The day has come when, for the first time, Arch Linux has overtaken Ubuntu in Steam statistics as the most popular distro among Linux gamers. How do you stay?
If you are a regular reader of linuxstoney, you had already seen it coming, because it was not long ago that we dedicated an article to the subject and the trend admitted little discussion, even when we talk about statistics that, like any other statistics, do not involve absolute numbers or even to the platform they represent. And yes, there is life beyond Steam for Linux gamers, although not much.
The point is that if Steam statistics are used to determine data such as the operating system or the hardware of the users, they are also used for this. Well, according to Steam stats for May, Arch Linux has overtaken Ubuntu as the most popular Linux, both solo and platform-wise. With one exception, yes. But the data is significant.
Steam stats for May , just for the Linux “versions” listed in them, are as follows:
- Arch Linux: 12,85%
- Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS: 11.75%
- Manjaro Linux: 11,09%
- Ubuntu 22.04 LTS: 8.04%
- Linux Mint: 20.3 5,97%
- Steam OS Holo: 5.23%
There is Arch Linux, at the head of Linux gaming over Ubuntu itself… With the aforementioned exception, and that is that if instead of independent versions we add distributions, Ubuntu continues to get a peak , since Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 22.04 go separately. Now, what happens if we add base distributions? That the milestone is repeated.
Thus, the sum of the percentages of Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04 and Linux Mint 20.3 reaches 25.76%, while that of Arch Linux, Manjaro and SteamOS Holo, the Steam Deck based on Arch Linux, the percentage is 29.17%. So the Arch Linux ecosystem also surpasses that of Ubuntu on Steam , which is another milestone.
However, and although I understand that the dance of figures can give something to talk about because of the above, the trend that is making Ubuntu fall from its position of privilege as the standard distribution of games on Linux, two things must be taken into account clear and that are more important than the retail on which the news revolves: the total share of Linux on Steam remains at 1.12%.
On the other hand, there is a last percentage that does not point to anyone in particular, but it is scary: Others: 45.07% . In other words, of the total share of Linux on Steam -always according to these statistics- almost half is not known where it comes from. That is why, despite the evidence that Ubuntu had better days as a representative of Linux gaming, the situation is more complex than simple statistics can explain.
In addition, the article I mentioned above, although it alludes to the downward trend of Ubuntu, refers more specifically to the use of Proton, with all that that entails. Not to mention that Ubuntu is still the de facto Linux, at least for game developers, and looking at the specifications of any title that comes our way is plenty.