Confused on Steam Play and Proton? Be sure to check out our guide.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

After some recent weirdness where March saw a big drop, the Steam Hardware & Software Survey for May 2023 is now showing the Linux share at a multi-year high.

Checking back over our Steam Tracker where we're keeping tabs on it over time, we've not seen the Linux user share being as high as it is right now in at least 6 years. The Linux user share is now on 1.47% with macOS on 2.39% and Windows at 96.14%,

When filtering the results over to just Linux here's the current most popular distributions for Steam gaming:

  • SteamOS Holo 64 bit 25.32% + 2.55%
  • Arch Linux 64 bit 9.99% + 0.20%
  • Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS 64 bit 9.72% - 1.12%
  • Freedesktop.org SDK 22.08 (Flatpak runtime) 64 bit 7.27% - 0.34%
  • Manjaro Linux 64 bit 5.79% - 0.46%
  • Linux Mint 21.1 64 bit 5.46% + 0.49%
  • Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS 64 bit 3.53% - 0.33%
  • Other 32.92% - 0.98%

In terms of absolute numbers we can take an educated guess here based on the last time Valve gave out their monthly active users, which they said was 132 million back in March 2022. So based on that 1.47% it would mean around 1,940,400 estimated monthly active users for Linux. However, Valve did not give out the number for the past year, and we know Steam is growing all the time, so in reality it's probably much higher.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
29 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. Find me on Mastodon.
See more from me
38 comments
Page: «2/4»
  Go to:

Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mylkajust because someone has a steam deck, does not mean, that they are not playing on WINDOWS PC anymore
so a lot of deck owners count as windows PC
It's a hardware survey, not a user survey. The Deck counts as a Deck, a Windows PC counts as a Windows PC and a Linux PC counts as a Linux PC.
And yet the point stands--in a random sampling of machines, a machine used full time has twice the chance of being polled as a machine used half of the time.
Zlopez Jun 2
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: ZlopezIt's also good to see that Flatpak Steam is so widely used. :-)

Why? The reason for Flatpak that I'm aware of is getting newer software, but Steam is updating itself...

For me the main reason for usage is sandboxing, games don't see what I don't allow them, and the fact that I'm using immutable OS.
CatKiller Jun 2
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Purple Library GuyAnd yet the point stands--in a random sampling of machines, a machine used full time has twice the chance of being polled as a machine used half of the time.
The machine just needs to be logged into Steam during the month that's at least a year since the last time it was surveyed.

The Deck does come with a (random?) delay "SurveyDateSteamDeckDelay" before it gets included in the survey - I had my Deck nine or ten months before it got the survey popup. I expect that Valve don't want everyone's unboxing experience to be full of "would you like to fill out this survey?" spam.
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: Purple Library GuyAnd yet the point stands--in a random sampling of machines, a machine used full time has twice the chance of being polled as a machine used half of the time.
The machine just needs to be logged into Steam during the month that's at least a year since the last time it was surveyed.

The Deck does come with a (random?) delay "SurveyDateSteamDeckDelay" before it gets included in the survey - I had my Deck nine or ten months before it got the survey popup. I expect that Valve don't want everyone's unboxing experience to be full of "would you like to fill out this survey?" spam.

Had the surey on mine, this week. It was just a notification? I tried clicking on it and nothing happened.
CatKiller Jun 2
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: MohandevirHad the surey on mine, this week. It was just a notification? I tried clicking on it and nothing happened.
You get the notification and then you can go into Notifications to confirm that you're OK with being included in the survey.
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: MohandevirHad the surey on mine, this week. It was just a notification? I tried clicking on it and nothing happened.
You get the notification and then you can go into Notifications to confirm that you're OK with being included in the survey.

Did just that, but couldn't find anything related to the survey... Ok... Better luck next time, I guess. Thanks!
It's somewhat disheartening that despite a big multi-year push from Valve, Linux still sits behind MacOS at less 1.5% market share.
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: ZlopezIt's also good to see that Flatpak Steam is so widely used. :-)

Why? The reason for Flatpak that I'm aware of is getting newer software, but Steam is updating itself...

I think that's maybe a common reason desktop users use flatpak, but it's not *the reason for flatpak.*

flatpak is meant to solve several problems that have existed for decades. Packages only need to be made once to run (hopefully very) well on many distros, and they have security features baked right in.

If anything I'd say *the* reason for flatpak is making it easy for companies like Valve to target as many users as possible, while the biggest advantage to those users is sandboxing by default. It only happened once, but years ago there was this *nasty* bug where I believe restoring a backup in Steam would remove a users entire home folder. That bug wouldn't have been a very big deal for flatpak users. Same go for major exploits in games, Dota was basically distributing a remote shell for a while last year.
mylka Jun 2
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mylkajust because someone has a steam deck, does not mean, that they are not playing on WINDOWS PC anymore
so a lot of deck owners count as windows PC
It's a hardware survey, not a user survey. The Deck counts as a Deck, a Windows PC counts as a Windows PC and a Linux PC counts as a Linux PC.

yes. and where do they get their survey? on the go WITHOUT internet, or maybe at home on their windows PC?


Last edited by mylka on 2 June 2023 at 5:59 pm UTC
CatKiller Jun 2
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: mylkayes. and where do they get their survey? on the go WITHOUT internet, or maybe at home on their windows PC?
They don't get "their" survey at all. The hardware is what's being sampled. All the hardware.
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.