Exploring the Best Linux OS for Gaming in 2024

Try this guide with our instant dedicated server for as low as 40 Euros

Best Linux for Gaming

Studies have shown that approximately 96.3% of the world’s top million servers operate on Linux. Linux gaming has quickly evolved from a specific niche favorite interest to a worldwide favorite among gamers. Its open-source capabilities, flexibility, stability, and customizable tools have captivated users with its ability to build a unique and distinctive gaming experience. Are you wondering how to choose the best Linux for gaming?

The open-source nature of Linux allows you to build a dynamic gaming ecosystem that can be the perfect environment to play various games. Its increased compatibility with different Windows games through tools such as Wine, Steam’s Proton, and more has significantly widened the gaming opportunities through Linux.

This article will discuss various factors deriving Linux’s continued success in gaming. It will also discuss crucial considerations when selecting Linux distributions, the top Linux distributions currently available, and how to use game hosting services for Linux. By the end of this article, you will understand the benefits of Linux and how to choose the best gaming Linux OS.

Table of Content

  1. The Rise of Linux in the Gaming World
  2. Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Linux for Gaming
  3. Top Linux Distributions for Gaming in 2024
  4. Using Game Hosting Services for Linux Gaming
  5. Final Takeaway
  6. FAQs

The Rise of Linux in the Gaming World

In recent years, Linux has experienced an exponential rise in popularity in the gaming world. Its open-source foundation has primarily driven this trend, providing gamers with unprecedented freedom. This foundation can also create opportunities for gamers to customize their gaming experiences. By enabling gamers to move past the limitations of closed systems, dedicated server hosting for gaming is popular for its ability to develop a more empowering ecosystem.

The rise of Linux in the gaming community has also led to a surge in the development of native Linux games, catering to a diverse range of genres and preferences. Research has shown that 80% of Steam’s top 100 games run on Linux. This focus on innovation, stability, and performance has cemented Linux as a critical player in the gaming industry.

As you read this, you can find several best server hosting solutions that specialize in game engine and platform hosting. While you can opt for in-house servers, we highly recommend managed dedicated servers that take away the hassles of server maintenance and security.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Linux for Gaming

1)     Hardware and System Requirements

Selecting the best Linux operating system for gaming requires careful consideration of various hardware and system requirements. Different distributions may require different resources, which can significantly impact gaming performance.

Evaluating hardware specifications such as RAM and CPU capacity can help gamers identify the best version of Linux for gaming that complements their current setup. While some distributions may operate optimally on lower-end, older hardware without affecting performance, others may be geared to more premium, higher-performance systems. Assessing your current hardware and system specifications can be the key to creating an enjoyable gaming experience.

We suggest you explore bare metal server hosting to get the best combination of server resources for your gaming platforms. However, you should be aware of how much server cost and the server types offered by the top names in the game hosting industry.

2) Gaming Software and Libraries

The availability of robust gaming software and extensive libraries is crucial when choosing the best Linux OS for gaming. A diverse library of native games and specialized gaming software can be paramount for upgrading your gaming experience. The best gaming Linux OS should have extensive repositories hosting various gaming packages and libraries. This can provide gamers with seamless access to essential tools and popular games.

Evaluating compatibility with gaming platforms like Steam is another crucial factor when selecting the best Linux operating system for gaming. You should also consider various gaming Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) such as Vulkan. Linux distributions that seamlessly integrate with these platforms and solutions can significantly enhance overall performance. This compatibility can also expand the scope of available games in the future.

3) Community Support and Documentation

Adequate community support and well-maintained documentation processes are crucial to choosing the best Linux distribution for gaming. A large and engaged community can be an extremely valuable resource for gamers. Community channels can enable gamers to offer each other assistance, share their individual experiences, and quickly troubleshoot their issues or errors.

Linux gaming communities and forums such as Steam and Reddit can provide gamers with valuable insights, updates, and a sense of belonging. These channels can foster a sense of trust and provide gamers with a platform for sharing their experiences.

Detailed and consistently updated documentation and user guides can be extremely useful for gamers trying to optimize and refine their environment. These resources can help guide users through the setup process, performance enhancement strategies, and resolving technical challenges or limitations.

Top Linux Distributions for Gaming in 2024

1) Ubuntu – The Universal Choice

Ubuntu best Linux for Gaming

Ubuntu is considered to be the best Linux version for gaming due to its user-friendly interface and extensive software repository. Its long-term support (LTS) releases have helped establish a solid foundation to provide gamers with reliable and table gaming sessions. Furthermore, its consistent updates can ensure that gamers are equipped with the latest features and improvements that can be leveraged to optimize their experiences.

Its large user base and active community forums allow gamers to efficiently seek assistance, share their experiences, and engage in constructive discussions to enhance their experience. With its dynamic interface and streamlined installation processes, Ubuntu emerges as a pivotal Linux distribution for new gamers. This is especially useful for users less familiar with technical terminology or system structures. However, its versatility also contributes to its popularity among experienced gamers.

Some of the key advantages of Ubuntu include:

  • Compatibility: Ubuntu is compatible with a wide range of hardware configurations, so gamers can use it on a various devices.
  • Support: Ubuntu offers Long-term Support (LTS) releases, meaning users can get extended support for their systems.
  • Performance: Ubuntu implements GPU drivers and optimizations, which can enhance gaming experiences on systems with dedicated graphics cards.

2) Fedora – For Cutting-Edge Performance

Fedora best linux for gaming

Fedora is primarily geared toward more technical gamers prioritizing access to the latest software and technological advancements. Its efficient development cycle ensures that gamers always have access to updates to expedite performance and facilitate continuous innovation.

Furthermore, Fedora’s commitment to robust security and stability makes it a popular choice for gamers asking, ‘What is the best Linux distro for gaming?’ Fedora strikes a crucial balance between system stability and cutting-edge features, offering gamers transformative performance and experience. It is ideal for those prioritizing a seamless gaming environment, continuous innovation over time, and limitless possibilities.

Read our Debian vs Fedora comparison to understand how Fedora and Debian 

The main advantages of Fedora include:

  • Cutting-edge performance: Fedora can enable gamers to gain access to the latest software and technological solutions powered by a rapid development cycle
  • Stability and Security: Encrypted gaming environments through a robust and dependable platform
  • Inclusive and Tech-Savvy Communities: Experienced gaming enthusiasts can undergo a shared journey of technological experimentation

3) Manjaro – Gaming with Arch Linux Ease

Manjaro best linux for gaming

Manjaro is a Linux distribution that combines optimal performance with user-friendly tools on the foundation of Arch Linux. This distribution can empower gamers to access a robust experience without compromising ease of use.

Arch User Repository (AUR) can leverage a large collection of user-generated packages, significantly expanding the possibilities for gamers outside of standard repositories. This community-centric distribution can be a powerful resource to empower gamers to access a more extensive selection of games, genres, and utilities.

Since Manjaro is a relatively newer distribution, it has a more optimized and refined ecosystem than others. It is also popular for its high speed, efficient performance, and power.

Some of the key advantages of the Manjaro distribution include:

  • User-Friendly: Manjaro is equipped with a graphical installation tool that makes it extremely easy for beginners to install and set up
  • Rolling Release Distribution: Manjaro is known for its rolling release distribution, which means that new updates and software packages are automatically installed as soon as they become available
  • Performance: Manjaro is a highly efficient distribution tool that is optimized for numerous devices.

4) Pop!_OS – Optimized for the Gamer’s Needs

Poop OS best linux for gaming

Pop!_Os is an operating system created by System76 with the preferences and requirements of gamers in mind. It has been built with consideration for almost every gaming requirement.

Pop!_OS utilizes a dedicated GPU switcher, facilitating smooth transitions between dedicated and integrated graphics. This ability can optimize performance according to the specific task being performed. This feature can also allow gamers to save battery life during gaming sessions while still leveraging the complete ability of their dedicated GPU.

Pop!_OS’s optimized drivers can also facilitate maximized performance and compatibility with various hardware configurations. Pre-installed gaming utilities can simplify the setup process, eliminating the need for gamers to search for and install game-specific software manually. This enhances the overall gaming experience by minimizing setup-related tasks.

Other valuable advantages of Pop!_OS include:

  • Gaming Optimization: Pop!_OS is equipped with a dedicated game mode that optimizes the overall system for enhanced performance
  • User-Friendly: Its user-friendly and intuitive interface comes with numerous pre-installed applications, making it a good choice for beginners and technical users.
  • Customization: Pop!_OS is highly customizable, allowing gamers can tailor the system’s interface to suit their unique preferences and requirements.

5) Kubuntu – Lightweight For Improved Gaming Experience

Kubuntu best linux for gaming

Kubuntu is a free and open-source operating system based on Ubuntu. It is an excellent choice for gamers looking for the best Linux for gaming. Gamers can use Kubuntu to enhance their gaming experience, particularly on lower-end hardware. With a lightweight KDE Plasma desktop environment, using Kubuntu can help gamers optimize system resources to make gaming performance more responsive and seamless.

This Linux operating system can optimize resource utilization on less powerful hardware tools, enabling gamers to enjoy efficient gameplay and reduce system burden without compromising performance or resulting in interruptions.

Kubuntu is also highly customizable, allowing gamers to tailor the gaming environment to suit their preferences. This can lead to better adaptability and increased focus during gaming sessions.

The main benefits of Kubuntu include:

  • KDE Plasma: Kubuntu uses a feature-rich KDE Plasma desktop platform that allows gamers to customize their environments
  • Stability: Kubuntu is known for being a highly stable distribution format
  • Performance: Kubunty is an efficient Linux distribution, particularly for gamers with lower-end hardware that still strive for high performance with minimal disruptions.

6) Linux Mint – Better Updates

linux mint best linux for gaming

Linux Mint is the perfect balance between performance and stability. Its user-friendly update manager can enable gamers to tailor their update settings specifically to their preferences. This can result in a much more optimized and seamless overall gaming experience.

With a key focus on stability and reliability, Linux Mint is continuously tested before updates are deployed. This meticulous focus and attention to detail can guarantee a smooth gaming environment with minimal instability or disruptions during sessions.

These timely updates can safeguard encryption and security, protecting gamers against threats, risks, and vulnerabilities.

Other advantages of Linux Mint for gamers include the following:

  • Security: Linux Mint is a highly secure distribution model with features such as firewalls and full disk encryption
  • Hardware and Software Compatibility: Linux Mint supports a wide variety of different hardware and software configurations
  • Software Manager: Linux Mint’s Software Manager is optimized for installing, uninstalling, and maintaining various software packages.

7) Garuda Linux – Ideal for Desktop Computing & Gaming

Garuda best linux for gaming

Garuda Linux caters to both the gaming community and desktop users. With powerful pre-installed gaming tools and performance optimization capabilities, utilizing Garuda Linux can ensure that gamers can harness the complete potential of their existing hardware through smooth gameplay and highly interactive visual elements.

Its versatile approach to gaming and desktop computing has allowed Garuda Linux to emerge as one of the best Linux for gaming.

Specific and unique features of Garuda Linux include:

  • Stability Enhancements: Garuda Linux has various stability enhancement tools to prevent potential system crashes.
  • Customizability: Garuda Linux is highly customizable, allowing users ● to easily tailor the operating system to their needs.
  • Gaming: It contains several gaming-specific features, such as a dedicated game mode that automatically optimizes the operating system for optimal performance.

If you get stuck in selecting an OS for your gaming server, read through our Unix vs Linux comparison to better understand the Linux features for your managed bare metal server.

Using Game Hosting Services for Linux Gaming

Game hosting services are essential for helping Linux gamers optimize and enhance their gaming experiences. These tools can provide gamers with specific solutions designed to improve gaming performance, significantly reduce latency and provide the option for stable and robust multiplayer hosting for different games.

By minimizing latency, gamers can fully immerse themselves in their gaming sessions without dealing with continuous delays or interruptions, building a much more enjoyable gaming experience. Furthermore, game hosting services for Linux operating systems can provide users the additional convenience of dedicated or bare metal servers for multiplayer gaming. This can lead to more stable connections, reduced risk of disconnecting, and improved encryption.

You can offset the costs of these servers by opting for server renting options that operate on a pay-as-you-go model. 

Leveraging the power of game hosting services on Linux is a strategic choice to help gamers elevate their gaming experiences without facing significant obstacles or hindrances.

Final Takeaway

As the popularity of Linux native games continues to increase, gamers must evaluate the unique advantages and limitations of each type of Linux operating system. There is no exact best version of Linux for gaming. However, you can determine the best gaming Linux OS for your needs and preferences by considering your hardware and system specifications, gaming software and libraries, and available community support and documentation.

Game hosting services are crucial in exploring the world of multiplayer gaming and optimized gaming sessions. RedSwitches is a leading game server hosting provider that can provide gaming enthusiasts access to high-performance services, dedicated multiplayer hosting, and reduced latency. Partnering with RedSwitches can empower Linux gamers to unlock seamless gameplay and gain access to a highly supportive customer service team. We offer the best dedicated server pricing and deliver instant dedicated servers, usually on the same day the order gets approved. Whether you need a dedicated server, a traffic-friendly 10Gbps dedicated server, or a powerful bare metal server, we are your trusted hosting partner.

Contact RedSwitches now to learn how to use the best Linux for gaming and optimize performance through game hosting services.


Q1. Which is the best Linux for gaming?

Numerous Linux operating systems are optimized for gaming environments. However, the best Linux for gaming depends on each gamer’s preferences, needs, and available hardware and systems.

Q2. Is Linux OS better for gaming?

Linux OS is one of the most popular options for gaming due to its performance optimizations, vast gaming libraries, and a large amount of support from developers and community forums.

Q3. Is Debian Linux good for gaming?

Debian Linux can be suitable for some gaming systems with the correct configurations. However, other distributions, such as Ubuntu or Fedora, might be more optimized for non-technical gamers.

Q4. Which OS is better for gaming?

Various OS options are available for gaming, such as macOS and Windows. However, Linux is one of the most popular options due to its unique strengths and key considerations for gamers.

Q5. Does Linux get more FPS?

Linux often achieves high FPS levels with optimal hardware support, particularly when utilizing optimized Linux distributions for gaming.

Q6. Is Linux the future for gaming?

Linux is quickly becoming a preferred gaming platform, driven by its open-source nature, high flexibility, and regular performance improvements.

Try this guide with our instant dedicated server for as low as 40 Euros