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The Linux market share on Steam is at a 14 month high as of September 2018

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UPDATE: See here for the revised (higher) figures.

Valve have put up their usual monthly survey and the interesting thing for us is that the Linux share is the highest it's been for some time now.

We're currently tracking it every month on a dedicated page which gives you some historical data. As you can see, the current Linux market share on Steam is now at 0.71% as of September's figures. It hasn't been that high since July last year when it hit 0.74%. Although we're still chasing that elusive 1% mark.

With Valve introducing their new Steam Play system near the end of August, it certainly seems to have had an effect. Whether this continues or not is certainly going to be interesting to see, but it's still a pretty good sign. Still not exactly a high percentage when you compare it to Windows at 96.30% for September, but we do have to remember the seemingly ever-increasing user-count on Steam too which means we probably have a lot more users than some would think.

The biggest uncertainty will be people testing out Linux for Steam Play, if they do decide to become fully-fledged Linux users. I've honestly lost count of the amount of people across the net, that said they've officially dumped Windows or they're finally trying Linux out. There's been a lot of positive talk about it lately, so no matter what Valve have put Linux back on the radar.

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53 comments
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kassindornelles 3 October 2018 at 12:13 am UTC
we are getting there tnks to dxvk and valve proton
Scoopta 3 October 2018 at 6:49 am UTC
EhvisIt's possible that people using Steam on Wine were now more likely to get their survey on Linux again due to proton. It could also be a statistical anomaly. Time will tell.

On a positive note, I got a survey last night. On Linux obviously.
I personally think people using steam in wine should at least decline to take the survey unless it shows up in their native client so as to avoid inflating windows numbers. Hopefully it won't be an issue now anyway thanks to proton.
tonR 3 October 2018 at 6:55 am UTC
Well, this is a prove Steam Play/Proton works. More Windows gamers might wanted to try Linux and/or might not need dual-boot anymore.

Also, PUBG already declining on PC in my hometown. Most people I know (who's gamers) playing Fortnite (some) or PUBG on mobile (most) because both are free-to-play and plus as mobile games, it can be played anywhere.
Finalizer 3 October 2018 at 8:31 am UTC
It would be nice if cows could fly.....It can happen before that 1% amount of users has been reached. I have some doubts of users changing from win10 to Linux. It requires know-how to use Linux system and when you look at how Windows thrives at the moment it's a huge task to reach bigger numbers of users using Linux.But I'll be glad if I'm wrong
tuubi 3 October 2018 at 9:49 am UTC
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FinalizerIt requires know-how to use Linux system
Tell that to my elderly relatives. I'd say Linux is easier to use than Windows these days, but reality matters less than how people perceive it.
const 3 October 2018 at 10:15 am UTC
tuubi
FinalizerIt requires know-how to use Linux system
Tell that to my elderly relatives. I'd say Linux is easier to use than Windows these days, but reality matters less than how people perceive it.

I actually agree with both of you
Using linux for everyday stuff is totally easy.
Switching from windows workflows to linux workflows can be a hassle or even impossible, especially for professional usage.
Installing linux is super easy 99% of the time.
Making linux work exactly the way you want can be a hassle.
Starting to game on linux can be a hassle.
Getting linux to perform at it's best for gaming is science AND fun for those that can enjoy it.

It's hard to accept, but linux gaming has it's edges and is still not ready for the lazy windows user who just want to start games and have optimal performance. I'd say with the next Ubuntu LTS a lot of things will have made their way upstream and documentation will be available so most can enjoy it right from the start.


Last edited by const at 3 October 2018 at 10:25 am UTC
tuubi 3 October 2018 at 10:53 am UTC
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constMaking linux work exactly the way you want can be a hassle.
Whereas making Windows work exactly the way I want is impossible. ;)

constGetting linux to perform at it's best for gaming is science AND fun for those that can enjoy it.
For the most common gaming hardware on the most common distro (Nvidia / Ubuntu), I don't think this requires more than installing a new graphics driver. Isn't that what you need to do on Windows as well?

But yeah, gaming still isn't as convenient as it could be for someone new to Linux. Worth it though and getting better by leaps and bounds.
const 3 October 2018 at 12:37 pm UTC
tuubiWhereas making Windows work exactly the way I want is impossible. ;)
Absolutely true

tuubiFor the most common gaming hardware on the most common distro (Nvidia / Ubuntu), I don't think this requires more than installing a new graphics driver. Isn't that what you need to do on Windows as well?

But yeah, gaming still isn't as convenient as it could be for someone new to Linux. Worth it though and getting better by leaps and bounds.
Latest drivers are a thing and learning how to install them on your distro ist a lesson needed to learn, but why should it be necessary on a months-old distribution?
After fiddling around with it, I think GameMode is really improving the experience for a lot of games. Then there's stuff like xinerama. And input devices. I'm a linux user for 16 years by now, but handling my various game pads still feels like fighting the system. I just switched to manjaro and my steam controller did not work until i installed the steam-hardware package. On my also relatively fresh Ubuntu 18.04 install, I couldn't get it to work at all. Neither would my 8bitdo controller work. Also, keep in mind that Windows vs. Linux is not fair competition. People have experience with windows, they know people who can help. And they have expectations on how to handle problems that are probably wrong. That's why default behaviour can be really important.

I really think those things will improve in the next years, without doubt. And that's the positive side that can't be overstated: While Windows get's worse over time, Linux improves at tremendous pace.


Last edited by const at 3 October 2018 at 12:49 pm UTC
Dedale 3 October 2018 at 7:32 pm UTC
What a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious coincidence ladies and gentlemen, i agree with the THREE of you !

I put Linux on my not-very-at-ease-with-computers mother's computer and she has zero Linux specific troubles. She would be in more pain with a current windows OS. Which means I would be in pain. And i find her system very easy to maintain: I just have to enter her admin password from time to time to install updates and remove duplicates of files she has downloaded and that's about it.

But, in general, doing non trivial stuff on a computer requires a bit of know how and persistence. For a lot of people, computer are appliances and having to fiddle to make things work is considered abnormal and eventually painful. I mean, most of us here do not debug or update our vacuum cleaners right ?

And there are also people who dislike learning new stuff. It goes against the way i was educated but not everyone shares the same values. But i guess it is no less a problem in Windows.

I have stopped playing combat flight simulators because i have stopped booting on Windows. Making a windows flight simulator work with HOTAS joystick and head tracking support in WINE is too much hassle for me, if it is even possible. I expect a hardcore gamer to refuse to migrate. For that kind of problem or simply a loss of FPS, even if he or she has a Linux native port.

And many are simply not interested or do not even know something else that what they are used to exist.

But non of us expect a very big market share i guess. All we need a enough people to be taken seriously by the people who make games or other stuff we use with computers. And that is improving.


Last edited by Dedale at 3 October 2018 at 7:32 pm UTC
Lightkey 4 October 2018 at 1:52 am UTC
I am a little surprised that nobody mentioned the "three ways to look at it" numbers (except indirectly that PUBG = Chinese = Windows-only) linked in the news.

There, without players using Chinese as Steam's language, Linux is at 0.96% and English-only is at 1.91%, which is significantly higher relative to past numbers, making both the best result since November 2016 - a 22 month high instead of 14!
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