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Linux Distribution Popularity Trends Plotted

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the year-of-linux-on-the-toaster dept.

Operating Systems 209

DeviceGuru writes "In order to get a sense of the popularity of various Linux distributions over the past several years, LinuxTrends entered their names into Google's search insights tool and grabbed images of the resulting graphs. The graphs display some fascinating trends and bode well for the future of Linux, particularly its ability to adapt to changing requirements and opportunities. What's especially noteworthy is that Android is the first Linux spin to take on a life of its own within consumer devices. It's certainly not the first use of Linux as an OS for devices; what's unique, however, is that it's the first branded Linux-based OS to be widely marketed to consumers."

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Where's The Graph ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324086)

Where's the graph showing Linux's install base compared to the rest of the market? Is it going up, down or staying the same? Sure, Android is going up and that is good for Linux but what about the industry as a whole? Linux can't pin their 'desktop invasion' on the hopes of a mobile OS distro that most users will never fully take advantage of.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324178)

Apple has a vested interest in making sure people don't think OS X is a toy OS only suitable for phones. Same with Microsoft (although they should probably throw in the towel on windows 7 phone). Google doesn't give a shit. As android becomes more and more popular, many people are hearing of linux for the first time and (knowingly) using linux for the first time. If they associate linux = android = phone, it might hurt linux on the desktop.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324270)

If they associate linux = android = phone, it might hurt linux on the desktop.

I'm not so sure about that. People always want some extra feature.

If they install that awesome app in their phone they'll start wondering, "if the phone is like this, imagine the desktop".

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324428)

How many people do you know (besides yourself) that uses Ubuntu Linux on their computer?

Me: 0.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324458)

P.S. How many people do you know that uses the other minority OS, Apple Macintosh? And Windows?

Me: 2 and ~100.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324620)

'Apple Macintosh' is not an operating system. 'Apple' is the name of the company and 'Macintosh' is the computer brand. The OS is called "Mac OS X".

You would be pissed off if I replied that my Linux distro of choice is 'Microsoft Linux' or 'Adobe Ubuntu'.

If you think it doesn't matter, why didn't you call Microsoft's OS 'XBox Windows 360'?

Re:Where's The Graph ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33326340)

...You would be pissed off if I replied that my Linux distro of choice is 'Microsoft Linux' or 'Adobe Ubuntu'...

Maybe, but that would because those are wrong, as opposed to incomplete.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324558)

Including myself: 0

I use gentoo and most of the linux users i know use fedora/suse/arch/gentoo

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324982)

And Mint, and Debian...

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326030)

Just 1 person I know is running a Linux (fedora) on his main PC/Laptop.

And he is a dick head which never had a girl friend until he became 31. Yes, 31 years old.

BTW I started using Linux (on servers mostly) around 15 years ago and I am a researcher in a CS department of a major university. I have also been a *nix developer for a few years. We use Linux/Solaris/Unix distros on servers but I personally gave up on using Linux for my main PC a 2 years ago.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1)

Radtoo (1646729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326440)

Until the phone's applications actually work the same way on the Linux desktop... no. People can easily be put off by UI differences in not entirely trivial applications, and will want to go back to whatever they think they "know well". Only entirely trivial applications don't seem to suffer this problem -those that make reading a ten-point list in natural language text seem rather complicated in comparison-, but the Linux desktop environments don't have such users in mind.

It is not that these desktop environments are really too complex. But most people want to operate computers while not exerting more mental / cognitive effort than a 2 year old kid... so only the things already learned or really, really simple seem to get adapted.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (2, Interesting)

segin (883667) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324524)

Except that the only way that they are even going to be able to make the connection of Linux = Android is by way of the Internet. No one sells Android as Linux. The average Joe would only learn that Android is Linux-based from a technically-geared article or website, and it's also likely that said website would also refer to desktop Linux in comparison. Fuck, most Americans aren't even aware of Android - they see it, they use it, but they don't know it's called Android, or that it even has a name, and when they have a name for it, they always refer to the entire platform by the manufacturer-specific UI. Owners of Motorola DROID phones call the system DROID, in the same way people assume that the web is synonymous to, and also proprietary to, Internet Explorer.

TL;DR: No one except for a handful of retards will make that connection. No worries.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324188)

This article has absolutely nothing to do with install base, relative to the rest of the market or otherwise. It's solely google trends, and thus completely meaningless.

Re:Where's The Graph ... (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325998)

The graphs aren't meaningless...

But what they mean is only that the guys over at LinuxTrends watch The Linux Action Show [jupiterbroadcasting.com] , who did the same thing in their Aug. 8th episode.

Where's the justification? (3, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324492)

Where's the graph showing Linux's install base compared to the rest of the market?

Yeah, I was wondering about that, and the whole "This bodes well for Linux" bit.

I mean, all the curves are going down. Ubuntu went up at (what appears to be) all the other distros' expense, but they're going down now. Mint may be going up, but not very steadily.

I know, Android is going up. But that's not really Linux---at least, as I understand it, not in the sense that N900 is Linux. Can you run frozen-bubble//wesnoth/sgt-puzzles/quake/openoffice on Android? (I can on my N900)

So, in what sense does it bode well for Linux? Can anyone who reads that out of the data presented in the article explain it to me? If so, thank you very much :-)

Re:Where's the justification? (4, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324600)

So, in what sense does it bode well for Linux?

I don't think it does bode well for Linux. If you look at statcounter's [statcounter.com] usage stats, while Linux has finally made it above the "other" category, growth has essentially stalled. Worldwide, linux has gone from about 0.7% in 2009 to 0.8% in 2010. That's going in the right direction, it's still not terribly encouraging, at that rate Linux will never become a mainstream OS.

Re:Where's the justification? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324878)

Maybe not in the short-term, but this isn't a short-term battle. Linux will be on 110% of computers by the year 3102, and we should be happy about that.

Re:Where's the justification? (4, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324888)

It won't become a mainstream OS until it's widely available in brick stores, and I mean like in every store. Consider this, Apple has their own branded stores worldwide, do TV ad campaigns and they only have a pathetic 5% on stat counter. The fact that Linux has 0.7% with absolutely no advertising is amazing in itself.

Re:Where's the justification? (2, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325378)

It won't become a mainstream OS until it's widely available in brick stores, and I mean like in every store. Consider this, Apple has their own branded stores worldwide, do TV ad campaigns and they only have a pathetic 5% on stat counter. The fact that Linux has 0.7% with absolutely no advertising is amazing in itself.

Linux does have advertising: word of mouth.

I've had people ask why my laptop looks so different and it's been a great opportunity to explain some of the features and benefits of running Linux. If the person is local I offer to help them install it and take it for a spin and if they're not I either give them a live CD or tell them where to download it.

My little attempt at changing the world probably isn't making much difference on a big scale but I'd like to believe it converts at least some people.

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325544)

Consider this, Apple has their own branded stores worldwide, do TV ad campaigns and they only have a pathetic 5% on stat counter. The fact that Linux has 0.7% with absolutely no advertising is amazing in itself.

Yah, real amazing, considering it is free, you need to buy specific hardware for OS X, and Windows is still perennially entrenched in the minds & budgets of it's users. Oh! Actually it isn't.. amazing.. because that pretty much explained it. All you have to do is be free, or not suck, then win over hearts & minds. You already got free, I'm surprised Linux isn't doing better than the expensive OS X! /sarcasm.

Re:Where's the justification? (1, Interesting)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325574)

You're comparing apples to oranges.

Consider this, Apple has their own branded stores worldwide, do TV ad campaigns and they only have a pathetic 5% on stat counter.

Apple is selling HARDWARE that runs OS X. Apple does not sell OS X for other PCs. The only thing that officially runs OS X is Apple branded computers.

Microsoft is selling SOFTWARE that runs on almost all Intel based PCs. It comes pre-installed on almost all of the PC compatibles sold on the market. This is why its the most popular OS.

Linux distributions are SOFTWARE and is available free for download unlike Windows and Mac OS X which costs over a hundred dollars.

The fact that Linux has 0.7% with absolutely no advertising is amazing in itself.

Linux has advertising. Canonical and Red Hat spends money on advertisement. It's on the web, in computer magazines, in IT trade magazines, etc.

The fact that the only free OS of the three can only manage 0.7% of statcounter is not that amazing. It shows that Linux still needs to overcome the momentum that Windows has in the PC compatible market. Unfortunately PC manufacturers have had a hard time selling PCs and Netbooks with Linux pre-installed in the US, and people are less likely to change from an OS that works well enough (some will say better - not me) for another one found on the internet.

Linux's opportunity to become mainstream is in computing appliances. With tablets and smart phones becoming popular, Linux has a chance to surpass Windows' market share. Unfortunately it looks like Linux is being relegated to boot loader, low level kernel and file layer for Android than being an outright OS option in those appliances. Meaning that while Android could be technically count towards Linux it would be more accurate to say that Dalvik is built on top of the linux kernel. No native linux applications are being made and nothing prevents Android from using another kernel since everything is abstracted anyway by the Dalvik VM, unless you use the Native DK of course.

There is still hope for "true" mobile Linux with distributions like MeeGo, but alas Google is better equipped to get hardware manufacturers to adopt their OS. MeeGo will be like Apple iOS since it will mostly exist on Nokia phones. Yet unlike iOS, Meego can be adopted by other manufacturers who don't want to use Android... oh... hope is only slight.

Re:Where's the justification? (4, Interesting)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325016)

The real issue, and I know It's been said in other articles(but bears repeating), is that the whole Linux industry needs to get together and start, well, acting LIKE an industry. The problem is that it right now has an image amongst businesses as a bunch of guys in their garage who are tinkering with it, almost akin to shareware developers.

If you want the public to embrace it, you have to focus on businesses embracing it first. Now, I know that there is a strong anti-corporate undertone to Linux as well, which isn't helping, but it has to be done. They need to get together, set strong standards, and start streamlining it (as well as marketing it) for business use. They need to ditch the inane "mascot" and other drivel and market it as the OS equivalent of aerospace engineering. Hardcore, no-nonsense, and efficient at what it does. If you want your business to run faster for less money, while having less problems and crashes, run this. If you want real security, even if your employees mess up and visit sites they shouldn't, run this. True, you will need more highly educated support staff, which will cost a bit extra on your payroll, but your next hardware upgrade costs will be 1/10th of what they were last time. (and so on)

Because what we have now is the marketing equivalent of "as seen on TV" "look at this knife cut through a tin can!" type late-night advertising. So even if it is the best thing out there and is free(or nearly so), nobody in the business world wants to buy it because of the image problem that it currently has. And without big companies willing to go in a different direction, it will remain a scenario where "I'm not willing to risk my job over this" for most IT departments.

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325138)

There really is a problem. I have found that people stuck in Windows environments consider thinking about a computer to be oh so yesterday. They do not want to know a thing about the PCs that they use and making a change isn't on their minds either.
                    I notice these issues all the time. For example critical business security is often totally ignored and some intelligent people just do not want to believe that they can be hacked into. I've seen substantial businesses without any form of backup for all of their files and using shareware on various terminals. I've also seen substantial businesses hiring people off of the street that they feel are capable of improving their systems. The idea that they are then at the mercy of the repair guy isn't known to them. In one case a group of lawyers hired a broken down type of fellow to correct their system. The potential for disaster was huge.
                  The idea that Linux might offer them more security and save them money wasn't even an acceptable thought. They might as well be talking to a man from Mars or something.

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326108)

I agree on a market share basis it's pretty much stalled. On NetApplication's stats their July 2010 0.93% rating is the lowest since November 2008, that's basically 1.5 years with no growth or even possibly a slight dip. On the other hand, if you look at it in absolute numbers the desktop market is still growing very fast worldwide. In 2005, 1% of the market would be 9 million people today it's 14 million people. Microsoft and Apple's number of developers is based on their employees, while developers for open source very much depends on the number of users. In that sense, Linux is still growing.

I guess where it's going largely depends if you think that software evolves infinitely or if it's just approaching some state of "done". Or maybe conversely, if the users have infinite demand for features or if something becomes "good enough" and they don't really value anything more. If it's the former then Linux is not catching up any time soon. If it's the latter then eventually Linux will catch up from behind as Microsoft and Apple struggle to find new things that give value.

Personally I must admit I don't know enough about OS X or really using Windows 7 (I just launch games there) to know how they're doing, but I can tell that using Linux is getting better and easier and has been on a fairly steady trend in that direction. I'd only start to worry if I felt it was falling behind, though I'll gladly admit there are things that needs improving...

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326136)

Linux doesn't need to become a mainstream OS. It just needs enough people to sustain a healthy pace of development. I'd be more interested in these numbers plotted as absolute values instead of percentages.

Re:Where's the justification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33326398)

That's a 14% increase. At that rate by 2030 it will be at about 11%. And by 2050 it will be at ~151%!

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

archmcd (1789532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324904)

Here are some interesting numbers from the primary Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory download site, a free game produced by splash damage that has a native Linux client in addition to Windows and Mac OS X clients.

  • Windows Downloads: 414,792
  • Linux Downloads: 104,975
  • Mac OS X Downloads: 38,518

I think it's safe to infer that in the demographic that would download a high quality free multiplayer game available on all three platforms, Linux appears to be about 3x more viable a target platform than Mac OS X, and 1/4th as viable as Windows. This may be due to the lack of quality games on the Linux platform, however, and a higher percentage of Linux users are acquiring the game as opposed to Windows users that have a much larger choice of games available to them.

http://www.fileshack.com/browse.x/1773 [fileshack.com]

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325208)

I think it's safe to infer that in the demographic that would download a high quality free multiplayer game available on all three platforms, Linux appears to be about 3x more viable a target platform than Mac OS X, and 1/4th as viable as Windows.

It's never safe to infer...

The only thing you can say with those statistics are:

558,285 people downloaded "Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory" from File Shack, of which 74% used Windows, 19% used Linux, and 7% used OS X.

The flaw in your logic is that you assume that File Shack is the only place to download that game.

Mac users may frequent "macgamefiles.com" more than "File Shack" as evident by the d/l count of 225,508.

Now I can combine the population of both "File Shack" and "Mac Game Files" and say that 783,793 people downloaded that game, of which 53% used Windows, 34% used Mac OS X, and 13% used Linux. Now you are not able to reach the conclusions that you made in your post.

You can probably find another download location that favors linux more and add it to the population and change the perception again. This still doesn't take into account the number of people who actually like to play Wolfenstein. For example, I used to play it when I used windows years ago but now I use another OS and I no longer play it. Yet, I still play multiplayer games like WoW and others. This is why I don't trust these popularity contests using web statistics.

Never guess the percentage of women in a building using the population of people in the men's restroom.

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325908)

Never guess the percentage of women in a building using the population of people in the men's restroom.

Or almost never. There are actually a few cases where it would be fairly accurate - gentlemen's club, Russian army barracks, Catholic monastery, and so forth. It would also have been spot-on for the engineering department where I studied, many years ago.

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326062)

There are actually a few cases where it would be fairly accurate - gentlemen's club, Russian army barracks, Catholic monastery, and so forth. It would also have been spot-on for the engineering department where I studied, many years ago.

This is tongue-in-check of course:

Do your cases disqualify the "never" assertion?

Gentlemen's club = What no female strippers?

Russian army barracks = Russian women are tough. How do we truly know?

Catholic monastery = Nuns?

Engineering department = No administrative assistant?

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326076)

This is tongue-in-check of course:

Damn you spell checker!

Re:Where's the justification? (2, Interesting)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325060)

Can you run frozen-bubble//wesnoth/sgt-puzzles/quake/openoffice on Android?

I can. Ok, I admit that there is a Debian layer in between. But still, running a Debian chroot in Android is easy because Android is Linux based. I never really liked Maemo back in the days when I used Nokia Internet Tablets. There were just too many system parts closed and therefore alternative distributions never really took off. I don't really know about Meego but I would assume that the situation is similar. For Android on the other hand there are already several alternative mods, Cyanogen being the most popular one. Some drivers at the bottom layer are closed but I can live with that.

Re:Where's the justification? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325120)

I think it does start to lead many developers away from win32, and take from the 99% share of windows users. Along with all smartphones.
But back on the desktops-only dispute--- I'm not sure what influence those factors have on the long run.
Desktop-linux needs reasons to encourage people to switch, and keep Linux. A users-study might show the majority are concentrated on few things-- but Linux isn't better at them. Facebook & general browsing, IM/chat, games, email, word procesing, downloading & playback problably represents a huge percentage of user needs. In many of those categories, the "best" software they select will be a Windows app, for whatever reason, features, familiarity, or recognition. I've been in a cybercafe with skill-level-zero users for a few years. They don't know what Linux or Windows are, but I see they gravitate towards Windows for those reasons. It has "the Internet" - a little blue 'e' icon. It has 'the real messenger'. OpenOffice will often content them. Sometimes their friends told them to use Windows. Or they can't get any games to run on Linux. Sometimes they tried to install Skype, couldn't, and decide to install Windows, which they are familiar with. In case after case, simple needs, which they know how to solve with Windows - but not with Linux.
It seems that Linux distros are often planned for business or tech users, but not for home or younger users, which seem to be the majority now.

No, calling the user various names is not the best development planning.

Hence the term "GNU/Linux" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326004)

I know, Android is going up. But that's not really Linux

Which is why, despite criticism from some haters, I continue to use the term "GNU/Linux" to describe Ubuntu, Fedora, Maemo/MeeGo, and other "traditional" environments on top of the Linux kernel. These use a software stack with GNU components in it (glibc, Bash, Coreutils), unlike Android, OpenWrt, and the like, which use something else. I've written about my views on "GNU/Linux" [pineight.com] .

Re:Where's The Graph ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33325038)

Where's the graph

Here's one. [graphjam.com]

Not very accurate measurement IMHO (5, Informative)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324088)

Not a very accurate measurement IMHO, although its just "popularity" after all:

From TFA:

Bear in mind that the graphs do not represent distribution sales, downloads, or installed base; rather, the data is based entirely on the number of Google searches containing each distribution’s name per unit time as reported by Google’s search insights tool.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324250)

IE it would be about as useful to say 'Distribution X has a higher name per unit time reported on google, thus involves searching for more help to install and administrate than Distribution Y'

Note: I'm not saying this is the case, i'm just pointing out that the use of this metric in this way is rather pointless.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324916)

It's not measuring google searches. It's measuring sites that are mention to specific keyword you put in. The idea is that you look at the trends and what everyone is talking about.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325314)

That's not how Google search insights tool works...

These graphs would show my interest decreasing... (1)

OneInEveryCrowd (62120) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324380)

since 1999. I've still got Debian on the desktop and Mandriva on the laptop. I do almost no searching because I don't need to.

Measures curiosity (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324414)

Not a very accurate measurement IMHO, although its just "popularity" after all

Google searches aren't directly related to popularity. When I first started using Ubuntu I used to do a lot of searches for "how to something ubuntu".

These days I rarely search for "Ubuntu" anymore. I just use it on a day to day basis, at home and at work.

When I do a search for a Linux distro it's usually about one that I had never heard of, and most probably will never use, I just want to keep tabs on what's happening.

Setup-related searches (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326038)

These days I rarely search for "Ubuntu" anymore.

Of course your searches for the name of your operating system decline as you use. At first, you search for it a lot while trying to set it up and get hardware to work. For example, you'll probably search for ubuntu $modelno a couple times to try to find halfway working drivers for your video card, WLAN adapter, webcam, etc., and you might search for ubuntu $gamename to learn how to work around how PulseAudio screwed up sound in a bunch of Linux games, but once setup is done, setup-related searches are done at least until you upgrade to a new 6-month release of Ubuntu.

Re:Setup-related searches (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326458)

This is one reason searches for Debian are so low. It has an experienced user base that doesn't search by "Debian Linux" or anything close to that, at least not in my case and I can't see that my searches would be that much different than any other reasonably experienced Debian user. I use "linux" as a search term for more than I use "debian". Why? Because most issues I would need to search Google for are issues having to do with kernel modules, wireless issues, or specific software packages such as Apache, Exim4, Gimp, Postgresql, MySql, etc.... I would search for answers to Debian-specific issues in README, README.Debian, changelog files in /usr/share/doc/blahblahblah or in documentation packages I've installed from the Debian repositories that correspond to the specific software I'm researching.

As most newbies are scared away from Debian by the mindless mantra that "Debian is too hard" I would expect to see very few searches for "Debian Linux". Why this misconception is so popular I don't know. Debian isn't too hard for newbies. Debian is how I learned to use Linux. I found it to be the most user-friendly distro available back in 2003 because when I ran into a problem I could be assured it was ignorance on my part, not random bugs in Debian stable or "rpm hell". I left all other distros behind because I would spend days trying to figure out an issue only to find the problem wasn't related to my ignorance at all. It was a bug in the system. When I found Debian I left that behind in 99 out of 100 cases, so it made Linux far easier for me to learn. All I had to do was learn how things were supposed to work, and I was good to go.

If I was a newbie I'd stay as far as I possibly could away from Ubuntu just because it's so buggy. I would find the most stable distro I could and stick with it as the learning curve is much easier when you don't have to fight buggy software.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324420)

I think the dropping number of searches over the last few years is an indication of better behaviour with hardware, and in general. I know I need to do a lot fewer searches to resolve problems than I used to, with most new install of Ubuntu and Mint working perfectly right out of the box.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (3, Insightful)

machinelou (1119861) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324446)

The data might reflect something like "public interest." Any gentoo user knows that to find information related to gentoo, they should go to gentoo.org or #gentoo or the gentoo-wiki. Similar parallels can probably be drawn for debian and ubuntu. So, the data probably do not reflect the number of people using those distros but people seeking more information about them who probably not already users.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324576)

I find lots of info at planet.gentoo.org as well, but i need to use google to search that.

site:gentoo.org (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326064)

Any gentoo user knows that to find information related to gentoo, they should go to gentoo.org or #gentoo or the gentoo-wiki.

So in this case, it depends on whether a Google search with site:gentoo.org counts as a search for Gentoo.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324480)

This was pointed out in the headline story as well..
LinuxTrends entered their names into Google's search insights tool and grabbed images of the resulting graphs

Popularity...the quality of being widely admired or accepted or sought after. No one ever said it was a measure of install base or home or corporate usage numbers. Google results in this manner do show popularity. Google numbers show Lindsey Lohan is very popular right now but not all of us have one of her at home.

On the flip side, we can jump across different uses.. A Google Fight [googlefight.com] that measures total instances and not searches of what people are looking for between water and Linux show water is about 8x more popular but we all use and need water daily.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324516)

I don't think it's even popularity, just interest in a keyword.

I just googled linux mint, and it looks like they're a bit enamored of screen backgrounds and not too bright about feature prominence.

They've got a nifty sample screen for 5 different flavors of mint (see what I did there?) but then you have to click-through just to find out what feature each has that makes it different. The one with the KDE is the only one that hints at what its thing is. (And really, is anyone excited about KDE? I bet you really think the new Chrysler Catalog is a brag-tag, too, hunh...)

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324518)

Not a very accurate measurement IMHO, although its just "popularity" after all:

From TFA:

Bear in mind that the graphs do not represent distribution sales, downloads, or installed base; rather, the data is based entirely on the number of Google searches containing each distribution’s name per unit time as reported by Google’s search insights tool.

With this in mind, it should be fairly easy to figure out why users are hitting Google to get the answers on Ubuntu. Because the Ubuntu forums are frelling useless when trying to find a fix for a question/issue the users are experiencing.

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324604)

its just "popularity" after all

Actually it is not even that. The article claims to measure "Linux distribution popularity trends" when in fact, as you noted, it is a measure of Linux distribution name search popularity trends.

While the article makes an inaccurate claim the information is interesting. From my experience with freelance software development both inside and outside the United States I have the impression that CentOS, RHEL and Fedora linux distributions are much more popular than the article presumes.

So out of curiosity I modified the search terms for the trends by adding "download install" to each distribution name the author had searched and the results are similar in some cases and dramatically different in others. The desktop focused distributions show similar trends but the Ubuntu trend line is not as prominent, you can actually see the other distributions still have a significant number of searches. On the newer second tier distributions where Linux Mint was shown as wildly popular and CentOS was hanging around Puppy Linux the chart is completely different and reflects my experience in the real world, CentOS is exceedingly more popular than Mint or Puppy.

Top Tier [google.com]
Newer Second Tier [google.com]

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325088)

so anything which becomes more generally known and familiar would show a downward trend and especially if the ease of use factor increased. If they could break down the searches into informational or general info and repair, driver, or fixit types then it might be worth more.

It is too bad IBM or others are not running any Linux type ads on TV any more. Now that Android and the term "Linux" is much more familiar, those kinds of ads would be far more effective. I'm starting to hear people saying things like 'I know what "Linux" means so I'm quite familiar with computers.". They've only had what I would consider a basic understanding of computers( Windows ) but they thought they were up to date because they'd heard of Linux and felt they knew what it was compared to the masses who don't even know what a file dialog is if you asked them.

It did go through my mind that maybe the decline in searches has been do to the release of Windows 7 after the flop which was Windows Vista. The trend up of Linux Mint makes total sense to me because they did a very nice Ubuntu release which provides out of the box capabilities most users would want. Canonical should be watching and learning from them.

LoB

Re:Not very accurate measurement IMHO (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325916)

the data is based entirely on the number of Google searches containing each distribution’s name per unit time as reported by Google’s search insights tool.

Even worse than that, it appears to be based off the percentage of each term related to the other ones they selected for.

That explains it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324098)

Now we know the reason the iPhone is winning. It has a more pure Unix operating system.

You can even use it to make phone calls :P (1)

OneInEveryCrowd (62120) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324456)

Actually it's more BSD and Mach with a little MkLinux thrown in than a pure UNIX.

And when I do uname -sr on my iPhone it says "Darwin".

Linux Distribution Popularity Trends Plotted (3, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324106)

I hope google is successful with android in different devices; Android on a ARM netbook for £100, even Microsoft may not be able to crush that.

People are always saying Linux is just a plot... (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324116)

... but that doesn't make it so.

Is Android really a Linux Distro? (5, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324136)

I am increasingly convinced that Android and WebOS can't really be counted as Linux, any more than Mac OSX can be counted as Mach+BSD

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324176)

"I am increasingly convinced that Ubuntu, Android and WebOS can't really be counted as Linux, any more than Mac OSX can be counted as Mach+BSD"

There, FTFY

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324206)

If Android is open sourced in its entirety then why can it not be called Linux?

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324560)

Google did things in the Android system that make a lot more sense for the mobile phone market than on the server or desktop. Much of it they did by forking the kernel in ways that were not accepted upstream. It's Linux, but in many ways it's a fork of Linux that so far hasn't been merged with the official tree.

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324588)

can I use a vanilla kernel with the android stack? can I drop in any sysvinit compatible /sbin/init? Last i knew the android drivers had been dropped from staging in the vanilla kernels, due to lack of cleanups and fixes, and such.

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326000)

It not that it is open sourced, it's wether or not Android applications can be considered Linux applications?

Since Linux is doing all of the low-level work for Dalvik and Dalvik does a pretty good job at abstracting the underlying OS from the applications, we are in a grey area. If the OS doesn't normally run Linux programs through its shell, do we still call it Linux?

I wouldn't consider Linux an intrinsic quality of Android.

This argument is similar to the ones made for Windows prior to NT (and XP at home). DOS was being used to execute the windows shell, yet would it be accurate to count Windows as DOS? We can use the metric derived for Windows to answer our conundrum about Android.

Can Android applications exist outside of Android OS? No, therefore Android is not equal to Linux. Admittedly simplistic, but pretty accurate. More so than the Windows argument since Dalvik is a virtual machine.

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324306)

Why? Perhaps it should not be counted as GNU/Linux, but it certainly uses the Linux kernel.

This is why I prefer to use distro names like "Ubuntu" or "Fedora" when describing Linux use on the desktop: it alleviates the confusion.

GNU/Linux haters (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326154)

Perhaps [Android OS] should not be counted as GNU/Linux

I agree 100 percent, as seen in this article [pineight.com] . But a lot of haters on forums will jump on anyone who uses the term GNU/Linux, saying something like "it's called Linux, you GNU-tard hippie". Android uses Linux; MeeGo uses GNU/Linux.

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324370)

Android uses a Linux kernel, so it's Linux. It is not, however, GNU.

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324434)

I GNU it!

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324514)

Well, it is a collection of software built around the Linux kernel. They have their own packaging system, periodic releases etc. So it looks like a distro to me. It certainly behaves like one, they glue software and distribute it.

(In fact, one of the things I'm missing in Android the devices is the lack of competence from another distros, because only the android distro is available. Where is my Gnome and my KDE Mobile Edition packed by some distro to replace Android in my phone?)

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324596)

Can I drop in a vanilla kernel? if not it's not quite linux, but linux based.

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? (1)

idcard_1 (953648) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324712)

I don't think you can get a Vanilla 2.6 kernel per se... but I'm pretty sure you can compile the kernels from source. Just check out all the kernels built for one of the popular custom ROMS Sapphire: http://sapphire.ccroms.net/wiki/releases/sapphire-1.0.0#kernels [ccroms.net]

Re:Is Android really a Linux Distro? Not GNU/Linux (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325186)

they can most definitely be counted as Linux, just not GNU/Linux.

I agree to some extent with what you've said but at what level do we consider something a Linux distro? We are all familiar with the many FSF applications and libraries and other OSS parts and pieces which make up a 'standard' Linux distro but are these others really different when they layer a different OSS system on top of the Linux kernel? Does the kernel make the distro or does the GNU layer above make it a Linux distro?

What would we call an OSS project like Android or WebOS which use the Linux Kernel and some other API layer above it instead of GNU/Linux? Goo/Linux, Web/Linux, Palm/Linux, ? I guess calling "Linux" GNU/Linux helps in this case because you know what it means to have a GNU/Linux distro as opposed to the xxx/Linux distros from Google, HP, and others.

LoB

utterly meaningless (2)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324170)

This is utterly meaningless. These aren't graphs of the popularity of the distros, they're graphs of how often people typed their names into a web browser as search terms.

Re:utterly meaningless (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325626)

Not entirely. If I'm troubleshooting or looking for reference material, I'll include a distro name in the search terms to get more relevant results to rank higher. So these days I'm doing more searches including 'arch' than 'gentoo'. So it is strongly reflective of usage. I don't search for 'redhat' at all because I don't run it. Sure, the correlation is 1.0, but it is a positive correlation.

Re:utterly meaningless (1)

Bootard (820506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326448)

Exactly. And it shows up in the data too. Are we *really* supposed to believe that Gentoo in 2004 was more "popular" than Ubuntu in 2010? That doesn't pass the stink test.
Assuming that fact is true, the only way it can be explained is if each Gentoo user had (for some inexplicable reason...) to do many times the google searches about Gentoo than the average Ubuntu user had to do for theirs.
I don't know how you can justify the idea that google searches are proportional to popularity, unless you are willing to say that an individual person's like of something is proportional to the number of times they google it.
And I'll finish by saying that I'm sure I've googled Gentoo Linux more than I have Ubuntu or Fedora, wheras I've installed the later two on a dozen or more computers, wheras the former on exactly 0.

I have to question this graph (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324172)

Maybe this is a regional thing, but who the heck uses Suse? I've been rolling out commercial products using Linux for over a decade, and I never see Suse. Ubuntu, sure. That's mostly for the Windows guys who want to look 'lite. But almost never Suse; the last time I saw it here in Silicon Valley was many years ago.

I do consulting, and so I see a lot of what goes on in the Valley. The standard approach is to use Redhat based distros. Fedora for the cutting edge, CentOS when you need need to get something out without paying, and CentOS/Redhat when the paperpushes want the warm fuzzies of support.

Re:I have to question this graph (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324362)

Maybe this is a regional thing, but who the heck uses Suse?
Germans and then the 2004 Novell acquisition.

Re:I have to question this graph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33325374)

Press source. Delete the other linux distributions. Look at regional interest
1. Uganda 100
2. Germany 78
3. Nicaragua 75
4. Cuba 50
5. Austria 45
6. El Salvador 42
7. Kenya 40
8. Czech Republic 38
9. Hungary 37
10. Switzerland 37

I saw the sucker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33325798)

I saw some guy using SUSE.

Re:I have to question this graph (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325286)

Oh I don't know know, maybe somebody on the continent from which Suse originates; might help that this place is not bad when it comes to overall Linux uptake...

Re:I have to question this graph (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325466)

I don't know why there are so big regional differences, but SUSE is big in Europe, not unlike Red Hat in the US. Whenever there was talk of enterprise support, there was either RHEL or SLES. If I would wager a guess, it's because US companies tend to primarily care about US/English everything. With SUSE being German, they're much more used to the challenges of internationalization and localization. Hell, even in 2010 I know of products that suffer bugs from such things, not surprisingly from a US company. Ubuntu is still the new kid on the block in that market, I'm not sure how well Ubuntu LTS picks up as a server. As a desktop it's quite ok at least, could be better but I've tried some of the others too, they all have their own warts...

Re:I have to question this graph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33326210)

The answer you are looking for is Novell. Netware users are now running on Suse Linux instead of DOS.

Comparing Android to a Full Linux Distro? Really? (5, Interesting)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324254)

Why is even Android mentioned ITFA? Android is just than: an embedded, highly tailored, and customized Linux kernel for specific, embedded hardware devices. Comparing distributions with the Linux kernel for end-user consumption in the market made to run on a plethora of hardware and architectures, great. Don't throw Android in there. To me, that's like counting apples in with the oranges.

However, I'm glad there was some sort of data interpretation done and didn't end up being a Ubuntu flamewar. I, myself, started on Redhat 4.x and grew to love (and hate) the RPM packaging system, along with Redhat's idiosyncrasies on the distribution level. I won't say it's been easy trying to find a balance between Fedora, CentOS and RedHat, as far as when to and not-to use bleeding edge; gamble for enterprise support and stick with the community.

Re:Comparing Android to a Full Linux Distro? Reall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33324312)

The fanbois got to score their victories anywhere they can. The whole debate on a platforms popularity doesn't mean shit except as a potential job market and to sooth the egos of the insecure.

Does Android really count? (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324258)

Sure, we all know that Android is based on Linux, but is that really how its marketed to normal people? Seems to be that its marketed as the "google phone" or an "iphone killer" or "look at all these apps". If Android is doing well its not so much that Linux is getting a boost so much as that the Linux community should learn the lesson that normal people don't care about mandatory access control, line-rate packet processing, deduplication backup storage, or whatever else we're on about -- they want "apps".

Why is Windows so successful? Not because people give a crap about Windows, but because there is a lot of software that people want to use, or need to use, and its on Windows. Why is Android popular? Because Google made it, it's not locked to AT&T, and There are lots of cool/useful programs for it. And there are lots of cool/useful programmes for it because normal people are willing to pay $1.99 for a program for their cell phone. Desktop linux is "marketed" (if you can call it that) to normal people often times on cost. It's "free". So they'd feel ripped off if they had to pay $1.99 for a program. Thus, no one charges small amounts for desktop linux programmes, and without the market there isn't that much incentive to write them.

So, good for Google and their phone thing that I don't really want, but not sure Android has much at all to do with Linux-as-we-know-it succeeding in any meaningful way.

Re:Does Android really count? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324342)

Why is Windows so successful? Not because people give a crap about Windows, but because there is a lot of software that people want to use, or need to use, and its on Windows.

Or perhaps because it was installed by default on the overwhelming majority of PCs that people buy? Most people are not technically literate enough to know what an operating system is, let alone that they have the option to install something other than what came with their computer.

Re:Does Android really count? (4, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324532)

Your logic led to this point, but didn't come out and make it: the "look at these apps" marketing is what desktop Linux is missing. Android didn't have a market before the phones were released.

Positioning desktop-class (including laptops, netbooks, and anything else with a desktop OS and desktop metaphor) computers as CE devices with different groups of applications available failed in the early to mid 1980's largely due to Microsoft's identification with IBM and their dirty tricks. They didn't always have a stranglehold on the market.

For phones Apple, Nokia, and RIM were strongly established as providers of leading devices. Microsoft had a decent share of the market, too, based largely on their name form the desktop despite decent but underwhelming phone OSes. Then along comes Android, which was not compatible with any of the other phones (except a very limited source code compatibility with some Nokia devices that run other versions of Linux).

The only desktop-class line of computers sold as a system of quality applications rather than as an open box of possibilities is the Mac. Apple, during years they've done well with the Mac, has touted it largely as just that: an application system.

The iPod and iPhone are targeted at markets the same way, despite the "Apple factor" of coolness and sleek design. They are not sold as replacements for other products, even though there were plenty of MP3 players and cell phones when they came out. They were sold based on what they did and how well they did it, with the design thrown in.

The Mac, likewise, is not sold as a Windows replacement, despite the "I'm a Mac" commercials. They are sold as systems which have great apps and on which the apps run without many problems. The real irony here is that Windows 7 is now being marketed based on features rather than on ubiquity.

Broad popularity of Linux on the desktop is not even a goal of many people who develop Linux and Linux applications. It's likewise not a goal of everyone who uses it on servers. It's not even a goal for everyone who loves Linux on their own desktops, although it might make things easier on them.

If someone wants broad popularity of Linux on the desktop, though, it needs this sort of mindset that has formed around Android. It needs it not just in marketing, but in at least part of the development and documentation community. People need to see Linux not as a check-list alternative that might be able to replace Windows for some of their needs.

They need to see a big pool of great applications that fill their needs first. Only secondly do they need to see some benefits of that pool of applications over the one they have with Windows. Thirdly, they need to have an easy migration path from one to the other no matter which way they are going. They need to be confident in both moving to Linux and in being able to move back to Windows.

Re:Does Android really count? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324978)

The reason I didn't say "go forth an develop" is basically this: develop for what? .deb or .rpm? Redhat or Suse? Debian or Ubuntu? What about Slackeware? Arch? (god for bid...)Gentoo?

Plus, I don't really care. I'm a terrible person to ask about desktop linux. I'm not really interested in it. If it were to succeed, that's nice, but that success would largely come in spite of itself and I think we all know it. I like it well enough on servers, although I prefer BSD and currently work in a BSD shop. But we use Macs for workstations there, because frankly, Its Unix enough to be a good sysadmin desktop OS and desktop enough to stay out of the way. I mostly just multiplex terminals anyway. I'd be doing the same thing on a Linux machine, but the client software for remote administration of our black-box product doesn't run on Linux right now, just Mac and Windows, because the majority of our customers who would use the GUI wouldn't be having a Linux around on the desktop anyway.

Re:Does Android really count? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325538)

If they did have Linux on the desktop, they'd have a couple of Windows machines around just in case anyway. I understand your points fully, and I'm typing this from a Linux desktop.

My point ultimately is that "good enough to replace Windows for many people" is entirely the wrong mindset. If people really want Linux on the desktop to be a huge player, they need to start thinking of Linux as a great desktop in its own right and cleaning up spots where it fails as a great desktop.

I don't think it really matters to Joe Sixpack what packaging format an application uses, or whether he's using a Debian-derived distro with RPM or a RedHat-derived distro with Apt grafted on. I think it matters that he has an outlet that provides him with the applications he wants to run, period. He certainly doesn't care if it's WISE v. InstallShield or .msi v. .exe for his Windows apps.

What is necessary is a well-known marketplace carrying quality applications. Whether that be brick-and-mortar stores carrying boxed products, a single-point market like Android and the iPhone have, Amazon and NewEgg selling downloadable content, or whatever doesn't really matter.

Most people don't want to work for their software to run. They want software that does what they want and gets installed easily. Most Linux distros do a pretty good job of this for large sets of applications, but people who've never used them don't know that. They should be doing an even better job of it and make commercial application repositories available, too. Then they should market those assets.

I like different aspects of different Linux distros. I use Mandriva mostly on the desktop because the hardware support, hardware detection, application repositories, support systems, and everything make it a solid contender on many different systems. I use mostly CentOS on servers because that's where the serious server code often gets written and tested. I use Puppy for disaster recovery sometimes when its "everything is root" is not a hindrance. Ubuntu is nice and Debian is too. I've used RedHat, Fedora, Xandros, Slackware, SLS, DSL, Yggdrasil, Gentoo, Suse, Caldera, and probably a dozen others from time to time over the years. I don't really care, as long as it does what I need without a lot of hassle.

If Canonical put together an easily used repository of over 50,000 commercial applications starting around $2 and going up in addition to everything they have now, they'd probably skyrocket in market share on the desktop. If Mandriva did the same, they'd probably regain a lot of what they've lost to Ubuntu and Fedora in the last few years.

Re:Does Android really count? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326014)

The likes of ubuntu don't have to try and mock apple completely. They already have the AppStore style experience they just need to dress it up a bit. Seeing cydia in action makes this especially apparent. The just needs to be a 'curated' mode in synaptic. As with anything else apple has just has copied the work of others dressed it up a bit and taken all the credit.

Re:Does Android really count? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325598)

Sure, we all know that Android is based on Linux, but is that really how its marketed to normal people?

Sure, we all know that Ubuntu is based on Linux, but is that how it is marketed? No, but it is still Linux. You can get a full Debian on Android without additional virtualization, if that doesn't make it Linux then I don't know what does.

So, good for Google and their phone thing that I don't really want, but not sure Android has much at all to do with Linux-as-we-know-it succeeding in any meaningful way.

Good! I've been hoping for Linux-as-we-do-not-know-it for some time now. From what I can tell, Android is it; it's got a usable UI and it runs on small devices, yet it does not prevent you from running real Linux apps, it just doesn't help you. Others do, however, so you don't actually have to put out any significant effort.

Scaling, what scaling? (2, Interesting)

bbands (1068870) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324366)

Would have been nice for the authors to explain the y-axis scales.

Re:Scaling, what scaling? (1)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324496)

Exactly. I have know idea what the hell I'm looking at since the y-axis is not labelled. Any time I see an unlabelled axis, I immediately stop reading. If the author is dumb enough to not label the axis, then I begin to question the validity of the content created by that author.

Linux identity (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324470)

I believe that the increasing popularity of Android is extremely important for Linux. Instead of being "an alternative to X", where X is either Windows or OSX, Android is just, well, Android. It has a clear identity of its own and is not so often depicted as the competitor or the alternative. In this sense Android has the same strong identity as Linux in LAMP installations: it performs excellently the function it is intended for, rather than "playing catch-up" with something else and this is key to its importante, fame and success.

Android & Linux (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324474)

I wasn't aware that Android ran on Linux.

This is wonderful. It is a second example, after the Mac, of people who are totally NOT tech enthusiasts using *nix, using it easily and liking it.

Re:Android & Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33325792)

A. Seriously? What rock have you been hiding under?

B. Android is not UNIX (or *n*x, UNIX-like, or whatever other copyright-friendly term you like). Using the Linux kernel without a recognizably UNIX userland doesn't make you UNIX, anymore than a diesel engine makes your VW a pickup truck...

I don't think Slackware should be 2nd tier (3, Insightful)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 4 years ago | (#33324568)

I know it's not as popular as it once was, but after all it's the grandfather of the group. Back when I first started playing around with linux in around 95/96 the only book(s) you could really find included a copy of Slackware. I purchased two books, one with RedHat and one with Slackware. I know one of the two had a kernel in around 1.2.13 or so, and the other 1.1.something. But that was back in the days where getting X to work was part skill and part magic, among many other things that weren't nearly as easy as what you can do today. Again, just based on age and the fact it was one of the biggest Distros in years passed and helped (in my mind) pave the way for a lot of the newer distro's, I don't believe it should be in a 2nd tier but in the 1st tier myself.

Advertising works (2, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#33325244)

Ubuntu took off from heavy advertising. Advertising and marketing works, and the initial "get as many free disks as you want " shipit deal helped there as well.

Now, what they failed to do is capitalize on this advertising. They should immediately (as soon as they saw they had a hit on their hands) have gone to selling their own machines. Relying on dell. some *mart, some online mom and pop store, etc is not the same.

They don't need every hardware config under the sun, just maybe six machines total, don't go crazy there. This needs to be like an Apple effort, just using open source, integrated hardware and software in nice packages.

    They need a netbook (go for ARM, make the breakthrough), a full laptop with optical drive, an entry level cheapish desktop, a higher end workstation/gaming type desktop, expensive but all top shelf components, don't be scared, just do it, a SOHO tower server perhaps that comes with NAS, then a rackmount enterprise server.

  They use the LTS releases as the target OS for those machines. The main hired on devs use those machines all the time, so they really grok how to make them fly and get rock solid.

Now, the support is two tier, you own a bonafide branded Ubuntu machine, you get first tier support. Everyone else gets second tier (which is what Ubuntu has now, pure anarchy with hardware, good luck if it works or not, go wade through the forums pages deep with "help me plz").

first tier, separate forum, and the devs, or other offical hired on dudes, DO read the forums there and respond. And quickly. You take the people's money, you answer their questions and fix problems as fast as possible.

First tier branded machines get the REAL "just works" treatment. The rest is like now, good luck with your hardware, might work, might not, go haunt the second tier forums, see what needs to be done there. If you want the every six month bleeding edge releases, oh well, good luck. sure you can run it..but don't expect the same support as they give people who have paid for the hardware and software. Hardware they sell should stay supported for two LTS cycles. That's more than enough now a days for people to milk their hardware out. Chances are, if the hardware and software was really a good match, it would work longer than that, but officially, make it two cycles.

  And they should be able to keep cost competitive in this, as they have the resources for economies of scale and some good Q&A before making hardware selection for the branded machines. If local mom and pops can assemble and sell generic machines, so can a big company like Canonical.

Every new LTS release, new hardware comes out, and it "just works", everything, wireless, all of it.

*Most* people don't give a rat's ass about upgrading their OS and machines every six months, look how many people and businesses are still running XP and some older hardware. They want "just works" and "finally, I got this freekin SOB computer figured out and can use it now" over bleeding edge every other week something new is added/updated, and something old that worked, stops working. That gets way annoying to the other 99% of the humans out there who aren't serious devs/hobbiests. Real annoying.

You want linux mainstream on the desktop, or you want to keep it for hardcore nerds only, choose one.

Linux distro installs inferred from this Survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33325482)

Might have been interesting to also show how popular the distributions are
on the installed base/server level - much like the http://www.securityspace.com/s_survey/data/man.201007/apacheos.html
OS/Linux Distributions using Apache Survey has been doing for many years. Interesting facts from there:

  1. CentOS (a free RedHat based distribution) is in the #1 position.
  2. Debian ranks second

Was Android really the first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33325558)

My TV is Linux powered.

Android (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33326516)

So are the increased trends in searches for android due to Google's Android OS?

Or do these statistics just show a sudden increase in popularity of Mr. Data, the Android from Star Trek?

Or a resurgence of popularity in regards to artificial bipeds and robotics in general?

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