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Linux user share on Steam hits second highest percentage in years

By - | Views: 21,103

Valve have put out their usual monthly Hardware & Software Survey and it's looking pretty great for Linux overall. April 2022 showed a big boost to Linux gamers. After a few months of dipping down, it seems to have rocketed back up to be at the second-highest point it's been in years with 1.14%.

You can see how it has changed over the last few years on our Steam Tracker, with the current posted below. The previous peak being November 2021 at 1.16%, the previous second highest being October 2021 at 1.13%.

Going by the main combined numbers from Steam, these are the current most popular Linux distributions:

  • Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS 64 bit 0.16% +0.03%
  • "Arch Linux" 64 bit 0.14% +0.02%
  • "Manjaro Linux" 64 bit 0.13% +0.01%
  • Linux Mint 20.3 64 bit 0.07% 0.00%
  • Ubuntu 21.10 64 bit 0.06% -0.01%

With the Steam Deck now shipping that uses SteamOS 3 Linux, it's perhaps not a big surprise to see a lot more interest in Linux Gaming overall now. Currently though, the Steam Survey is not included on the Steam Deck in Gaming Mode and only in Desktop Mode with the main Steam Client loaded so these numbers probably don't represent many Steam Deck users at all.

Thanks though to Proton and the Steam Deck, perhaps this is the start of a small shift over to Linux — one can hope but too early to tell anything really.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
42 Likes
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41 comments
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Prediction: Next month is going to be a new record high.
I'm expecting over 1.20%.
Spyker 3 May
I wonder how many Steam Deck they already shipped.
Corben 3 May
Cool to see this number rising again... my first thought was: it doesn't matter that much anymore. The Steam Deck has changed the mind of publishers and developers already, as they are either supporting the Deck explicitly or at least are looking into it. And this helps us "few" Linux desktop gamers as well.

On the other hand though, we still would benefit from a bigger market share on the desktop, as there is more than only games to use on our PCs. We want official Linux support for more than just games. Drivers, devices, etc... hopefully when people realize they can also play most of their games (if not even all) on the Linux desktop, it helps more people deciding to use Linux on a more regular basis. Small steps, with the Steam Deck being a big one :D


Last edited by Corben on 3 May 2022 at 9:23 am UTC
LNX 3 May
QuoteThanks though to Proton
for killing native linux games development
Nonjuffo 3 May
According to Linux GPU stats 1.82% (AMD AMD Custom GPU 0405) were surveyed on Steam Deck. So the 14% share increase doesn't come directly from Deck users (Not that anyone claimed it did).


Last edited by Nonjuffo on 3 May 2022 at 9:30 am UTC
Zlopez 3 May
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: LNX
QuoteThanks though to Proton
for killing native linux games development

For bringing the huge amount of existing games to Linux and it will probably help in the long term to native gaming as well. If the developers will see that the Linux gaming share is rising they will start doing the native ports instead of relying on Proton.
Liam Dawe 3 May
Quoting: LNX
QuoteThanks though to Proton
for killing native linux games development
Does this really need to be said? Native Gaming was practically going nowhere and it's only a very tiny niche of Linux Gamers that actually care what's under the hood. The vast majority just want to be able to game and that's the most important thing, getting the games to work here and now.
whizse 3 May
View PC info
  • Supporter
Quoting: LNXfor killing native linux games development
It might, but it haven't happened yet.

Check the stats for native releases by year on Steam. It's pretty constant, even with the arrival of Proton.
Beamboom 3 May
Quoting: Zlopez[..]it will probably help in the long term to native gaming as well. If the developers will see that the Linux gaming share is rising they will start doing the native ports instead of relying on Proton.

... Or not if they don't have to, as there's a huge benefit from not having to maintain an additional OS branch of the source code.

Either way my stance on the subject is "so what?". As long as the games run as they should what does it really matter. The Windows ports we've seen so far has generally speaking not been that much to cheer for, technically speaking. There was a time when we were happy they worked at all, but those days are behind us.

We can start speaking of a significant move towards native builds if/when Linux gets to a significant market share. If we talk about 15-20% market share, then things might start to happen.

Until then:
Thank the gods for Proton. Without it, we'd be left with a myriad of small indie games and that's about it.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3 May 2022 at 9:46 am UTC
LNX 3 May
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: LNX
QuoteThanks though to Proton
for killing native linux games development
Does this really need to be said? Native Gaming was practically going nowhere and it's only a very tiny niche of Linux Gamers that actually care what's under the hood. The vast majority just want to be able to game and that's the most important thing, getting the games to work here and now.
Turns out that I'm amongst the minority who wish Linux a wider path and stronger support. Apart from native gaming it's CAD/CAE software that still lacks attention. Linux should (and could) be real versatile alternative to winWorld. Still there's a hope
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