What Is The Best Linux For Gaming?

Best Linux For Gaming

Over the past five years, Linux gaming has significantly evolved. Although gaming on Linux was feasible before, finding titles that ran smoothly was rare. Valve’s introduction of its Linux gaming distribution marked a significant moment.

It prompted gaming publishers to take notice of the open-source platform. Shortly after, games became available, and now major studios highlight their top titles’ compatibility with Linux.

Proton and similar efforts have enabled Linux users to enjoy smooth gameplay on games originally made for Windows.

Before Valve, key proponents of Linux gaming included enduring open-source efforts, gaming platforms supported by a robust community, and top-notch open-source drivers from popular companies.

The evaluation of these Linux distributions for gaming considered various aspects. Key factors included installation disk space, support for a range of controllers (such as PlayStation and Xbox), compatibility with different gaming platforms, the quantity of pre-installed games, and additional applications for everyday use.

In open source, several choices are available to tailor a Linux environment ideal for gaming. Here are some of the options available.

Ubuntu GamePack

UALinux developed Ubuntu GamePack, which shares similarities with Drauger OS by being based on Ubuntu.

However, Ubuntu GamePack sets itself apart with its customized Gnome desktop environment. It includes proprietary drivers and codecs and supports various gaming platforms.

Moreover, Ubuntu GamePack provides a trial version of CrossOver, a proprietary tool utilizing WINE for running Windows games and applications.

The distribution also incorporates DOSBox for playing DOS games and ScummVM for classic adventure and role-playing games.

A standout feature of this distribution is its GameMode, designed to enhance gaming performance. In addition to optimization, it offers a comprehensive selection of productivity applications, catering to gamers seeking a versatile desktop operating system. 

Setting itself apart from Drauger OS, it utilizes a customized version of the user-friendly Ubuntu Ubiquity installer.


Developed by System76, Pop!_OS appeals to gamers who enjoy personalizing their gaming experience. Based on Ubuntu LTS, it incorporates its interface layered over Gnome.

It offers significant flexibility for customization, including robust support for hybrid graphics configurations and the ability to launch games directly using the GPU from the context menu.

In contrast to many leading Linux gaming distributions, Pop!_OS does not include pre-installed gaming platforms out of the box.

Instead, users can easily download applications such as Lutris, Steam, and GameHub from its dedicated app store. It also provides two versions: a standard image and another with the Nvidia driver pre-installed.

Fedora Games

It focuses on showcasing the best open-source games available in Fedora’s repositories. This distribution offers 4.1GB loaded with various games, from strategy games to first-person shooters. Users can explore and play these games directly within the Live environment.

It utilizes the Xfce desktop environment and is refreshed with every major Fedora release. The latest version is built upon Fedora Workstation 33.

While Fedora Games is robust for gaming, it offers less versatility than other distributions mentioned earlier. It does not come with pre-installed platforms like Steam, though users can install these independently.


A streamlined Linux system designed to turn your computer into a retro gaming console, Lakka operates on the libretro core and utilizes RetroArch as its interface.

Lakka can be a bootable USB image on PCs and is also compatible with ARM-based devices such as the Raspberry Pi.

The system supports a variety of keyboards and can connect wirelessly to PS3 and PS4 controllers, as well as Xbox 360 controllers with the appropriate dongle.

Best Linux For Gaming

RetroArch includes an auto-configuration feature that enables most controllers to be used immediately without manual setup. Lakka’s documentation also offers helpful instructions for setting up less common controller configurations.

To comply with copyright laws, Lakka does not come pre-installed with games. To play games, users must obtain legal copies of ISO images from their game CDs or precompiled ROM files for arcade games.

Public domain ROMs can sometimes be found on sites like the Internet Archive.

Drauger OS 

Positioned as a dedicated Linux Desktop Gaming OS based on Ubuntu LTS, Drauger OS diverges by adopting the mainline Linux kernel instead of Ubuntu’s default kernel.

Developers have optimized this kernel for lower latency and increased scheduling frequency, boosting frame rates, reducing screen tearing, and enhancing overall gaming performance.

Upon startup in the Live environment, Drauger OS immediately installs the Steam Client. It boasts a personalized Xfce desktop and provides a user-friendly tutorial through its welcome app for new users.

Drauger OS supports numerous PlayStation and Xbox controllers, enhancing accessibility. It has pre-installed essential gaming tools.

Beyond gaming, Drauger OS offers a plethora of applications suitable for everyday computing tasks. To install Drauger, a minimum of 32GB of disk space is required.

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