Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through Paypal, Flattr and Liberapay!

Here's an interesting way to look at how the amount of Linux users on Steam has changed over time, when looking at the amount of daily active users.

Using a similar method to the one made by user dmantione who submitted this article to us back in May of 2016, which looked at peak users. A user on reddit has taken a look at the Linux market share against Valve's reported daily active users, using data they gave out during a recent presentation.

Here's the image it references (credit):

So we have about 12 million in April 2014, 25 million in April 2016 and 42 million in April 2018. Using the figures for the Steam market share given out by the Hardware Survey then, we get:

  • April 2014 - Linux 1.26% - 151,200
  • April 2016 - Linux 0.90% - 225,000
  • April 2018 - Linux 0.55% - 231,000

That's daily active Linux users, not overall Linux users.

While this should of course be taken with a pinch of salt, it's still quite interesting if it's even remotely close to what's happening. While it has increased going by that data, it does look like the Linux user base on Steam is close to stagnating as growth has slowed down quite a lot in more recent years.

The Hardware Survey from August 2017 up until April 2018 had a counting flaw, which had cyber cafes using Windows 7 in Asia being over-counted. Valve say they fixed it, so it should mean the April 2018 number is actually correct.

Note: We originally said the counting flaw might have affected it, this was wrong (since it's fixed and we're using the overall number) and we have corrected the text—blame a lack of coffee and hot weather.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
10 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more information here.
27 comments
Page: 1/3»
  Go to:

tonR 9 July 2018 at 9:43 am UTC
QuoteHowever, digging even a little deeper, we need to also take into account that the Hardware Survey from August 2017 up until April 2018 had a counting flaw, which had cyber cafes using Windows 7 in Asia being over-counted. So it's probable the Linux numbers between those dates were actually higher, which would partially explain why the increase is so much smaller in later years but it likely would still be a smaller increase compared to previous years.
I wonder if Microsoft will extending the Windows 7 EOL date.
Eike 9 July 2018 at 9:54 am UTC
tonRI wonder if Microsoft will extending the Windows 7 EOL date.

I think they will force people to Windows 10.
anth 9 July 2018 at 10:12 am UTC
That reddit user here. Unfortunately I don't think that counting flaw affected the data that was used for the periods used, so no extra probable Linux users got missed.

The last survey results published with that flaw were for March 2018. The results for April were published in early May along with the explanation that cyber cafe customers were overcounted. Going from the March to April survey results saw Linux jumping from 0.33% to 0.55% and Simplified Chinese dropping from 52.24% to 30.35%.

So that corrected data should also have been available for the presentation.


Last edited by anth at 9 July 2018 at 10:18 am UTC
Ehvis 3 years 9 July 2018 at 10:13 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
From 225k to 231k is 2.7%. Considering that one of the numbers comes from the Steam surveys, I don't think this is statistically significant (and no, I will not do the math ). I still think it is approximately stable over the past two years with maybe a slight growth. That probably means that most Linux users that will accept Steam as a gaming platform are using it now and that current growth is more based on "new" Linux users. This growth is likely much slower than that of the Steam platform itself.
liamdawe 9 July 2018 at 10:22 am UTC
anthThat reddit user here. Unfortunately I don't think that counting flaw affected the data that was used for the periods used, so no extra probable Linux users got missed.

The last survey results published with that flaw were for March 2018. The results for April were published in early May along with the explanation that cyber cafe customers were overcounted. Going from the March to April survey results saw Linux jumping from 0.33% to 0.55% and Simplified Chinese dropping from 52.24% to 30.35%.

So that corrected data should also have been available for the presentation.
Yup, I've adjusted the wording to make that clear. I will blame the lack of coffee
Corben 9 July 2018 at 10:55 am UTC
Oh dear, when I see these numbers, I'm so thankful that we get any Linux versions at all.
I really hope we can give Devs the feeling it is worth it, by supporting them, thanking them and spreading out the word of their games.
Luke_Nukem 9 July 2018 at 11:05 am UTC
If Linux gamer growth had kept pace with Windows growth then percentage wouldn't have gone down. This does show that growth hadn't reversed at least.
bintsmok 9 July 2018 at 11:18 am UTC
Just to add, that is just Steam. We're still not counting Linux users from GOG, Itch, and Humble Store.
muell 9 July 2018 at 2:15 pm UTC
Literally stagnation for two years and the headline is 'The amount of Linux users on Steam has increased when going by daily active users'. So you're really doing this on purpose, are you?
KuJo 9 July 2018 at 2:17 pm UTC
Now that wine is getting ready to play even demanding AAA Windows games with acceptable FPS thanks to DXVK, for example, I am considering using a Windows Steam client under Wine.

Unfortunately I will then be counted as a Windows user and not as a Linux user in a hardware survey.

Too bad.
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

Due to spam you need to Register and Login to comment.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts