Latest Steam numbers show Linux, Mac gamers almost equal

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The numbers from Steam's February hardware and software survey have been published and the results show an interesting development -- Linux platforms now accounts for about 2.8 percent of Steam's users. That may not sound like much, but to put some perspective on that figure, Mac OS users total about 3.07 percent of Steam's gaming population.

Note that I'm also lumping "Others" (0.82 percent) into the total number of Linux client installs. This is because the category practically didn't exist until Steam's Linux beta arrived in October.

Unlike Mac OS though, where Steam has had its chance to propagate since May 2010, Steam for Linux has only been publicly available since October 2012 as a limited public beta. It wasn't even until February that a Linux-friendly Steam client was officially launched, so this could be interpreted as encouraging news for the future of Linux gaming. 

Ubuntu accounts for more than half of Linux-based client installs. The only other Linux distro listed by name is Mint, which accounts for roughly six percent of Linux installs.

Perhaps the rising proliferation of Linux users on Steam will help promote the development of more AAA titles for Linux. It probably wouldn't be a bad market for developers either, as Linux gamers seem more willing to part with their money than Windows or Mac users. There are currently 131 games on Steam that are compatible with Linux, but the overwhelming majority of those are indie games.

Looking beyond just Linux though, Valve's stats show 1080p being used on nearly one-third of all systems. This makes 1080p the single most popular resolution while higher resolutions, like WQHD, only accounts for about 4.5 percent.

Steam's gaming community appears to value up-to-dateness with DX11-capable graphics cards appearing in about 58 percent of systems. Nvidia is the most popular choice with a 52.39 percent share of gamers, while ATI (AMD) and Intel round out the bottom half with 33.92 and 13.1 percent, respectively. 

Intel is by far the favored platform with a whopping 73 percent of gamers running systems powered by an Intel chip. Meanwhile, dual-core CPUs prove very slightly more popular than quad-cores while 40 percent of gamers have 6GB of RAM (or more) installed.

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