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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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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.
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86 comments
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KohlyKohl 6 Aug
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Quoting: Comandante Ñoñardo
Quoting: KohlyKohlGnome out of the box is ugly and to make it useful you have to add plugins to it. The default should be a useable desktop without the user having to do anything.

Imagine if a Windows user had to add a taskbar themselves...

Say what you want about KDE but out of the box it is useful and a user doesn't have to do anything to it.

Indeed it was necessary to add a start menu taskbar in Windows 8

Yeah and they added it back in soon after
Appelsin 7 Aug
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: PJ
Quoting: Purple Library GuyMint with Mate is IMO good, and very familiar to a classic Windows user, right out of the box.
Look for example at OSX - it is completely different from Windows, but quite a bit of pros (for example musicians, graphic designers etc) use it as it offers them a better experience.
OK, look at it. So, first of all, every time I try to use OS X it drives me nuts. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to find a damn file, for instance. Lots of people like it, I'm sure it is excellent in its way, but the idea that it's just inherently intuitive and stuff is a triumph of marketing and socialization over real lived experience.
Second, 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. The second is the excellent and very expensive marketing that have successfully drummed it into the heads of artistically inclined people that they are not cool if they don't use Macs.
The actual user interface is a marginal factor.

The Mac has an edge if you use a laptop as a laptop. The way they have built the UI and navigation around gestures, and have a trackpad that is super comfy instead of stuck in 2008 like Lenovo etc, is lightyears ahead of Linux and Windows. But the moment you want to use it as a desktop (i.e. with a mouse and doing "productivity") it's a cumbersome shitshow that needs "extensions" and other hacks to get it to be even remotely effective to work with. After having used first Windows, then going OSX + Linux, then full Linux, and now ocasionally using OSX (laptop) while majority Linux (desktop + laptop), the gestures is the only thing OSX really does well IMO. The rest of the UI/UX isn't really that great.
Liam Dawe 7 Aug
Quoting: hardpenguinThe sudden spike is suspicious... Seems like an error!
Well, so far it seems to be sticking.
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Quoting: PJ
Quoting: SchattenspiegelLet's hope the ones crossing over do not come into contact with GNOME desktop first. Otherwise they might start to find windows 11 not so bad after all. ;-)
and that's debatable. My personal experience is that when I introduce some non-techie to Linux Gnome works best (with addad dock and some minor tweaks). Those were folks that actually kept using Linux.
With "techies" KDE is usually the best choice. Sucks with default settings but you can do almost anything with it.
IMO one of the issues with Linux desktop is by default every single DE sucks... even though every single one (among the major ones) is actually awesome.
The sad fact of the matter is, KDE has too many options, and Gnome not enough. There needs to be a nice middle. Sure there are Cinnamon and Mate, both trying to be what Gnome 2 was. Personally I prefer a nice clean Gnome install (only extensions I really use are to add the icons back to the status bar, as there are some programs that legitimately need them to work correctly and otherwise don't 'dock' anywhere).

I can only imagine KDE on a 7" 1280x800 screen though... oof. I think when I get my Deck, I'll be putting Gnome on it :P Then again I may just put Debian on it and call it a day as well.
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Quoting: Appelsin
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: PJ
Quoting: Purple Library GuyMint with Mate is IMO good, and very familiar to a classic Windows user, right out of the box.
Look for example at OSX - it is completely different from Windows, but quite a bit of pros (for example musicians, graphic designers etc) use it as it offers them a better experience.
OK, look at it. So, first of all, every time I try to use OS X it drives me nuts. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to find a damn file, for instance. Lots of people like it, I'm sure it is excellent in its way, but the idea that it's just inherently intuitive and stuff is a triumph of marketing and socialization over real lived experience.
Second, 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. The second is the excellent and very expensive marketing that have successfully drummed it into the heads of artistically inclined people that they are not cool if they don't use Macs.
The actual user interface is a marginal factor.

The Mac has an edge if you use a laptop as a laptop. The way they have built the UI and navigation around gestures, and have a trackpad that is super comfy instead of stuck in 2008 like Lenovo etc, is lightyears ahead of Linux and Windows. But the moment you want to use it as a desktop (i.e. with a mouse and doing "productivity") it's a cumbersome shitshow that needs "extensions" and other hacks to get it to be even remotely effective to work with. After having used first Windows, then going OSX + Linux, then full Linux, and now ocasionally using OSX (laptop) while majority Linux (desktop + laptop), the gestures is the only thing OSX really does well IMO. The rest of the UI/UX isn't really that great.

http://airyx.org/ I'm going to have to try this to see if it's 'OSX-like' enough :) More for convincing others to leave Apple than myself, I quite like Linux desktops, and MacOS bugs me.
g000h 7 Aug
I'm using Gnome 3.38 here (Debian 11 Testing), with very few changes to the defaults. I'm perfectly happy with the appearance of the DE. It was a bit of a learning curve when I switched to it from earlier Gnome 2, and it is "decent"-looking rather than "amazing".

With Windows, I was happiest with the Windows 7 DE, and I've not liked Windows 8 or 10 at all. I've always found Mac OSX to be difficult to navigate, but it does look very nice. Similarly Windows 10 looks nice, but navigating definitely irritates me on that as well.

I have very elderly parents using Debian 10 Stable and Gnome 3.30, and they're managing with it. (Their computer skills are seriously lacking, but they can still do the basics on this DE without struggling.) [Previously my octogenarian parents were using Mac OSX on a Core 2 Duo iMac, but that was too old to run modern Mac OSX so I helped them switch from OSX Snow Leopard to a new computer running Linux+Gnome. If *they* can do it, nearly anyone could do it.]


Last edited by g000h on 7 August 2021 at 11:24 pm UTC
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Quoting: g000hI'm using Gnome 3.38 here (Debian 11 Testing), with very few changes to the defaults. I'm perfectly happy with the appearance of the DE. It was a bit of a learning curve when I switched to it from earlier Gnome 2, and it is "decent"-looking rather than "amazing".

With Windows, I was happiest with the Windows 7 DE, and I've not liked Windows 8 or 10 at all. I've always found Mac OSX to be difficult to navigate, but it does look very nice. Similarly Windows 10 looks nice, but navigating definitely irritates me on that as well.

I have very elderly parents using Debian 10 Stable and Gnome 3.30, and they're managing with it. (Their computer skills are seriously lacking, but they can still do the basics on this DE without struggling.) [Previously my octogenarian parents were using Mac OSX on a Core 2 Duo iMac, but that was too old to run modern Mac OSX so I helped them switch from OSX Snow Leopard to a new computer running Linux+Gnome. If *they* can do it, nearly anyone could do it.]
Yeah, it wasn't until a certain version of Fedora had a certain version of Gnome 3 that I started to learn it and actually think Gnome-Shell is quite genius now. So easy to use, and one of the few DEs that just stay out of the way and let you just run applications. KDE/Plasma is evil for people who are easily distracted.

I can totally agree with OSX. I will never understand why it still only thinks there should be a single mouse button... I always find it frustrating to use. Was playing around with MorphOS last night, and it feels like some weird cross breed between macOS and AmigaOS.

Funny thing about Gnome 40? I basically just added in the extensions to make it go back to how Gnome was before. It doesn't make sense for me to have the hot corner in the upper left, and then have the dock all the way in the bottom (especially on super ultrawide screens like I have now). Then again, I only use the 'dock' as a quick launch thing for a few applications (like Steam, Firefox, Evolution) and I hate the extensions that make it a permanent thing on my screen. Like why do you need an extra task bar outside of 'hit the meta key'?

One thing I do miss from Gnome 2 (and I noticed Win10 ripped) is copying progress on the task bar. Thought that was one of the coolest integrations. Even Steam has a little progress bar thing with the icon on the taskbar in Win10. Not sure if KDE has such a feature, but it should.
Eike 22 Aug
Quoting: gradyvuckovic
Quoting: whizse
Quoting: PhiladelphusPrinters are the bane of computer users everywhere, no matter what OS you use.
Nonsense, printers are so easy! Also, PC LOAD LETTER.

(Is there a way to actually embed a video in post?)

*Dr Manhattan "I've walked across the surface of the sun" voice*

I've built my own PCs from scratch, created C++ libraries, assembled production web servers still in operation today for companies, written real time OpenGL renderers, mastered dozens of complex design applications when most would lucky to master even one..

... *looks at a threateningly jammed printer I've been asked to fix in front of coworkers* ..

I felt fear. For the last time.

Ups, I had to do it again:

link
Manilla 6 days ago
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I am one of those new steam users. Funnily enough, I came across this page while browsing for linux help with older AMD GPUs. I had to create an account to reply to this.

I switched to linux from windows about 3 months ago when the latest windows update completely corrupted, not just my one computer.... But rather my entire home network of 4 windows computers (which had not been updated yet) and two routers. Never had anything other than windows 64bit installed on them. Both routers had latest stock firmware. It was the last straw for me. Windows updates have caused me SO MANY problems with lost data in the past that I just couldn't for it anymore. So I intentionally got fired from my job for refusing forced medical tyranny and for the last two months I have been hammering away at learning his to be proficient enough with linux to maintain another 4-machine home network and have loved every second of it. I melted down manjaro like 7 times doing everything as root because I didn't know what I was doing. It was a blast. Now I'm sticking to debian for now....

However, there is A reason for this spike other than the windows 11 rollout disaster. That would be 'ol Mr. William "Epstein Airlines Platinum Member" Gates' recent exposure as one of the most diabolical "public figures" the world has ever known. Then you start thinking about all those old rumors about how gates stole IP to create windows, then developed it into a government sanctioned monopoly. Everything begins to make sense. Microsoft has been allowed to swallow up whoever the want in whichever sector they want. They are the "yang" to facebook's "yin" and it is oh so clear as day now. Windows is an advertising platform that can also run AAA games(which are all just xbox ports anymore). Its also designed to keep the end-user mildly retarded so they never feel the need to troubleshoot or debug their own issues.

This has ZERO to do with features of steam or Linux. Look at that spike. Look how steep it is. Find another spike that steep. I'm sorry but that first reply had me cracking up. Talking about some obscure new feature or whatever... Guys, it's so obvious. This is the great reset. Do we let them reset us? Or do we reset them?

Buy bitcoin now(or start mining whatever crypto you can) unless you still think its fake money. Then stay the course. Fake money is backed by mortgage backed securities that end up being treated as collateral (by the fed)to then issue more fake money. Thus, creating an infinity loop of lies and total control over our entire global economy. You'll thank me later.

And so that's my "why I switched to Linux" story. 😊
slaapliedje 5 days ago
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Quoting: ManillaI am one of those new steam users. Funnily enough, I came across this page while browsing for linux help with older AMD GPUs. I had to create an account to reply to this.

I switched to linux from windows about 3 months ago when the latest windows update completely corrupted, not just my one computer.... But rather my entire home network of 4 windows computers (which had not been updated yet) and two routers. Never had anything other than windows 64bit installed on them. Both routers had latest stock firmware. It was the last straw for me. Windows updates have caused me SO MANY problems with lost data in the past that I just couldn't for it anymore. So I intentionally got fired from my job for refusing forced medical tyranny and for the last two months I have been hammering away at learning his to be proficient enough with linux to maintain another 4-machine home network and have loved every second of it. I melted down manjaro like 7 times doing everything as root because I didn't know what I was doing. It was a blast. Now I'm sticking to debian for now....

However, there is A reason for this spike other than the windows 11 rollout disaster. That would be 'ol Mr. William "Epstein Airlines Platinum Member" Gates' recent exposure as one of the most diabolical "public figures" the world has ever known. Then you start thinking about all those old rumors about how gates stole IP to create windows, then developed it into a government sanctioned monopoly. Everything begins to make sense. Microsoft has been allowed to swallow up whoever the want in whichever sector they want. They are the "yang" to facebook's "yin" and it is oh so clear as day now. Windows is an advertising platform that can also run AAA games(which are all just xbox ports anymore). Its also designed to keep the end-user mildly retarded so they never feel the need to troubleshoot or debug their own issues.

This has ZERO to do with features of steam or Linux. Look at that spike. Look how steep it is. Find another spike that steep. I'm sorry but that first reply had me cracking up. Talking about some obscure new feature or whatever... Guys, it's so obvious. This is the great reset. Do we let them reset us? Or do we reset them?

Buy bitcoin now(or start mining whatever crypto you can) unless you still think its fake money. Then stay the course. Fake money is backed by mortgage backed securities that end up being treated as collateral (by the fed)to then issue more fake money. Thus, creating an infinity loop of lies and total control over our entire global economy. You'll thank me later.

And so that's my "why I switched to Linux" story. 😊
Ha ha ha, well at least you switched to Linux, I don't know about all the other stuff... Bill Gates has always been shady, as has Microsoft's behavior. Nothing recent about it.

It is sad when Linux gets more users NOT because it's good and free, but because Microsoft's products are getting shittier every year. It's like dating the average looking girl because all of the others are hideous, not because she's got a good personality, and the others are bland.

Also... and I shouldn't even acknowledge this, but... 'medical tyranny'? (shaking my head...)

Edit: Ha! Manjaro is NOT a beginner distribution at all! If you have any Debian questions feel free to ask, I've been using it for decades at this point, and I know others here too are huge Debian fans!


Last edited by slaapliedje on 12 October 2021 at 3:16 pm UTC
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