Find the answer to your Linux question:
Results 1 to 10 of 10
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 ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mason Texas
    Posts
    934

    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?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer nujinini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,272
    Quote Originally Posted by MASONTX View Post
    If you were tasked to find out what the real linux usage is, how would you go about it?
    MASONTX

    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

  3. #3
    oz
    oz is offline
    forum.guy
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    arch linux
    Posts
    18,733
    Quote Originally Posted by MASONTX View Post
    If you were tasked to find out what the real linux usage is, how would you go about it?
    I don't think you can do that with any real accuracy.
    oz

  4. $spacer_open
    $spacer_close
  5. #4
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mason Texas
    Posts
    934
    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.

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mason Texas
    Posts
    934
    See the thread "Linux counter renewals" in coffe lounge for a related thread. Linux counter is a project to count linux users.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nottingham, England
    Posts
    3,906
    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/

  8. #7
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mason Texas
    Posts
    934
    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.

  9. #8
    oz
    oz is offline
    forum.guy
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    arch linux
    Posts
    18,733

    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

  10. #9
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mason Texas
    Posts
    934
    True, I currently have 2 laptops and 2 desktops that originally came with windows, but now have linux on them.
    Registered Linux user #526930

  11. #10
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,664
    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!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •