Linux has surpassed macOS as the second-most used operating system on Steam according to the latest Steam Hardware & Software Survey from July. While Linux remains a distant second place to top dog Windows, it’s still seen a rapid increase in adoption among Steam users almost entirely attributable to the Linux-based Steam Deck.
As Ars Technica points out, the Deck’s SteamOS version of Linux accounts for a whopping 42% of reported Linux users on Steam, with Arch Linux lagging far behind in second place at 7.94% adoption. Windows still absolutely dominates the overall field at 96.21% of users, with all versions of Linux at 1.96% and macOS hanging out down at 1.84%.
It’s another feather in the cap of the Deck, which is consistently one of the best-selling items on Steam overall, currently holding down the #6 spot according to SteamDB. As for Linux more broadly, I do wonder if the Deck’s success will spur more adoption of the more hardcore, DIY OS ecosystem.
A friend of mine who’s dabbled in being a Linux Guy was excited about the Steam Deck’s prospects of improving Linux-based gaming more broadly, and the Proton compatibility layer Valve developed for the Deck certainly seems like a game changer for the Gaming on Linux crowd.
In my own personal experience though, loving the Steam Deck didn’t make me into a Linux Guy, it just made me into a Steam Deck Guy. Still, everybody wins here. Linux Guys get all kinds of new options with Proton, and I get to play Baldur’s Gate 3 on my upcoming international flight—be sure to check out our guide to playing Baldur’s Gate 3 on Steam Deck if you’re having trouble running Larian’s massive new RPG on the handheld.