Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Apr 2006 16:11 UTC, submitted by moleskine
Linux "This article is about the 'Hits Per Day' score on Distrowatch, what it can be used for and how you can read a lot of different information out of it. On Distrowatch you can follow the 'popularity' of almost any distro of your choice. I put quotes around the popularity because you can question what the score actually means."
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Wonderful Site
by Sphinx on Sat 8th Apr 2006 16:49 UTC
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The Monday morning newsletter is a must read.

Reply Score: 3

Accuracy vs Curiousity.
by Dark_Knight on Sat 8th Apr 2006 18:18 UTC
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No one should consider Distrowatch distribution poll as either being an accurate indication of who's using what distribution or even an accurate indicator of popular interest for a particular distribution. Reason being is the site is not connected to actual developers (ie: Novell, Red Hat, Mandriva, etc) to provide a true indication of downloads or sales.

I did previously use Distrowatch when I first entered the Linux community due to curiousity. It was a means to learn more about each distribution. Since finding SUSE Linux suits my requirements I now get my information directly from Novell's website, not Distrowatch. Now this doesn't mean I won't still occassionally see what's new at Distrowatch but that I don't take their poll seriously because as stated the poll on their site is not a true indication of accurate user results. Instead it just shows on any given day how many users clicked on a particular link out of curiousity.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Accuracy vs Curiousity.
by Joe User on Sat 8th Apr 2006 19:08 UTC in reply to "Accuracy vs Curiousity."
Joe User Member since:

Ok, but this is true to all distros:

- Novell Linux users will read news on Novell's web site mainly, and also on Distrowatch at times.
- Fedora Linux users will read news on Fedora's web site mainly, and also on Distrowatch at times.
- Mepis Linux users will read news on Mepis'web site mainly, and also on Distrowatch at times.

So the results are not biased in terms of market share.

Reply Score: 3

Ratings have their uses?
by moleskine on Sat 8th Apr 2006 20:24 UTC
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Distrowatch's ratings may be easily skewed (as the article explains) and may represent one section of the Linux audience (enthusiastic home users) more than others, but it's still strikes me as a useful guide and the site itself is a wonderful resource. You can find out an awful lot about a distro if you work through the site methodically.

Also, the article makes the good point that the popularity ratings can be used to track reactions to major changes in a distribution, if you download the site's datafile and use a spreadsheet on it. No doubt a pretty rough and ready guide, but better than nothing.

Are there any reliable stats somewhere else on Linux usage and the popularity of various distros?

Reply Score: 2

Netcraft is pretty good...
by Don T. Bothers on Sun 9th Apr 2006 07:55 UTC
Don T. Bothers
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Netcraft tracks actual production machines running webservers. In it, RedHat and Fedora are kings, Debian is strong and showing fast growth, CentOS (a RHEL clone) is small but also growing very quickly, SuSe is barely a blip, and Ubuntu is nonexistent.
This is in direct contrast to Distrowatch meaning the Distrowatch tracing is nothing but a joke. If I remember right, Distrowatch statistics even showed that 85% of the visitors visiting the site were using Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Netcraft is pretty good...
by h-milch-mann on Sun 9th Apr 2006 08:20 UTC in reply to "Netcraft is pretty good..."
h-milch-mann Member since:

And when exactly did netcraft start monitoring desktop computers?

Reply Score: 1

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Good article!

It is already more than a couple of years that I watch DistroWatch, and I still find it amazing. I do it almost everyday, when I wake up, like others watch the sports page in their newspapers or the Internet...

The eye candy of the site is not really special (My exgirl, a designer, told me when I showed it to her 1st time: "it is not nice at all, really". She knew nothing about Linux, BSD, or Free-OpenSource Software, and was her 1st impression... - So, I quited her ;) - , -LOL, Not true- )
On the contrary, the information contained there, is "HUGE". And really deserves a "Thumbs up" to Ladislav for his huge work too.

Another thing is, as the article relates, how to use and analyse this huge amount of information.

It is obvious that the "Hit per day" system tell us somehow about the popularity between "followers" and "zealots" of distros, and also "newbies" in search of information. It does not represent though, the actual number or users of each distro.

The simple reason is that Linux-BSD exprienced users, business network administrators etc., know better what they want and use it as OS, even if they may check other distros in distrowacht to know more about them...

DistroWatch is anyway, a pillar nowadays of the free-Opensource software, and has great importance for the distro marketing, and for Linux and BSD.


Edited 2006-04-09 08:40

Reply Score: 1

Member since:

1 Ubuntu 2709<
2 SUSE 1613>
3 Mandriva 1583<
4 Fedora 1307=
5 MEPIS 1031<

SUSE has taken the No 2 slot from Mandriva on the 12 month HPD cycle!


Reply Score: 1

by hagiz on Mon 10th Apr 2006 10:50 UTC
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I remember when Yoper was advertising on DW it was #1, now it's #43...

Reply Score: 1

Thank you for your comments
by Claus Futtrup on Mon 10th Apr 2006 11:46 UTC
Claus Futtrup
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Hi all,

Thank you for your comments on the article. I think you all have the "right" idea about what Distrowatch is and isn't. Distrowatch isn't perfect - but IMO it is pretty good for what it is. The article shows people what it is and it's complications. It's true that noone should take Distrowatch for being accurate info. With Zenwalk as an example, you can see how you can read some interesting info, IMO.

Best regards,

Reply Score: 1