This evolution has revolutionized the dynamic of gaming in Linux. Tasks that once seemed so difficult in Linux have become extremely easy with the wide availability of diverse Linux distributions. There are now hundreds of games available in Linux, and the list keeps on growing. This article looks at the best Linux distros for gaming that are currently available.
Ubuntu is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distributions, and the large community behind this distribution is a clear indicator of its functionality. This distribution is extremely stable and secure. With the LTS (Long Term Support) releases of Ubuntu, users can use these versions for a long time without any major issues.
For Linux users, most of the games that they want to play can be found on Steam, an online platform from which users can buy, play, and download games. On Steam, Ubuntu sits at the top as the most-used distribution for gaming, and this comes as no surprise, as this distribution is easy-to-use, immensely popular, and extremely user-friendly. Ubuntu also allows for the easy installation of the tools and packages required for gaming, such as automatically installing proprietary NVIDIA graphics drivers. You can also easily install software like Lutris, GameHub, or Steam Proton to play Windows games on your Linux system.
Moreover, if you encounter any errors, you can easily communicate with the massive Ubuntu community, which is always there to help.
Pop!_OS is another excellent free and open-source operating system designed by System76. Since it is based on Ubuntu, Pop!_OS comes with a GNOME desktop environment. Pop!_OS has a very fast and fluid navigation system, along with some neat and tidy workflows that provide users with optimal performance and an excellent user experience. This distribution has exceptional built-in GPU support, and you can easily install the GPU that suits your system, whether it is NVIDIA or AMD.
Since it is based on Ubuntu, Pop!_OS also has LTS versions, and users can use the system for a long time without going through any major issues. Like with Ubuntu, you can install software like Lutris, GameHub, and Steam Proton directly from the Pop!_OS apps store.
Manjaro is an Arch-based Linux distribution. Unlike its parent distro, however, Manjaro drives away all the complications, ensuring that the installation process is extremely easy. This is something that many users have had an issue with when using Arch. Manjaro offers great hardware support and automatically installs all required drivers, including graphics card drivers.
Although Manjaro is based on Arch, it maintains its own repositories and supports a large collection of software inside its repository, which is up-to-date. Manjaro comes with Steam preinstalled, and you can quickly dive into playing games. This distribution also has an excellent community that is always ready to offer help to users.
Solus is an operating system that is based on the Linux kernel and is designed from scratch. This distribution supports several desktop environments, such as Budgie, Gnome, Mate, etc. Solus follows the rolling release model, in which once an application or software has been installed, it will keep getting updates so that all the drivers will be up-to-date. Installing the drivers of the graphics cards of either Radeon or NVIDIA is also a relatively straightforward process with this distribution, and this can be done simply by using the GUI. Solus works extremely well with applications like Steam, Lutris, DXVK, and WINE, and this distribution is an excellent choice for gaming.
Linux Mint is another Ubuntu-based Linux distribution in the list of the most popular desktop Linux distributions. This distribution is extremely fast and supports a lot of proprietary software, including multimedia codecs. For gamers with an AMD Radeon graphics card, Linux Mint is perfect for you, as the MESA driver comes as part of the Linux Mint kernel. Like with Ubuntu, NVIDIA users can easily install the proprietary NVIDIA driver from the Driver Manager, and you can start installing software like Steam, which, again, are easily accessible from the Software center.
Elementary OS is also an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution and is known for having one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring graphical interfaces. Unlike Ubuntu, however, Elementary OS uses the Pantheon desktop environment and offers a very smooth and slick user experience. With Elementary OS, you can easily set up your graphic drivers without much hassle, and you can easily install software like Steam, Lutris, and Wine on your system.
Fedora is a Linux distribution developed by Red Hat that offers support for several desktop environments, such as Plasma, XFCE, Cinnamon, and so on. The Fedora Linux kernel is regularly updated, and therefore, Fedora offers great hardware support. Installing software like Steam is immensely easy, and both Radeon and NVIDIA users can install their graphic card drivers without much hassle. Fedora is a solid, stable, and up-to-date distribution that is well-suited to gaming.
Best Linux Gaming Distributions?
Gaming in Linux has become extremely easy. Nowadays, it does not really matter which distribution you use, as long as you know how to obtain and configure all the required software. There is also tons of help available online, and every Linux community is always willing to offer aid to other users. From the large collection of distributions, all of the seven distributions mentioned above are among the most popular and widely-used Linux distributions that are worth considering for gaming.