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Author Topic: The Big Mystery  (Read 2593 times)
Jerry
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Posts: 119



« on: July 16, 2007, 07:12:50 am »

I have always tried to get a mental image an actual number of certain distros "out there" and
running on user's machines.  What I mean is, the distrowatch "page hit stats" aside, I'd sure
like a resource that is the result of some kind of ongoing research as to the REAL popularity
of the many Linux distributions in the computing world.

It would have to be put together, I suppose, by those who can calculate how many downloads
and how many of the downloaded have been distributed again to other computers.  That
seems like an impossible task, but I still wonder about it.

If I had to make up my own "Most Popular/Used Distro List," it would probably have Suse
at the top just because I know it's widely used in Europe.  It'd probably be:

1.  openSuse

2.  Mandriva

3.  Fedora

4.  *buntu

and I dare not go further.

Does anybody here know of a study on this?



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tomh38
Vectorian
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Posts: 913



« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007, 07:35:01 am »

I don't know of such a study, but there was an article recently on how is basically impossible to guage the level of Linux adoption:  http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3687616.
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
Jerry
Vectorite
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Posts: 119



« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 08:34:58 am »

Very well thought-out and well-written article there by Roy Schestowitz.

I like the way he ended it, after three pages of analytical reading, we see
as the very last sentence, "Counting the number of Linux users might always
remain an impossibility. Should you mind?"

But I am wondering more about the percentages of users of the various
distros, thus the relative popularity of them, more than how many actual
Linux users there are in the world, although that is another facinating
curiosity.
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tomh38
Vectorian
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Posts: 913



« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 08:54:59 am »

Yeah, I agree, it is an interesting question.  I would imagine that it would be easier to measure how popular various Linux distributions are in the workplace than for home users.  For that I would guess SUSE, at least for workstations.  For home users, even a lot of Windows users have heard of Ubuntu.  As far as name recognition goes, my guess is that Ubuntu has now surpassed Red Hat (especially since Red Hat abandoned us home Linux users).  A big question in my mind is how widespread adoption of Linux outside of North America and Western Europe will become, since Windows is so expensive and Vista is the most resource intensive Windows yet.  A lot of individuals and governments in poorer countries are looking very seriously at Linux as an alternative Windows, not just because of the price but also because the don't want to be beholden to a Big Corporation for what they can do with their computers.  Free/Open Source software is a great solution for this.  Of course *BSD is an excellent option as well, but for now GNU/Linux has more name recognition.

What I just wrote is a long way of saying that I would like to know also, but I have no idea either.  Smiley
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
Jerry
Vectorite
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Posts: 119



« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 09:58:31 am »

Yeah, I've noticed more and more specific country based distros coming along.  Pardus from
Turkey is getting good users feedback, for example. 

I think you're right;  Linux just might end up being the operating system of the masses, unless
Gates sees that coming and comes up with a Windows version that can attract users of smaller
resource based machines. 

Of course, his other strategy, to own the Linux kernel, all software, our children and my
favorite Baby Moon hubcaps could negate the need for a smaller Windows version.  Cheesy
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rbistolfi
Packager
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Posts: 2290


« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 11:38:04 am »

A big question in my mind is how widespread adoption of Linux outside of North America and Western Europe will become, since Windows is so expensive and Vista is the most resource intensive Windows yet.  A lot of individuals and governments in poorer countries are looking very seriously at Linux as an alternative Windows, not just because of the price but also because the don't want to be beholden to a Big Corporation for what they can do with their computers.  Free/Open Source software is a great solution for this.

Well, here in southamerica, linux is growing fast. There is a little community but very active. The most advanced country is -I think- Brasil. Everybody knows Conectiva, joined to Mandrake. There is other interesting projects there, and they provided several great programmers to the open source. The state is migrating the hole system to linux. In Argentina there are interesting projects too. Tukito K is a live cd, very nice. They focus in user-friendly and in local common hard support (including winmodems). Adrenalinux is a slack based with many flavors. The most advanced is Ututo. Based in Gentoo, Richard Stallman use to talk about them. Is a very promising project, with a new system to solve dependencies. A difference with Brasil is the state. The state is not migrating at a national level, but there is some interest though. Several local goverments are migrating to linux now, as San Juan and Chubut. Our army is developing their own linux, to reach high security standards. The linux good here is not just the malware thing, the control you can have over the process and the human readable config files are the key. The last makes the os completely transparent, and you can know what the system is doing all the time.
I think a big example for us is the extremadura goverment at Spain. They are working great, with several projects for education and small companies. If they could document their experience, would be great for latinamerican countries. Other countries are working nice too, I read about Cuba recently, migrating to linux. Probably Joe is well informed about that.


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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
tomh38
Vectorian
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Posts: 913



« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 01:12:22 pm »

rbistolfi,

What you wrote is good news to me.  I used to worry about the ongoing development of GNU/Linux, but now I don't worry so much.  I think it's quite likely that places like Argentina and Brazil hold a lot of potential for Free/Libre Open Source Software.

This makes me happy because whereas Microsoft and Apple exist to make money for their shareholders (nothing intrinsically wrong with that), Free Software exists for everyone and can be improved by anyone who has the knowledge and access to a computer.

I actually don't care all that much how widespread Linux adoption becomes (well, I care, I just don't think it's the most important thing) - I just want it to be there for those of us who want it.  It won't just disappear like BeOS or OS/2 did because some company went out of business or decided to stop developing it.

A good example in my mind of how this can work is when XFree86 went unfree; we weren't just screwed, somebody picked up the ball and now we have xorg instead.  Even if Linus Torvalds and the main kernel developers quit developing today, there would be plenty of people to step in and take over.

I can't imagine what it would be like to wait for five years for a new VL to come out and then get something like Windows Vista.

I salute all those, paid and unpaid, who develop free and open source software.

Tom
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
Jerry
Vectorite
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Posts: 119



« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2007, 02:27:25 pm »

Here is some Google search data (via Google Trends):

(obviously you have to look at the page to interpret the data)  Smiley

http://www.google.com/trends?q=linux%2C+windows ...

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