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Open Source Software Stats Linux

LinuxQuestions Users Choose Their Favorite Distro: Slackware ( 145

ZDNet summarizes some of the surprises in this year's poll on LinuxQuestions, "one of the largest Linux groups with 550,000 member". An anonymous reader quotes their report: The winner for the most popular desktop distribution? Slackware...! Yes, one of the oldest of Linux distributions won with just over 16% of the vote. If that sounds a little odd, it is. On DistroWatch, a site that covers Linux distributions like paint, the top Linux desktop distros are Mint, Debian, Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Manjaro. Slackware comes in 28th place... With more than double the votes for any category, it appears there was vote-stuffing by Slackware fans... The mobile operating system race was a runaway for Android, with over 68% of the vote. Second place went to CyanogenMod, an Android clone, which recently went out of business...

Linux users love to debate about desktop environments. KDE Plasma Desktop took first by a hair's breadth over the popular lightweight Xfce desktop. Other well-regarded desktop environments, such as Cinnamon and MATE, got surprisingly few votes. The once popular GNOME still hasn't recovered from the blowback from its disliked design change from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3.

Firefox may struggle as a web browser in the larger world, but on Linux it's still popular. Firefox took first place with 51.7 percent of the vote. Chrome came in a distant second place, with the rest of the vote being divided between a multitude of obscure browsers.

LibreOffice won a whopping 89.6% of the vote for "best office suite" -- and Vim beat Emacs.
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LinuxQuestions Users Choose Their Favorite Distro: Slackware

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  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @02:21AM (#53854483)
    That's unfair. You might run Vim within Emacs.
  • It does seem sispicious to me. I download and try lots of distros (well, a few of the top 10, and occasionally some others), so I'm contributing to the numbers on Distrowatch. I don't keep using most of them, but FWIW I like vanilla Debian/KDE.

    • Yeah, not to mention. Ubuntu users are more likely to be on ask Ubuntu. Mint also had it's own forums. This is personal choice not server administration so redhat and centos are out...
      The real question is how many prefer slackware for their personal desktop but use something else most of the time for some work reason or something.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        LinuxQuestions is a pretty Slackware-centric site. IIRC the Slackware docs say to go to LinuxQuestions for Slackware support. That may have changed since I last used Slackware, but I suspect that's the explanation.

  • Slackware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apharmdq ( 219181 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @02:47AM (#53854541)

    Slackware performs better on Linuxquestions polls in general because it's essentially the home forum for Slackware users. Ubuntu, Arch, Debian, and all the other major distros that are highly ranked on Distrowatch have their own forums, and they are usually very populous. The users have less reason to visit Linuxquestions. So in general, Slackware users will be over-represented.

    I don't recall poll results from previous years, but unless there's a large skew, I would think that vote manipulation would be jumping to conclusions.

    • good job !
    • exactly, hardly surprising the home forum of a distribution votes for that distribution as the best. Same would happen on any Linux distro forum or for that matter any product focused forum. You don't get good survey results from such sites ever!
    • by kusmin ( 1247272 )
      You made a very good point! I am a slackware user myself, and occasionally read Slackware forum on This is the only reason why I visit
    • by jmccue ( 834797 )

      unless there's a large skew, I would think that vote manipulation would be jumping to conclusions.

      I agree and even distrowatch states:

      They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions.

      see: []

    • Well to be fair, most everyone regardless of their daily driver distro seems to love Slackware so I can see it polling above actual usage numbers on any forum. It is just that a lot of people that like it will not use it day to day because it doesn't have a good repo of binary packages and a good package manager.
      • Most of the Slackware users I know, including myself, use it day-to-day for pretty much every use case. There are exceptions, of course, like when it comes to cases that require excessive customization (embedded or small form-factor systems), since it's a bit harder to pick and choose packages for that kind of install. But in those cases, it would be more sensible to use a distro specifically built for the purpose. (Though there are spins of Slackware devoted to specific cases, such as a version for the

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @03:57AM (#53854651)

    VIM users couldn't figure out how to exit the polling mode and just kept voting.

    • There is a reason why an old, rather odd text editor like vi is still so popular, you know. And I do mean vi, not vim; vim is not a bad effort, but most of the really useful functionality is already in classical vi - which is why somebody used it as the basis for vim, of course. (In case you wonder: you can turn vim into classical vi if you put "set compatible" in ~/.vimrc).

      I don't mean to criticise emacs, BTW - I just don't know it well enough to have an opinion. But I use vi all the time, and it is really

    • Of course VIM beat Emacs. If you want to interactively and visually manipulate your text "directly" - there are plenty of great, modern editors around (with masses of extensibility and customisation potential) of which Emacs is just one, rather dated, example. If, instead, you prefer to modify your text by applying functions to it - with visual feedback and interaction playing second fiddle - then VIM/vi is the only game in town.

      The mistake is people in the second group (who might well tend to over-repres

      • modern editors around (with masses of extensibility and customisation potential) of which Emacs is just one

        You misspelled "the". There is no other editor (believe me I have looked) that is as extensible or customizable as Emacs.

        If, instead, you prefer to modify your text by applying functions to it - with visual feedback and interaction playing second fiddle - then VIM/vi is the only game in town.

        No, Emacs is VASTLY superior for that purpose. Like beyond vastly really... I have used Emacs quite heavily,

  • A group whose business plan was, "don't bother us, if one of us feels like supporting a device we will, and if we decide to stop supporting it at a whim, we will... and did we mention? Don't bother us to ask us to support anything, we will if we feel like it." Unfortunately the reason many open source products suck. And I LIKE Linux. But only groups that understand that the software isn't the reason for the business, the people who use the software and their business requirements are. Redhat, Canonical (an
    • have you ever suported a opensource project? Like submiting code or donating?
      Why dont you help out instead of asking for free help?
  • Ppl using Ubuntu are too noob to know a linux site. Ppl using redhat have jobs.
  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @05:47AM (#53854961) Homepage

    I installed slackware 14 last year after trying ubuntu and fedora live disks and it was the only one of the 3 in which everything worked first time (apart from some minor printer issues which I discovered later).

    Ok, hardly a representational survey and YMMV, but just saying. Oh, and there's no systemd. Win!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Slackware is scorching fast compared to pretty much any other Linux distro and the only thing that is simpler than Slackware is probably OpenBSD.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slackware is the most solid and reliable distro out there, event the arm port works great on every arm board I tried - and I tried many. I do not event want to start naming those insane design choices that where introduced by Ubuntu people! RedHat is not bad but is still far behind...

  • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @06:16AM (#53855011)

    LQ is one of the oldest forums - and have always been a bit of a goto place for slackware users, it may be the only place on the net where slackers outnumber other distros. This would also partly explain why vim would handily beat emacs. Emacs was never all that popular among slackware users, a mere text editor that took up an entire software category by itself (the (E) series) - and which, if installed, could easily double the size of your setup all by itself was not going to go down well with those who clung to slackware for it's extremely flexibility and tiny footprint after the big rise-of-redhat and domination-of-debian in the late 1990s. These days, of course, that's hardly true anymore - the (X) and (xapps) series alone could match (e) and that's without installing KDE (which is the only desktop slackware ships anymore and has been for quite some time). I remember it was big news on /. when slackware stopped including Gnome in the base distro - when was that ? Could be 10 years already...

  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @09:01AM (#53855559) Homepage
    I'm an example in this sample where I run loads of rpm-based and deb-based distros at work and at home. I might have one single VM with slackware running which I do not use much, but slackware's easily my favorite distro.

    Slackware is what weaned us into Linux two decades ago (Infomagic CDs). Slackware was easy to open and understand every layer of the OS, and even make packages for. It's also 'cleaner' for purists and still comes with sysv init system. If you're considering installbase as being equal to favorite distro, you're disregarding the enormous goodwill slackware still has from people who hardly use it anymore.
    • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:36AM (#53856037) Journal

      I remember when Patrick Volkerding had some serious health issues and went missing a while back; the entire Linux community reacted like member of their immediate family had disappeared.

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )

      Slackware is what weaned us into Linux two decades ago (Infomagic CDs).

      I think that's why it holds a special place in my heart. Slackware 3.1 was the first distro I ever installed on my IBM Aptiva. Very quickly switched over to Redhat (i think 4.1 or 4.2) and never looked back. Redhat through I believe in version 9, then Fedora. This is all on the desktop. At some point I made the switch from Redhat on the server to CentOS (might have been around Redhat 8.0?).

      Anyway, I digress. Slackware will always be that first Linux OS and that first exploration into feeling like I

  • At Google Plus, which is actually a good nerd social network (Linus post content often), number of users in communities: Ubuntu 279,044, Arch 51,344, openSUSE 29,849, Mint 24,378, Fedora 19,694, RedHat 12,244, CentOS 9,924, Slackware 3,075.
  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:10AM (#53856269) Homepage

    I started with Linux in 1995 when a housemate put Slackware on my computer for me. I'm glad he chose SW; back then almost nothing 'just worked' and you had to configure everything by hand, from the network card and the moden to X and Samba. I learned so much from that. In 2005 I was fed up with Linux and bought a Mac but I still use the knowledge I gathered in my Linux years to make the Mac do what I want. In the land of OSes Unix is emperor.

  • Eh, is the de facto Slackware support forum, it just doesn't bear Slackware in the name. I mean, strictly speaking it's a multi-distro forum, but look at the number of posts in each subforum here [].

    It would be like asking or what their favorite distro is.

  • Slackware was the first Linux distro I used but creating all those floppies disks was a such a pain so I switched to Red Hat which could installed directly from CD. Now days I don't own a single working computer with a CD drive but I can still read floppies via a floppy to USB adapter. That was back in the 90s, I wonder how Slackware stacks up compare with Mint and Cent OS I use these days?
  • I am a long time Slackware lover. I first installed it in 1994 on a 486 DX50, had no real idea what Linux was yet and after finally getting X to startx, TWM loaded and I gave a up for a couple months. Anyway, if you are a Slackware fan, give Porteus a try. It's a lightweight Slack derivate meant for portability via USB stick buts it's easy to lay down on an SSD. It works really well.
  • ... pretty know their way around Linux pretty well. I'm sometimes surprised by the sort of questions that self-proclaimed newbies ask there. It's not too strange, IMO, to find that the majority of its users would like Slackware.

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