2% of Steam survey participants now using Linux

Steam’s hardware survey provides an interesting snapshot of the PC industry—or at least the portion of it that plays games using Valve’s distribution service. The numbers for February are out, and perhaps the most interesting statistic is the percentage of folks using the Steam for Linux client, which sits at just over 2%. That may be a relatively small number, but it’s an impressive figure considering the fact that the Linux client has only been available to the general public since December’s open beta. The client was officially released in mid-February.

Since the Linux client’s unveiling, the number of compatible Steam games has grown to 131 titles, most of which come from smaller independent developers. Apart from Counter-Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2, and Serious Sam: BFE, you won’t really find anything resembling a blockbuster release.

To put things into perspective, Steam for the Mac came out in May 2010 and now accounts for about 3% of surveyed users. And that’s with the benefit of more than three times the number of compatible games, including AAA releases like Civilization V, Borderlands 2, and Left 4 Dead 2.

The Steam survey also tallies hardware configuration details, yielding a few interesting tidbits. DirectX 11-class graphics can be found in 58% of systems, while DX10 gear accounts for 36%. Only about 13% of surveyed systems are using Intel GPUs, so the firm’s various HD Graphics solutions don’t sway the numbers too much.

Predictably, the most popular display resolution is 1080p, which has a 30% share, followed by 1366×768 at 20%. Resolutions higher than 1080p make up only 4.5% of the total. In a bit of a surprise, that figure is half the 9% of systems rocking 12GB or more of system RAM. CPUs are split pretty evenly between dual-core models at 48% and quads at 43%.

Valve’s games run well on budget hardware, as do all those indie releases that find their way onto Steam, so the survey results tend to be biased toward lower-end configs. Too bad the numbers can’t be sorted by game. I’d be curious to see how the stats differ for those who play newer titles, like Borderlands 2 and Far Cry 3, versus those playing older games, such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2.

Comments closed
    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Is the Steam Community hub down for everyone?

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t worry it’s back up, temporary crash it seems.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Maybe it runs on a Linux server? They probably tried to blob the wrong FOSS, and xorg’d the pre/post-script backwards.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          Na, I hear that Webkit overwrote the boot sector of their servers.

    • The Egg
    • 7 years ago

    I wish their videocard statistics actually had some usefulness. They’ve got over 35% of cards listed as “Other”, while the top spot has only 3.62%……meaning their videocard numbers have no meaning whatsoever.

      • Narishma
      • 7 years ago

      Well, what do you expect when there are thousands if not tens of thousands of different video card models out there, many of which don’t correctly report their model to the OS.

    • DarkUltra
    • 7 years ago

    Speaker setups is missing from the survey. I wonder how many have 7.1 setup since so few current games support only up to 5.1.

    • DarkUltra
    • 7 years ago

    Need flash to view the graphs? Why not use HTML5 and canvas if you want something flashy. Stupid webmaster.

    (tried to view the data on my phone)

    • maxxcool
    • 7 years ago

    L4D ???? nope ….

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    This 2% of Steam users have 90% of all neckbeard.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      90% might be a bit low. You might want to double check your numbers.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      OMG they are like the 1%ers of the Steam user demographic, controlling such a disproportionate amount of neckbeard. I call for increased neckbeard taxes!

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] I call for increased neckbeard taxes![/quote<] Seconded. The more taxes the better

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          It would be easy to collect from them as well.

          sudo trimbeard

          Done!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Having used Ubuntu 4 years ago and being AMAZED by it and how fast and flexible and fun it was I’m happy to see the Major reason I don’t use it today migrating to that platform. The absence of PC games on Linux has been the Sole reason most PC gamers haven’t adopted it. Else it is Cheaper, More flexible, Really stable now, and Supports a LARGE free ware based of competently developed software. Maybe we will see Google and Valve push Linux to prominence on desktop. Microsoft is straddling the line between too many different types of software development to compete against a supported FreeWare OS and the mighty closed Behemoth that is Apple.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    2% – with ~1.8% only installing it so they could get the special [url=http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Tux<]Tux item in TF2[/url<]. 😉 I installed Linux/TF2 on a laptop and had 5 people login on it just to get the item.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      Dangit, it’s too late for me now. It’s not my fault, I was on holidays!

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 7 years ago

    2% is better than I thought it would be. I’m rather impressed. It’s gotten me back into TF2 and my AMD 6450 runs it no problem, even with 3 displays (only one paying the game). I couldn’t do that on windows because the FPS was too low, but so was Unity. XFCE to the rescue!

    • tviceman
    • 7 years ago

    I tried Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux to run steam and fight the man (Microsoft). I kept getting black screens / no monitor signal no matter which graphics driver I tried to install. I gave up.

      • khands
      • 7 years ago

      What’s your build?

        • tviceman
        • 7 years ago

        2600k, 8 gigs of ram, gtx670. I could alt+F2 (or was it ALT+F1) and also boot into recovery mode, but I could not get a signal going to the monitor, even after attempting to delete the installed drivers. I formatted and reinstalled ubuntu again, trying a different driver and failed again. It was my first experience with Linux, and suffice to say, a very poor one.

          • yokem55
          • 7 years ago

          The 670 is probably too new to work with the open source nVidia drivers that ship with 12.04. You’ll probably have better luck with the 12.10 release.

            • Flatland_Spider
            • 7 years ago

            The Xorg Nouveau page show’s it’s currently supported, so yeah a new version of the driver might work.

            It’s listed under NVE4 or NVE0 in the feature matrix.

            [url<]http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/CodeNames#NVE0[/url<] [url<]http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/FeatureMatrix[/url<]

    • bcronce
    • 7 years ago

    “DirectX 11-class graphics can be found in 58% of systems, while DX10 gear accounts for 36%.”

    And there are still almost no games that make use of DX10 nor DX11.

      • spugm1r3
      • 7 years ago

      On the ever accurate source known as Wikipedia, I count over 50 current games, including a number of AAA games, with DX10 support and the same for DX11. I would hazard to say console games without a PC port don’t really count against those numbers.

      • khands
      • 7 years ago

      The majority of AAA games have had DX11 support for some time now.

        • axeman
        • 7 years ago

        I thought most games support DX10/11 in some form with a DX9 fallback for Windows XP machines. Still I bet most developers are anxious for WinXP to bite the dust to not have to do the extra work to support it.

      • Theolendras
      • 7 years ago

      That still leave 42% of people in the dark if you set DirectX11 as a baseline.

        • khands
        • 7 years ago

        DX10 would get you to 94%, save those that are running that class hardware on XP still.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    So they’ve already grabbed 66% of the Nix userbase… Wooo.

    • willg
    • 7 years ago

    4 cpus 43.01%
    [b<]5 cpus 0.02%[/b<] 6 cpus 2.52%

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      lol, weird. The only thing I can think of is some quad core Athlon CPUs made from hex core dies where only one core is unlocked.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        You can disable cores. Some people do so to gain a higher OC or just be different.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          So you think people with 6 core Phenoms or SB-E processors are disabling one core (I’m not certain how hyperthreaded ‘cores’ count anyway)? I suppose that’s just as likely as activating 1 out of 2 cores.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            You can disable ‘cores’ on a AMD 8350 or 6300.

            It’s not a common practice, but perhaps 0.02% practice.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Wouldn’t those always end up with an even number? Or can you disable what AMD calls cores individually rather than modules which are two ‘cores’?

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Modules… that’s why I put ” around cores. It depends on the motherboard though. Some boards don’t let you disable anything, some only cores, and some modules.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 7 years ago

          I’m going to set my affinity in task manager to 7 cores. I’ll show them who’s different!

      • cygnus1
      • 7 years ago

      no idea why you’d run steam in a VM, but I think you could configure a VM with 5 vCPUs…

        • Flatland_Spider
        • 7 years ago

        It would be a good test of a virtualization software’s 3D capabilities.

        VMware Workstation’s 3D capabilities are supposed to be pretty good.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      I’m guessing it’s a few people who tried to unlock their AMD quad core into a hex core but could only get one more core working.

      • JosiahBradley
      • 7 years ago

      I am the 2.52%! woo. Also running eyefinity 2x1080p.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Well, duh! It’s obviously Tegra3

    • tanker27
    • 7 years ago

    Pretty paltry numbers, I would have thought that it would have been greater than 5% but less than 10% the way people like to talk about how they run Linux.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t see numbers, I see a percentage. Not to mention it’s quite possible that not all linux users are participating in the survey. Linux needs time to mature into a gaming platform, and it’s not going to happen overnight, but the comparison to mac users is pretty good.

      The only thing that really disappoints here is the large amount of people using onboard video.

        • Flatland_Spider
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]The only thing that really disappoints here is the large amount of people using onboard video.[/quote<] Unfortunately, the Intel video drivers work the best. There is no sense is paying for Nvidia or AMD discrete graphics when the driver experience is going to be sub-par and frustrating, and there is no sense in buying discrete graphics when a compositor, which will run fine on onboard graphics, is going to be the most stressful video application run.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          It’s probably a lot of laptops and so-called casual gamers.

            • Flatland_Spider
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, pretty much.

            Discrete graphics make even less sense there, due to power and greater driver deficiencies, such as lack of Optimus support, and laptops are the dominate PC form factor.

            It is a shiny new toy getting lots of press.

          • khands
          • 7 years ago

          Intel’s video drivers are crap compared to Nvidia and even AMD, While they’re still playing catch up in the images quality department, they don’t release optimized profiles for games or updates in general nearly often enough to really compete. Also, if you’re gaming at anything higher than 1366×768 Intel’s onboard simply isn’t going to give you the performance you need for nearly any current gen AAA games and even a good number of Indie titles, even with the AA and other settings turned way down.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Unfortunately, the Intel video drivers work the best. There is no sense is paying for Nvidia or AMD discrete graphics when the driver experience is going to be sub-par and frustrating, and there is no sense in buying discrete graphics when a compositor, which will run fine on onboard graphics, is going to be the most stressful video application run.[/quote<] Lay off the drugs. Best experience is with the nvidia blobs, followed by the intels then lastly with AMD blobs (in terms of reliability). Speed wise, Nvidia blobs, AMD blobs, then far behind intel.

            • Voldenuit
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Lay off the drugs. Best experience is with the nvidia blobs, followed by the intels then lastly with AMD blobs (in terms of reliability). Speed wise, Nvidia blobs, AMD blobs, then far behind intel.[/quote<] Did you miss the irony tags in Flatland Spider's post?

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Obviously, believe it or not however there are people that actually think that.

            • Flatland_Spider
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Lay off the drugs.[/quote<] I can't wait until I can. It's allergy season for me, and without antihistamines I'm pretty miserable. TL;DR: The Intel drivers aren't numerically superior they just provide the best all around user experience. The Nvidia binary blob provides the best numbers and most graphics horsepower. If you want to talk about blobs, yes, Nvidia is the best. However, the blob doesn't have Optimus support, which makes it sill to buy a laptop with Nvidia discrete graphics, and you still have to install it. Depending on the distro, installing the blob may, or may not, be easy, and it may, or may not, break stuff that makes Linux pretty, like KMS. Debian and Ubuntu have the blob in their repos easing installation, but Fedora does not. Ubuntu works fairly well with the blob, but it breaks all sorts of stuff in Fedora. I don't remember if it breaks stuff in Debian. Then there is Nouveau, the FOSS Nvidia driver, which is a mixed bag. It's reverse engineered, so some features on some cards work while they don't work on other cards. All around, best out of the box experience, Intel. Their drivers work, and people get the full experience out of the box. It's fool proof, and it doesn't have lots of caveats like the Nvidia blob does. This all comes from the drivers being FOSS, thus better integrated into the ecosystem, and having corporate support from Intel. Being FOSS and integrated means the Intel driver will be available on whatever distro is chosen, provided it isn't too out of date. RH 5.2 isn't going to have the drivers, but RHEL 5 should.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            TL;DR/sarcasm: Linux is ready for primetime gaming by the masses!

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            As far as Optimus goes, there are working solutions such as bumblebee and NVidia submitted patches recently that will allow Optimus support soon in an official capacity. All around the intel driver still has many short comings.

            Performance is still well below par as to their windows and OS X counterparts, vaapi still isn’t as good as vdpau, no openCL support, discontinuation of support for older sku’s etc. installation of the nVidia driver is trivial for most distro’s ( there is a repo for fedora and opensuse). If something breaks then the packaging is the problem for that distro and that lays fault with the packager who is not properly configuring his pre/post scripts. Upgrades for the FOSS drivers are also far from trivial, often they require replacing most of xorg which can break all types of things. Just enabling something like S3TC support can be a task. While the intel driver is good, it is so only by comparison to other FOSS drivers.

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]The only thing that really disappoints here is the large amount of people using onboard video.[/quote<] Someone has a huge rant thread on the steam forums about how Tomb Raider (the one that just came out) won't run on their intel integrated gpu.... Soooo annoying these people are.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      Just because someone runs Linux doesn’t mean they’re going to install Steam on it.

      Odds are, there are other reasons they run Linux aside from its game selection.

      I run Linux fairly exclusively, but I haven’t installed Steam. I don’t play games, so there is no reason for me to install it.

        • stdRaichu
        • 7 years ago

        I also run Linux pretty extensively (especially now I’ve gotten sick and tired of stupid NAS companies and built my own server again), but similarly I’ve not installed steam on any of my boxes so far. I’ve contemplated putting it on one of my HTPCs but it needs a bigger SSD first.

        But I did install steam and TF2 into VMware workstation to get my Tux item 🙂

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      I can’t believe we’re [i<]still[/i<] wasting screen space on Linux. [b<]LINUX IS DEAD[/b<]

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        It’s not dead yet. I think it’s getting better. In fact, I think it’ll go for a walk.

        • Mr. Eco
        • 7 years ago

        Too weak of trolling, disappointing 🙂

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    That’s faster growth then Win 8 adoption. ;D

      • GrimDanfango
      • 7 years ago

      I presume I contribute to the Win 8 adoption statistics, despite the fact that after buying my new laptop, I had that sucker wiped and Win 7 reinstalled in the blink of an eye. I’d have picked Win 7 if the option had even been available.

      I wonder how much of the adoption statistics they do have are down to it being the single mandatory option on new laptops.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Well for steam to report it in the numbers, they would have to had Windows 8 installed and ran steam with it. The Windows numbers however could also be reporting Windows 7 machines who later upgraded to Windows 8 in that month as well.

          • GrimDanfango
          • 7 years ago

          Ah, well I wasn’t thinking Steam numbers, just Microsoft sales figures. I don’t have anything against buying Microsoft products I want, I’m just a tad irritated at having to buy a Microsoft product I don’t want, and then despite not using it, contributing to their ability to claim that it’s popular and being embraced by users.

          Anyway, good to see Linux numbers are on the up. Now, we just need the Linux community to finally pull together and build one solid, fast, consistent and well-supported front-end, while the games development community spend the time embracing Linux as a games platform, and we can all be done with Windows entirely.
          – There was a time I couldn’t have said all that with a straight face, but it’s actually starting to seem plausible at last!

          But for now, Windows 7 is still the sweet-spot for me.

      • Zizy
      • 7 years ago

      Faster growth than Win8 growth now, but not faster than Win8 growth when it launched.
      Still, it is doing surprisingly well considering there are only indie games. I hope this number will grow further and that most of 2% represents real players, not just people checking how Steam on Linux looks like.

      • Geistbar
      • 7 years ago

      Their growth is about equal actually.
      Windows 8: 9.63% in 125 days = 0.077% / day
      Linux: 2.02% in 28 days = 0.072% / day

      Windows 8 wins by a statistically insignificant margin.

      [Edited in a more accurate daycount & corresponding growth values for Windows 8 — February ended five days ago. Oops.]

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Dammit, don’t burst the Linux zealot’s bubble with your pesky statistics!

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      Funny facts:

      Win8 grow 0.87%

      Total Linux grow 1.07%
      Total OSX decreased by 0.37%
      Total Windows Systems Decrease 0.45%

      1.07% – 0.37% – 0.45% = 0.31%….

      overall market share changes total: 0.31%…. wtf? Even we accept rounding error for 19 entries, error can’t be higher than 0.19% and likely to be close to 0.095%… 0.31% is just impossible without fished numbers…

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        Are those percentages relative (then there’s your mistake) or market share, and if they’re market share then are there other OS’s? (then there’s your 0.31% not that I believe it…)

        • peartart
        • 7 years ago

        There is probably a category that got dropped. The total percentages are (ignoring rounding error) 100%.

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