A Gamer’s Guide to the Best Linux OS

For a long time, if you wanted to game on Linux seriously, you were sorely out of luck. Over the years, Linux as an operating system has significantly evolved. With Linux’s open software, it’s the perfect environment for gaming.

Through advances in its technology, Linux can host several platforms that allow customization, access, and the ability to game. And it’s only becoming more prevalent.

However, keep in mind that support for Linux is a bit lacking, mostly since many frameworks are made for running Windows games. What is essential is that the excellent potential for Linux gaming is finally here!

The Best Linux OS

Here is our list of some of the best Linux OS for gaming you can get right now.


Your favorite place for killer PC game sales, SteamOS is specially made for the Steam Machine. The Steam Machine aims to bridge the gap between PC gaming and console gaming. The primary way to do this? By connecting your PC to TV for seamless gaming integration.

This is easily one of the best Linux gaming OS to try, as it works like a dream. With Steam’s excellent user interface, it’s one of the best clients optimized for gaming. It also has a smooth user interface.


  • Free of charge. Like Steam itself, this platform is entirely free.
  • Run games well. Overall, many games experience better performance when utilizing the OpenGL framework.
  • More Linux-friendly games. The inclusion of more Linux-friendly games of course allows for more gameplay. With each passing year, popular games are being released for Linux, as well as Windows and macOS.
  • Encourages market competition with console developers.


  • SteamOS may spread resources too thin. For example, delayed games like Cyberpunk 2077 are already experiencing setbacks. Now imagine if the developers needed to develop the game to run compatible with SteamOS along with other platforms. Theoretically, it could result in more delays for certain games. As the need to cater to every system and piece of both software and hardware needs consideration, it could put studios in a bind.
  • It could give Valve a monopoly. Listen, we all love Valve. Half-Life 2, The Orange Box are all great. However, we know that any company achieving a monopoly in any field of business can be dangerous. With the rise and success of distros for gaming, Steam could really corner the PC market.

System requirements for SteamOS

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  • 4 GB (or more) RAM
  • 200 GB or larger hard disk
  • NVIDIA (Fermi graphics cards or newer), [16] Intel, or AMD graphics card (RADEON 8500 or newer)
  • USB port for installation
  • UEFI boot support

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Ubuntu gamepack is a distro comprised of free and open-source software and Debian. Ubuntu gamepack is one of the more notable Linux distros available. A distro like Ubuntu is perfect for gamers, and many Linux systems come preinstalled with Ubuntu.


  • Good overall design. The Ubuntu desktop environment is easy to learn. You don’t know how much this matters in navigating around until you experience a terrible UI/UX.
  • Excellent instructions and support. Ubuntu has a great support system for any needs. It also experiences frequent updates, so you aren’t dealing with a piece of outdated software.
  • Open-source. The big one, being open source.
  • Free and easy.


  • Popular Windows Games may not run smoothly. Since Linux vs. Windows are not running using the same software, it can be challenging to optimize gaming for Ubuntu with popular Windows games.

System Requirements for Ubuntu

  • 2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 4 GiB RAM
  • 25 GB
  • USB port for the installer media

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Lakka OS

Lakka OS is a more lightweight Linux distro that has excellent potential to turn you into a hardcore console gamer.

How can Lakka OS do this? Its principal function is to act as a console emulator. This means it can basically run games on consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox using emulation software.

So Lakka OS definitely has a lot going for it in terms of Linux gaming potential. The great news is that Lakka OS is probably the best-optimized console emulator and can give any other emulator a real run for its money.


  • It allows for hardcore gameplay. Having such a great potential for console emulation, Lakka OS is definitely the Linux OS to choose if you are into next-generation console games.
  • Great UI and easy to use. It can’t be understated how important a beautiful user interface is. Luckily, Lakka OS has this in spades. It’s also effortless to pick up, even for total Linux beginners.


  • Sorely lacking in Windows games support. While having all of this power to emulate is fantastic, if you run into a software issue, you may be out of luck.

System Requirements for Lakka OS

  • CPU: i386, x86_64
  • GPU: Intel/Nvidia/Radeon

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Choosing The Right Gaming Linux Distro

So which is the best gaming distro for you?

Well, it depends on a few factors. One of them being which you prefer. Which one has the best features when it comes to Linux vs. Windows? Look and feel? Hardware support?

Consider all of these fundamental factors to better whittle down your list of choices.

If you want something that resembles Windows or macOS, maybe going with something like SteamOS is your cup of tea. However, if you’re going to get the full experience, we highly recommend the latest version of Ubuntu LTS.

Final Thoughts

Either way, choosing the best Linux OS for gaming is an excellent opportunity to finally play more Linux games. The facts to know like system requirements, software features, games support, and overall preference for customization are essential factors in choosing a Linux distro for gaming.

Linux is no longer the gaming reject of operating systems. Now start downloading and playing!

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