The latest Steam Hardware Survey has been released and this time around Linux has actually increased the share by a small amount.

I know, I stopped writing about these for a while because the numbers we're talking about here are a little boring and I don't see it changing much any time soon.

Anyway, here's the current Linux market-share on Steam:
Total Overall: Linux 0.81% +0.05%
  • Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS 64 bit 0.23% 0.00%
  • Ubuntu 17.04 64 bit 0.10% +0.10%
  • Linux 64 bit 0.08% 0.00%
  • Linux Mint 18.1 Serena 64 bit 0.08% +0.01%


Despite popular belief, I consider it to be pretty accurate of the state of things on Steam. Yes it may be different elsewhere, but Steam is serving the gamer market. Every time I talk to a developer, they generally give me sales figures around that mark. We can make any wild claims we like about it being inaccurate, but if it was, more developers would be seeing a different story.

Sure Steam Big Picture and SteamOS aren't counted, but those are likely quite a minority.

Does it paint a terrible picture? Well, not exactly. 0.81% of the overall Steam user-base is still a pretty large amount of people. We have no idea just how many active accounts Steam has right now, but every time they talk about it, it's risen by quite a lot. The last time they spoke about it (end of 2015), it was at 125 million. That would put Linux gamers at well over a million, but that number is likely higher now due to Steam's growth since they last talked about it. How high is anyone's guess, since Valve aren't massively open about that.

Not enough to turn the heads of some important publishers sure, but we have a healthy amount of games flowing in constantly to keep me happy.

Where Linux gaming is right now, is pretty great. We only have to look back a short number of years to remember the great drought of games we had. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Guest 2 Jun, 2017
I do agree that the steam survey is fairly accurate but it would be nice to somehow collate a list of sales from GOG, Itch.io, Gamejolt, Ferral Store, Steam, SteamOS etc.. all into one. At last calculation there were 90million Linux desktop users in the world. Obviously not all of those people game or have the hardware to game.. but i think there is more to the picture than just the Steam survey when judging Linux gaming success.
gabber 2 Jun, 2017
I finally got the survey
themixturemedia 2 Jun, 2017
When I barely get the steam survey and that is the same issue with my daughters computer. It makes you wonder how accurate the survey really is, it should be pushed out to everyone once a month.
Liam Dawe 2 Jun, 2017
Quoting: themixturemediaWhen I barely get the steam survey and that is the same issue with my daughters computer. It makes you wonder how accurate the survey really is, it should be pushed out to everyone once a month.
You realize it's a survey, right? Of course it doesn't capture everyone or the same people each month. It is meant to show trends.

People seem to misunderstand what a survey does.
skinnyraf 2 Jun, 2017
So, it's basically stable, cause it has been hovering around 0.8% as far as I remember.
The thing with a statistical test is that it should be carefully set up with an explicit testing methodology. I don't care how brilliant Steam's engineers are, if they just slapped the hardware survey together then it probably does not actually test what they think it does. Of all the mathematical sciences, statistics is the easiest to delude yourself with.

As for all the rest of us, until the methodology is made public, the statistic is frankly useless. Yes, it may match up with other anecdotal numbers (small developer sales) but, as we should know by now, the plural of anecdote is not data.
themixturemedia 2 Jun, 2017
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: themixturemediaWhen I barely get the steam survey and that is the same issue with my daughters computer. It makes you wonder how accurate the survey really is, it should be pushed out to everyone once a month.
You realize it's a survey, right? Of course it doesn't capture everyone or the same people each month. It is meant to show trends.

People seem to misunderstand what a survey does.

I 100% understand what the survey does :-) it just would be nice to get a bigger picture of users using Linux, Windows and Mac. I understand that the stats can go down and up but the survey does not really tell the bigger picture of how many users are using an OS. Just my thought that would be nice to get a bigger picture of user base.
lucifertdark 2 Jun, 2017
I got the survey too, for the first time this year.
wojtek88 2 Jun, 2017
I don't get it. Why Steam publishes information about users from surveys instead from analytics of running Steam clients?
It would make much more sense to have analytics per month with:
- max / min / average daily users,
- max / min / average users at the same time,
- overall hours steam clients been running.

I have never had Steam survey and I was using multiple machines, multiple Wine prefixes and multiple distributions.
Measuring market share from Steam survey makes no sense.

And I don't say Linux market would be bigger, because most of the game sales published on this site say Linux is about 0.5 - 2 percent, but I would consider such a data much more useful than Steam survey.

P.S. if someone would say that such an analytics would be too much to infrastructure, I would laugh, because I can't imagine such a big system without analytics data. So I'm confident Steam collects such a data.
Salvatos 2 Jun, 2017
The difference may simply lie in the right to publish that data. People who participate in the survey willingly submit their info for inclusion in the survey.
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