Phoronix reports that November 2022 saw an increase in Steam users running Linux:
Steam on Linux had a 1.44% marketshare to macOS at 2.45% and Windows at 96.11%. Besides a 0.16% increase month-over-month, this time last year Steam on Linux was at 1.16%, or a 0.28% increase year-over-year.
Much of the increase was attributable to Steam Deck’s proprietary Steam OS:
The Linux numbers show SteamOS Holo accounting for around a quarter of the Linux gamers out there.
Speaking as Linux user who has no plans to buy a Steam Deck (I can easily switch from my desktop monitors to my TV as a display), I am glad to see that Steam Deck is doing well. While I would caution against conflating using the Linux-based Steam OS with using Linux for general computing purposes, the success of the Steam Deck does create a bigger audience for native Linux games. In January 2022, I explained that while I prefer native Linux games to running Windows games on top of WINE or Proton, WINE and Proton are ultimately net positives for native Linux games since they make it possible for gamers who would otherwise be locked into Windows to run Linux. No matter how much Valve invests in Proton, native games will generally be less troublesome. I hope that Steam Deck inspires more game companies and developers to consider offering native Linux options instead of relying solely on Proton to make Windows games compatible.