Feeds

Ubuntu team questions Distrowatch share slide figures

If you build it, they will might come

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Ubuntu developer Michael Hall has questioned the latest data from Distrowatch, which suggests that it is slipping in popularity when compared to rivals such as Linux Mint.

Last week figures from Distrowatch showed that Ubuntu was down in fourth place as the most visited Linux distribution portal, having previously topped the charts. Linux Mint was the most popular site, ahead of Fedora and openSUSE.

Hall, now employed by Canonical but speaking in a personal capacity, explained in a blog post that the figures on Distrowatch, while handy, aren’t an accurate guide to the actual number of users a particular build has. For example, he points out, Red Hat is 42nd on the list, but has a much larger installed base than that ranking would indicate. The figures are useful for gauging interest, but nothing more, Hall suggests.

“When The Register and PC World run articles about you being on top, their readers will naturally visit your Distrowatch page, further increasing your rank, which will in turn prompt more stories about it, sending more people to your page,” he said. “While I have no doubt that Mint deserves the top spot (more on that below), I think the amount of its increase has been affected by this positive feedback loop. This cyclic reaction will likely continue for a few weeks until people finally get bored with the story, at which point I expect Mint’s numbers to fall back down.”

Linux Mint's interest numbers may fall by a third he warned, but market data suggests it has been gaining both users and interest after it made the decision not to abandon the GNOME 2 interface in its new update – which has proved so popular with Linux users – and move to GNOME 3, which has been criticized by Linus Torvalds and others. The latest build of Linux Mint, version 12, was also launched over the weekend, adding to the influx of people seeking information on the build.

Hall said he had no doubt Linux Mint has momentum, in part due to its decision on interface support, but this doesn’t translate directly into installations. The challenge for Linux Mint now is to transform interest into hard users, he concludes. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.