Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 21st Aug 2008 23:44 UTC
Linux "Where is Linux the most popular, and where are the different Linux distributions the most popular?". Pingdom has taken a stab at answering this question using the Google Insights for Search. Read on for our observations on the results.
Thread beginning with comment 327611
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
by jack_perry on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 03:41 UTC
Member since:

Two of the major, and most influential, Linux distributions have had their starts in the United States, and neither one of the states where they started appears high. (Red Hat in North Carolina; Debian in Indiana.) Slackware is the brainchild of a guy whose degree is from Minnesota, but I don't know if he started it while he was there.

Weird, huh? Well look at the method used to determine popularity:

How we determined popularity

To have a way to judge popularity, we have looked at where a specific search term is most popular, i.e. how likely it is for someone in a region (country or state) to search for that specific term, for example "Linux" or "Ubuntu".
Well gee, maybe no one in North Carolina needs to search for Linux, since Red Hat's HQ is at NC State University in Raleigh? ;-)

I'm kidding, but I am curious whether people think this is a legitimate measure of popularity though.

(Edit: quotes corrupted, had to fix)

Edited 2008-08-22 03:42 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: States
by netpython on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 05:05 in reply to "States"
netpython Member since:

Ahum, the start of linux was in Finland, No?

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: States
by evangs on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 07:04 in reply to "RE: States"
evangs Member since:

Where does he say that Linux started in the US?

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:

It's a common confusion mostly premoted by the other fan camps who benefit from causing confusion but "Linux" is only the kernel, each distribution is a similar but different OS (using OS to mean kernel and userspace combination). If you stick to naming distributions it makes much more sense; like refering to cars by make and model instead of calling them all "cylindars".

I don't remember my history accurately enough to state if Linus was in university in the US or Finland when he started on the kernel. I just know that without GNU doing it's thing outside in leaving the kernel to last and Linus doing his thing inside out leaving the user-space until last; neither would have progressed very quickly.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: States - was thinking the same thing
by jabbotts on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 12:34 in reply to "States"
jabbotts Member since:

I'm usually one of the loud mouths stating that statistics are useless and that while more accurate, marketing statistics based on license sales are only accurate for a very small subset of operating system. Even webserver logs are bunk for tracking anything less superficial than hits and error responses.

In short, I was/am scheptical of these figures but I'm scheptical of all figures (Linux based OS understated, MS products overstated and all that).

The first thing I thought when I looked at the distribution ranking was; "but I don't search for 'Mandriva', I just go to the repository site or and get what I need".

I think it would have been slightly more accurate to base the figures off what browser/distribution combinations Google was getting hit with rather than what search terms where requested.

Interesting article in a superficial way (PDF'd and in my library already) but accurate measurements are still a vapourous dream.

Reply Parent Score: 2