6 Best Linux For Gaming

Yes! You read right. Linux is known for performance, stability, and security but now it is also known for gaming. There are hundreds of games for Linux and so many Windows games have been ported for Linux. But we have so many Linux distros, specially developed for gaming.  In this article, I’m going to list out the 6 Best Linux for gaming. Hope you enjoy it!


Linux used to be the only Command Line-based operating system, then it had a basic GUI. But today we have advanced desktop environments such as KDE Plasma etc. Now gaming is another achievement on Linux. We have a pile of awesome Linux games.

assassin creed on linu

Linux gaming started from one of the most popular gaming platforms Steam. Initially, It was only an app to play excellent games on Linux but today we also have a complete Steam OS dedicated to gaming on Linux. We’ll have more to read on Steam OS & free steam games in the list. But now We don’t have only Steam OS for Linux gaming, but, we have a collection of nice Linux operating systems for game lovers. The best part of gaming Linux distributions is that users don’t have to set up extra tools for gaming. So let’s get started with the list of 6 Best Linux for Gaming. Remember, most of the Linux distributions come with some common tools & apps for playing games, only the desktop environment may differ or more drivers to support more hardware.

​1. SteamOS

Well, the first one has to be SteamOS. SteamOS is a Debian-based Linux distribution that comes with Valve’s Steam app to let you play all Steam games. Steam OS graphical environment is GNOME, a popular desktop environment that is highly customized in Steam OS to look even prettier. It supports Keyboard and Joystick so a perfect solution for gaming lovers.SteamOS also supports desktop mode but you’ll need to enable it from Steam Settings Menu. Goto Settings > Interface and check “Enable access to the Linux desktop”. Now the exit button will have an additional option to switch to the Desktop.

steamos linux distro

Steam is equipped with large numbers of game categories, from Racing, Strategy, Action to First-person shooter, etc. Steam provides new games regularly so if you don’t find your favorite games, just wait, probably the team is working to take it in for you. Steam also has a large number of free-to-play games. Some of the best free steam games are Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, Adventure Capitalist, Radiator 2, and a lot more.

SteamOS System Requirements

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor.
  • 4 GB (or more) RAM.
  • 200 GB or larger hard disk.
  • NVIDIA (Fermi graphics cards or newer), Intel, or AMD graphics card (Radeon HD 5XXX or newer)
  • USB port for installation.
  • UEFI boot support.

Download SteamOS

2. ​Ubuntu GamePack

As the name suggests that Ubuntu GamePack is a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution. It has been my favorite for providing a large number of Games. Unlike Steam OS, Ubuntu GamePack does not only come with Steam but Lutris, PlayOnLinux, and Wine to play Windows games on Linux. Ubuntu GamePack is a complete Linux distribution which means you can install any other software packages you need.

Ubuntu GamePack for gaming

PlayOnLinux provides more than 747 Windows games. Wine lets you install Windows games and applications so if you have got a Windows game setup, just open it with Wine. Another platform Lutris was included in Ubuntu GamePack 14.04 for the game and management.

​GamePack System Requirement

  • 2GB Or More RAM (4GB Recommended)
  • 2.0GHz Or More Processor (Dual Core And 64bit Recommended)
  • 20GB HDD Space Or More
  • 4GB Pendrive or USB Drive or DVD-RW for Installation
  • Intel HD graphics/AMD Radeon 8500 Or Later Graphics Card (Only For Steam)
  • Intel/Nvidia/AMD Graphics Card(Regular Games)

Download Ubuntu GamePack

3. ​Play Linux

Play Linux is another Ubuntu-based Linux for gaming. The team intends to provide an easy setup playing environment, no need to walk around or dual booting with Windows. Play Linux comes with NVIDIA and AMD driver support. The distribution is still in Beta condition but quite stable. Still, you should use it carefully and should always expect some bugs.

Play Linux for gaming

Play Linux uses Cinnamon desktop environment so is easy to use. Like other gaming Linux distributions, it also comes pre-installed with Wine, Winetricks, PlayOnLinux and Play Linux Kosmos.

Play Linux System Requirements

  • 1GB Or More RAM (2GB Recommended)
  • 2.0GHz Or More Processor (Dual Core And 64bit Recommended)
  • 10GB HDD Space Or More (20GB Recommended)
  • 4GB Pendrive or USB Drive or DVD-RW for Installation
  • Intel HD Graphics/AMD Radeon 8500 Or Later Graphics Card (For Steam Games)
  • Intel/Nvidia/AMD Graphics Card(Regular Linux Games)
  • Wired or Wireless internet connection

4. ​SparkyLinux GameOver

SparkyLinux GameOver is a gaming edition from SparkyLinux. It is based on the stable branch of Debian and uses one of the lightest desktop environments, LXDE. LXDE is known for its simplicity and lightning fast speed. GameOver is full of classic games and gaming consoles. If you love to play classic games then it is a distro for you. Though there is a very small collection of applications but tons of games to enjoy in Sparky.

best linux for gaming

SparkyLinux gaming Linux is also stocked with Steam, PlayOnLinux, and DOSbox. So besides pre-installed games, you are also equipped to install Steam games and play DOS games with DOSbox.

​SparkyLinux System Requirements

  • CPU i586 / amd64
  • 256 MB of RAM memory (some games need more than that – 500-1000MB recommended)
  • an optical DVD drive or 4GB USB stick for Live medium
  • 20 GB of space for installation on a hard drive (30GB recommended)
  • 16 GB of Flash/Pen USB drive for “normal” installation (32GB recommended)

Download SparyLinux GameOver

5. ​Fedora Game Spin

Who does not know Fedora? The gaming spin of Fedora is built for gamers with some inbuilt games and tools to install more games. Fedora Game Spin is the largest in size (4GB) among all we have mentioned in this list. Some popular Linux games pre-installed are Battle for Wesnoth, FreeCiv, Scorched 3D, SuperTuxKart and Nethack. Due to size constraint, Steam and PlayOnLinux are not pre-installed but available in the repository. The default repositories also have a large number of games so you can directly install games from repositories. To make Fedora Game spin faster, it arrives with Xfce lightweight desktop environment.

fedora linux for games

Fedora Game Spin System Requirements

  • 1GB Or More RAM (2GB Recommended)
  • 2.0GHz Or More Processor (64bit Recommended)
  • 10GB HDD Space Or More (20GB Recommended)
  • 8GB Pendrive Or USB Drive or DVD-RW for Installation
  • Intel/Nvidia/AMD Graphics Card
  • Wired or Wireless Internet Connection

Download Fedora Gaming Linux

6. ​GS Voyager

Currently, I’m using GS Voyager and it’s worth trying out. It is based on Xubuntu. Other than gaming it includes useful applications to perform day-to-day tasks. But talking about gaming, GS Voyager comes pre-installed with 8 games and Steam, Wine-Staging, Winetricks, Gnome twitch for games walkthrough and DJL Game manager.

gs voyager gaming linux

Tons of game walkthrough with GNOME Twitch.

gs voyager gaming linux


And that’s all for this list. I know you found most of the tools common between all these gaming Linux distributions but that’s not a negative side. All these gaming Linux have different desktop environments, some have lightweight but some don’t so choose one that can work with your machine. The gaming Linux distributions come with most of the drivers you require to play games such as Joystick driver etc. It is like plug-and-play with gaming Linux distributions. Of course, you can make any other Linux distribution for your gaming but you’ll have search and download gaming drivers which is time-consuming.

Lastly, don’t forget to take the poll above to tell us which one is your favorite out of this list. If you like any other Linux distribution for gaming then please let us know in the comment section below.


Mohd Sohail is a web developer and a Linux sysAdmin. He also loves to write how-to articles, applications reviews and loves to use new Linux distributions.

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One comment

  1. C’mon, people, it’s their picks for the best SNES games. If you think Secret of Mana is the best, props to you. If you think Super Metroid is better than Super Mario Kart, that’s fine. This is their pick and your comments aren’t going to change it. The sooner you all get that the better off you’ll be. And before anyone calls me a hypocrite, I did wonder why Chrono Trigger was only #5 when it was on their “”best games of all time”” list. It just didn’t make sense for it to be lower than A Link to the Past when even that isn’t on the best games of all time list.

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