Steam Deck Helps Linux Overtake MacOS in Popularity

What You Need to Know.

Linux is now more popular than MacOS among Steam users thanks in part to the high level of Steam Deck sales. 

  • Windows is the most popular operating system overall. 
  • Linux users make up 1.96 percent of players versus MacOS’s 1.84 percent. 
  • The news comes via the latest Steam hardware survey

The Full Story. 

The popularity of the Steam Deck continues to impress. So much so, it’s helped propel Linux into the number two slot as the second most popular operating system, according to the latest Steam hardware survey. 

The gulf between the first and second spots still remains massive. Windows users make up a whopping 96.21 percent of users, while in second place Linux rocks in with 1.96 percent of players against MacOS’s 1.84 percent. 

Is it the Steam Deck directly causing this change? In a word, yes. According to the operating system breakdown list, the most popular version of Linux right now is the 64-bit SteamOS Holo – the Steam Deck’s custom version of Linux. 

SteamOS Holo makes up 42.07 percent of Linux users, a figure that’s grown 2.74 percent since the last survey. The next most popular version of Linux is Arch Linux, which comes in at 7.94 percent. It’s safe to say the Steam Deck is doing pretty well then. 

Check out the full breakdown below.

Windows 10 64 bit 57.87%
Windows 11 64 bit 36.67%
Windows 7 64 bit 1.21%
Windows 8.1 64 bit 0.25%
Windows 7 0.10%


Arch Linux 64-bit (includes SteamOS Holo) 0.16%
Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS 64 bit 0.14%
Manjaro Linux 64 bit 0.08%
Linux Mint 21.1 64 bit 0.08%


MacOS 13.4.1 64 bit 0.62%
MacOS 13.4.0 64 bit 0.17%
MacOS 13.3.1 64 bit 0.09%
MacOS 13.2.1 64 bit 0.09%
MacOS 10.15.7 64 bit 0.07%
MacOS 12.6.7 64 bit 0.06%

Further Reading.

Elsewhere in the latest Steam hardware survey, we also learned a lot about where users are in terms of specs and purchasing habits. 

  • The most common RAM capacity is 16GB (49.80 percent).
  • 1080p (61.47 percent) is vastly more popular than 4K (3.42 percent).
  • The most popular virtual reality headset is the Meta Quest 2 (nee Oculus – 41.02 percent) and the Valve Index HMD (20.03 percent).
  • Over half of users now own a hard drive with a capacity of 1TB or higher (51.41%).

The 1080p stat doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Although 4K does offer clearer visuals, the high cost of graphics cards prices out most players from even considering it. Plus even when most do have the option of 4K, chances are they’ll revert back to 1080p in exchange for a higher framerate. 

I myself have the 4090 XG Mobile hooked up to my ASUS ROG Ally and I still find myself sticking with 1080p to boost frames over 4K or ray tracing options. Smoothness beats visual clarity and now we’ve got the data to back it up. 

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.