What Are The Best Linux Distributions For Gaming With AMD Or nVidia Hardware For New Users? (2021)

In this video I cover some recommendations for Linux distributions for gaming with AMD or nVidia hardware for new users.

For nVidia Users – Pop OS.


To my knowledge, Pop OS is the only Linux distribution that ships with the most recent nVidia driver in the ISO file which is installed as part of the overall installation process.

Furthermore, any driver updates in the future are passed through as normal updates, so that assuming you keep your system up to date, which you should anyway, you will always have the latest driver installed.

Pop OS also has built in support for switchable graphics in laptops, which can be enabled via a simple toggle from the Power Settings in the menu bar, just below the Power Plans.

For installing software, Pop OS uses the Pop Shop which will allow you to search and install gaming related software such as Steam, Lutris and Green With Envy.

Although additional software such as MangoHUD, Goverlay, vkBasalt and Feral Gamemode can be installed using a tool such as Synaptic, which is available in the Pop Shop.

For AMD Users – Manjaro.


Manjaro is Arch based which means that you will get access to the latest versions of drivers, kernels and software once they are available.

Like Pop OS, there is a new Manjaro ISO released every couple of weeks, which means that you will automatically install the latest version of the kernel and Mesa drivers.

Manjaro uses Pamac which allows you to install Steam, Lutris, Feral Gamemode, MangoHUD, vkBasalt, GOverlay, and Green with Envy all from a single application.

For kernel management, Manjaro has an application called Kernel that allows you to install and remove kernels from your system.

Manjaro also includes a software tool called Hardware Configuration that will allow you to install the latest nVidia drivers from the repository.

In summary, Manjaro allows an end user with AMD hardware to benefit from a rolling release distribution without having to touch the Terminal.

#linuxgaming #manjaro #popos

11 thoughts on “What Are The Best Linux Distributions For Gaming With AMD Or nVidia Hardware For New Users? (2021)

  1. I tried using Ubuntu to play steam, epic using your great tutorials but I still cant get some of my games to work even after trying the software experts to get help. I have gone back to windows for my gaming needs, it was just a huge pita to get all the correct dlls and proprietary software needs to run all my games. .sucks I love linux. I might try popos

  2. Actually you can turn almost any distro to a gaming distro with latest driver delivery by enabling some testing or dev branch which makes a distro bleeding edge but i agree with you pop os and manjaro are really good for new users. I really appreciate how you are trying to help new linux comers to choose their distro. We dont want new users to have a hard time ( like linus from ltt hhhhh). Anyway great video as always.

  3. Uhm doesn't any Linux distribution support AMD GPUs out-of-the box as the driver are in the Kernel?
    Probably I would only narrow this down to rolling releases due to their rolling nature and being up-to-date at best which is not limited to Arch or Arch based distributions tho o.o

  4. I like where you're going with the video in broad principle, but it's probably worth saying that the downsides to dealing with a rolling release as a Linux noob with an AMD GFX card, probably outweigh the pro's, when only a tiny minority of such people will have a new 6000 series AMD card. If like me you have an AMD RX580 or a 5000 series card I doubt there's very much benefit at all to installing the latest drivers IOW. And my AMD GFX cards have always worked OTB on every distro i've tried for the last few years.

    That said I think it's really helpful to point out those DE's and distros that have genuinely usable GUI control panel applications for hardware, not least because this a corner most hardware manufacturers cut for Linux – when they wouldn't dream of doing so for Windows. I come across this all the time with audio interfaces on Linux – they work kinda – but maybe as much as half their functionality is lost for lack of the control panel software. So flagging up those (very few) companies that bother to support Linux – either by working with Linux devs or releasing (even proprietary) software to interact with their hardware on Linux, is a very important way for the Linux community to encourage them going forward.

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