Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

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

By - | Views: 39,352

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.
34 Likes
About the author -
author picture
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.
See more from me
40 comments
Page: «4/4
  Go to:

sarmad 2 Jun, 2022
Quoting: TeodosioCould we overtake Mac this year, thanks to the Steam Deck?
Unlikely, given the rate at which Steam Decks are manufactured. Unless if users start installing Linux on their own machines.
iiari 2 Jun, 2022
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: slaapliedjeI was wondering if we could look up how many people went and ruined their Deck by installing Windows on it...
Thing is, I also see comments of Windows users that complains about battery life, fan noise and heat that are much worse vs SteamOS... They are probably affecting the Steam Deck's lifespan, by using an "unsupported" OS. Personnally, the heat issue would worry me a lot.

After years of the reverse with Linux on laptop hardware optimized for Windows, the cosmic irony of all of that is too delicious to even attempt to put into words. I will just have to sit here and reread that comment several times to fully savor it....


Last edited by iiari on 2 June 2022 at 7:13 pm UTC
iiari 2 Jun, 2022
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: MohandevirI 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.
I actually think it's more mainstream than it's ever been given how functional it is, how much is moving to the cloud, and how many programming languages are moving to multi-platform implementation.

Mainstream as a percentage of users - Well, there you're likely right, and I actually think it's possibly likely to get worse there simply because Windows isn't so bad it's pushing people off the platform anymore. Modern Windows is fully usable and functional and no longer is a laggy, miserable mess after several months of use. Oh, it's not great to be sure, but there will be fewer people like me who, like happened to me in 2012, was so furious at how bad Windows was that I was actively seeking out alternatives - and here I am.

Sadly, we'll see less of that and have to more appeal to tinkerers for future users (like Rapsberry Pis and other hardware cases, as you say). I'd personally like to see a lot more emphasis on Linux on phone hardware now, as that's what most people use for "computers" these days.
slaapliedje 2 Jun, 2022
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
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 4 Jun, 2022
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
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 9 Jun, 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 9 Jun, 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 10 Jun, 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 10 Jun, 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 11 Jun, 2022
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
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...
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.