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Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users — Before Lucid 360

darthcamaro writes "It's always a challenge to try and figure out how many users a particular Linux distro has — but Canonical is now providing a new figure for Ubuntu that is 50 percent more than what they were claiming just 18 months ago. 'We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment,' Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told Just in case you were wondering, Fedora still claims more — actually almost double, at 24 million."
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Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users — Before Lucid

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  • Plus one. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:21PM (#31768398)

    I've just downloaded and looked at the 10.04 beta, which I found pretty impressive. So the number is now 12 million and one...

  • Some guesstimate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by w0mprat ( 1317953 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:29PM (#31768492)

    I have many problems with these numbers, how many of those are dual boot systems with Windows? I have three machines like that. I'm not sure of any reliable way to differentiate dedicated stand alone desktops. Ubuntu is the kind of thing I muck around with alot, people such as myself drag up the stats if they are trying to work it out from downloads, respository use stats.

    On the upside the total number of machines that have at least one linux distro on them must be rather higher than typical market share stats suggest.

  • Total guesstimate (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:32PM (#31768520) Homepage Journal

    So why are we even discussing it?

  • Virtualization (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cameronl ( 117757 ) <cameron.layne@gma i l .com> on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:41PM (#31768630)

    I bet it's that guy next door with 12 million computers!

    It's a lot easier to have 12 million than it used to be.

  • by fredc97 ( 963879 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:42PM (#31768638)

    Analyzing server logs could determine unique IPs that request data from and if you harvest that data you know how many different Ubuntu systems are live within a period of time.

    Update Manager seems to retrieve a list of update servers at least once and that data is a good indicator of the number of installations, that's a good starting number then add some statistics on corporate usage where updates have been centralized, support contracts and you are starting to get a figure.

    Downloads are probably too decentralized to get an accurate number, it would be like counting Windoze shipped sitting on store shelves, meh I guess they count those anyway.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:59PM (#31768912) Homepage

    ... a few times to at least get some data to work with? If you're doing something like canonical is doing you think they'd want metrics.

    And, if they had installed some phone-home pingy-thing, they'd be pilloried in the town square by people screaming about that when it came to light, and they'd be decried as violating people's privacy. Geeks on Slashdot frothing at the mouth and wielding torches, cats living with dogs, that kinda stuff.

    (And, before I get modded flamebait ... that's also half of the amusement of being here. =)

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @07:08PM (#31769018) Homepage

    Number of computer users is certainly noticeably different from the number of computers in use.

  • by grege1 ( 1065244 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @07:09PM (#31769032)
    What about all the machine bought with Windows that gets wiped and Ubuntu installed. Microsoft still counts them.
  • Re:Sadly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @07:26PM (#31769206)
    Sure, if your attackers will never try to crack any of your users' passwords...
  • Re:Sadly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jorl17 ( 1716772 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @07:42PM (#31769368)
    Nope, I use all of that, well, not xfce, but I use or have used most of that. What I say in my blog is simply that the community nowadays seems to be all about competition, whereas I think that we should promote the standardization of these competitors. When I mention Firefox, OpenOffice and all the others, I am criticizing those who constantly bash these applications just because they are, in /their/ words, "Incomplete", "Bloated", "not match for proprietary-counterpart-X". This is what I believe must be done. We need to pick one piece of Software and standardize it. Note that I am not saying that we should drop the others -- Not at all! But if, and only if, we want to attract users, we first have to create something that they can universally recognize and interact with. Something that isn't buggy. Something that has been extensively tested on various distros. If we attract users with this standardization (keeping the other options out there, of course), we can then start the reverse process, by slowly going back to the less-standardized world because, at that point, these users will have learned how to actually use Linux/Unix and will be able to cope with the change. By doing so, we will firstly partially give up our chance to have multi options (be it whatever option, I didn't take many sides in my article), but after that, we'll get it back with even more users that can help the community stop criticizing the others.

    I may not have made that clear, though. Do you speak Portuguese? Or did you simply think that that article was: "KDE is good; gnome is bad", "Pulseaudio sucks", "OSS is superior"? If you did, sorry, that was not my point -- it was the exact opposite.
    As a side note, I am running Ubuntu 9.10 with OpenBox, fbpanel, PCManFM (and Nautilus), as well as nm-applet and my own little widgets and 'services' that make this a good experience. However, I had been using Gnome until I decided to switch. ;)
  • Botnets (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Von Helmet ( 727753 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @07:49PM (#31769468)

    It's a lot easier to have 12 million than it used to be.

  • Re:Sadly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by carlzum ( 832868 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @07:58PM (#31769568)
    I set the root password when I first installed Ubuntu. I recently installed on a new laptop and decided to go the sudo route. It was surprisingly easy to get used to and it forced me to think about permissions and groups more. I might update the root password at some point, but I applaud Ubuntu's decision to leave it unset by default.
  • Re:Sadly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rugatero ( 1292060 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:16PM (#31769816)

    Sure, if your attackers will never try to crack any of your users' passwords...

    A username could be anything, but root is always root. Disabling the root password means a cracker needs to take the additional step of identifying a valid user account to target. Not a particularly large step, perhaps, but a step nonetheless.

  • Re:Sadly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Theolojin ( 102108 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:32PM (#31769988) Homepage

    A username could be anything, but root is always root.

    Pfff. I changed "root" to "admin". No one would ever expect that on my Linux box. Security through obscurity, baby.

  • Re:Sadly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:34PM (#31770004) Homepage

    Let's see...

          Right click and hit "properties".
          Then click on the "permissions" tab.

          There is a checkbox for "Execute" near the bottom.

    You are dabbling with some "niche physics package" yet you can't manage to explore an alien GUI?

    That sounds rather sad really.

  • Re:Sadly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dudpixel ( 1429789 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:01AM (#31771572)

    I tried Ubuntu, But I just can't.

    I wanted to install my favorite niche physics package. I couldn't even figure out how to set the files to 777 through the GUI, I had to 'sudo chmod' them.

    Oh and no 'su'? really? I mean 'sudo bash' isn't that hard but jeez I don't know if this is more secure, but it sure is harder to use. I think I'll install centos before going back to fedora.

    you can tell ubuntu is getting pretty good when the trolls have to try this hard to criticize it.

    or did I miss a whoosh somewhere?

  • Re:Sadly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ratboy666 ( 104074 ) <fred_weigel&hotmail,com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:19AM (#31771718) Journal

    My Portuguese sucks. Hurts the Kerbesa (sp?). Anyway, the article lamented the CHOICE. My point was to simply put a stake in it. Pick something, and go with it. It's the same as the Windows vs. Mac decision. You pick one.

    Gnome, KDE, pick one. Development may or may not occur on the other -- but after your choice, it doesn't matter. As long as your choice is good for you. "Future" may matter, but (perhaps surprisingly), not that much.

    Current choices ARE stable enough to be used.

    Now, I never simply recommend Linux (or Windows, or Mac). Instead, I say "Choose the platform you are comfortable with. If you have a reason to use Linux, then, ok, go with it. If you have a reason to go with another platform, go for that".

    If a user CHOOSES something like Linux, and COMMITS to it, they are going to use it. Reasons for the choice? Let me give you a (real) example.

    Some family friends were using a computer for email, mailing lists, ballet organization, web browsing. They were using Windows 98, and were reasonably happy. After all, it came with the computer (but was probably bootlegged), and it worked.

    Fast forward 4 years. Their daughter started dating a "Web Designer". He thought it wholly offensive and very uncool that they should be using Windows 98. He put Windows XP on the machine. Better, right? Wrong... It now took 40 minutes to boot up to a usable desktop.

    They asked me "what should we do"? I gave then some choices (1) a new(er) computer, (2) restore Windows 98, or (3) Linux. They decided to try Linux (a newer computer was not in the budget, and Windows 98 crashed a lot).

    We (the family, with my assistance) chose a distribution, and some applications. They have been happy with the choice. After all, they committed to it. When they purchased a new computer (3 years later), they specified Linux, and their application choice.

    They never vacillated between Gnome or KDE, Koffice or, ARTS or ESD. Because (after they committed), I assisted them in the base (workable) selection. Indeed, one of the reasons for using a (Linux, BSD, other) system is that the user has someone around who can assist this way. It's simply part of the network effect. I think that having a good deal of choice (as a technical person) is a good thing -- but the users don't need to see it.

    I don't think it's a problem. But then, I don't really care what platform someone uses. I do care that they have chosen it for (reasonably) rational reasons.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker