9 Best Linux Distro For Gaming

When we talk about PC gaming, the OS or Operating system comes in our mind is Windows. No doubt windows is the most popular OS for general purpose use case.

That’s why game publisher and developers target the windows first and sometime also macOS for popular gaming franchises.

Linux is no way near consideration when talking about gaming. But not today, Linux is now quite popular and even grows much more in the last couple of decades. Today we pick the 9 Best Linux distro for gaming you can install on your PC.

Although there are so many Linux distributions available in the market, all have their sole purpose. The good thing is there are options available for gaming too. Let’s see the 9 best Linux distro for gaming

Quick List Best Linux Distro For Gaming

Let’s have a quick look at 9 Best Linux distro for gaming

1. Steam OS
2. Lakka OS
3. Ubuntu game pack
4. Game Drift Linux
5. SparkyLinux – Gameover Edition
6. Manjaro Gaming Edition
7. Solus
8. Fedora games spin
9. batocera.linux

Why Choose Linux Over Windows?

Before listing our 9 Best Linux distro for gaming, we need to talk about why do even bother to use Linux for gaming instead of windows?

There are so many reason to use Linux over windows.

1. Secure

Linux is more secure then windows. In fact Linux is the most secure OS in market right now.

2. Perfect For Developers

If you are a developer or programmer, chances are you already have Linux on your system or you are planning to install one. Don’t worry you still play your games on Linux

3. Low Hardware Requirements

Linux can run easily on low hardware PC. If you have low end PC or a very old computer. You can still boot Linux on your system.

4. Customization

Customization is one of the most interesting features you can have on Linux. Unlike windows where you are limited to customize your environment, Linux gives you countless options to do that.

5. It’s Free

Last, but not least, Linux is completely free to use. You don’t need spend a single money on it.

9 Best Linux Distro For Gaming

1. Steam OS

  • Base: Debian 8
  • Desktop Environment: GNOME
  • Latest Stable Release: 2.195

Start with first in our list is SteamOS. As it’s name suggest, it was developed by the Steam creator Valve Corp.

SteamOS is based on Debian 8. The OS is build on to p of Debian core. Being Linux an open platform, it gives you full control over the operating system.

By default SteamOS come preinstalled with steam client or if you planning to get a steam machine.

Although, you can manually get SteamOS and install it, but it can quite difficult for non-technical user.

Unfortunately, you can not run SteamOS on a very old computer. This OS does have some requirements. In order to run properly SteamOS in your machine, you must have…


  1. 64-bit processor(Intel or AMD)
  2. Minimum of 4GB RAM
  3. 200GB or larger hard drive
  4. A dedicated or integrated GPU. For AMD RADEON 8500 and later is recommended.
  5. Latest UEFI firmware installation

2. Lakka OS

  • Base: RetroArch
  • Desktop Environment: RetroArch
  • Latest Stable Release: 2.3.2
  • RetroArch version: 1.8.4

For all the retro gamers out there, Lakka is one of the options you have. Lakka is lightweight Linux distribution built on top of Retro Arch emulator.

Lakka is not like other Operating systems, instead, it emulates a wide variety of consoles in your PC. Basically, it is like a console on a PC. Lakka has some really useful features like automatic joypad recognition, netplay, rewinding, and shaders.

Lakka is so much light-weight that you don’t need to have a high-end PC. Even It can easily run on old computers. In fact a Raspberry Pi can easily run Lakka OS.

3. Ubuntu Game Pack

  • Base: Ubuntu
  • Desktop Environment: GNOME
  • Latest Stable Release: 18.04

Ubuntu game pack is a another Linux distro for gaming. It is based on top of Ubuntu, which is a distribution of Linux.

Like Lakka and SteamOS, the Ubuntu game pack doesn’t come with games pre-install. However it does comes with some really useful tools such as Steam client, itch, wine, Lutris, and PlayOnLinux.

Lutris allows you to play games from Origin, Uplay, Battel.net and more. There are more than 55,977 games available on this platform, which is huge.

On top that it also support Oracle Java and adobe flash. That mean you can also enjoy online multiplayer games. Ubuntu game pack also have a dedicated repository to install games.

4. Game Drift Linux

  • Base: Ubuntu
  • Desktop Environment: Mate
  • Latest Stable Release: 1.2.1

Game drift Linux is a Linux distro for gaming based on Ubuntu. Game drift Linux is optimized for the best possible gaming experience on Linux. Out-of-box supports Windows games, Linux games and also has a built-in app store with high-quality games.

Game drift Linux has built-in CrossOver games technology support. Because of that, it can play more than 1200 popular windows games. Though Game drift can run on a decent computer in 2020, but some high-quality games may require more computing power.


  1. 1-2 Ghz processor (32 or 64 bit)
  2. 1-2 GB memory
  3. 4 GB hard disk drive for Game Drift Linux
  4. ATI, NVidia or Intel graphics adapter
  5. LAN/Internet

5. Sparky Linux GameOver Edition

  • Base: Debian 8
  • Desktop Environment: xfce
  • Latest Stable Release: 5.12

Sparky Linux GameOver Edition is another Linux distribution. Sparky Linux is a fast, lightweight, and fully customizable OS. This is based on Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

Out of the box, it supports a large number of Linux open-source games. Moreover, it also has steam for steam games and Lutris, wine, and a few more to support other windows software and games.

Sparky Linux comes with a special tool called APTus Gamer. This tool allows you to download and install various game emulators for a retro console such as Sega MegaDrive, Game boy Advance, Atari system, and much more.

6. Manjaro Gaming Edition

  • Base: Arch
  • Desktop Environment: xfce
  • Latest Stable Release: 18.0.3

Manjaro is more suitable for programmers or developers rather than gamers. Although the base version is pretty decent in terms of gaming. There is a special Edition is available for gaming, called Manjaro Gaming Edition.

Manjaro Gaming Edition is more focused on content creation with gaming. This comes with some useful software specially designed for content creation like Audacity, screenshot tools, chatting software, streaming apps, and more.

Manjaro Gaming Edition comes with pre-install graphics driver, which are not only just updated also optimize for better gaming.

On top of that this OS offers you applications like PlayOnLinux, wine, Lutris, etc. It also has a bunch of emulators such as DOSbox, Kega Fusion, PPSSPP, PCSX2, FCEUX,  RetroArch, PCSX, and more.

7. Solus

  • Base: GNU/Linux
  • Desktop Environment: GNOME/Mate/Budgie/Plasma
  • Latest Stable Release: 4.1

So far in our best Linux distro for gaming list, every OS is based on top of a Linux-based Operating system. But Solus is not like others. Unlike any other distro, Solus is not based on Ubuntu or Arch, or Debian, instead, this OS made from complete scratch, which made this OS quite unique in our list.

The amazing thing about this OS is that it offers you 4 different desktop environments. Budgie, GNOME, Mate, and Plasma. There is no major difference between these so you can choose whichever you like.

Out of the box, it comes with pretty much all useful software you may need for general usage, browsing as well as gaming. Also, you can find more software from its software center.

Talking about gaming on Solus, installing a tool called Linux system integration(LSI) gives you some real advantages. LSI optimizes the performance of the games and also can fix some possible bugs.

8. Fedora Games Spin

  • Base: Fedora
  • Desktop Environment: xfce
  • Latest Stable Release: 32

Fedora Games Spin is a version of fedora specially designed for gaming on fedora OS. Fedora offers you XFCE desktop environment with minimal design. Fedora Games spin is fast, stable, and also lightweight.

As it is made for purely gaming, it comes with more than a thousand games pre-install such as first-person shooter, real-time, turned-based strategy games, and more.

Unfortunately, to keep things minimal, this distro doesn’t come with Steam games, Wine, PlayOnLinux pre-install by default. Though you can manually install those applications.

Since it purely focuses on games, it doesn’t have any driver install. In order to play AAA titles, you need Steam to install also the graphics driver for GPU. By far this is the distro you might looking for.

9. Batocera.Linux​

  • Latest Stable Release: 5.26

Bactocera.linux is another great distro heavily focused on Retro gaming. Bactocera is so much lightweight that it can easily run on a regular to a very old PC. In fact, it can easily run on a Raspberry Pi as we talked about Lakka OS.

Batocera can emulate a variety of game consoles such as Sega Master, Atari, NES, and much more. But you can’t play games right away. You need to own them because the distro doesn’t include any games.


We’ve listed the 9 best Linux distro for gaming you should consider for your gaming PC. Though is up to you, which one you choose. All have some their own pros and cons. As a gamer, you should know what is your interest and which type of games you like to play. If you like to games on an emulator, LakkaOS or Batocera are available options. If you like to more steam games, in that case, SteamOS, Ubuntu game pack, or Solus would be a good option. However, if you focused on content creation for youtube or twitch through live streaming or screen recording, Manjaro Gaming Edition you should consider.

TNHindi Tech Gamer

TNHindi Tech for Gamer is a tech/gaming blog covering all types of Gaming and PC related content. We do reviews, comparison, PC build guides, tutorials. If the articles on this site satisfied you feel free to share.