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I still can't quite believe it but the Linux user share on Steam has not only remained above 1% for three months, it's actually risen again. We continue to track it each month on our dedicated page but I think it deserves a mention again.

This has been relatively big news for a few months now as we covered when it initially hit 1% again, and last month where it actually stuck. As of September 2021, Linux has managed to hit 1.05% on the Steam Hardware Survey.

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

Going by the last time Valve told us what their monthly active user count was, we can guesstimate that there's around 1,264,200 monthly active users for Linux on Steam.

According to the Valve survey when filtered to just Linux, here's what people are using:

  • Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS 64 bit 15.38% +15.38%
  • "Manjaro Linux" 64 bit 13.15% +0.43%
  • "Arch Linux" 64 bit 11.49% +0.35%
  • Pop!_OS 21.04 64 bit 7.57% +0.21%
  • Ubuntu 21.04 64 bit 6.42% -0.18%
  • Linux Mint 20.2 64 bit 6.01% +0.51%
  • Other 39.99% +4.67%

Still not really clear why we are seeing this surge in users. It's quite likely it's as a result of the Steam Deck, which has given Steam Play Proton and Linux more advertising direct from Valve and the wider media. We've seen a lot more posts about people trying out Linux across various social networks, Reddit and more. Regardless of the reason though, it is of course a really great thing to see more people trying out Linux for gaming, work and more. Hopefully this will continue!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Fantastic news, especially considering that the Steam Deck hasn't even shipped yet, and we will likely see the biggest increases when it does. Valve will be shipping Decks at a rate roughly equal to whatever their manufacturing capacity is, in an effort to work through the backlog of reservations for at least 6 months. Once we hit December, can probably expect to see the number going up every month for at least those 6 months..

We're now well above trend and had 3 months in a row with increases, gut instinct tells me surely we'll see at least one month where the number will go down, even if it's just due to noise in the statistics gathering method.

But the trend is clear, things are looking up for Linux, happy days.


Last edited by gradyvuckovic on 2 October 2021 at 9:48 am UTC
Anza 2 Oct
There has been constant rise for a while now, which in itself hasn't happened this long before. Which is good as rise starts from quite low point.

There might be even more interest in Linux when Steam Deck actually comes out.

As for the publicity, I noticed this few days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvosJN00d2w

I would sure would hope that if they compete on how long they can keep Linux on their main machine, something about that competition gets mentioned later on.
Linas 2 Oct
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There's at least a few guys at my work who pre-ordered a Steam Deck, and none are big on Linux, much less on Linux gaming. Actually they are more of console gamers, and are comparing the Steam Deck with the likes of Nintendo Switch.
I think it has to do with Windows 11 and the Hardware support and now the News with the Anti Cheats Proton support.
Eike 2 Oct
Quoting: LinasThere's at least a few guys at my work who pre-ordered a Steam Deck, and none are big on Linux, much less on Linux gaming. Actually they are more of console gamers, and are comparing the Steam Deck with the likes of Nintendo Switch.

I feel that's ok. So many people are using phones or routers (or lamps :D ) that are running Linux and they don't know...
Lamdarer 2 Oct
Quoting: AnzaThere has been constant rise for a while now, which in itself hasn't happened this long before. Which is good as rise starts from quite low point.

There might be even more interest in Linux when Steam Deck actually comes out.

As for the publicity, I noticed this few days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvosJN00d2w

I would sure would hope that if they compete on how long they can keep Linux on their main machine, something about that competition gets mentioned later on.
Why don't we encourage ppl or ourselves(those that still Dualboot) to participate in this challenge:
Switch to Linux(on your gaming machine) for at least 6Months or so.
There could even be a Hashtag or some kind of little trend, this could help promoting Linux and generate more momentum.
Maybe some of you guys have a nice Idea for a Hashtag?

Edit: Tell your friends about it or Post about it in social Mdeia, and afterwards share your experience with it.


Last edited by Lamdarer on 2 October 2021 at 10:29 am UTC
Anza 2 Oct
Quoting: Lamdarer
Quoting: AnzaThere has been constant rise for a while now, which in itself hasn't happened this long before. Which is good as rise starts from quite low point.

There might be even more interest in Linux when Steam Deck actually comes out.

As for the publicity, I noticed this few days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvosJN00d2w

I would sure would hope that if they compete on how long they can keep Linux on their main machine, something about that competition gets mentioned later on.
Why don't we encourage ppl or ourselves(those that still Dualboot) to participate in this challenge:
Switch to Linux(on your gaming machine) for at least 6Months or so.
There could even be a Hashtag or some kind of little trend, this could help promoting Linux and generate more momentum.
Maybe some of you guys have a nice Idea for a Hashtag?

Edit: Tell your friends about it or Post about it in social Mdeia, and afterwards share your experience with it.

Good idea. If just everybody would use the same hashtag, it could gain some traction.
g000h 2 Oct
I was thinking to write a convoluted essay about reasons why people are shifting to Linux. But instead of that, I think I'll just put forward some bullet points which I think are relevant:

- Many households own more than one computer, typically a newer model, and an older one. Also, a Desktop and a Laptop.

- Having multiple computers means you can use one for all your regular activity (Banking, office software, etc) and *mess around* with the other one. Think I'll have a go at installing a different OS on here.

- People are curious about Linux. In what ways is it different to Windows. Maybe I'd prefer it. Maybe trying it out will be fun.

- People are *slowly* becoming more aware of Surveillance Capitalism, and that Big Corporations are spying on them and manipulating them. People who want to *take back control* look at the options and realise that Linux is the way forward.

- Tech channels like Linus Tech Tips, various gamer channels are creating hype about Linux and the Steam Deck. Hype gets people thinking about things and wanting to know more.

- Valve's work on supporting Linux and developing Proton has made it that the typical gamer is more aware that proper gaming on Linux is now possible. Our group of GamingOnLinux enthusiasts has known it for years, but the realisation is finally dawning on more regular 'Windows' and 'Console' gamers.

- The chicken and egg thing. As marketshare on Linux grows, so will developer interest in supporting Linux. More developer interest means more native games. More native games/working on Proton games means greater appeal of the Linux OS to more general computer users.


Last edited by g000h on 2 October 2021 at 1:48 pm UTC
ELMA 2 Oct
I've moved to Ubuntu last week after using the windows 11 dev builds for months, and I'm loving everything about ubuntu and linux in general, I haven't encountered any issues with it.
Almost all games that I have tried worked flawlessly with proton
Eike 2 Oct
Quoting: ELMAI've moved to Ubuntu last week after using the windows 11 dev builds for months, and I'm loving everything about ubuntu and linux in general, I haven't encountered any issues with it.
Almost all games that I have tried worked flawlessly with proton

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