A Healthy Front Line of FLOSS: GNU/Linux

There are many areas of IT where FLOSS competes very well. As well as the obvious success of GNU/Linux on servers (at factory and on the web) and Android/Linux on smart thingies (3.7M over Christmas and 850K per day average) there is a lot to be proud about on the desktop front. Check out Distrowatch‘s Hits Per Day for the last 7 days:

Distrowatch.com Hits Per Day for the last 7 days

Not only are there 12 distros getting 1K+ hits per day but in a year that represents millions of potential converts to GNU/Linux. I know some shop for distros and others compare distros so the number may be inflated but it’s still an indicator of huge growth and wide interest. It’s not as large as that other OS or Android/Linux but there is a lot of interest in GNU/Linux nevertheless.

According to some research I have done there are about 150 million more PCs each year so a few million of those getting GNU/Linux maintains the share and may grow it. The visitors to Distrowatch are likely the ones who install their own OS. That leaves millions who also buy PCs with GNU/Linux installed at the factory.

So, growth continues.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to A Healthy Front Line of FLOSS: GNU/Linux

  1. oiaohm says:

    Ivan Puppy Linux some of those would be me when comparing puppy to tinycore and other small distrobutions for live cd usage.

    There would be many more like me. Anyone doing up a custom tool disk can be using puppy because it can be the simplest way todo it.

    PCLinuxOS know users of that.

    Also when you get into the top 10 there is a percentage of self feeding traffic. Not bot traffic but users comparing distributions looking at the top 10.

    Basically puppy at 10 and tinycore at 20 most likely have the same number of people like me visiting them. Difference in ranking is most likely that puppy is 10 so people comparing distributions are more likely to open it. No bot required to create that bias.

    Not bots but natural human bias. Raw numbers like that are on distrowatch you have to allow for human behaviour when they have a feed back loop like distrowatch has.

    Also you watch distrowatch numbers move in reaction to the news they provide. Its not what you call unbiased number collection. Exact bouncing due to news is not something bots normally do either.

    Just because something has a bias does not magically equal bots messing with the numbers. Humans by nature will mess with the numbers on something like distrowatch. Like number 1 will get many times more visitors than any other in most cases because its number 1 that is not bot that is human.

    Due to the nature of human bias something to fall from number 1 on distrowatch has to have done some fairly bad from users point of view.

  2. kozmcrae says:

    Ivan the irritable said:

    “You do realize that people have set up bots to inflate the Distrowatch “rankings” and they are meaningless for anything beyond trivia, right?”

    Perhaps they are meaningless but they would be meaningless to the same degree, making them a meaningful metric.

  3. dougman says:

    Puppy Linux is one of the distributions I use to repair peoples computers.

    When a persons computer wont boot and they are in tears, I come along and boot from Puppy Linux and migrate all their files to another drive.

    I get asked all the time, “Why doesn’t Microsoft have Live CDs?” I just say that due to M$ licensing terms as per the EULA. Microsoft representatives have described third-party efforts at producing Windows-based Live CDs as “improperly licensed” uses of Windows

    I once had a live CD which could read a harddrive that was too corrupted for window’s own drivers to read, go figure.

  4. Ivan says:

    “You need a bot net.”

    Ask yourself, do you really believe that Puppy Linux has 875 unique hits per day or that PCLinuxOS receives 951 hits per day from human beings?

  5. oiaohm says:

    IVAN H.P.D at Distrowatch does filter to unique IP.

    So unless the person is very smart the bots they set up do nothing to the numbers.

    http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity
    “Only one hit per IP address per day is counted.”

    Its harder to inflate Distrowatch numbers than most people think. Yes you get a few twits like the Linux Suxs group who did attempt bot hitting Distrowatch and wonder why nothing happened. Thousands hits from one IP address are a noop.

    Ivan next time double check how a site is counting before claiming bogus. Its a lot harder to game Distrowatch than a simple bot. You need a bot net.

    If you had read there are other reasons why they are meaningless described on the page I just pointed to.

  6. Perhaps, but they are very “restrained” bots…

  7. Ivan says:

    You do realize that people have set up bots to inflate the Distrowatch “rankings” and they are meaningless for anything beyond trivia, right?

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