would go with that - not because they're not capable to learn it, but because fiddling with systems is not their job.
That's what I think when I say "we should do better". We should offer better OS tools that would grant user better experience when they're trying to get their job done.
Sure, I'm perfectly willing to agree to that. So OK, rather than "two main reasons . . . neither of which is the UI" it's "three main reasons . . . none of which is the UI". But none of that has anything to do with Gnome vs Mate vs Windows UI vs Mac UI. You are arguing off to the side of my point.

At this point, are you arguing for a position or just quibbling for the sake of it?
PJ 3 Aug
Quoting: BOYSSSSSYou're the guy that's recommending GNOME for new people to Linux right?

It looks we're simply not reading each others posts or we're simply misunderstanding each other intentions.
I've been stating that nowadays I recommend Gnome for non-techies. For more advanced users KDE might be a good choice.
And that comes from the "success rate" after someone falling into "non-techie" asked me to install Linux for them. I've tried Mate, Xfce, KDE - and Gnome. So far Gnome proved to be least problematic for them (and for me as well, as for the most part I didn't have to follow up much with extra help later on).
I'm not saying it is perfect - again, no DE is.
So yeah, if you consider that I'm a fanboy because I tend to recommend a certain DE to very specific user group based on my experience then... well, call me a fanboy. I'm not offended - I'll keep using various DEs, will keep experimenting with different setups. It's not a personal thing for me, I'm not falling intro tribalism trap - and will keep enjoying good parts of every DE (but won't be blind for the shortcomings).

Quoting: BOYSSSSSor putting the classical start menu and taskbar on GNOME for a newbie

the thing is - I don't do that. As you might have noticed I'm not into the whole "make it look like Windows" thing. I'm not trying to make it something it isn't.

Quoting: scaineinstall something like Ubuntu Studio, and then it just works out of the box

sadly when it comes to music apps it's not. You still have to deal with absolutely awful (frontend wise - I'm not judging the code / capabilities) JACK audio. Ir doesn't deliver experience that would be remotely on par.

Quoting: scaineLinux is a better choice (for me) in almost every aspect

and I'm not disputing that. In fact I totally agree - and the reason I'm using Linux as well. I'm just saying that while we have all the parts needed to make awesome system (and we do that ourselves) out of the box experience is lacking.
If you get past that the only (but sadly serious) issue is not directly OS related - lack of pro level consumer apps (for example nothing that in the CAD space, nothing that would replace Photoshop and so on).
One of the reason I'm rooting for all the initiatives that make it easier for folks to deploy apps on Linux and for distro-agnostic formats like Flatpaks.

Quoting: Purple Library GuyDid you read my post beyond that point?
yes, I did. But as I've written later on my observation is that people don't care about that as much as they probably should.


Last edited by PJ on 3 August 2021 at 4:28 pm UTC
scaine 3 Aug
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Quoting: PJ
Quoting: scaineLinux is a better choice (for me) in almost every aspect
and I'm not disputing that. In fact I totally agree - and the reason I'm using Linux as well. I'm just saying that while we have all the parts needed to make awesome system (and we do that ourselves) out of the box experience is lacking.
If you get past that the only (but sadly serious) issue is not directly OS related - lack of pro level consumer apps (for example nothing that in the CAD space, nothing that would replace Photoshop and so on).
One of the reason I'm rooting for all the initiatives that make it easier for folks to deploy apps on Linux and for distro-agnostic formats like Flatpaks.
We'll have to disagree. Out of the box is pretty much how I configure the family's PCs and beyond my wife asking for some guidance on how to install Chrome (she laughed when I showed her how stupidly simple it is), it's been all quiet on that there western front. Yesterday my son asked me if he could install Steam again and buy Assassin's Creed Unity. I checked ProtonDB and told him it would be a risk, but I'd help him later. Went in about four hours later, he'd installed Steam, logged in, bought the game, downloaded it, created a uPlay account and was 20 minutes into the tutorial. He's not techy, at all.

Anecdotal evidence is the best kind of evidence, I suppose, but it's all I've got. It's all most people have, which probably explains all the varying positions in this thread.

I suppose it helps that Pop_OS has the Pop Shop to make most of these things click and play, and it definitely helps that Valve has created Steam Play so that Windows games are click and play, but there you go. Hopefully Linux gets to the point that everything is as click and play as Steam and the Pop Shop.
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Quoting: BOYSSSSS
Quoting: PJWith Gnome you just install 2-3 extensions, tweak the same amount of settings (for example turn on extra window buttons) and install icon theme. With KDE you add a theme and spend quite a bit going through the settings then disable/tweak stuff that does not work so well

This is one of the biggest misconceptions the Linux community has that makes Linux very unfriendly to new users.
You think that it's easy for a newbie to search the whole internet (Linux wikis, forums etc.) for a command that will need to be put in the terminal to run something. And at the same time you think it's hard for anyone to find a button in System Settings or Launcher Menu.
It's the opposite! You even have a search bar to help you with finding things.
This is what annoyed me to no end when I first started using Linux. Every little thing needed a command. If there's a setting or GUI it's easy for me. I will find it and change it and I'll remember that the setting is there. But I can't remember every single command that is needed to change something that I may never use again. (That's why I have a txt file with all the commands I've ever needed to do in case I need them again)
And that's why Linux will always be unfriendly to newbies. The Linux community doesn't understand that simple fact and instead thinks too much settings are hard to remember.
>Oh NO! I need to remember where this setting in the interface is! That's too hard!
>If only I could install some packages, change some config files with root privileges and run some commands in the terminal after some googling.

I'll have to agree with this: coming from Windows, it is impressive that it seems you cannot do anything without having to use the terminal to get things done (when copy/pasting from the internet works right away, that is...).

Quoting: scaine[...]
Quoting: PJyes - and its backed by the OS. For example - on OSX you basically connect an audio device and you have low latency audio out of the box.
On Windows you need to add some special drivers. Oh, and have you tried it on Linux? Yes, in theory it is doable but you need to fiddle with JACK and preferably custom kernel. I doubt most of musicians would go with that - not because they're not capable to learn it, but because fiddling with systems is not their job.
Well, no, this isn't really true. Like you say, you should be backed the OS, right? So if you're a sound engineer or musician and want to use Linux, you make sure you install something like Ubuntu Studio, and then it just works out of the box. [...]

No offense, but I have tried Ubuntu Studio, and it is nowhere near a good out-of-the-box experience... In fact that's probably one of the worst distro I tried, and if I didn't have tried others before (and thus know better about the Linux experience), I would probably have migrated to Windows 10 by now...
I have spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out how to tweak Jack and pulseaudio with Cadence, and even now, I am not fully satisfied with this "solution", which is more of a "workaround".
I wish there was a CoreAudio equivalent in Linux (to be fair, I wish it would have been the case in Windows, too). Maybe with Pipewire ?

Quoting: Philadelphus
Quoting: CatKillerThis is a fallacy, btw. If you're not into computers, you're only looking skin-deep. "This is the Internet, this is the app store, this is the update button" is all they need to know. Linux is the ideal grandmother OS. It's the Windows Power Users that have the hardest time; they're very familiar with the entrails of Windows and freak out about Linux' guts being different when they try to poke at them.
Mm, you have a point, and I don't disagree that Linux can be the perfect "grandmother OS", but if that grandmother has been using Windows I imagine she'd be more comfortable with a DE that looks similar, skin-wise, and doesn't require re-learning where the links to all those things are.

Fun fact: my grandmother actually has been using OpenSuse for over a decade now I believe (and she's quite happy about it, except when the printer decides to stop working for no apparent reason )

EDIT:
Quoting: scaine[...]Hopefully Linux gets to the point that everything is as click and play as Steam and the Pop Shop.

I can only agree with that


Last edited by furaxhornyx on 3 August 2021 at 5:46 pm UTC
scaine 3 Aug
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Quoting: furaxhornyxNo offense, but I have tried Ubuntu Studio, and it is nowhere near a good out-of-the-box experience... In fact that's probably one of the worst distro I tried, and if I didn't have tried others before (and thus know better about the Linux experience), I would probably have migrated to Windows 10 by now...
I have spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out how to tweak Jack and pulseaudio with Cadence, and even now, I am not fully satisfied with this "solution", which is more of a "workaround".
I wish there was a CoreAudio equivalent in Linux (to be fair, I wish it would have been the case in Windows, too). Maybe with Pipewire ?

When did you last try? I ask because Jason Evanghelo thought the same back in 2019, but I think was quite positive about later versions? They lost a lot of developers between 2016 and 2018, which led to some serious stagnation.

As for CoreAudio, I have a musician friend who won't try Linux because of that very lack. Again, Evanghelo has found alternatives, but I think some of these professional niches are where Linux does hurt for the official packages associated with - Adobe stuff, AutoCAD, CoreAudio, and so on. At least Blender is leading the pack. And yeah, hopefully Pipewire continues to mature and becomes the default audio solution.
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