Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Feb 2006 22:21 UTC, submitted by egan
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Mandriva's CEO got interviewed for the Mandriva club. "Right now, the new 'in thing' is Ubuntu. Of course, the situation is a bit different in this case: one person, with a quasi infinite check book is behind the operation. So they can give the system away and spend whatever is needed. Is this the right way for the open source eco-system? I find it hard to believe. One possible worse case scenario is that Ubuntu's plan is to use money to put all other community-based distros out of business and then start monetizing the installed base. If this were the case, they are doing the easy part: increasing their market share by giving away the product. We have found that the second part is a tad more difficult."
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

> He is criticizing the Ubuntu project because nowadays Ubuntu is by far the most popular linux distribution and getting more and more attention by linux users, including Mandriva users.

Will this myth ever die?! Ubuntu gets the most hits on distrowatch.org. Why people put such credence in that useless statistic, I have never understood. In all fairness, when Mandriva was at the top of that useless metric, it was called the most popular distro, too.

Netcraft is also flawed as a measure of OS popularity. But I'd put more faith in it than I would in distrowatch hits for heaven's sake.

Have a look at:

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2005/12/05/strong_growth_for_debi...

And no, Ubuntu is not included in the Debian results, as Ubuntu's config of apache clearly identifies itself as Ubuntu. It simply does not run on enough sites to appear in the results.

I'm more or less neutral on Ubuntu vs Mandriva. My distro of choice is RHEL/CentOS. But I do believe in calling a spade a spade.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

I agree about the Distrowatch thing. But the page you link to is not a very useful statistic to gauge Ubuntu's popularity either. A few people may run servers with Ubuntu, but that's just about the last use that is suggested for it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Yeah. That's why I said that it, too, is flawed. ;-)

I don't think that a metric exists that really gives a reliable picture of Linux desktop use. And I guess that's what people mean when they say that Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro.

Certainly, it gets more publicity than any other... for now, anyway.

I have used Ubuntu, and I must say that I was impressed by it. They have made some really good usability decisions. In fact, it is the *only* Debian based distro that I have ever been happy with.

I do have some concerns about the "Ubuntu phenomenon", however.

The first being its lack of any visible^Wviable means of long term support. Outside of having a rich benefactor, Canonical has no business model. I have read interviews of employees who say that while Canonical will be a service company, it has no real business model and is not profitable, and furthermore they don't care.

This does not sound like the best positioning for the future.

A second thing that bothers me about Ubuntu is that while other projects have benevolent dictators, those benevolent dictators hold office due to the respect that they command.

Ubuntu's benevolent dictator ("for life", no less) is more or less guaranteed to keep the position because he's the one with the money. As it stands, Ubuntu would die without his money.

Ubuntu is a good distro. But I'm not sure that I'd want to see it be *the* most popular Linux distro.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Netcraft is also flawed as a measure of OS popularity. But I'd put more faith in it than I would in distrowatch hits for heaven's sake."

Netcraft measures servers, not desktop installations.
As flawed as distrowatch may, or may not, be Netcraft is a much worse metric for this.

Reply Parent Score: 1

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Netcraft measures servers, not desktop installations.
As flawed as distrowatch may, or may not, be Netcraft is a much worse metric for this


The distrowatch page hit counter doesn't measure desktop installations either, it only measures page hits. There are a lot of experienced GNU/Linux users who don't need to consult Distrowatch daily to decide which distro they should choose for their GNU/Linux servers and desktops.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Still, it seems odd that "The Most Popular Linux Distro", which is based on Debian, a strong server OS, and which includes Apache, couldn't garner at least 2% on the Netcraft chart.

Anyway, I find it very unclear what distrowatch is measuring. Page hits from newbies wondering which Linux distro to try? Linux fans checking what all the hype is about? People looking for help in fixing their broken Ubuntu boxes? Who knows? My objection is to the idea that Ubuntu/Mandriva/etc distrowatch hits are somehow proportional to Ubuntu/Mandriva/etc users.

My feeling is that the Distrowatch counter is mainly a hype-o-meter.

Reply Parent Score: 1