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Steam Deck already hits over 5% of Linux users on Steam

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The latest Steam Hardware & Software Survey is out for May 2022, and while it sees a tiny drop in the overall Linux user share, we can see the Steam Deck rising up. As usual, our dedicated Steam Tracker has been updated for the latest figures, with a screenshot of the current status below for all to see:

Currently the overall Linux share is 1.12%. Still a pretty clear upwards trend, and drops in a couple months are to be expected as that's just how things go. No doubt it will bounce up again within a couple months. The interesting thing to see now though, is how the Steam Deck will affect it since Valve actually hooked up the survey in a recent Steam Deck update.

When filtering to just Linux, here's the current top:

  • "Arch Linux" 64 bit 12.85% +0.53%
  • Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS 64 bit 11.75% -2.53%
  • "Manjaro Linux" 64 bit 11.09% -0.46%
  • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS 64 bit 8.04% +8.04%
  • Linux Mint 20.3 64 bit 5.97% -0.39%
  • "SteamOS Holo" 64 bit 5.23% +5.23%
  • Other 45.07% +6.46%

So it might look like Arch Linux is on top at a quick glance, but not quite, since you need to take into account the various versions of Ubuntu as people tend to stick to LTS releases for years. The real interesting thing to see though is SteamOS Holo, which is the Arch-based Steam Deck operating system already hitting well over 5% of Linux users on Steam. Not only that, the Steam Deck GPU "AMD AMD Custom GPU 0405" is shown as the second most popular already for just Linux systems on Steam.

Using May's 1.12% share, that puts Linux users at around ~1,478,400 estimated "monthly active users" based on the last time Valve gave out their user data. You could say that to be around ~77,320 Steam Deck users, although keep in mind it’s an additional device for a lot of people, it depends where the survey is taken. The actual number is likely higher.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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slaapliedje Jun 2, 2022
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: scaineTwo of my colleagues at work now have their Decks and are both Windows die-hards. They were both blown away by the gaming experience, expecting it to be a big sticking point, and expecting to be installing Windows on it. One of them said to me yesterday that they described my ranting about Linux as "the ravings of a mad man... but he was right!".

Sweet sweet validation.

I don't think that Linux on the desktop will ever be mainstream. The chokehold that Microsoft has on this market segment is nearly impossible to break. But, I've said it multiple times: "Linux shines in a dedicated hardware use cases." We now have another good example of that.

Basically the only way it'll happen is when you can actually go into a Walmart, or Best Buy, or whatever random store and see a selection of Linux laptops with the same specs as Windows laptops. And since I'm pretty sure Windows licenses are still discounted greatly for OEMs, and the law still remains that requires resellers have an operating system installed on the system (which is the only reason HP sells some with a FreeDOS option) than the 'year of desktop Linux' won't ever come.

If System76 could move away from mail order only, maybe even if they started selling on Amazon or something, maybe we could eventually get closer to having a mainstream Linux set up.

I mean people never would have thought Linux would be used on millions of devices (it now is on Android, though I definitely don't consider them near as useful as they should be).
slaapliedje Jun 4, 2022
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: damarrinYou realise it’s 5% of 1%, which means 0.05% of all users?

Wake me up when we're at 100% of the 1% 🤣
Won't ever happen as I'll still play stuff on my Debian and/or Garuda setup :P

I may even throw in a RHEL gaming session now and then, just to muck it up!
detrout Jun 9, 2022
The Register argued that the year of the "Linux" desktop came but no one noticed because it was called ChromeOS.
https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/31/the_cynics_guide_to_linux/

Though that does suggest we might start seeing a larger share of Linux family steam users as Steam for ChromeOS gets to be more popular.
sarmad Jun 9, 2022
Quoting: detroutThe Register argued that the year of the "Linux" desktop came but no one noticed because it was called ChromeOS.
https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/31/the_cynics_guide_to_linux/

Though that does suggest we might start seeing a larger share of Linux family steam users as Steam for ChromeOS gets to be more popular.

Except that ChromeOS is not actually Linux despite having the Linux kernel.
detrout Jun 10, 2022
Quoting: sarmad
Quoting: detroutThe Register argued that the year of the "Linux" desktop came but no one noticed because it was called ChromeOS.
https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/31/the_cynics_guide_to_linux/

Though that does suggest we might start seeing a larger share of Linux family steam users as Steam for ChromeOS gets to be more popular.

Except that ChromeOS is not actually Linux despite having the Linux kernel.

ChromeOS is not a community based free & open source desktop, but it's "technically" linux.

The claim is technically true, but in a deeply obnoxious and irritating way for those of us who want free desktops.
sarmad Jun 10, 2022
Quoting: detrout
Quoting: sarmad
Quoting: detroutThe Register argued that the year of the "Linux" desktop came but no one noticed because it was called ChromeOS.
https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/31/the_cynics_guide_to_linux/

Though that does suggest we might start seeing a larger share of Linux family steam users as Steam for ChromeOS gets to be more popular.

Except that ChromeOS is not actually Linux despite having the Linux kernel.

ChromeOS is not a community based free & open source desktop, but it's "technically" linux.

The claim is technically true, but in a deeply obnoxious and irritating way for those of us who want free desktops.

Then why did Valve need to release a special version of Steam for it if it was "technically linux"?
slaapliedje Jun 11, 2022
Quoting: sarmad
Quoting: detrout
Quoting: sarmad
Quoting: detroutThe Register argued that the year of the "Linux" desktop came but no one noticed because it was called ChromeOS.
https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/31/the_cynics_guide_to_linux/

Though that does suggest we might start seeing a larger share of Linux family steam users as Steam for ChromeOS gets to be more popular.

Except that ChromeOS is not actually Linux despite having the Linux kernel.

ChromeOS is not a community based free & open source desktop, but it's "technically" linux.

The claim is technically true, but in a deeply obnoxious and irritating way for those of us who want free desktops.

Then why did Valve need to release a special version of Steam for it if it was "technically linux"?
ChromeOS has their own userland, much like Android. So it isn't GNU/Linux, which is what everyone abbreviates to 'Linux'. I wouldn't call ChromeOS Linux anymore than I would Android. Both can technically add a GNU (and others) userland, but then they have less control over what they want to allow to run... not to mention if your OS was completely open source, it is so much harder to force obsolescence every two years...
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