Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Unscientific Linux Popularity Contest

Filed under
Linux

Have you ever wondered which Linux distro is the most popular? Many people will point to the statistics at DistroWatch.com. These statistics are generated by the number of "hits" for each distro page at DistroWatch. Unfortunately, this allows the possibility of "ballot-stuffing" by making multiple visits to distro page that you like.

Therefore this data cannot be considered scientific, and it is has a high probability of being inaccurate. Even so, it still has some value. We can tell which distro has the most (real visitors + "ballet-stuffers"), which will roughly correlate to the actual popularity of the distro.

Here are some interesting long-term trends:

2002: Top 5 Distros
1. Mandrake
2. Red Hat
3. Gentoo
4. Debian
5. Sorcerer
6. Suse

Full Story.

It's not just the "ballot stuffers"

I read DistroWatch Weekly every Monday, and usually check in several times a week to see what' new. But I don't ever visit my favorite distro's page there because, quite simply, I already know its URL. And if I forget, there's always Google. So does that mean my favorite distro is less popular in the DistroWatch rankings, because people like me hardly ever look up the distros we use there? It would appear so.

In fact, about the only time I check for a distro on DistroWatch is when I can't quite remember its name. So does that mean I'm "artificially" pumping up the stats for obscure distros, in my own little way?

So, no disrespect meant for DistroWatch or its rankings, but there's more than one reason they should be taken with a grain of salt.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS

Development News

  • GCC 7 Moves Onto Only Regression/Doc Fixes, But Will Accept RISC-V & HSA's BRIG
    The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is entering its "stage four" development for GCC 7 with the stable GCC 7.1 release expected in March or April. Richard Biener announced today that GCC 7 is under stage four, meaning only regression and documentation fixes will be permitted until the GCC 7.1.0 stable release happens (yep, as per their peculiar versioning system, GCC 7.1 is the first stable release in the GCC 7 series).
  • 5 ways to expand your project's contributor base
    So many free and open source software projects were started to solve a problem, and people began to contribute to them because they too wanted a fix to what they encountered. End users of the project find it useful for their needs, and the project grows. And that shared purpose and focus attracts people to a project's community.
  • Weblate 2.10.1
    This is first security bugfix release for Weblate. This has to come at some point, fortunately the issue is not really severe. But Weblate got it's first CVE ID today, so it's time to address it in a bugfix release.

Intel Kabylake: Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL Performance

For those curious about the current Kabylake graphics performance between Windows 10 and Linux, here are some OpenGL benchmark results under each operating system. Windows 10 Pro x64 was tested and the Linux distributions for comparison were Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux, Antergos, Fedora 25 Xfce, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Read more

Google's open-source Tilt Brush: Now you can create 3D movies in VR