A new Steam Hardware Survey has been released for the month of February, and besides a few minor changes to the structure of the survey, the Linux percentages have remained largely the same.The Linux usage of Steam has flatlined for a while at the 1.30% mark, if we take into account the new way the Linux distributions are arranged in the Steam Hardware Survey.
We reported a short while ago that Valve had made some small, but important modifications to the way the Steam Hardware Survey is presented. In the past, a number of Linux distributions were displayed and the rest were mushed together in the Others category.
Valve broke down the Others category in only one month, in 2013, and users could clearly see that more than 90% were Linux distributions like Fedora, Arch Linux, and so on. All those versions have been either dismissed, if the percentages were too small, or moved into a single category that is now called “Linux 3.10 64 bit.”
The problem is that it still seems the Steam Hardware Survey is incomplete, as the numbers presented don't actually add up. This is what the list looks like now:
Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit – 0.37%
Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS 64 bit – 0.15%
Linux Mint 16 Petra 64 bit – 0.10%
Ubuntu 13.10 – 0.08%
Linux 3.10 64 bit – 0.07%
Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS – 0.06%
All of the categories mentioned above registered increases, without exception, but the final number presented by Valve, of 1.30%, is actually 0.04% less than last week, which is a little bizarre.
In any case, there are no dramatic changes in the structure and the only time that we might even begin to see a significant change in this top will be after the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, in April, that will quickly move Ubuntu 12.04 LTS out of the picture.
The Linux community has been hoping for a more dramatic increase in the number of Linux users. This has nothing to do with pride or anything like that. An increase in the number of Linux users would mean that more game developers would see Linux as a viable platform for gaming, which in turn would mean more games of the community.
When the SteamOS Linux distribution is released later this year, in various Steam Machine configurations, the number of Linux users will also surely increase, but it remains to be seen how successful this Valve enterprise will actually be.