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Some people quote a very low percentage of computer users use linux, others cite free downloads and friends sharing disks to claim that the actual use is much higher. To ...
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- 11-13-2010 #1
How do you measure linux use?
Some people quote a very low percentage of computer users use linux, others cite free downloads and friends sharing disks to claim that the actual use is much higher. To further complicate the issue, even if you could find out what was on every computer, how would you count computers that had both windows and linux on them?
If you were tasked to find out what the real linux usage is, how would you go about it?
- 11-13-2010 #2
Thought provoking. IMHO, it would be next to impossible to get the real number of actual users since linux is free and there is no way we can know how many computers have been installed with with a single download of an ISO image.
Approximation is what we can do at best. Might be wrong though.nujinini
Linux User #489667
- 11-13-2010 #3
- Join Date
- May 2004
- arch linux
- 11-15-2010 #4
Depending on budget, you could do a sampling of a statistically significant number of housholds, and estimate based on that. With a more limited budget, you would have to infer numbers from online surveys (which get mostly people into computers, but leaves out casual useers) or download numbers from sites like distrowatch (which would only count the more savy users who knew to go to distrowatch). No system would be perfect, but we might be able to get a better picture than the current numbers thrown around.
- 11-15-2010 #5
See the thread "Linux counter renewals" in coffe lounge for a related thread. Linux counter is a project to count linux users.
- 11-16-2010 #6
I can't see a real need to know the take-up of Linux. If it were a commercial system where such numbers matter, then there may be good reasons for wanting to know this. But Linux doesn't have that pressure.
Remember, in the Open Source world, it's not the size of your installed base that matters...Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/
- 11-17-2010 #7
If the real use of linux were known, perhaps it would lead to more hardware manufacturers being linux oriented. If they believe it is only a small number, they won't try to make their hardware linux compatible.
- 11-18-2010 #8
- Join Date
- May 2004
- arch linux
Are we "accurately" tracking user count for any OS?
Tracking the number of Linux downloads might be the best way to track Linux users, and that is doable for the most part. While it wouldn't be an accurate count, I'm not so sure that we have an accurate count on the number of users for any OS. My guess is that there are millions of people that have bought computers with Windows on them, or purchased retail copies of Windows that are not using Windows now. Could be wrong, though.oz
- 11-19-2010 #9
True, I currently have 2 laptops and 2 desktops that originally came with windows, but now have linux on them.Registered Linux user #526930
- 12-14-2010 #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
Most of those "statistics" are gathered from system vendors such as HP, Dell, et al as to the number of systems with Windows, Linux, OSX, or whatever installed. Since not a lot of vendors have Linux options, and those that do (like Dell) tend to make them some of their more undesirable systems, this skews the percentages grossly toward Windows. In reality, there needs to be some means of determining how many of those "Windows" systems were either dual-booted with Linux by the customer after delivery, or scrubbed of Windows altogether and had Linux installed as the primary OS. We have 4+ computers in our house. All but one (an Apple G4 Mac Pro) run Linux. I say 4+ because we also have a couple of OLPC laptops which I consider the '+' part of that! In any case, we have two laptops that came with Windows, but only run Linux now, and I have a custom built workstation that came bare which I installed Linux on. The other laptop is the Mac G4 and it naturally runs OSX as it is my wife's main system. She also has a Toshiba netbook that runs Linux. I have been running Linux solely on my Dell D630 laptop for years. Any Windows we run are in virtual machines, and ONLY when we have to!
So, of 4 computers, 2 came with Windows, but run Linux. One came with OSX and still runs that. And one came with nothing but runs Linux. So, in our house the score is Linux +3, Windows -2, OSX +1, not counting the OLPC laptops, and the Dell Inspirion that I also converted to Linux and shipped to my grandson. Counting that one and the OLPC laptops, we score it a final Linux +6, Windows -3, OSX +1.Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!