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Linux remains above macOS on the Steam Survey for January 2024

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The monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey is here for January 2024, and while there was a drop for both Linux and macOS we're still seeing Linux be firmly in second place on Steam now. Interestingly, this month we saw both English and Simplified Chinese (the two most popular languages on Steam) fall with Russian seeing the biggest language jump (+0.60%).

Here's the operating systems overall:

  • Windows 96.52% +0.12%
  • Linux 1.95% -0.02%
  • macOS 1.54% -0.09%

With our updated graph found on our Steam Tracker:

Who honestly thought it would happen so soon? A couple of years ago it was thought to be impossible to see Linux overtake macOS. Of course, then we had the Steam Deck come along - which has a full Linux desktop mode, which has been what's pushing the numbers up.

Here's the most popular Linux distributions on Steam:

  • SteamOS Holo 64 bit 42.12% +1.59%
  • Arch Linux 64 bit 7.76% -0.09%
  • Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS 64 bit 6.80% -0.24%
  • Freedesktop SDK 23.08 (Flatpak runtime) 64 bit 5.82% +0.60%
  • Linux Mint 21.2 64 bit 3.63% -1.07%
  • Manjaro Linux 64 bit 3.48% -0.16%
  • Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS 64 bit 2.76% -0.27%
  • Other 27.64% -0.35%

From the survey we can also see that 70.49% of people on Linux use an AMD processor, and 42.18% on Linux use the Steam Deck so the majority have stuck with SteamOS but it seems a few are using a different Linux distribution on their Deck.

See more on Steam's Survey.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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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.
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Three surveys in a row with Linux over 1.90%. That's a very good sign. 2% in 2024 seems extremely likely. 2.5% by the end of the year? That would put Linux up where MacOS was not too long ago before it started dropping.
Analog Feb 2
Hoping to see that pass 2% this year. Still trying to convince friends to switch to Linux but too many of them play stuff like Valorant :/
Szkodnix Feb 2
I finally got an invitation to the survey as well
pb Feb 2
wen 2%?
A completely different opinion here:

It might be that gaming on macOS becomes more of a thing, but rather than being through Steam, it's through the App Store, or the developer's website. If you've gone to the trouble of porting the game to Metal, you might as well use the App Store.

I'm not sure if there are incentives to use the App Store over Steam. It seems like they get the same cut. I know macOS programs from the App Store tend to be gutted compared to programs distributed outside of it because of restrictions (DaVinci Resolve being one such example, Affinity Suite being another).

Another thought: I would be completely okay with Linux hitting 15% and 14% of that being Steam Deck users. Unlike ChromeOS, Valve has made absolutely no effort to distinguish between the Steam Deck and Linux proper. They're all just one system. On the hardware survey, I would assume ChromeOS just shows up as Linux.

ChromeOS (now that Google has dropped Stadia) is making a push toward Proton. In November, Google partnered with ProtonDB: https://www.protondb.com/news/chromebook-reports

So...it's gonna be an interesting few years.
Highball Feb 2
Quoting: gradyvuckovicThree surveys in a row with Linux over 1.90%. That's a very good sign. 2% in 2024 seems extremely likely. 2.5% by the end of the year? That would put Linux up where MacOS was not too long ago before it started dropping.

2.5% will definitely happen this year. Honestly I thought for sure Linux and MacOS were both going to eat into the Windows percentage. I never imagined Linux overtaking MacOS. I don't know how long this will last MacOS percentage world wide. A roughly 5% drop for the last two months. I know nothing about anything Apple, but I do know that they brought in a custom ISA. So I'm guessing the older Intel machines are dying(or can no longer be updated) and they were replaced with Windows machines? Maybe there will be a resurgence in MacOS numbers when the older Intel machine are finally replaced.

Anyways probably some of the Apple enthusiasts out there can give some insight into the 5% drop. Like everything, there is probably a simple explanation.
Eike Feb 2
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The linear approximation to the curve really needs to be split into two parts! (somewhere in 2021?)

... or the software could come up with something non-linear?


Last edited by Eike on 2 February 2024 at 12:25 pm UTC
Liam Dawe Feb 2
Quoting: EikeThe linear approximation to the curve really needs to be split into two parts! (somewhere in 2021?)

... or the software could come up with something non-linear?
Why?
This is for real, isn't it. We are officially above macOS and here to stay.

What a time to be alive.

Next goal - 5%!
damarrin Feb 2
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Quoting: pleasereadthemanual'm not sure if there are incentives to use the App Store over Steam. It seems like they get the same cut. I know macOS programs from the App Store tend to be gutted compared to programs distributed outside of it because of restrictions (DaVinci Resolve being one such example, Affinity Suite being another).

Well, the App Store is there on every Mac, you don't need to install it by yourself. Plus, users with iPhones will already know it's the place to get all software and Apple will actively steer people towards it. Also, IIRC, it would hide software that wouldn't run on your Mac (a simple check for OS version and 32/64 bits, nothing fancy like checking gfx card requirements).

There's a strong dislike for the built-in store on Windows AFAICT, this isn't the case on the Mac. People love it. And I'm sure devs who make software for the Mac do as well (except for the likes of Epic). After all, as we Linux users all know, hunting the web for programs and downloading installers is the silliest thing ever.

Plus, "tend to be gutted" is much too strong of a statement. Yes, software will need to be modified in some instances (like years ago LibreOffice not being able to be on there because of their Java dependecy, IDK if this has changed or not), but I'd say the vast majority is made with with Mac and App Store in mind from the start.

As for Steam, Valve doesn't need the Mac and Apple doesn't need Valve.


Last edited by damarrin on 2 February 2024 at 12:54 pm UTC
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