The Steam Linux Client Celebrates Its Fifth Public Birthday

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 6 November 2017 at 05:42 AM EST. 29 Comments
Besides AMD's open-source strategy marking its tenth anniversary recently, longtime Linux gamers/enthusiasts may be celebrating today another milestone: five years ago today is when the public Steam period began for Linux.

It was on 6 November 2012 when the Steam Linux beta roll-out began and gained more steam as the year came to a close. In those early months the Steam Linux marketshare debuted at around 1%, rose eventually to around 2% with early hype of Steam Machines, while recently has been hovering well below 1% and most recently at 0.35%.

Initial Steam on Linux games mostly consisted of titles ported over by Valve while five years later we have a diverse selection of both indie games and more interesting titles ported by companies like Feral Interactive and Aspyr Media. There are thousands of games now available via Steam on Linux, albeit generally much smaller titles and less AAA games. Current Steam on Linux top-selling games include Rocket League, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rust, Human: Fall Flat, Stardew Valley, ARK: Survival Evolved, RimWorld, Civilization VI, Total War: WARHAMMER, Universe Sandbox, Factorio, Garry's Mod, and 7 Days to Die.

A Special Linux Delivery At Valve Software

Those good with numbers/dates may also realize that this week marks just two years since the official Steam Machines release and that of the Steam Controller. The Steam Controller continues to be a great hardware device from Valve and is popular among gamers of all platforms, but sadly not a lot can be said for Steam Machines at this time. That 10 November 2015 date also launched the Steam Link too, that does continue to be available via retail channels and is a great companion device for some.

With the Steam Linux client being publicly available for five years now, what's your thoughts and hopes for the future? What are your favorite Linux gaming titles? Do you think Steam Machines will ever have a viable shot at coming back for success? Share with us your thoughts in the forums.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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