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Linux on the desktop breaks 4% for the first time on Statcounter

By - | Views: 41,373

Another month down according to Statcounter at least, Linux on the desktop is doing better than ever. Take it with your usual little pinch of salt like any survey sampling though.

We've finally cracked 4%, which for Linux is a pretty big thing. How do they do it? They collect stats from over 1.5 million websites, so they have a pretty good sample size for it.

Here's how things have looked over the last year+

  • January 23 - 2.91%
  • February 23 - 2.94%
  • March 23 - 2.85%
  • April 23 - 2.83%
  • May 23 - 2.7%
  • June 23 - 3.07%
  • July 23 - 3.12%
  • August 23 - 3.18%
  • September 23 - 3.02%
  • October 23 - 2.92%
  • November 23 - 3.22%
  • December 23 - 3.82%
  • January 24 - 3.77%
  • February 24 - 4.03%

Here's a look at it since 2009:

See the worldwide desktop stats on Statcounter.

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.
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35 comments
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Tuxee Mar 4
Quoting: torstenchrIs this due to the launch of the steam deck?

It was launched in Febr. 22 (according to google) and in the last two years it's grown from 2% - 4%. Except the trend was slowing going up before that... so maybe it explains some of the growth but not all.

Doubtful. StatCounter is assessing their figures through webpage hits. Unless a lot of ppl use their deck for browsing, it won't have an impact.
drjoms Mar 4
I would like to point out, Linux is defo a gamer's OS compared to OS. We are so disproportional on Steam, compared to OS X amount.

If for whatever exodus of windows users will happen - it will increase Linux Gamers ranks.
Future looks bright, at least here.
4% of 34mio are 1,34mio including Steam Deck so approx 700k players with Linux desktop :D


Last edited by Soulprayer on 4 March 2024 at 5:19 pm UTC
Slow and steady wins the race? I'm okay with that.
I really wonder what's going on. As far as I know there hasn't been some major manufacturer suddenly marketing a big line of Linux computers, or anything. And as Tuxee said, I don't think it's the Steam Deck because I doubt most people browse the web with their deck.

But I do wonder if it's sort of connected. Increasingly, when people ask "So, nice OS, but can I play my games?" the answer is (unless they're big into a few online AAA games with anti-cheat) "Yes. No, really, look at the Steam Deck, it runs Linux!" Basically, Proton, and Valve turbocharging the Wine/Proton/etc system for not-emulating Windows to keep the Steam Deck effective, has largely removed a major barrier to Linux adoption. Maybe it turns out there are few barriers remaining, and for a lot of use cases none at all, and so people are making the switch. Maybe there's also a psychological shift--maybe the Deck is big enough that people's default image of Linux is moving from "Tricky difficult tinkerer OS" to "That OS that's on that simple slick gaming machine", dropping the intimidation factor.

Whatever the case, doubled in 3 years, 2% up in that time. If that growth stays steady, that puts us to 8 percent in 6 more years. And it kind of looks like it might even be speeding up. I'm not finding a cloudy lining in that silver.
Quoting: Soulprayer4% of 34mio are 1,34mio including Steam Deck so approx 700k players with Linux desktop :D
I'm not sure that really works--it's not a Steam statistic, it's a general use statistic. Or, well, it's a browsing-the-web statistic.
Highball Mar 4
If you read the Community Game forums on Steam, you can see people getting help with switching to Linux. Not even the Steam Linux forum. I mean, the actual game specific forum. Essentially, someone playing your game is using Linux. I don't think I would have seen that 1 year ago, people would have had to wonder if their game played on Linux.

Since most Windows gamers are Nvidia owners, this new NVK open source driver that dropped a few days ago will make a huge impact. That Nvidia pain point I think has been a turn off for many. I remember back in the day, you just installed the headers and ran the Nvidia binary. That was it. I helped a buddy of mine switch a month ago, and he had to update his kernel for some NVME controller bug and after that, installed the Nvidia package, that's it. But from the forums it seems like there are some configurations, laptop configurations, that are a little trickier. So hopefully the NVK driver will mature quickly and alleviate the various issues around Nvidia cards.

Anyways, now my buddy switched all his family computers to Linux. A little anecdotal but sort of explains the desktop growth seen in the statscounter vs Steam Linux growth. Maybe the Steam Deck sales aren't directly responsible for the overall Linux growth. But the work Valve and others have done in support of Steam Deck has paid in dividends to Linux. The rising tide lifts all ships. Eventually there will be enough Linux gamers out there, it'd be like the late 90's where your gamer friend helps you get an OS installed on your computer, except it wont be Windows.
pilk Mar 4
It's really nice seeing this climb, it was a little under eight months ago that we saw 3%. We may see 5% even sooner.
All the roadblocks that stopped me from ditching Windows are gone. Most of it was gaming, and pretty much all the games I play on the regular, I can play on Linux. As for those that don't, I still have options, and a dualboot just in case.

Swapped over for good back in June after flip-flopping for years and years (Windows 11 was the last straw), and I don't regret it one bit.


Last edited by pilk on 4 March 2024 at 8:31 pm UTC
KuJo Mar 4
I switched completely to Linux at the beginning of 2017. And I have never regretted it.

And because I've spoken about my switch to friends, I can tell you about two other former Windows and now Linux users. Call me Jesus ;) :D
Pengling Mar 4
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Quoting: KuJoCall me Jesus ;) :D

God-Jesus, robotic be thy name.
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