Best Linux Distros for Gaming in 2. Gaming in Linux has evolved a lot in the past few years. Now, you have dozens of distros pre- optimized for gaming and gamers. We tested all of them and hand- picked the best.
There are a few other articles and lists of this type out there, but they don’t really go into detail and they are pretty outdated. This is an up- to- date list with any info you’d need.
The Steam Console Client or SteamCMD is a command-line version of the Steam client. Its primary use is to install and update various dedicated servers available on. Linux Mint and Ubuntu are two of the most popular Linux distros, but there are real differences between the two. Which one is right for you?
Recommended for Linux gamers: *may need additional configs to work with Linux apps. How to choose the right distro for you. Before we start listing out the best distros, you’d still need to choose one of them. Here are a few guidelines you can use to help you choose the right one for you: Any Linux distro can be used for gaming. You can install Linux games on any distro or you can use tools like Play. On. Linux, Wine, Steam and a bunch of other emulators.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to which one you personally prefer. Try them out. Use a live CD (flash drive) image and test it out without even installing it. Watch some videos, check some screenshots, read some reviews. Most distros support the latest (and even oldest) hardware out of the box. Even if they don’t, you can still manually find and install the driver yourself on any distro. If you’re really unsure, you can just google some info for your hardware and see if the distro supports it out of the box.
Second most important feature is update frequency. Is it a rolling release distro like Manjaro (very frequent updates without a schedule, always the latest software)? Or is it a point release distro like Ubuntu (scheduled updates, not always the latest software). If you prefer to always use the latest versions of any software and apps, go with a rolling release distro. That way, you’ll always get the latest driver updates and you’ll most likely already have the latest drivers for your new GPU/CPU. If you’d like to stick with what you know and use a more stable OS, go with a point release distro.
Previous Linux experience should also be a deciding factor. Have you used a Linux VPS before? Which distro did you use for your server?
If it was Ubuntu, then you should choose the desktop version of Ubuntu since you’ll be more familiar with it. If you’ve used Cent. OS for your server, go with a Fedora- based distro for gaming. Did you use an LXDE distro? Go with a gaming distro that uses LXDE.
Now, let’s move on to the main part, the best Linux distros for gaming: Steam. OSThere’s a reason why Steam.
OS is always the first on every Linux gaming distro list. It’s designed with gaming in mind. It comes pre- installed with Steam and it’s based on Debian. Steam. OS is built, designed and maintained by Valve. By default, Steam. OS only has Steam installed, but you can activate the “desktop mode” and you’ll get a fully- featured desktop OS where you can run other applications besides Steam and games.
It has everything set up out of the box, so you don’t need to install or configure anything to play on Steam, which is why this is the most recommended distro for beginners and Linux gamers. Steam. OS hardware requirements. However, if you have an older machine, Steam. OS is not recommended, as it has quite a lot of hardware requirements: Intel or AMD 6. GB or more RAM2. 50. GB or larger disk. NVIDIA, Intel, or AMD graphics card.
Steam. OS facts and features. Linux and Steam for gamers. Steam is preinstalled out of the box. Ready to play games without needing to install any additional software. Free and open source (apart from Steam itself, which is proprietary)Support for many graphic cards, controllers and other gaming- related hardware. Visit their official website for download/installation instructions and FAQ: Download Steam. OSLet’s move on to the next distro on our list: Ubuntu Game.
Pack. It’s not the default Ubuntu, but it’s a distro based on Ubuntu. You can still use the default Ubuntu and install Play on Linux, Wine and Steam or any other game you’d want to, but it would not be as optimized for gaming as Ubuntu Game. Pack is. Ubuntu Game. Pack hardware requirements. Quite similar to the default Ubuntu, this distro requires: 2 GHz or more processor (6. GB RAM or more 9.
GB disk (the more the better)VGA capable of 1. Intel HD graphics/AMD Radeon 8. Steam games and any other GPU for other games. Ubuntu Game. Pack facts and features. Ubuntu for gamers. Pre- installed with Lutris, Play. On. Linux, Wine, and Steam.
Great hardware drivers support. Low(er) hardware requirements. Free and open source OSSupports Flash and Java (great for online, browser- based games)If you’re already familiar with Ubuntu, go with this distro. Visit their official website for download/installation instructions and FAQ: Download Ubuntu Game.
Pack. The second most popular Linux distro used for desktop computers is Fedora. Luckily, Fedora also has a gaming flavor (spin): Fedora – Games Spin. Fedora – Games Spin has thousands of games already pre- installed and ready to play. It doesn’t support as much hardware as some other distros, and it doesn’t come with Wine/Steam pre- installed, which is why this is not recommended for anyone. However, if you’re already familiar with Fedora or if you like the XFCE desktop environment, this distro would be perfect for you.
Fedora Games Spin hardware requirements. Similar to the Fedora desktop distro: 2 GHz or more processor (6. GB RAM or more 1. GB disk (the more the better)Intel HD graphics/AMD Radeon 8. Steam games and any other GPU for other games. Fedora Games Spin facts and features. For Fedora users.
Has thousands of games already pre- installed. Stable, but not with the latest software and doesn’t have pre- installed drivers for all hardware. Steam and Wine are not pre- installed. Free and open source. Uses the XFCE Desktop Environment.
If you’ve used Fedora (or Cent. OS) before, either for a server or for your desktop computer, try this Fedora spin. Visit their official website for download/installation instructions and FAQ: Download Fedora – Games Spin. Moving on to the next one: Sparky. Linux – Game. Over Edition. Sparky. Linux is a Linux distribution created on the “testing” branch of Debian. It uses the LXDE desktop environment and it has everything you’d need already pre- installed.
Sparky. Linux – Game. Over Edition hardware requirements. A very lightweight distro. CPU i. 58. 6 / amd.
MB of RAM memory (some games need more than that – 5. MB recommended)2.
GB of space for installation on a hard drive (3. GB recommended)So just about any old PC/laptop can run it without any issues. Sparky. Linux – Game.
Over Edition facts and features. Ready out of the box. Has everything you’d need pre- installed out of the box.
Wine, Play On Linux, Steam etc. Many open source Linux games pre- installed. Emulators and tools for easily installing emulators. Free and open source. If you’ve used an LXDE Linux distro before and you want everything pre- installed, go with Sparky.
Linux – Game. Over Edition. Visit their official website for download/installation instructions and FAQ: Download Sparky.
Linux – Game. Over Edition. Gaming doesn’t have to be all 2. You may be into retro games, which is where this distro comes to play: Lakka. Although it’s based on Linux (kernel), it doesn’t have any desktop environment and you can’t really use it for anything other than turning a computer into a retro gaming console. Lakka hardware requirements. You can turn any computer into a console since Lakka doesn’t have a lot of requirements.
You can even use a Raspberry Pi to run Lakka. It’s a very lightweight OS that can run on just about anything. Lakka facts and features. For retro gamers. Pre- installed and optimized with various emulators. Very lightweight with minimum hardware requirements. Beautiful, easy- to- use UIFree and open source with various retro games to choose from.
Visit their official website for download/installation instructions and FAQ: Download Lakka. Want to play Windows games on a Linux distro without too many configurations? Game Drift Linux. Based on Ubuntu, this distro would be perfect for beginners that previously used Ubuntu.
Easy to install and everything works out of the box. Game Drift Linux hardware requirements. Although not the most lightweight Linux distro for gaming, it doesn’t require much. At least not as much as Steam.
OS. 1- 2 GHz processor (3. GB RAM4 GB hard disk drive for Game Drift Linux (excluding games)ATI, NVidia or Intel graphics adapter suitable for games. If you can run Ubuntu desktop, you can run Game Drift Linux. Game Drift Linux facts and features. You can play A LOT of Windows games on Game Drift Linux. It has all the tools you need pre- installed.
Has a game store with free and premium games – all run perfectly on Game Drift Linux. High- quality games only. You can play more than 1. Windows games (due to Cross. Over Games technology)The distro itself is free, but you need to purchase an activation key for Cross. Over Games in order to play more than 1.
Windows games. Based on Ubuntu. The game store is great – a wide choice of quality games that you can install with a single click. Visit their official website for download/installation instructions and FAQ: Download Game Drift Linux.
Need a full- featured Linux distro for gaming, media, browsing and general use? Solus. Solus with the Budgie desktop environment. Recently this year, Solus became a rolling release distro, which means that you’ll get the latest software with all the latest updates. Solus looks great, especially with the Budgie desktop environment. It has all the features you need for an OS for gaming/media playback/browsing/general use. There’s an official Steam integration for Solus which will greatly help you with installing and configuring steam on your Linux system.
It’s based on the Linux kernel, but it’s independent of any other distro like Ubuntu or Fedora. Solus hardware requirements. Although not the most lightweight Linux distro for gaming, it doesn’t require much. At least not as much as Steam. OS. Intel/AMD CPU (6. ARM- based processors won’t work. GB RAM Minimum, 4.
GB+ recommended. 10.