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I still see a surprising amount of confusion from people on what Steam games work on Linux. Hopefully this will help clear it all up.

The problem is, Valve originally used the Linux "Tux" icon to show Linux compatibility:
They then replaced that with the SteamOS logo, which is basically the Steam logo in a coloured circle.

Steam Play is not Linux
If it doesn't have that little SteamOS icon at the end, it usually means it does not support Linux/SteamOS.

You see this all the time, but Steam Play does not mean it supports Linux & SteamOS. Steam Play means you buy it once, and it will only work on the platforms that the game supports directly. If a game is not Steam Play, you would need to re-buy it on each platform.

Here's one that only supports Windows & Mac for example:

Thoughts on it
I do think Valve need to do something to address this, I'm sure they know it's a little confusing, but it's possible they haven't even looked into it yet. It could also be possible that they simply don't care, but I would certainly hope they do.

Even moving the "STEAMPLAY" text to the start instead of at the end would help somewhat, as it would clearly show the SteamOS icon by itself then.

It frustrates me to see the confusion from users across the internet on what game supports Linux, as it shouldn't be this difficult, but Valve have made it difficult for people by not fully thinking this through.

One thing to remember: Not everyone has been around Linux as long as we have to understand the distinction between the icons. Remember the confusion isn't the fault of the user, this is a poor design choice from Valve. We have to remember this when seeing confused users. Help them, don't put them down.

It certainly doesn't help that Valve removed the SteamOS icon for a number of games as they work on Linux, but not SteamOS directly. Games like Starbound work fine on Ubuntu, but it has no SteamOS icon. There are further issues like Dying Light not having a SteamOS icon, due to some packaging issues, but it works "fine" (In quotes, as that's debatable) on Linux & SteamOS.

What do you think Valve could do to help the situation for people?

Also, an honourable mention to the SteamDB Linux list. Human-confirmed Steam games that work on Linux, and games that have hints about coming to Linux on the other tab. Article taken from
Tags: Editorial, HOWTO
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ChloeWolfieGirl Apr 10, 2016
You can search the store by linux games and when you know that the steam icon means it works on Linux you're good on that side, the biggest issue I'd say would be figuring out what games you have work on Linux, if you're using linux its easy to see what games are linux but on windows not so much, so people wanting to figure out which of there games are linux or not linux have to go to each individual game store page, which is just hassle...
Xpander Apr 10, 2016
bring the tux icon back, is that really so hard? have both tux and steamos icons or something.
i have heard lots of complaints.

"how you play this game? this game doesnt have linux icon"
"i bought a steamplay title, but it is saying that its missing executable, halp!"

have it something like that (i'm not good in this but... )

Last edited by Xpander on 10 April 2016 at 9:45 am UTC
Iiro Apr 10, 2016
@Xpander Agreed!
I wrote the same thing to Valve about tux + SteamOS icon when I asked for a refund for a game I thought ran on Linux.

Also would be great if you could filter away all but Linux games on the Steam Store (front page, wishlist and all).
And yes, I know I can search games that run on Linux but it isn't the same is it?
qptain Nemo Apr 10, 2016
I think only the SteamOS icon if it works on SteamOS or the tux icon if it doesn't work on SteamOS but works on other Linux distros is good enough. I think showing both is redundant (and makes the platform come off as cumbersome and overcomplicated).

Last edited by qptain Nemo on 10 April 2016 at 9:55 am UTC
StianTheDark Apr 10, 2016
What consequences would it have for them as a company to not change it? Nothing. Therefore, they probably wont change it. It's just making more people use SteamOS because they don't realize the games support Linux. If there was some sort of sanction against Valve, they would probably do something.
Seegras Apr 10, 2016
Yes, the ones with the logo are not the only games on Steam that run on Linux.

You can find more here:

Plus, there are some games for Unity, which do not package the Unity-runtime for Linux, but will work on Linux when you copy it over by hand:
mao_dze_dun Apr 10, 2016
I think there is no perfect solution. Enough people might find either confusing. I think the SteamOS logo is the least problematic but I can absolutely see why somebody would think otherwise.
Armand Raynal Apr 10, 2016
I noticed the difference after buying The Binding of Isaac and looking desperatly for it in my steam library for like 15 minutes(the filter steamos+Linux was on).

A bad day :'(
minj Apr 10, 2016
First they co-opted the linux name and replaced tux with steam icon, then they removed that stupid icon on games that need a desktop environment. Tsk tsk. As if it's hard to have two icons.
fishxz Apr 10, 2016
Quoting: StianTheDarkWhat consequences would it have for them as a company to not change it? Nothing. Therefore, they probably wont change it. It's just making more people use SteamOS because they don't realize the games support Linux. If there was some sort of sanction against Valve, they would probably do something.
yep. i talked with a few friends a few days ago and no one knew how to recognize a linux game on steam. its very misleading at the moment and i dont get why valve does not show the tux icon aswell... everyone know tux is linux but most people dont know that the steamos logo is linux and even worse, the dont even know it is steamos, they thought it is the steamplay logo...

valve officially supports linux, but does not show the os icon on the store. what is the point of it? is valve ashamed to show his linux support?

Last edited by fishxz on 10 April 2016 at 11:19 am UTC
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