Moving to Linux? Two tools to test your Steam library for Linux compatibility

What games do you have that can be played on Linux? Let's find out.

One of the biggest concerns any gamer has when considering switching to a Linux distro is game compatibility, but that concern is getting to be less and less of a factor.

These days, you can not only run many (normally) Windows-only games on Linux using the Windows emulator Wine, but a large portion of the Steam library is now compatible with Linux. And that portion is growing larger by the day, either thanks new game releases that are compatible out of the box or updates to older titles to make them Linux-compatible.

Now let's pause: How big is your Steam library? Mine has a fairly sizable 284 games -- and if you're an addict to seasonal sales like the rest of Steam's userbase, you probably have a good amount to your name as well.

Let's say you want to know which of your games are compatible with Linux before you consider switching, which is totally reasonable. Are you going to go through all the games in your library and check their Store pages? Pffft, no. That'd take forever. Luckily there are two tools available for you to check your library for Linux-compatible titles quickly and easily.

SteamOS & Linux Products section on SteamDB

The first tool can be found on SteamDB, a site packed with loads of data on game sales, prices, player numbers, and so on. It's a great resource, and if you're thinking about switching to Linux, it has one very helpful feature.

The SteamOS & Linux Products section of the site, hidden away under Apps -> Linux in the top left menu, allows you to not only see a direct list of Linux-compatible games, but also lists titles that are hinting at support for the open-source OS and lets you sign in to see which games you have that support it.

You can sign into the site using your Steam login information -- don't worry, it's safe -- and it will highlight each game on the Linux list that you own.

Compared to the second option we're about to get to, scrolling through the list is a bit cumbersome. But it's still fairly convenient, and it is very nice to just have an easy to browse list of Linux-compatible games instead of having to go through the Steam Store itself.

The Quick n' Dirty Steam Linux Compatibility Checker

This site lives up to its name for being "quick n' dirty", but it does exactly what you would want it to do. It's also the best option for anyone pensive to log into sites like SteamDB with their Steam login.

All you have to do to use the Quick n' Dirty Compatiblity Checker is pop your Steam UserID in and let it sort your games by whether they're compatible with Linux, only Windows, or unknown.

Linux-compatible to the left, Windows only to the right.

The results are fast, and you get a list that's easy to scroll through. According to this, 107 of my games are natively compatible with Linux and 184 are not. Not bad at all, especially considering a large number of the games that are not compatible with Linux can still be run on Wine.

Linux isn't ever going to have the same amount of games Windows does, but the gap between the two OSes in terms of library is slowly closing. Switching over is just sounding better and better.

Published Sep. 6th 2015

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