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Steam Hardware Survey For March 2015

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Another month, and another Steam Hardware Survey has been released. This time we have gained a little rather than lost a little.

To the numbers:

Linux results for March 2015
Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS 64 bit 0.31% +0.24%
Ubuntu 14.10 64 bit 0.15% +0.01%
Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca 64 bit 0.11% +0.02%
Linux 3.10 64 bit 0.09% +0.01%
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 64 bit 0.06% -0.24%

Total: 1.06% +0.04%
Last Month: 1.02%

My thoughts on it

A little increase for Linux this month and the usual changes for Mint, Ubuntu and the distros that report themselves as "Linux 3.10".

The real interesting thing to see here is that, again, only 64bit distributions are shown. The number of Linux users on Steam hasn't changed too much since the beginning, so is 64bit just gaining more popularity with Linux gamers? I personally sure hope so, as the "death" of 32bit is something I've been expecting for a while to finally happen.

Important things to remember

Be aware these results will probably not be that accurate as we don't know how they do their percentage results, they could be rounding up, rounding down or truncating the percentages. So a 0.5% could actually be nearly 0.6% as it could be 0.59% but they could do no rounding and simply truncate it.

Also remember it is a survey, so it won't ask every single one of you to do it. It would only be truly accurate if it did it behind the scenes, but that's not what a survey is for this is just to get a general idea.

Final Note: Look at it this way, Steam has around 100 million active users, 1% of 100 million is about 1,000,000 (1 million) people. What developer wouldn't want to hook into a market that big? Of course it doesn't mean they are guaranteed that amount of sales, but it's something fun to remember.

See the Hardware Survey on Steam here.
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fishxz 12 April 2015 at 4:29 pm UTC
got my first survey on linux yesterday.
Kimyrielle 12 April 2015 at 4:56 pm UTC
I am actually surprised that the numbers aren't going up more noticeably compared to 1-2 years ago, since it was always thought that the lack of games would be one of the major reasons holding back Linux growth. With all the games now available, one should think this is less of a factor now - but we're still around the 1% margin we always have been at. Maybe the Steam machines will do something about it.
Guest 12 April 2015 at 5:11 pm UTC
Im kind of thinking that in order for Valve to have less egg on their faces it would be better to play down the numbers until steam boxes are out and within a year openly publish the results as 5%
Eike 12 April 2015 at 5:18 pm UTC
Steam already has 125 million users (the same number as the inhabitants of Japan, from baby to geezer...) meaning the increase of 4 percent has to be multiplied with 25% (comparing with the time of 100 million users). Steam users explosion is eating up most of Linux users rise...
ArnoNym 12 April 2015 at 6:56 pm UTC
fishxzgot my first survey on linux yesterday.
Me too. When I was using Windows I got that survey almost every second month.

Since I am using Linux I spent more money for games and hardware/periphery than on Windows. Mostly because I am willing to spend my money for good things which are working on Linux. Previously on Windows it had to be cheap -- in every way possible.
Guest 12 April 2015 at 7:27 pm UTC
EikeSteam already has 125 million users (the same number as the inhabitants of Japan, from baby to geezer...) meaning the increase of 4 percent has to be multiplied with 25% (comparing with the time of 100 million users). Steam users explosion is eating up most of Linux users rise...

How many of them are bots / scammers ? Active users over 48hrs tends to be about maximum 8 million. Its still a large market and probably over the course of 6 months probably equals about 40 - 50 million if we include the most casual users out there.

but yea, I take your point the increase in users is swamping Linux stats. The first goto platform will almost always be windows ( until steamOS takes off more )
Linas 12 April 2015 at 9:55 pm UTC
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KimyrielleI am actually surprised that the numbers aren't going up more noticeably compared to 1-2 years ago...

I think it is because what we are seeing right now is Linux users getting into gaming, and not gamers getting into Linux. Not yet.
Kurremkarmerruk 12 April 2015 at 10:08 pm UTC
Using linux as my main gaming platform again for a couple months now with no survey and then the other day, I decided to give a few games a go through steam on Wine and literally the first time I opened Steam on Wine, I get the survey! What are the chances!

It got me thinking, I noticed there were some references to Wine in the results they were collecting. They should have a separate OS listing for Wine. It'd be interesting to see how many Windows results are actually OSX or Linux users running Steam through Wine.
Keizgon 12 April 2015 at 11:25 pm UTC
Numbers don't bother me. However, I will point out that we aren't really trending down in an overall OS category actually means we've gone up. Not trying to fanboy on Valve for this summary statement, but "Our numbers increase by roughly 50% each year and many are born out of holiday sales" (or something like that). I bought my first Linux games on Steam this last December and became an active user after sitting on that account for 2 years (no games).

The fact that a semi-popular YouTube channel, Tek Syndicate, is brewing interest in Linux is what matters to me. People are jumping in, tinkering, and sharing (without "RTFM" attitude) what they have learned/created. This is where we all genuinely started, and it's great news that word of mouth is spreading to a more viral / modern platform.

A site like GoL, matters to me. I can't recall a time where there even was an active large Linux community dedicated for gaming. Strange as it sounds, it is still a big step for us due to the limited ecosystem that's driving it forward. A missing optional piece to the Linux puzzle, if you will.

Steam / Humble Indie Bundle / GOG / Desura / Itch.io / etc matter to me. These platforms aren't going to stop giving Linux gaming a platform. If anything, they will keep the ball rolling. Valve's dedication to push driver support and Vulkan adoption honestly made me shed a tear for a bright future no matter what happens.

SteamOS / Machines is just icing on the cake, honestly, and it will provide a beneficial platform for those uninterested in the Linux side of things. Could it be the final console type? Possibly, since the current platforms are failing to keep people (gamers and developers) interest. However, I would like to point out, that it is also possible that consoles just die off altogether. What's important to note here though, is that hardware vendors (whether you like a particular one or not) finally are grouping up to give the Linux (SteamOS) option a viability.

People legitimately enjoying their new found Linux flavour/DE has always been important to me (even if SteamOS is simply a flavour of a console OS). I'm not an evangelist type, but that is what has kept the Linux ecosystem alive. People make these things happen.

Also, maybe it's just me, but people aren't trash talking Linux as much as they did a long time ago. Of course it still happens, but I've noticed a positive trend of "I hope Linux does well, even though it's not for me [atm]".

Sorry for the rant, but I just don't agree with "Steam should downplay the numbers". I didn't simply want to attack that statement, but explain why this is unnecessary to be suddenly non-transparent (people actually care about this a lot more nowadays) . Just shedding some positive forethought, and no, I wasn't trying to bolster that with an "evangelist for Linux" speech. ;)
masteredu 13 April 2015 at 2:38 am UTC
KimyrielleI am actually surprised that the numbers aren't going up more noticeably compared to 1-2 years ago, since it was always thought that the lack of games would be one of the major reasons holding back Linux growth. With all the games now available, one should think this is less of a factor now - but we're still around the 1% margin we always have been at. Maybe the Steam machines will do something about it.

Sry to say that, but I believe its the fault of the distributions:

The top players are Linux Mint, which is community driven, Ubuntu which looks ugly, is slow and uses outdated software and represents linux for a lot of people and I believe Arch (?) which is however community driven as well.
1 year ago Ubuntu and Canonical had a very good position but nowadays I dont believe anyone really supports Ubuntu anymore with their egoistic behaviour...
Just think about, if you would have friends and family, would you *really* recommend them to use Linux? Like really? I wouldn't.

My hopes lay in the following distros, however I have my doubts:
*Elementary OS (Very appealing to new comers, and seems easy to use, however not a real software center there yet, kind of community driven)
*Fedora (well, they only support free software, so it will never be a sucess at all)
*Linux Mint (well its community driven.. so no one will invest into it at all, they dont have very innovative software :/)
*Arch Linux (Actually I believe Archlinux, or one of its deriviates, will soon be the biggest distro (bigger than all) because if you learn to know it the first time, the rolling release aspect will attract you and you never want anything else
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