The 10 Best Linux Distros for Gaming

The 10 Best Linux Distros for Gaming

The 10 Best Linux Distros for Gaming

 Gaming on Linux has come a long way in recent years. There are so many Linux distributions that have been optimized for games that you will find today. If you are confused by all the options you can choose. We have put together a list to help you choose the best Linux distro for gaming.

Best Linux Distro For Gaming

1. SteamOS

SteamOS Linux Distro

There's a reason why SteamOS always tops every Linux gaming distro list. It was designed with gaming in mind. It comes pre-installed with Steam and is based on Debian. SteamOS is built, designed and maintained by Valve. By default, SteamOS only has Steam installed, but you can enable "desktop mode" and you will get a full-featured desktop OS where you can run other apps besides Steam and games. It has everything set out of the box, so you don't need to install or configure anything to play on Steam, which is why it is the most recommended distro for Linux beginners and gamers.

SteamOS Hardware Requirements

If you have an older machine, SteamOS is not recommended, as it has many hardware requirements

* 64-bit Intel or AMD processor

* 4GB of RAM or more

* 250GB or larger disk

* NVIDIA, Intel, or AMD graphics card

SteamOS facts and features

* Steam is installed out of the box

* Ready to play games without the need to install any additional software

* Free and open source (apart from Steam itself, which is proprietary)

* Support for many graphics cards, controllers and other game related hardware

2. Ubuntu GamePack

Ubuntu GamePack Linux Distro

This is not the default Ubuntu, but 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 want, but it won't be as optimized for gaming as Ubuntu GamePack.

Ubuntu GamePack Hardware Requirements

Pretty similar to the default Ubuntu, this distro requires:

* 2 GHz or more processor (64-bit recommended)

* RAM 1GB or more

* 9GB disk (the more the better)

* VGA capable of 1024×768 screen resolution. Intel HD graphics / AMD Radeon 8500 for Steam games and other GPU for other games.

Ubuntu GamePack Facts And Features

* Pre-installed with Lutris, PlayOnLinux, Wine and Steam

* Great hardware driver support

* Low hardware requirements

* Free and open source OS

* Supports Flash and Java (great for online and browser-based games)

3. Spin Fedora Games

Spin Fedora Games Distro Linux

Spin Fedora Games has thousands of games pre-installed and ready to play. It doesn't support as much hardware as some other distros. If you want to have PlayOnLinux, Wine or Steam games, you have to install them manually as they are not pre-installed by default. That is why it is not recommended for anyone. However, if you are already familiar with Fedora or if you like the XFCE desktop environment, this distro will suit you.

Spin Fedora Games Hardware Requirements

Similar to Fedora desktop distro:

* 2 GHz or more processor (64-bit recommended)

* RAM 1GB or more

* 10GB disk (the more the better)

* Intel HD graphics / AMD Radeon 8500 for Steam games and other GPU for other games.

Facts And Features Spin Fedora Games Facts

* There are thousands of pre-installed games

* Stable, but not with the latest software and does not have pre-installed drivers for all hardware

* Steam and Wine are not pre-installed

* Free and open source

* Using the XFCE Desktop Environment

4. SparkyLinux – GameOver Edition

SparkyLinux – GameOver Edition Linux Distro

SparkyLinux is a Linux distribution built on the “testing” branch of Debian. It uses the LXDE desktop environment. It already has a lot of games pre-installed for you to play, but the APTus Gamer program offers more options to play. It contains a list of emulators that you can install on your system. Everything you need for gaming is already installed like Steam, PlayOnLinux, or Wine and you don't need to install them manually as they come pre-installed.

SparkyLinux – GameOver Edition Hardware Requirements

Very lightweight distro. Almost any old PC/laptop can run it without any problem.

* i586 / amd64 CPUs

* 256 MB RAM memory (some games require more – 500-1000MB recommended)

* 20 GB of space for installation on hard drive (30GB recommended)

SparkyLinux Facts And Features – GameOver Edition

* Everything you need is installed out of the box. Wine, PlayOnLinux, Steam etc.

* Lots of Linux open source games pre-installed

* Emulators and tools to be installed easily

* Free and open source

5. Lakka

Linux Distro Lakka

Even though it is based on Linux (the kernel), it doesn't have a desktop environment and you can't use it for anything other than turning your computer into a retro game console. Because of that, this distro is lightweight and doesn't really need a powerful rig.

Lakka Hardware Requirements

You can turn any computer into a console as Lakka doesn't have many requirements. You can even use a Raspberry Pi to run Lakka. It is a very lightweight OS which can run on anything.

Lakka Facts And Features

* Pre-installed and optimized with various emulators

* Very lightweight with minimum hardware requirements

* Beautiful and easy to use UI

* Free and open source with a variety of retro games to choose from

6. Game Drift Linux

Game Drift Linux Linux Distro

Based on Ubuntu, this distro is suitable for beginners who have previously used Ubuntu. Easy to install and everything works out of the box.

Game Drift Linux Hardware Requirements

While not the lightest Linux distro for gaming, it doesn't have a lot of requirements. At least not as much as SteamOS.

* 1-2 GHz processor (32 or 64 bit)

* RAM 1-2 GB

* 4GB hard disk drive for Game Drift Linux (games not included)

* ATI, NVidia, or Intel graphics adapter suitable for games

Game Drift Linux Facts And Features

* Having game store with free and premium games, everything runs perfectly on Game Drift Linux. High quality games only

* You can play more than 1200 Windows games (due to CrossOver Games technology)

* Free distro, but you need to buy an activation key for CrossOver Games to play more than 1200 Windows games

* Based on Ubuntu

7. Solus

Linux Distro Solution

Recently this year, Solus became a rolling release distro, which means that you will 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/browsing/general use. There is an official Steam integration for Solus which will really help you install and configure Steam on your Linux system. It is based on the Linux kernel, but is independent from other distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora.

Solution Hardware Requirements

While not the lightest Linux distro for gaming, it doesn't have a lot of requirements. At least not as much as SteamOS.

* Intel / AMD CPU (64 bit recommended). ARM based processors will not work

*Minimum 2GB RAM, 4GB+ recommended

* 10GB + storage

* ATI, NVidia or Intel GPU are suitable for games

Solus Facts And Features

* Has different desktop environments to choose from: Budgie, Mate, and GNOME

* Modern and has a notification feature

* Free and open source

* Works for everything including gaming, browsing, general home use etc. Everything is arranged out of the box

* Rolling release, you will get the latest updates and software all the time.

8. Manjaro Gaming Edition (mGAMe)

Manjaro Gaming Edition Linux Distro

mGAMe, which is based on Manjaro, which is based on Arch Linux, is a launched gaming distro with everything you need pre-installed. Steam, PlayOnLinux, Lutris, Minecraft, Editing Tools, and many other emulators are pre-installed. You can easily enable "living room mode" in this case you don't need a mouse, you can do everything with your controller or keyboard.

Hardware Requirements mGAMe

If you don't have the hardware requirements to run Solus, but still need a launcher-released distro, go for mGAMe.

* At least 1GHz processor

* At least 1GB of RAM

* At least 30GB of storage

* ATI, NVidia or Intel GPU suitable for games and HD

mGAMe Facts And Features

* Pre-installed Software and Emulators: Audacity, KdenLIVE, Lutris, Minecraft, Minetest, Mumble, OBS Studio, OpenShot, PlayOnLinux, Wine, DeSmuME, Dolphin Emulator (64-Bit only), DOSBox, Fceux, Kega Fusion, PCSXR, PCSX2 , PPSSPP, RetroArch, Stella, VBA-M, Yabause, ZSNES.

* Steam is not pre-installed, you have to install it manually.

* XFCE desktop environments

* Rolling release, you will get the latest updates and software all the time.

9. SuperGamers

SuperGamer Linux Distro

SuperGamer's new V4 was recently released and it no longer includes some of the pre-installed open source games, but you can easily install them, or install apps like Steam. This distro is optimized for games and ready to go via live DVD/USB. This is a great distro to test the machine with.

SuperGamer Hardware Requirements

This distro is based on Ubuntu 16.04 and Linux Lite and only works with 64bit.

* Intel / AMD CPU (64 bit recommended). ARM based processors will not work

* Minimum 1.5GB RAM

* 2GB + DVDs / Flash Drives

* ATI, NVidia or Intel GPU are suitable for games

SuperGamer facts and features

* Based on Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Lite.

* Free and open source

* Optimized for gaming.

10. batocera. linux

batocera. linux Linux Distro

batocera.linux is another live Linux gaming distro similar to Lakka.tv which you can use for retro gaming. Easy to install, easy to set up, and comes pre-installed with everything you need.

Hardware Requirements batocera. linux

A live Linux distro ready for retro gaming with an active community.

* Any CPU supported, at least 2.4GHz for some games.

* 512MB of RAM

* 2GB + DVDs / Flash Drives

* ATI, NVidia or Intel GPU supported by Linux

batocera.linux Facts And Features

* Can run on Raspberry Pi or other nano PC

* Free

* Optimized for retro games (over 50 consoles, including Dreamcast. Wii, PS2)

* Completely controlled from the pad

* You don't need to stop it and turn it off properly, it behaves like a real console

* You can use a USB flash drive or SD card

* Pre-installed with Kodi

* Has an exclusive build for Odroid devices

Steps To Choose The Right Linux Gaming Distro

Before you decide which Linux distro you are going to install, it is very important that you know what factors are important and which features you need to prioritize. We have listed important items that you need to consider before you make your choice. Check this out to make it easier for you to choose the best Linux distro for the right gaming.

Know Your Needs

You now need to know what your needs are. As a gamer, you should have an idea of what type of game you are playing. If you just want to play games using an emulator, then go ahead and get Lakka OS. If you only play steam games, you can choose Steam OS, Ubuntu GamePack, or Solus.

However, if you are more inclined to create content from games through streaming, video editing, and content, then we would recommend you go with Manjaro Gaming Edition. It comes pre-installed with the tools you need.


Remember that these Linux distros have different desktop environments. Make sure you see this before you make your choice. Most gamers take it seriously and are thorough about it but some are not picky.

In the end, it all comes down to which distro suits your preference. If you are very picky about this, I suggest you start with Solus and work your way down the list.

Stability, Sophisticated And Release Cycle

There are Linux distributions that regularly update versions. Taking note of this is very important, especially if you are a beginner. While choosing, make sure you check the stability of the distribution and see how often they release updates or new versions. Doing so will ensure you choose the right one for you.

System Requirements And Compatibility

Remember that not all distros are the same. Although these are all designed for gamers, there are specific hardware requirements that must be met. Take Steam OS as an example. It requires a powerful gaming rig to run it effectively. You can check the hardware requirements of each distro which matches your computer.

Community And Support

Lastly, don't forget that there are tons of communities out there talking about this topic. This is one way to make sure you can choose the right gaming distro for you.


Picking the best Linux distro for gaming may seem like a challenge, but checking out reviews like these will give you a deeper understanding of which distro is right for your gaming needs.

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That's all for the 10 Best Linux Distros for Gaming. Look forward to other interesting articles and don't forget to share this article with your friends. Thank you…

Resa Risyan

Just an ordinary person who wants to share a little knowledge, hopefully the knowledge I provide can be useful for all of us. Keep in mind! Useful knowledge is an investment in the afterlife.

Also, read the article about 10 Linux Distros For Beginners And Stable To Use. And see you in another article. Bye
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