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Linux user share on Steam continues rising — highest for years again

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Valve has put out their usual monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey and it's looking like good news for Linux and Steam Deck once again.

We've seen the user share rise up to 1.23%, making it the highest point in multiple years (again). If we use Valve's last monthly active user count, that points the monthly active Linux user count somewhere around 1,623,600. See more on our Steam Tracker. Linux has remained at 1% or above for at least a full year now too.

According to the survey when filtering just to Linux, here are the most popular distributions:

  • Arch Linux 64 bit 13.87% +2.45%
  • Manjaro Linux 64 bit 11.40% +1.29%
  • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS 64 bit 9.78% -0.12%
  • Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS 64 bit 9.28% -0.45%
  • SteamOS Holo 64 bit 7.60% +0.02%
  • Linux Mint 20.3 64 bit 6.29% -0.16%
  • Freedesktop.org 21.08.14 (Flatpak runtime) 64 bit 5.29% -0.76%
  • Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS 64 bit 4.90% +0.11%
  • Other 31.60% -2.36%

So we're seeing Valve's SteamOS now make up 7.6% of the Linux gaming audience on Steam, which is a pretty good early showing for the Steam Deck. In terms of hardware, on the Linux side the Steam Deck appears to be the most popular device as it's now top of the list of GPUs used too.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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47 comments
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Zelox 5 days ago
Quoting: Lightkey
Quoting: ZeloxWill be interesting to see if we can fight with Mac by the end of next year ☺️
Funny you should mention that, I had just calculated the macOS user share for English users for comparison and it's 3.35% versus the 2.97% for Linux.

Nice, so we are already there ☺️
Cabbidachi 5 days ago
the revolution has started...
for real tho this is nice to see
WorMzy 5 days ago
Surprising to see such a big increase for Arch (and Manjaro) percentages while SteamOS remains almost static. I wonder if Valve have changed how SteamOS identifies itself, or if more people are making the jump to Arch-based distros for some reason.
Quoting: Lightkey
Quoting: ZeloxWill be interesting to see if we can fight with Mac by the end of next year ☺️
Funny you should mention that, I had just calculated the macOS user share for English users for comparison and it's 3.35% versus the 2.97% for Linux.
Which makes me wonder . . . I knew the Chinese essentially didn't use Linux, like, at all. For desktops/gaming, anyway. But what about all the other non-English speakers? For the overall percentage to be less than half the English-speaking percentage, no-Linux has to be very common out there. Why is Linux so terrible at penetrating beyond the English speaking (gaming) world?


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 2 August 2022 at 4:16 pm UTC
Quoting: WorMzySurprising to see such a big increase for Arch (and Manjaro) percentages while SteamOS remains almost static. I wonder if Valve have changed how SteamOS identifies itself, or if more people are making the jump to Arch-based distros for some reason.
I too was wondering why such a tiny increase in SteamOS. Especially since I remember last time there was an article like this, I swear SteamOS was at about 5%, meaning the current amount is a 50% increase since then, so did both the articles and the increase skip a month? Weird. It's not like they had a one month hiatus on delivering Steam Decks.

But, that's sampling for you I guess. In the old days when polls used fairly genuinely randomized samples, they used to say they were accurate within X%, 19 times out of 20. But there's always that 20th time when stuff gets out of whack cuz your random sample is randomly off.
Goldpaw 5 days ago
Quoting: M@GOidIf SteamOS is 7.6% of ~1,623,600 million Linux users, it is safe to say Valve delivered about 123,000 units so far?

I don't think so?

SteamOS has existed since 2013, and even though it didn't really get competitive in terms of gaming before 4.0 with the inclusion of Proton, it's still available to install on any machine that meets the hardware requirements.

So a large portion is probably Steam Decks, but I wouldn't expect all of it to be.
KohlyKohl 5 days ago
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Quoting: BlackBloodRumWhile it's nice to see the linux user count go up, I can't help but wonder if many of those decks are people like me who have both the deck and a desktop linux computer.

In my case, I still use both for gaming on steam. So, in a situation like this, statistically depending on how it was counted it would appear that either:

a) There's now two distros counted for the user (Both percentages could go up)
b) That steam lost a distro user and gained a steam deck user (or vice versa, only one percentage goes up, while causing the other to drop)

In any case, it would need to be clarified as it may artificially make it appear that either you have more Linux users on steam than in actuality or that some distros are losing ground, when in fact they're just not being counted because the user has two distros being used on steam and only one of those is counted.

I got the survey on my deck, laptop, and desktop for the latest survey.
Eike 5 days ago
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: Lightkey
Quoting: ZeloxWill be interesting to see if we can fight with Mac by the end of next year ☺️
Funny you should mention that, I had just calculated the macOS user share for English users for comparison and it's 3.35% versus the 2.97% for Linux.
Which makes me wonder . . . I knew the Chinese essentially didn't use Linux, like, at all. For desktops/gaming, anyway. But what about all the other non-English speakers? For the overall percentage to be less than half the English-speaking percentage, no-Linux has to be very common out there. Why is Linux so terrible at penetrating beyond the English speaking (gaming) world?

Some people here said they are using Linux not in their native language, but in English. So 3.35% versus the 2.97% might be off. (I'm using Linux in German, though.)


Last edited by Eike on 3 August 2022 at 5:19 pm UTC
DoctorJunglist 5 days ago
Damm, that's really great news.

It's amazing that the trend is continuing.

I'm curious how long would it take for us to reach 5% market share on Steam If the growth was to continue at the current pace.

I even got the Steam hardware survey yesterday, so I will be included in the next round of statistics. I'm using Nobara, so I'll be in the 'Other' Linux distro category.
Highball 5 days ago
Quoting: M@GOidIf SteamOS is 7.6% of ~1,623,600 million Linux users, it is safe to say Valve delivered about 123,000 units so far?

I think you can say, at least 123K units. If you've participated in the Steam survey on a different computer already, it's unlikely the steam client would have offered you a chance to take the suvey on your steam deck. I just got my Steam Deck a week ago and I never got the survey. So I would say, that 123k is a mix of gamers who haven't take the survey in over a year, the few who forced the survey, and those who've never taken the survey, i.e. console only gamers.

 
sed -i -e '/"SurveyDate"/ s/"[0-9].*"/"'$(date +%Y-%m-%d -d "1 year ago")'"/' .steam/debian-installation/config/config.vdf

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