Feeds

Ubuntu team questions Distrowatch share slide figures

If you build it, they will might come

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.