Fri Jun 08 2018

Best Linux distro for gaming

Linux distros for gaming

Computer gaming has become an important part of the youngster. Most games are made for Microsoft Windows but you may also use Linux to play games and pretty much all distro support gaming. Gaming in Linux has evolved a lot in the past few years. You have dozens of distros pre-optimized for gaming and gamers. And day by day the number is increasing. But the question is how can you decide that the one is perfect distro for gaming? Little confused? Don't worry about that, here we are going to show some guidelines that can help you to choose easily the right one for gaming. After that, we will also enlist the best Linux distros for gaming. So, let’s start the topic -

Guidelines to choose the best Linux distro for gaming

  • New generation games required high configuration platform to work properly. You need to have a system with lightweight operating systems and high system configuration devices like RAM and Processor. As these operating systems are built for Gaming purpose only it supports gaming devices like Gamepads & Joysticks etc.

  • You can use almost all Linux operating system’s to install and play games because The major gaming application’s like Steam, WineHQ, PlayOnLinux installation packages are available for all Linux distros but the Linux Distributions which are intentionally developed for gaming only will give you the outstanding performance which you can’t find in normal Linux Distros.

  • The main feature that matters when choosing a distro for gaming is support for drivers. Most distros support the latest hardware. If they don’t, you can still manually find and install the driver yourself on any distro. If you’re not sure about the hardware, you can just google some info for your hardware and see if the distro supports it or not.

  • Another most important thing is update frequency. If you prefer to always use the latest versions of any software and apps, go with a rolling release distro. If you'll do it, you’ll always get the latest driver updates and you’ll already have the latest drivers for your new GPU/CPU. If you want to stick with what you know and use a more stable OS, can go with a point release distro.

  • Use a live CD (flash drive) image and test it out without even installing it. Watch some videos, check some screenshots, read some reviews.

Now, let’s check out the best Linux distro for-


SteamOS is always the first on every Linux gaming distro list because It’s fully designed with gaming in mind. It comes pre-installed with Steam and it’s based on Debian. SteamOS is built, designed and maintained by Valve. By default, SteamOS only has Steam installed, but you can activate the “desktop mode” and you’ll get a fully-featured desktop OS where you can run other applications besides Steam and games. It has everything set up that essential for, so you don’t need to install or configure anything to play on Steam. This is the most recommended distro for beginners and Linux gamers.

Hardware requirements -

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor

  • 4GB or more RAM

  • 250GB or larger disk

  • NVIDIA, Intel, or AMD graphics card

Ubuntu GamePack

Ubuntu GamePack is most popular Gaming Linux OS with Base of Ubuntu. It’s similar to the Ubuntu distribution, but it's powerful than the normal Ubuntu Distro. It is gaming edition distro which runs the various Linux, Windows and Steam games easily. It provides the support to run the Steam, Windows, and others consoles games on your PC. It comes with pre-installed software like Wine, PlayOnLinux, Steam Client and Lutris.

Hardware requirements -

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

  • 1GB RAM or more

  • 9GB disk (the more the better)

  • VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution. Intel HD graphics/AMD Radeon 8500 for Steam games and any other GPU for other games.

Play Linux

Play Linux is another gaming Linux distro comes with the Steam and PlayOnLinux applications pre-installed. It has a function that automatically detects your graphics card and configures it accordingly then it installs the drivers for your graphics card so you no need to download and install your Graphics driver via Terminal or any other package installer, it makes everything easier for you.

Hardware requirements -

It doesn’t have a lot of requirements like need enough RAM, Processor, HDD space. So you can run Play Linux on any Low-End PC.

Game Drift Linux

Game Drift Linux is a new Linux distribution distro based on Ubuntu Linux. It has been optimized to deliver you the best possible gaming experience on Linux. You can play more than 1200 popular Windows games directly within Game Drift Linux distro, thanks to the built-in CrossOver Games technology from American Codeweavers and support for new games are added regularly. You can play popular titles such as Need for Speed - Most Wanted, Counter-Strike Source, Hitman, and many other fantastic games.

Hardware requirements -

  • 1-2 GHz processor (32 or 64 bit)

  • 1-2 GB RAM

  • 4 GB hard disk drive for Game Drift Linux (excluding games)

  • ATI, NVidia or Intel graphics adapter suitable for games

Manjaro Gaming Edition

mGAMe (previously known as Manjaro Gaming) is a distro designed for gamers with the awesomeness of Manjaro. It automatically installs necessary drivers for popular Graphics cards. It also provides various tweaks for optimal gaming experience. mGAMe comes with various open source software often needed by gamers, like – video editor, games video recording and streaming application, chatting software, screenshot tool etc. A long list of console emulators comes pre-installed with mGAMe. For running Windows games Wine & PlayOnLinux are included. But, if you want to play Steam games, you have to manually install the Steam client, which is a big deal in Arch Linux based distributions as Steam is not officially supported in Arch.

Hardware requirements -

  • At least 1GHz processor

  • At least 1GB RAM

  • At Least 30GB storage

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

Fedora – Games Spin

Fedora Games spin is the perfect example of Fedora’s ability to run games. Fedora Games Spin comes with thousands of Linux games. Steam client, Wine or PlayOnLinux are not installed by default. If you want Steam and Windows games support you need to manually install those via the package manager. Some pre-installed games also need additional data to be downloaded before playing.

Hardware requirements -

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

  • 1GB RAM or more

  • 10GB disk (the more the better)

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

SparkyLinux – GameOver Edition

Weighing in at 3.8GB the Debian-based SparkyLinux has a few tricks up its sleeve. Preinstalled you get Steam, Wine, and PlayOnLinux which helps you get your dose of the current games. SparkyLinux then features APTus Gamer. APTus Gamer features an easy way to install game consoles emulators and other tools helpful for gamers. There are emulators for Atari, PlayStation, and even DOS also. SparkyLinux also ships with the Lutris gaming platform which helps you install and manage your games in a unified interface. Using this single interface, you can view all your Linux, Windows, Steam, emulated and browser games.

Hardware requirements -

  • CPU i586 / amd64

  • 256 MB of RAM memory (some games need more than that – 500-1000 MB recommended)

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


Recently this year, Solus became a rolling release distro, which means that you’ll 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 playback/browsing/general use. There’s an official Steam integration for Solus which will greatly help you with installing and configuring steam on your Linux system. It’s based on the Linux kernel, but it’s independent of any other distro like Ubuntu or Fedora.

Hardware requirements -

  • Intel/AMD CPU (64 bit recommended). ARM-based processors won’t work

  • 2GB RAM Minimum, 4GB+ recommended

  • 10GB+ storage

  • ATI, NVidia or Intel GPU suitable for games


Lakka is a lightweight Linux distro distribution that transforms a small computer into a full-blown retrogaming console. It is built on top of the famous RetroArch emulator. It is able to emulate a wide variety of systems and has some useful features such as automatic joypad recognition, rewinding, netplay, and shaders. The software is optimized to run fast even on low-end computers, and it supports a lot of USB joypads. However, to avoid any copyright angle, no game comes pre-installed on this console.

Hardware requirements -

  • 64-bit based Intel or AMD Processor

  • 2GB or higher RAM

  • UEFI or Legacy

  • HDD or SSD Space - 50GB or higher

  • Intel HD Graphics / Nvidia Graphics Cards / AMD Graphics Cards / VGA Graphics


A Linux gaming distro is custom-made for hard-core gamers. Subsequently, it comes ready for various games, and besides, drivers for graphics cards and game controllers come with it. We can say that any standard Linux distro can be transformed into a game station without any stretch. It becomes possible because today many of Linux distros bolster every sort of graphics card. And these distros are outfitted with different drivers, emulators, and software. So, you don't have to do anything else except installation.

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to show you personalised advertising. Please read our cookie policy and privacy policy.