Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Debian GNU/Linux Displaces Ubuntu GNU/Linux In Page Hits

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Debian GNU/Linux Displaces Ubuntu GNU/Linux In Page Hits

Last week, evolution caught up with the Ubuntu juggernaut. After jerking people around with Unity, WaylandMir, and generally annoying lovers of Free Software with top-down stuff, Canonical drove more people to take a look at installing Debian GNU/Linux as suggested by the page-hit ratings on Distrowatch. That puts Debian GNU/Linux in #2 after Mint.
Distrowatch_2013-08-03
Whether this matters in the large scheme of things remains to be seen but it is a strong signal that those who actually install and use GNU/Linux don’t like Canonical’s direction. Canonical is tight with OEMs and retailers so this may just be a drop in the bucket but what about those newbie consumer-users? They may well compare Ubuntu GNU/Linux to XP or “7″ and decide that Ubuntu is wanting in the user-interface.

I use a large monitor, a huge keyboard and a fine mouse. Anyone who does may well find Unity a pain just like “8″‘s not-Metro interface. OEMs and retailers will notice. Will OEMs, organizations and users customize Ubuntu GNU/Linux to make the GUI more useful for “desktop” users or will they switch to the mother lode, Debian GNU/Linux, the universal operating system? I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because it works for users and doesn’t pressure users. The installer offers real choice, too, for those who install an OS.

16 Comments

  1. matthekc

    Let Ubuntu play and experiment, if they create something worthwhile everyone else will use it assuming the source is there. Although if Ubuntu is a distro to test new tech I really can’t see recommending it to new users.

  2. Robert Pogson

    bw wrote, “Canonical has made a valiant effort at trying to enter the IT market with a Linux based product that it tries to differentiate from its sorry image and you all complain with the same sort of abuse that you once reserved for Microsoft.”

    Canonical had no need whatsoever to reshape the world of FLOSS to accomplish its goals. The moves about which I wrote are about lock-in. Canonical is leveraging its popularity to force FLOSSies to do things Canonical’s way or become irrelevant, just as M$ did with ISVs. The world of FLOSS does not owe Canonical a living but that seems to be what Mark Shuttleworth wanted, a free ride for anything they did and nothing but trouble for other distros. Nothing prevented Canonical from consulting with its own users or the rest of us but they did not. They dictated.

    This is not like a fork of a single project. It’s more like highjacking GNU/Linux. You want to distribute a distro? You have to do it our way.

  3. bw

    generally annoying lovers of Free Software with top-down stuff

    It becomes obvious, after only a short time reading these posts, that the Linux true brethren are opposed to anyone, even a homey, becoming successful at representing their products. Canonical has made a valiant effort at trying to enter the IT market with a Linux based product that it tries to differentiate from its sorry image and you all complain with the same sort of abuse that you once reserved for Microsoft.

    Why not heap such disdain on Google, too? Certainly their Android, as used by the tablet and phone makers is just as “top-down” as Ubuntu and even the source is not readily available.

    Besides, this whole top-dog Linux question is akin to finding the world’s tallest midget, i.e. a silly pastime.

  4. Mats Hagglund

    I have noticed the same: Debian has got lots of new followers and that trend was hardly not because new release but there must have been Snowden-NSA-effect too.

    Many of us have started to think is e.g Ubuntu really the best choice to get best available freedom against NSA action.

  5. hadrons123

    @mrpogson
    If you have followed the distrowatch over the last decade there was a time when gentoo, Debian were in top 5. All distros have their time. Then they start to fall of the clif as per distrowatch and google trends over the years. But it doesn’t directly reflect on the number of users of the distro. I do agree that Mark’s decision has upset the enthusiast community a bit, but that dosesn’t change the total amount of basic users a lot.

    Even though I use gentoo on a daily basis, I have a huge repect for Debian. There are more computers running Debian, centOS than any other distro in this world. But centOS doesn’t even get any kind of attention.

    The distrowatch ratings for 6 months is some what a valid time for number of clicks as others have mentioned. Maybe if your theory is true that Debian diplaced ubuntu by click ratings we shall have to wait to see at the end of 6 months to see a realization value on it.

  6. Robert Pogson

    hadrons123 wrote, “The distrowatch rankings really doesnt mean anything.”

    Distrowatch is a popular site for folks interested in distros, particularly people wanting to choose or compare distros like many newbies. To the extent that a lot of people are clicking Mint or Debian, this shows some dissatisfaction for Ubuntu. Ubuntu was number one for years until Canonical began to jerk people around.

  7. hadrons123

    Even though I prefer Debian compared to Ubuntu. The distrowatch rankings really doesnt mean anything. Infact Ubuntu usage has increased in recent years in server usage.

    All distrowatch rankings are artifically inflated due to the fact that more people are visiting Debian page becoz of the latest wheezy release. everything will die down quickly when the new wheezy users get annoyed with the staleness of wheezy and start looking for unstable or any other distro.http://w3techs.com/technologies/history_details/os-linux/all/y

  8. lpbbear

    “They are willing to walk away from what might turn out to be a better product just because Shuttleworth won’t play by the clique’s rules.”

    I walked away from Ubuntu several versions back and the reasons for walking away were not that it was a “better product”. Quite the opposite. I got sick of odd glitches, broken updates, too frequent releases and other similar issues. These days I use PCLinuxOS and have been quite happy with it. For being a small team they have done a far better job of providing a stable Linux desktop experience than Ubuntu, despite the money advantage the Ubuntu team has. Unity and Mir only serve to keep my distance from anything Ubuntu guaranteed. The “clique’s rules” had nothing to do with my decision to dump Ubuntu.

  9. zykoda

    Debian has been steadily climbing and Ubuntu declining in the Distrowatch Hits Per Day for a while. But it’s early days for the crossover (7days) to be considered consolidated. 6 months or 1 year will be better time averages… not that HPD are more than fun indications of distros on heat. May the stats trend on!

  10. oiaohm

    Joncr at this point Mir has provided no data that is better than wayland. In fact data exists that it will be worse.

    Also with Unity and other things Ubuntu users have felt first hand what it like when Ubuntu does not work with upstream.

  11. ram

    I find Debian suits my needs best. It has by far the largest selection of applications and software development tools, and no bogus dependencies which really handicap Ubuntu.

  12. Robert Pogson

    Joncr wrote, “Condemning Unity for pushing people to a Debian that runs an old version of Gnome Shell is a distinctively bogus spin.”

    Debian GNU/Linux runs a Hell of a lot more than Gnome. I don’t use GNOME at all except a few libraries for virtmanager. I use XFCE4 because it works for me and is sufficiently customizable.

    Unity is an obscene UI for a power user who runs tons of applications. Why on Earth should someone who knows what he wants to do and has a mouse-pointer have to search for applications? That’s just sick. I know and love my applications. I search for data, not applications. The only time I ever search for applications is when I look for one to install. I don’t need the GUI to do that…

  13. Joncr

    I’ll trade respect for a product I like better any day. It’s the software that counts, not how it’s made, or its license, and certainly not any naive “communitarian” silliness.

  14. Joncr

    The Distrowatch stats are so easily gamed that it’s foolish to take them seriously. A better way might e to count initial updates after the install.

    Condemning Unity for pushing people to a Debian that runs an old version of Gnome Shell is a distinctively bogus spin.

    If people are adapting Debian because they’re mad about a nonexistent product — Mir — then they are likely part of that airshirted clique who naively think Linux is solely about culture, not software. They are willing to walk away from what might turn out to be a better product just because Shuttleworth won’t play by the clique’s rules.

  15. dougman

    I use Puppy to recover files from peoples computer when the Windows drive will not boot, just stick in the Live CD and off you go.

    I use Mint at home and at work, my chromebook is relegated for travel now.

    Live CD’s are awesome as one can still use their computer, when their drives do not function.

  16. Agent_Smith

    Oh, I find Unity better than Metro. But that is the same as saying Stalin was a better dictator than Hitler…
    Anyways, I hope, for the sake of Free Open Source software, more people ditch Buguntu and go the Free way: Debian, Slack, PCLinuxOS (My favorite, truly communitarian distro, which respects its users), Puppy (another favorite of mine), Mint and Bodhi Linux.
    For whom arrive late, and doesn’t now the travesty Shippit was, the abuses you mentioned Mr. Pogson, are only perhaps 20% to 30% of the historical abuses Canonical and Mark committed to the Free Software community.
    Way to go Debian!

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