View Full Version : How popular is Ubuntu?

November 24th, 2008, 02:29 AM
I have been looking around on Google and the web, and I can't find a clear answer to this question. Forgive me if it was asked elsewhere here, but I couldn't find it by searching.

Are there good numbers about how many computers are currently using Ubuntu (both desktop and server, and including kubuntu, xubuntu etc.)? I have seen articles claiming that Linux is "insignificant" and only 1% of non-servers use it, but that number seems to be based on the number of systems sold with Linux pre-installed.

I bought 3 computers with VISTA pre-installed, and they are all now running Ubuntu. None of them would count as part of the alleged 1%.

My computers download updates almost every day to the packages that are installed on them. It should be possible to count how many such downloads are occurring, and so it should be possible to have a rough guess about the number of computers running Ubuntu as well as packages like GNOME, KDE, Xfce and so on.

Does anybody know where to find such figures?

November 24th, 2008, 02:44 AM
there's no real way to accurately track Ubuntu installations (or any distro, really)

there's a few websites that try to track such figures via the user agent


but browser user agents were not designed for tracking users, and are not reliable

There's recently been a site setup for tracking large scale deployments

I'm sure Canonical could release info on how many unique hits they get to their repositories
but even that won't tell the whole story

November 24th, 2008, 02:53 AM
i believe Canonical claims 8 million.

but there is no way to track this stuff accurately since users dont register, etc.

November 24th, 2008, 03:44 AM
Distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/) rarely has anything but Ubuntu in #1 position, for all its worth.

November 24th, 2008, 03:52 AM
They can track the number of requests for an update and count that as a machine. So 8 million machines updating for Canonical severs isn't bad. and those using alternative servers are probably counting for some too.

November 24th, 2008, 04:01 AM
I'd say pretty popular, I know a lot of people and they have Ubuntu in their machines, even though they use other distros, like me, they still have Ubuntu.