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Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users — Before Lucid

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the or-is-that-a-lucid-dream dept.

Ubuntu 360

darthcamaro writes "It's always a challenge to try and figure out how many users a particular Linux distro has — but Canonical is now providing a new figure for Ubuntu that is 50 percent more than what they were claiming just 18 months ago. 'We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment,' Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told InternetNews.com. Just in case you were wondering, Fedora still claims more — actually almost double, at 24 million."

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Sadly (-1, Troll)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768306)

Sadly Linux is still stagnated and more users can lead to more stagnation, as I clarify in Portuguese: http://jorl17.blogspot.com/2010/04/linux-uma-causa-perdida.html [blogspot.com]
Of course that's my view.

Re:Sadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768366)

Hardly. Maybe it won't take over the desktop, mainly because there aren't commercial applications aimed at off the shelf users available, but it's taking over the embedded space and doing rather well in mobile computing. We already know it's firmly established in the server and super-computing field. The only decline is on the PS3 ;-)

Re:Sadly (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768410)

Oh, the Lubuntu Desktop [lubuntu.net] just looks fine for me.

Re:Sadly (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768862)

Maybe Lubuntu can get an endorsement from Astroglide

Re:Sadly (-1, Flamebait)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768646)

I tried Ubuntu, But I just can't.

I wanted to install my favorite niche physics package. I couldn't even figure out how to set the files to 777 through the GUI, I had to 'sudo chmod' them.

Oh and no 'su'? really? I mean 'sudo bash' isn't that hard but jeez I don't know if this is more secure, but it sure is harder to use. I think I'll install centos before going back to fedora.

Re:Sadly (3, Informative)

epedersen (863120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768770)

If you set a password for root, then you can su to all your hearts content.

Re:Sadly (0)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768888)

And attackers can attack it. You can't crack the root password if it doesn't have one and it can't login, which, to me, is the whole point of the approach. I think it is avery GOOD thing. It closes an avenue of attack and improves accountability. It is a *smart* thing and I for one hope they never move back.

Re:Sadly (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769206)

Sure, if your attackers will never try to crack any of your users' passwords...

Re:Sadly (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769326)

mod parent up

Re:Sadly (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768780)

Every heard of sudo -i ?

Re:Sadly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769308)

Or also sudo -s ('s' for shell). Lots of ways to not have to enter a shell's actual name. I liked Ubuntu's use of sudo so much, I setup my FreeBSD systems the same way.

Recent Fedora (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768896)

I'm typing this on my laptop running Fedora Core 12. After recent Fedora builds (from about FC 6) getting successively worse, I was teetering right on the edge of giving up on Fedora and getting a Mac. All my scripts and stuff assume a Fedora environment, (EG: yum) so switching to Ubuntu wouldn't have been significantly easier than jumping to MacOS.

Fedora 12 brought me back to the fold!

Drivers drive. Network managers actually manage networks. And widgets do proper widgetting. It's back to being what a computer O/S outta be - largely invisible!

I can't comment on Ubuntu, but I can say, to the Red Hat team: nice work, guys!

Re:Sadly (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769244)

sudo su works

Jews for Nerds! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768400)

LOL. Spamming your gay-ass blog in a f1rs7 p0$7. I can spam, too.

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.
Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

Re:Sadly (2, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768858)

Sounds like you don't like the "rough and tumble".

Sure, I have clients in that space. They are served by Redhat Enterprise Linux. With a support contract. If they feel frisky, they may go with CentOS. What are the important new features in RHEL (according to one of those customers)? Not the window manager. Gnome is fine (it's default), but, honestly, they don't care... Kernel crash handling and SystemTap, on the other hand, are to drool over.

Ubuntu? Fedora? Those distributions are for people who like it a little rough.

I went to your website. Seems that you are a bit young to be in the belt AND suspenders set, but you never can tell...

Now you DO seem to be obsessing over the desktop. KDE, GNOME, PulseAudio, ALSA, OpenOffice, Totem, Amarok, etc. May I suggest that you just pick, and go with something workable? Otherwise, you will never have a stable desktop to work with. Or, use Mac or Windows. Just pick!

For guidance, here is what I use.

Fedora Core 8 base (hardened). XFCE GUI. Thunar file manager. FireFox 3.03. OpenOffice 3.1, Amarok 1.4, ALSA for audio, Evolution (whatever version comes with Fedora 8) for email, contacts and calendar. Multisync (whatever version comes with Fedora 8) for Blackberry sync. Smplayer (mplayer) for A/V.

And, no, its not perfect. Let me give you my laundry list:

Evolution won't call on Multisync. It is insisting that the only mobile device it likes is a Palm. Mplayer won't play the audio on .3gp videos taken on my Blackberry. Evince (PDF viewer) that I prefer blows when displaying bitmapped PDF documents.

Nothing critical, making it a very useful desktop (for me). How did I get this together? Usually, I set a deadline for a decision -- and then just make it. I don't hop between stuff. So, I code audio to ALSA. Well... not exactly. I don't care much about high quality sound, so I usually just heave out ulaw to /dev/audio. Works for me; if I need anything fancier I'll revisit, but for 90% of my needs? It's ok. For other stuff, it's the same. About the only "regret" I have is that I seem to be locked into Evolution, but, it works, and it seems stable enough.

So, it works, I'm happy enough, and I don't have to obsess over what other people use, or what could be better.

Re:Sadly (3, Insightful)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769368)

Nope, I use all of that, well, not xfce, but I use or have used most of that. What I say in my blog is simply that the community nowadays seems to be all about competition, whereas I think that we should promote the standardization of these competitors. When I mention Firefox, OpenOffice and all the others, I am criticizing those who constantly bash these applications just because they are, in /their/ words, "Incomplete", "Bloated", "not match for proprietary-counterpart-X". This is what I believe must be done. We need to pick one piece of Software and standardize it. Note that I am not saying that we should drop the others -- Not at all! But if, and only if, we want to attract users, we first have to create something that they can universally recognize and interact with. Something that isn't buggy. Something that has been extensively tested on various distros. If we attract users with this standardization (keeping the other options out there, of course), we can then start the reverse process, by slowly going back to the less-standardized world because, at that point, these users will have learned how to actually use Linux/Unix and will be able to cope with the change. By doing so, we will firstly partially give up our chance to have multi options (be it whatever option, I didn't take many sides in my article), but after that, we'll get it back with even more users that can help the community stop criticizing the others.

I may not have made that clear, though. Do you speak Portuguese? Or did you simply think that that article was: "KDE is good; gnome is bad", "Pulseaudio sucks", "OSS is superior"? If you did, sorry, that was not my point -- it was the exact opposite.
As a side note, I am running Ubuntu 9.10 with OpenBox, fbpanel, PCManFM (and Nautilus), as well as nm-applet and my own little widgets and 'services' that make this a good experience. However, I had been using Gnome until I decided to switch. ;)

NTP-servers... (4, Interesting)

beaviz (314065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768334)

We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate.

I always thought they used their NTP-servers to count installations...

Re:NTP-servers... (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768636)

I hope not, because all our desktops use an internal ntp server.

Re:NTP-servers... (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768742)

"'We have no phone home or registration process,"

Actually, there is an "opt-in" phone home process. Ubuntu has an option to participate in a software popularity contest thing. Those who opt in not only can be counted as using *buntu, but the poll tracks which software packages are installed.

And, it is really "opt-in" because you are asked if you WANT TO participate or not. I'm almost certain that it defaults to "no", you have to click the "yes" button to participate.

So, if this popularity thing tracks "x" million computers, it's pretty simple to double or triple that number, and claim "x times 3" installations.

Re:NTP-servers... (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768846)

I'm almost certain that it defaults to "no", you have to click the "yes" button to participate.

It does, at least in Debian.

Re:NTP-servers... (2, Informative)

alex-tokar (1727590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769128)

I'm almost certain that it defaults to "no", you have to click the "yes" button to participate.

This [ubuntu.com] page says that the package is already installed on the system, but is disabled by default:

This means that all you need to do is enable it.

Re:NTP-servers... (0)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768844)

Unfortunately, many users can't reach the NTP pool servers, due to being behind firewalls.

I would think that the great majority of Ubuntu "users" aren't, but have simply installed it to test it out and then either zonked it or left it on their machine without using it again.

I'm not sure how to count actual users. Perhaps count the number of machines that have downloaded updates more than once in any given month?

Can't they just ping the server... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768342)

... a few times to at least get some data to work with? If you're doing something like canonical is doing you think they'd want metrics.

Re:Can't they just ping the server... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768912)

... a few times to at least get some data to work with? If you're doing something like canonical is doing you think they'd want metrics.

And, if they had installed some phone-home pingy-thing, they'd be pilloried in the town square by people screaming about that when it came to light, and they'd be decried as violating people's privacy. Geeks on Slashdot frothing at the mouth and wielding torches, cats living with dogs, that kinda stuff.

(And, before I get modded flamebait ... that's also half of the amusement of being here. =)

Jews for Nerds! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768364)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.
Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

Not until Netcraft confirms it (3, Funny)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768384)

I'm not getting my hopes up until Netcraft confirms it.

Re:Not until Netcraft confirms it (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769076)

Well, they did say it was *before* the new, just as ugly [slushdot.com] , look.

They said on their blogs that they had some professional artists. So why didn't they use them?

Nerd next door... (3, Funny)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768392)

I bet it's that guy next door with 12 million computers!

Virtualization (4, Insightful)

cameronl (117757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768630)

I bet it's that guy next door with 12 million computers!

It's a lot easier to have 12 million than it used to be.

Re:Virtualization (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768962)

It's a lot easier to have 12 million than it used to be.

True, but the power bill!

Botnets (2, Insightful)

Von Helmet (727753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769468)

It's a lot easier to have 12 million than it used to be.

Plus one. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768398)

I've just downloaded and looked at the 10.04 beta, which I found pretty impressive. So the number is now 12 million and one...

Some guesstimate? (4, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768492)

I have many problems with these numbers, how many of those are dual boot systems with Windows? I have three machines like that. I'm not sure of any reliable way to differentiate dedicated stand alone desktops. Ubuntu is the kind of thing I muck around with alot, people such as myself drag up the stats if they are trying to work it out from downloads, respository use stats.

On the upside the total number of machines that have at least one linux distro on them must be rather higher than typical market share stats suggest.

Re:Some guesstimate? (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768616)

how many of those are dual boot systems with Windows?

You're saying a dual boot system shouldn't count as a user?

I own a wii. It's been unplugged for over a year and I play the 360 every day, but I am still a wii owner. Similarly, it seems to me if you have a dual boot system with ubuntu and windows, you're still an ubuntu user. Maybe there are ubuntu purists out there who would look down on you for that and would care to distinguish between the two, I don't know.

I'd wonder more about the second part you hinted at:

I have three machines like that. I'm not sure of any reliable way to differentiate dedicated stand alone desktops.

Would you count as 3 users for this number? This article [internetnews.com] mentions that fedora counts unique IP addresses, if it said how the ubuntu number was found, I missed it.

Re:Some guesstimate? (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768824)

"Maybe there are ubuntu purists out there who would look down on you for that and would care to distinguish between the two, I don't know."

Actually, I kind of look down on dual booting. It's rather silly, now that we have several methods of running virtual machines. Especially since running a VM means that you need almost no AV and malware security software running. If I get a drive-by infection, I can shut down the VM and restore it to a snapshot - no need to jump through hoops for half a day to clean the infection.

But, that's just my opinion. I suppose that if I were even a half serious gamer, and I needed to get my machine's ultimate output in FPS and DirectX crap, I would find VM's to be inadequate.

Re:Some guesstimate? (2, Interesting)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769286)

Except almost everything I use windows for comes down to gaming. The one thing a VM fails at. It's not getting ultimate output in FPS like you mention, it's getting games playable at all. At least at the moment, my experience has been that a VM won't give anything even close to the reliability of wine when it comes to gaming. And wine itself is a bit of a gamble there.

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769292)

Some people like to play games with 3D graphics. Until VMware releases software that allows you to play the latest games under emulation at full screen and similar framerates to what you see natively under windows, needing to dual boot is still a valid argument.

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769442)

Also, I have some hardware like a CD drive which works fine when booting into WIndows, but which doesn't work properly under Ubuntu.

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769420)

VM's are not that good at accessing hardware accelerated graphics. I keep windows around mostly for playing the occasional video game, that does not tend to work all that well in a vm.

Xbox 360? WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769156)

"I play the 360 every day"

You play the biggest piece of shit console in history:

* Wimpy graphics hardware

* Worst hardware failure rate in the history of the console market

* Tiniest number of exclusive developers - only 3 versus 21 for Sony and 10 for Nintendo

* Shit online service - 50 dollar a year online fees for laggy P2P networking

I bet you just can't wait for Microsoft to crap out another one of those retarded Halo games with that leaping shiny green Power Ranger.

Hilariously sad that the tiny Xbox niched of the giant console market still thinks making crap 'shiny' is the height of console graphics...

Re:Xbox 360? WTF? (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769450)

Okay, in retrospect I really should have gone with a car metaphor rather than mentioning a microsoft product or a console of any type. Left myself open to at least three populations of fanboys there.

The graphics and lack of exclusive devlopers... you really went that extra mile to make that the most ridiculous console post I've read on slashdot. I did mention I had a wii, right? Exclusive developers? If I were a shareholder of MS, that might upset me

I bet you just can't wait for Microsoft to crap out another one of those retarded Halo games with that leaping shiny green Power Ranger.

Wait, the next Halo will star the Green Power Ranger... and you WOULDN'T want that?!?

I'm prepared to say that you are some type of zombie if a combination of alien slaughter and power rangers doesn't interest you.

Re:Xbox 360? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769502)

Jesus, dude, get a life.

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769220)

I run Ubuntu on my netbook, but I only use it maybe 3 hrs a week unless it's a holiday where I'm traveling. Otherwise I am firmly a windows user for games. Should I count as a user? Listing the total number of users doesn't make a whole lot of sense if the total is dramatically larger than the number of actual users.

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769378)

I would be willing to buy your wii. Care to sell it?

Re:Some guesstimate? (4, Insightful)

grege1 (1065244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769032)

What about all the machine bought with Windows that gets wiped and Ubuntu installed. Microsoft still counts them.

Re:Some guesstimate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769120)

Mine dual-boots Lucid beta and a pirated Windows 7. It's on Linux more than 95% of the time, except when my stepson wants to play some stupidly programmed Java game with hardcoded paths starting with "C:\". If not for that, Windows would be 100% unnecessary for my household. Are you saying that I shouldn't be counted as a Linux user because of a damned game rarely played?

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769226)

The actual number is not that interesting, but if they used the same methodology 18 months ago, it suggests there has been significant (albeit relative) growth. I was hoping the article would offer some insight, but if the VP of OEM can't explain it, we can assume Ubuntu laptop and device sales aren't the reason :) The increase is consistent with my observations though. Ubuntu has developed a positive reputation among casual PC users. Former Mac and Windows users I know get very excited about the Software Center. "If I need something I just pick it from a list, click a button, and it's done. Nothing to download and it's completely free." Ok, it's just automating the download and organizing/limiting your choices, but to an everyday computer user it seems like a free online software store.

Re:Some guesstimate? (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769302)

Well, I dual boot too but I think I am bringing up the Windows stats.

I log into windows maybe two to five times a year (usually accompanied by a lot of loud cursing).

But of course I paid for my copy of windows so MS counts me as a loyal customer.

Anyways, my point is that that dual booting argument can go both ways.

Re:Some guesstimate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769336)

I have a dual boot system.

Can't remember the last time I booted into windows. So I think I count. But if were gona count installations then I have 2x windows (1 dual boot and 1 virtual) and 4x ubuntu (1 dual boot, and 3 on each of my esata and usb drives) :)

Feisty Fanboy (0, Offtopic)

Drunkulus (920976) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768500)

Well Mark, we're not sure how much money you've lost so far, I guesstimate somewhere north of 12 million.

Having been testing Ubuntu... (-1, Troll)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768506)

I feel sorry for all 12 million users.

I run Slackware but I masquerade it as Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768510)

I run Slackware but I masquerade my OS string as Ubuntu ;-))

I like to masquerade all ID strings, masquerading apache as IIS, sendmail as JavaMail etc. etc.

Re:I run Slackware but I masquerade it as Ubuntu (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768578)

I run Slackware but I masquerade my OS string as Ubuntu ;-))

I like to masquerade all ID strings, masquerading apache as IIS, sendmail as JavaMail etc. etc.

Don't worry - the job market is supposed to turn around any day now.

Re:I run Slackware but I masquerade it as Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768904)

You'll go unnoticed for sure if people think you're running JavaMail and IIS on Slackware.

You found the best way to fly under the radar, no doubt about it!

Re:I run Slackware but I masquerade it as Ubuntu (1)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768604)

I like to masquerade all ID strings, masquerading apache as IIS, sendmail as JavaMail etc. etc.

Your UID? Who are you really, Mr ls671? Hmm?

Total guesstimate (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768520)

So why are we even discussing it?

Lies, damn lies and statistics... (3, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768562)

I suspect someone's guesstimate may be off as just about every "most popular distro" statistic I've seen has consistently put Ubuntu ahead of Fedora pretty much since Ubuntu first arrived on the scene, except for brief periods immediately after new Fedora releases. Reconciling a 2:1 advantage for Fedora with that is kind of hard, but not impossible; lots of big corporates and SMEs use Red Hat, so Fedora would be a logical choice for their techies' personal use or installs where paying the Red Hat license fee isn't an option for whatever reason, and chances are they'd only download each release once. I'd guess that I used to run at a 6:1 install:download ratio when I was doing this with Fedora, and the German office did something simmilar with Novell/SuSE, so maybe both numbers are actually in the ballpark.

Either way, these are not too shabby figures for Linux market penetration. I wonder how many of those installs are on the Desktop though? ;)

Some fairly realistic figures (1, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768582)

Number of computer users worldwide = 1.2 billion (taken from various estimates)

Linux market share = 1.12% [wikipedia.org] (composite of various sources)

Ubuntu market share = 50% of Linux (source = same Wikipedia article)

This gives us 1.2 billion * 0.0112 * 0.5 = 7 million Ubuntu users worldwide.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768698)

Ubuntu market share = 50% of Linux (source = same Wikipedia article)

you are better off pulling a number out of your ass, it will be more accurate.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769176)

It depends what counts as a "Linux" install too. Linux isn't just the downloadable distros that you can install yourself; it includes all the Linux based devices like netbooks and countless other types of appliances that use highly customised versions of it. If you include the whole cornucopia of systems that use a Linux kernel at their core then I suspect that the most popular Linux "distro" might well turn out to be something completely unexpected and off the wall. As an example I've seen repeated claims (not sure whether they are correct or not though) that the most widely deployed CPU architecture and OS in the world are not actually x86 and Windows but ARM and RTOS respectively, precisely because of the vast number of embedded OSs lurking in everyday "white box" appliances like DVD players, TV sets, washing machines and so on.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769230)

you are better off pulling a number out of your ass

Um... If numbers are what are coming out of your ass, you should see a doctor immediately!

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769510)

Um... If numbers are what are coming out of your ass, you should see a doctor immediately!

That depends whether the numbers are odd or not, as well as how large they are. And if they are rational, you may need to see an exorcist.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768848)

That seems like it still might be a little high, but more reasonable than the 12 million they claim. From personal experience, Ubuntu (and Linux in general) hardly registers on the radar of the (many) computer users I know.

As part of my job and my moonlighting in computer support, I know and have helped many computer users, with experience levels ranging from beginner to power user, and only one from that group uses Linux on the desktop (though it is Ubuntu in that case). A few more have tried it, but have given up in frustration when things didn't work properly.

Not to say that Linux is bad, or not 'ready for the desktop' (I'm a part time Linux Mint user, and I think it's great), but that 36 million combined Ubuntu and Fedora number almost certainly grossly overestimates their actual usage.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769018)

Number of computer users is certainly noticeably different from the number of computers in use.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769256)

So you start from 4 numbers, all of them are estimates...

Then you arrive at a number which is somewhat far off the "official" Ubuntu number....

And from that you learn.... what ?

Absolutely nothing.

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (2, Funny)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769430)

Didn't you know that 87% of all statistics are completely made up?

Re:Some fairly realistic figures (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769404)

50%? No fucking way.
It just is not that popular in the server room.

Guessing is the word for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768592)

There is no way for these people to seriously know what the user base is. I have three current Ubuntu VMs not to mention countless others that I've deleted and the number of times I've downloaded it. The last time I downloaded it I did it strictly as a test of my download speeds from several high capacity download servers that I knew I could get to easily.

With all of this in mind, total number of converted users for all the static I have created? Zero.

Ubuntu user (0, Offtopic)

IrritableBeing (1281212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768614)

And proud of it!

Re:Ubuntu user (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768658)

So you're proud that you run a dumbed-down and kiddified Linux distro?

Re:Ubuntu user (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769518)

I've used several versions of Amiga OS, BBC Micro OS, several versions of Mac OS, OSX, DOS, every version of Windows apart from 2/Me/Server 2008, and a few different Linux distros over the years. I'm quite comfortable using any of them effectively, but I think Ubuntu is better than any of them at providing a usable system right off the bat. I don't see anything particularly childish about it being a well designed and polished distribution. Ubuntu works great for a lot of experienced computer users who appreciate an OS that just works and lets them get on with the more important things. It also works well for the noobs, because they appreciate exactly the same thing.

Re:Ubuntu user (-1, Flamebait)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768804)

Ubuntu: Linux for mouthbreathers.

What about OS updates ? (2, Insightful)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768638)

Analyzing server logs could determine unique IPs that request data from security.ubuntu.com and if you harvest that data you know how many different Ubuntu systems are live within a period of time.

Update Manager seems to retrieve a list of update servers at least once and that data is a good indicator of the number of installations, that's a good starting number then add some statistics on corporate usage where updates have been centralized, support contracts and you are starting to get a figure.

Downloads are probably too decentralized to get an accurate number, it would be like counting Windoze shipped sitting on store shelves, meh I guess they count those anyway.

Re:What about OS updates ? (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768872)

I would think even better than unique IP addresses would be something like requests for an update to a component guaranteed to be installed in the base system like say grub or the kernel. That way, if you have 3 computers behind a NAT you will, hypothetically, eventually get 3 counts.

Re:What about OS updates ? (1)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769078)

I have 4 real and dozens of virtual machines all running one flavor or another of Linux, with Ubuntu being the most common (I also have 3 CentOS boxes of various versions, one current Fedora box, one Mandriva, one SuSE, one Gentoo, one Debian). The real boxes all run or another Ubuntu version, one LTS server, and three desktop alternate installs (2 laptops with whole disk encryption and one "server" with a 5TB software RAID-5 array).

These are all behind one static IP address.

So, am I one user? 4 users? Does CentOS count as RedHat? It deliberately maintains the same versions of all software as RHEL.

There is no methodology that will give you an accurate count.

When I update all the requests will appear to be from one machine. Okay, so store a cookie or something. But what about a VM you snapshot and rollback (as I often do; these VMs are used for testing). I think you just have to pick a methodology and apply it consistently. Document it thoroughly. And then the consumers of the number can make their own judgment of the quality.

Just remember: Every poll you have ever seen was the result of talking to someone who doesn't just hang up on or walk away from the pollster. Now what do you think of those numbers? ;)

Re:What about OS updates ? (1)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769288)

I would guess that the update manager sends some information like machine name which when coupled with the IP address and some information like version of kernel update requested can track quite accurately the number of installed Ubuntu.

As for the snapshot comment well the machine name probably doesn't change and can be seen as a dupe when analyzing logs. Same thing for the virtual mac address which most users don't change.

signifigance (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768686)

I don't use Ubuntu, but i have ~5 Debian boxen, and 3 or 4 OpenBSD boxes... but I'm only one user. so... Yeah, not entirely sure what I'm getting at.

Tell Linuxcounter (3, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768736)

Well, you better tell linuxcounter.org then! They estimate a total of 29 million Linux users world-wide. If just two distros- Unbuntu and Fedora claim 12 + 24 million, that is already 36 million, and you haven't even started counting Mandriva, SuSE, Debian, Mint, RedHat, or the dozens of smaller distros! If you believe all that, then MY estimate (more like guesstimate) would be close to 60-100 million Linux users.

Re:Tell Linuxcounter (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769118)

Bizzare website. And their estimate hasn't changed since 2005. I switched to Linux since then -- apparently someone else moved back to Windows!

Re:Tell Linuxcounter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769148)

Yeah, but slackware is the only distro I know that actually pushes linuxcounter (though I've no doubt many of the other "minor" ones also do); I suspect the big players are best served with their own propaganda rather than reality.

As nice as it would be to know a realistic estimate of how many installs you have running, it's all counteracted by the risk that it just might show someone else ahead of you, or even less behind than they were last quarter... Business with Linux is business as usual.

Re:Tell Linuxcounter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769190)

linuxcounter.org seem to depend on people knowing about that particular site?

I have never heard of it before.

Nothing beats MY OS! (1)

Selivanow (82869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768806)

12 million? Bad. That is peanuts compared to the number of people who use my OS! I estimate that 50 millions machines run BestDamnLinuxDistroEver version 2.3!

Fedora is not more popular than Ubuntu (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768874)

I'm sorry, but there is no way Fedora is more widely installed on PERSONAL COMPUTERS (versus institutional/industrial settings) than Ubuntu.

Re:Fedora is not more popular than Ubuntu (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769030)

So?

Re:Fedora is not more popular than Ubuntu (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769060)

who said anything about the count being personal computers only.

As for Fedora, the link in TFA (yes, I had to go read TFA to check you were wrong, thanks for that) counts the number of Fedora installs [fedoraproject.org] by tracking IPs making yum requests, downloads, opt-in phone-home calls, (they recognise requests from behind NAT and proxies as being offset by users with dynamic IPs, though they say they think corporate users behind NAT make up a larger number than personal users)

For example, they get 50,000 direct downloads from unique IPs per week. Not bad.

The most interesting thing I saw was their maps [fedoraproject.org] showing the last 7 days - x86_64 was a little stronger in the west, and x86 stronger in eastern Europe, India and China. OK, not that surprising, but interesting nevertheless - 64bit seems to be more popular.

Re:Fedora is not more popular than Ubuntu (1)

hawaiian717 (559933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769418)

The map you linked to shows hits for EPEL 5, which is their add on package repository for Red Hat Enterprise 5 (and clones like CentOS). Since Red Hat tends to be more server-oriented, the popularity of 64-bit makes sense.

It looks like nobody's done any back-end changes for the maps in a while, since they only have them for Fedora 7, 8, and 9, in addition to EPEL 4 and 5.

Re:Fedora is not more popular than Ubuntu (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769074)

I suggest you read through the Fedora mailing lists or look deeper at the fedora forums.

I don't think the numbers listed are completely correct but you still see a lot of FC (fedora core) systems running out there unsupported, which was out before canonical was even around. That said many also masquerade stuff for RHEL also . Rawhide etc.

Re:Fedora is not more popular than Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769112)

IIRC Fedora tracks unique ips that use their repositories. Considering that there isn't any official sever flavored version, the number accounts for servers as well.

How many are paying users? (1)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768944)

That's the real question, isn't it?

Claims based on Esitmates (5, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768968)

Based on estimates, I have had meaningful relationships with many, many hot ladies.

*Estimates based on downloads.

umm... sorry redhat has becom irrelevant (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31768976)

I don't know anyone who uses redhat when not forced to do so by some vendor relationship / policy at work-- don't know anyone uses their abandoned... then not abandoned desktop, fedora, at all.

I know Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, and Gentoo users, listed in order of popularity among the folks I know. Not a single hat user, regardless of type or color.

Sounds like marketing lies by redhat... redhat is well known for less than honest behavior... guess that is what you do when you realize you are becoming / have become irrelevant.

UbuntuOne numbers (1)

trekie86 (1274102) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769026)

They could be using UbuntuOne registrations to estimate numbers. Its possible only 30% of users use UbuntuOne, so they take UbuntuOne numbers and multiply to get their user total.

STOP THE PRESSES!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769104)

THIS JUST IN

From United Press International/Gamma Liason

Ubuntu, maker of a popular version of Linus Torvalt's Linux computer application that runs on a Windows type PC, continues its drive toward an apparent IPO, expected in Q2-2011. Ubuntu spokeshumans did not return our calls. Apple Computer Corporation CEO Steve Jobs, when asked about the likelihood of an Ubuntu IPO stated 'not until it's magical. Until then fuck them.' Mr. Jobs was not explicit about what he meant by 'magical' although this reporter understood the 'fuck them' part sufficiently to interpret it as a coded message implying some degree of both psychic understanding and worry. Sun CEO Larry Ellison was unavailable for comment, or perhaps distracted.

Margin of Error (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769146)

12 Million plus or minus 12 Million

I can't help myself.... (0, Flamebait)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769158)

Ubuntu: Debian unstable + Shuttleworth's "pick of the day" apps and themes

My god, Ubuntu has become Windows! ;)

Re:I can't help myself.... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769332)

Ubuntu: Debian unstable + Shuttleworth's "pick of the day" apps and themes My god, Ubuntu has become Windows! ;)

But if you're trolling it makes the effort much easier?

Fedora *had* 24 million users (2, Interesting)

birukun (145245) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769234)

Until they jacked up some updates. I left RedHat Open Source product after using RedHat since 4.2. Ran into dependency hell with Fedora Core. I went Gentoo for a while (love the speed) but got lazy and tried Ubuntu. It has been my primary desktop and netbook distro ever since. (8.04) Solid as a rock. I even do the distro upgrades after being paranoid and backing everything up, but the upgrades have been flawless.

Still use RedHat Enterprise products with no major issues except the occasional hardware support thing.

Ubuntu just works. If there is a problem the forums have the answer. YMMV

Re:Fedora *had* 24 million users (2, Informative)

rubies (962985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769476)

+1 to dependency hell, largely because of the copyright issues over media playback and the completely broken way that Fedora tried to get around it.

And not just dependency hell, but that "SELinux" stuff that secures your OS by the simple act of not allowing anything at all to run, ever.

Ubuntu netbook remix is a winner.

Easy way to count (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31769456)

Release an upgrade that crashes the machine. Then count the few dozen people who complain. Multiply by ten. Just as valid as the 12,000,000 number.

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