Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 9th Dec 2006 23:03 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu According to Google Trends, but also according to Distrowatch, our own statistics here at OSNews and overall sense of the industry during 2006, Ubuntu has a big leap in mind share ahead of its competition (please note that we don't dare to say "market share", although we are pretty confident that it's the most used Linux desktop out there today). The second Fedora has a very small edge ahead of SuSe (while in US is a clear second), while Debian is following fourth. Mandrake+Mandriva (add both names on Google Trends and then sum the results) is clearly way below the previous four distros, but a clear 5th nonetheless. Last year Ubuntu was only a bit ahead of the other distros worldwide, but 2006 seems to have skyrocketed the distribution in the people's minds and computers.
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Maybe not the whole story, though
by moleskine on Sun 10th Dec 2006 09:44 UTC
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Oh well, too bad it seems so hard to get reliable figures about Linux usage. I guess it's the nature of the beast, at least for now.

One thing these figures don't show is "churn", the rate of change in a userbase as users come and go. For example, it might be that Ubuntu is a very popular starter distro for new users and those just testing out Linux, but a lot of those users soon either go back to Windows, move on to other distros or keep Ubuntu but really still use Windows as their primary desktop. It might be that other distros - Fedora, SuSE, Debian, etc - have a more stable base of loyal long-term users for whom the distro is their primary OS.

I'm not saying this is remotely the case with Ubuntu, incidentally. I'm just using it as an example. But this kind of thing is quite important when trying to assess the real level of support for something. For mobile phone outfits it's crucial, for instance, since it helps them put a value on each user and therefore their business.

I agree that Ubuntu is the King of Distros right now in the terms Eugenia outlines - I'm just wondering out loud how solid the foundations are (of any distro).

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