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Looks like the Linux market share on Steam went up in January

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I waited a bit longer than usual on this, since last time Valve adjusted their numbers from positive to negative for the Linux market share. It seems as of last month, the Linux market share on Steam went up a bit. You can see them on Steam here.

When I say "went up", I don't mean we actually increased. Well, we did, but we're still not at the levels we were before PUBG's (PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS) release on Steam. Anyway…the January 2018 market share on Steam for Linux was 0.41% (+ 0.15%).

That's certainly better than a continual downward trend that we had been seeing, but as I said in a previous article on this, I fully expect it to bounce around until the incredible interest around games like PUBG subsides.

I've gone and updated my previous charts to highlight what's been happening for those interested. First up, the Linux market share on Steam just by itself to see what's been happening recently.

Now, to get some perspective on why the sudden drop, take a look at the choice of languages on Steam, the battle for the most used language.

Finally, here's a look at what would happen if we took out Simplified Chinese as a language and when we look at just English as a language in relation to the Linux market share on Steam.

You might have questions as to what's going on for January to bounce back a little, well, it could be a simple case of "1,044,000" PUBG players being banned by BattlEye.

I know many of you question the validity of the numbers from the Steam Hardware Survey, but as far as Valve are concerned they're accurate. Here's what a Valve developer said about them about a year ago:

Actually, the real login numbers are usually a bit lower than the reported survey numbers due to the noise of random distribution. The system works as intended.

Just something to think about, for all the people who think it's unfair in some way.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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33 comments
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micha 7 February 2018 at 2:19 pm UTC
Wasn't there a huge PUBG ban wave? ;-)
liamdawe 7 February 2018 at 2:22 pm UTC
michaWasn't there a huge PUBG ban wave? ;-)
It's mentioned in the article...
madpinger 7 February 2018 at 2:28 pm UTC
I wonder how it handles dual booters tho. Well, doesn't matter what the 'market' share is to me I suppose. Linux will chug along and so long as we have hardware drivers, it's viable. Games or not. ^.^
GustyGhost 7 February 2018 at 3:00 pm UTC
Some of your (EDIT: GoL community, not Liam) quotes from when that percentage was trending downward:

QuoteThe survey is pointless anyway since Valve does not mention the sample size.

QuoteIn my opinion the steam survey is a highly unreliable way to count Linux marketshare (as a whole).

Firstly, it can only count those who have steam accounts. Not all Linux users have steam.

Secondly its numbers are way out of sync with everywhere else... 0.2%? Almost all other places rate us at 1-2% range.

Quote...As I said, we should just ignore this "random" survey garbage.

If it doesn't matter to you when it's going down, then why does it matter when it's going up?


Last edited by GustyGhost at 7 February 2018 at 3:07 pm UTC
liamdawe 7 February 2018 at 3:06 pm UTC
GustyGhostSome of your quotes from when that percentage was trending downward:

QuoteThe survey is pointless anyway since Valve does not mention the sample size.

QuoteIn my opinion the steam survey is a highly unreliable way to count Linux marketshare (as a whole).

Firstly, it can only count those who have steam accounts. Not all Linux users have steam.

Secondly its numbers are way out of sync with everywhere else... 0.2%? Almost all other places rate us at 1-2% range.

Quote...As I said, we should just ignore this "random" survey garbage.

If it doesn't matter to you when it's going down, then why does it matter when it's going up?
The first quote is from "bintsmok".

The second quote is from "BlackBloodRum".

The last quote is from "no_information_here".

None of them are from me, all those comments are from here, see for yourself.

Edit: I see you decided to make it clearer now with your own edit ;)


Last edited by liamdawe at 7 February 2018 at 3:08 pm UTC
veccher 7 February 2018 at 3:29 pm UTC
i'm kinda ignoring this statistics, linux is so small in this graphs that it's hard to conclude anything, plus it's possible that steam adjusts the statistics and it come down again.
slaapliedje 7 February 2018 at 3:59 pm UTC
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What does it matter, Linux has long surpassed having more commercial support than the Atari Jaguar.
Corben 7 February 2018 at 4:52 pm UTC
Yeah, and I was able to contribute to the Linux counter this month \o/
The survey on Linux is not a myth :->
I even attached my HTC Vive before completing the survey, so that was also taken into account ^^
DanNeely 7 February 2018 at 5:19 pm UTC
How do you do the language filtering? Other than top level OS (Combined, Windows, Mac, or Linux) I didn't think there were any filters on the data available to regular users.
Purple Library Guy 7 February 2018 at 5:58 pm UTC
Still don't put much faith in the survey. Valve may think it's fit for purpose, but I have no way of knowing why, and it tends to be out of step with most other data I see about Linux usage.
The one major thing I take from the data lately is simple: Chinese people don't use Linux. It would be good if something were done about that.
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