Steam On Linux Adoption Gaining, Overtaking Mac OS

Steam On Linux Adoption Gaining, Overtaking Mac OS

A lot of things happen at the start of each month, and one of those that I look most forward to is being able to check out the updated hardware survey at Steam. It's especially interesting right now, because Windows 8 is only four months old, and the platform became official for Linux only a couple of weeks ago. Given it happened so recently, I think most might agree that the Linux aspect is a bit more interesting than the Windows 8 aspect at the moment.

In last month's survey (for January, 2013), Linux as a whole accounted for 1.27% of the total. This included both x86 and x86_64 versions. But, these numbers were from before the time Steam for Linux was official - so where do we stand today? At a cool 2.08%, that's where.

The bulk of the share belongs to the latest version of Ubuntu, 12.10 64-bit, with 0.71%. The 32-bit edition slots in second, with 0.38% of the share. Interestingly, Linux Mint gets a mention this month, with a share of 0.17%.

Considering the fact that the Linux userbase is but a mere drop in the bucket versus Windows, to score 2% just two weeks after the official Steam for Linux launch is pretty impressive. How does it compare to Mac OS X, a platform which has had a Steam client for close to three years? 3.07%.

Given the two-month trend we just experienced, it's reasonable to believe that next month, Linux could overtake Mac OS X as the second most-popular OS using the service. 

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Good.

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The ONLY real problems are UEFI at boot and driver support/installation.

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Agreed. Though I sure wouldn't mind a LOT more game developers jumping on board either ;-)

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>> The ONLY real problems are UEFI at boot and driver support/installation.

I don't see either of these as a problem. Linux officially supports UEFI and BIOS (Windows only supports UEFI). If you're speaking in regards to the Samsung issue, it was proven that this is a Samsung firmware issue, and that the same bricking could occur using Windows (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2027819/not-just-linux-windows-can-brick-samsung-laptops-too.html). If you have a Samsung, just use the BIOS boot method for now.

Driver installation on Ubuntu and Mint are dead simple, and nVidia has really stepped up their game recently. I'm kind of anxious to see if they will support Wayland, as there's the potential for all kinds of additional performance improvements. I do agree that their support could be better, but I'm thinking it won't be long before we see some official Optimus support.

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Linux is most likely actually at 2.9%. I'm guessing the 0.82% 'other' OS category is almost entirely people that are running Steam on 32-bit Linux distros other than the supported Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 and Mint platforms.

It's also worth noting that the vast majority of Linux users that are showing up in that 2+% are also being counted as Windows users as well - since most of us have had Steam installed under Wine for years and may still own a few games that do not have native ports at this time.

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The "Other" category isn't new, though. I'm not sure what the percentage was before, or what other OSes would be summed-up there. I just know it's not a new category.

It'd be nice if Valve allowed you to peruse the history.

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You're right: Perhaps some other OSX versions are in there. There might even be 0.00001% ReactOS in there. Hehe... I still think that the majority of it is Linux - even if some of it is from Cedega and Transgaming OS identifiers that don't exactly conform to the Windows strings.

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Oh, I agree. It won't matter when next month comes and Linux ranks higher than Mac OS X. *grins*

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There have been a few other interesting stories related to this recently. Like, how Defenders Quest has already sold 3x as much on Linux as it did on Mac:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LarsDoucet/20130228/187569/Defenders_Quest__Our_Steam_Linux_Sale_Results.php

And, now that they have officially released, there seem to be lots of new games rolling in each week.  As of this morning, we're at 131 titles.

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