Linux hits highest market share in decades, with 3% of desktops running the OS

Linux usage on desktop PCs has doubled since 2018, with the open-source operating system's market share now sitting at 3% - the highest to date.

1 minute & 17 seconds read time

Linux has never been as popular as Microsoft Windows or Apple's macOS; that has been true for decades. But according to StatCounter's latest data, the open-source operating system hit a 3% market share in the desktop PC space in June 2023 - pointing to a growing audience enjoying Linux's lightweight, bloatware-free, and customization-friendly approach.

Desktop OS market share as of June 2023, image credit: StatCounter.

Desktop OS market share as of June 2023, image credit: StatCounter.

Naturally, 3% is a small figure compared to Windows commanding 68% of the desktop OS market share, and it even falls behind Google's ChromeOS, which is sitting on a 4% market share. This is a good news story for Linux (and Linux fans out there) because Linux's share has doubled since 2018. However, the macOS market share has also doubled in the same timeframe, growing to over 21%.

Linux is mainly seen as an operating system for the server space due to its open-source nature and customization-friendly design. It's a situation where you might find that two Linux setups look and behave very differently, thanks to different desktop environments like GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and others.

This might explain why some users hesitate to switch from something like Windows or macOS.

Linux is popular in the PC gaming space, with Valve adopting the operating system for its Steam Deck PC gaming handheld. Taking a look at the most recent Steam Hardware & Software Survey results for June 2023 and we see that Linux has a 1.44% share of Steam users, which is not a significant number by any stretch - with Windows dominating Steam usage with a share of 96.77%.

These figures reinforce the idea that Linux is a niche OS for desktop PC users and gamers, though an increase in market share - the biggest since the OS first launched - is worth celebrating.

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Kosta might be a relatively new member of TweakTown, but he’s a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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