The Steam on Linux market-share has been slowly but surely climbing since Valve introduced Steam Play as their Proton based solution for running Windows games on Linux.
If you’re at all interested in gaming on PCs, you’ve probably come across Steam, Valve’s platform for distributing, updating and running games. Steam makes it possible to purchase a game, install it over the internet and then run it from the Steam interface.
There are plenty of Steam games that will run on Linux. This approach is officially supported by Steam using a system called Proton, which is a compatibility layer that allows Windows games to run on Linux-based operating systems.
Yesterday Valve has published its monthly Steam Hardware Survey for October, and aside from showing the usual Nvidia and Intel dominance in GPUs and CPUs usage among Steam users, there weren’t many new takeaways from the latest report except Linux gaming rising to 1.13%.
In this case that 1.13% market-share is a +0.08% bump over the previous month. For context, Linux gaming has historically sat below 1%, according to the folks at GamingOnLinux who have been tracking market share of the open source OS for a good few years now.
Going by the data that Steam provide we can see a breakdown of the most popular Linux distributions on Steam right now as these:
- Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS – 0.19%
- Manjaro Linux – 0.13%
- Arch Linux – 0.13%
- Linux Mint 20.2 – 0.07%
- Ubuntu 21.04 – 0.06%
The stats above represent the market-share of all gaming systems questioned in the survey. In addition to, on the image below you can see the stats concerning only Linux-based systems. Unsurprisingly, Ubuntu is the most used Linux distro running the Steam client.
Let’s just recall that In April, the number of players started to grow slowly and reached the 1% mark in July. Considering Valve’s own data of 120 million monthly active users, there should be around 1.2 million Linux players on Steam right now.
So obviously more people are now starting to use the Linux operating system, according to a survey on Steam hardware. While there doesn’t seem to be any way to know for sure, it’s entirely possible that this increase has occurred thanks to the announcement of the Steam Deck.
We expect the Linux market-share to rise even further once Steam Decks start getting in the hands of the gamers. All of the people using the console will contribute to the growth of Linux gaming, helping it to a much higher level adoption.