Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2013

I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year on behalf of the entire LQ team. 2013 has been another great year for LQ and we have quite a few exciting developments in store for 2014, including a major code update that we originally had planned for 2013. This year brought a new ChromeOS related site to The Questions Network, joining AndroidQuestions.org and LinuxExchange. In addition, LQ ISO recently surpassed 30,000,000 Linux downloads.

As has become tradition, here are the browser and OS statistics for the main LQ site for all of 2013 (2012 stats for comparison).

Firefox 41.75%
Chrome 40.43%
Internet Explorer 9.63%
Safari 4.13%
Opera 2.02%
Android Browser 0.71%

Firefox usage (as a percentage) continues to decline at LQ, and it appears likely that it will be surpassed by Chrome next year. IE usage has fallen into a single digit percentage for the first time since we’ve posted the annual update.

Operating Systems
Windows 52.24%
Linux 34.77%
Macintosh 9.44%
Android 1.58%
iOS 1.31%

Linux usage is once again down slightly, as is Windows usage. Macintosh is slightly up and both Android and iOS have cracked into the single digit percentages.

I’d also like to take this time to thank each and every LQ member. You are what make the site great; without you, we simply wouldn’t exist. I’d like to once again thank the LQ mod team, whose continued dedication ensures that things run as smoothly as they do. Don’t forget to vote in the 2013 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards , which recently opened.


Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2011

I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year on behalf of the entire LQ team. 2011 has been another great year for LQ and we have quite a bit of exciting developments in store for 2012, including a major code update. 2011 also marks the year that we expanded on the LQ vision to launch The Questions Network along with LQ’s fist sister site, AndroidQuestions.org.

I’ve once again posted to this blog far less frequently in 2011 than I’d have liked to, and I’m going to work to change that this year (I do post to twitter fairly often, for those interested).

As has become tradition, here are the browser and OS statistics for the main LQ site for all of 2011 (2010 stats for comparison).

Firefox 53.07%
Chrome 24.79%
Internet Explorer 13.50%
Safari 3.59%
Opera 3.05%
Android Browser 0.26%
Konqueror .23%

The Firefox decline at LQ continues, while one in four now use Chrome to access the site. For the first time, a mobile browser has broken into the top 10.

Operating Systems
Windows 52.68%
Linux 38.55%
Macintosh 6.99%
Android .44%
iPhone .35%

Windows and Macintosh use are slightly up from last year, while Linux use is actually slightly down. While Android and iPhone use are both up, Android surpassed iPhone for the first time.

I’d also like to take this time to thank each and every LQ member. You are what make the site great. Don’t forget to vote in the 2011 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards, which recently opened.


New Site Launch: LinuxExchange.org

I’m happy to announce that I just launched a new site: LinuxExchange

LinuxExchange is “StackOverflow for Linux and Open Source” and is built on the StackExchange platform. That means it’s a collaboratively edited question and answer site about Linux and Open Source with a workflow somewhere between the forums of LinuxQuestions.org and the Mediawiki-based LQ Wiki. We’re still in a sort of BETA mode, but the site is live and a few people have already signed up and are asking/answering questions. We considered launching this under the LQ brand but in the end decided that the paradigm of this site was sufficiently different that having an LQ instance would be confusing and possibly counterproductive. That means the only connection between LQ and LE are that I’m the sole founder of both.

As always, feedback is welcome. It’s going to be interesting to see how LinuxExchange progresses and grows. I haven’t launched a new site in a while and am used to things being at LQ-scale, so starting from zero should be a challenge. I’m also looking forward to seeing what lessons we’re able to learn and then apply to LQ.


2009 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners

The polls are closed and the results are in. You can view the detailed results here, but I’ll include a list of winners at the end of this post for convenience. This was the ninth annual LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards and we’ve set a record for participation each and every year. We once again had some extremely close races and a couple multi-year winners were unseated this year. KDE, which had won Desktop Environment of the Year every year we’ve had the MCA’s, was finally unseated… by Gnome (in a very close race). There’s quite a bit of interesting information in the data, so I recommend you check out the detailed results. You can also view the full results of previous MCA’s if you do a search.

The complete list of the winners is as follows (percentage of votes received in parentheses):

Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu (30.13%)
Server Distribution of the Year – Debian (24.24%)
Security/Forensic/Rescue Distribution of the Year – BackTrack (43.48%)
Database of the Year – MySQL (60.81%)
Office Suite of the Year – OpenOffice.org (90.76%)
Browser of the Year – Firefox (65.21%)
Desktop Environment of the Year – Gnome (41.96%)
Window Manager of the Year – Compiz (23.10%)
Messaging App of the Year – Pidgin (48.74%)
Mail Client of the Year – Thunderbird (53.48%)
Virtualization Product of the Year – VirtualBox (67.43%)
Audio Media Player Application of the Year – Amarok (38.81%)
Audio Authoring Application of the Year – Audacity (77.26%)
Video Media Player Application of the Year – VLC (46.05%)
Video Authoring Application of the Year – FFmpeg (21.94%)
Multimedia Utility of the Year – GStreamer (32.84%)
Graphics Application of the Year – GIMP (66.48%)
Network Security Application of the Year – Nmap Security Scanner (29.85%)
Host Security Application of the Year – SELinux (39.26%)
Network Monitoring Application of the Year – Nagios (51.11%)
IDE/Web Development Editor of the Year – Eclipse (23.28%)
Text Editor of the Year – vim (35.29%)
File Manager of the Year – Nautilus (24.92%)
Open Source Game of the Year – Battle for Wesnoth (15.45%)
Programming Language of the Year – Python (27.59%)
Backup Application of the Year – rsync (48.99%)
Open Source CMS/Blogging platform of the Year – WordPress (45.20%)

If you have feedback on how we can improve the Members Choice Awards, let us know.

UPDATE: Here’s a very nice user-contributed summary of the top 5 nominees in every category. Thanks Wesley.

OStatic has also covered the results.


75% of Linux code now written by paid developers

In what should come as no surprise to those who have been watching, 75% of Linux code is now written by paid developers. From the article:

Forget lofty ideals about the open-source community: most Linux kernel code is written by paid developers at major corporations.

The Linux world makes much of its community roots, but when it comes to developing the kernel of the operating system, it’s less a case of “volunteers ahoy!” and more a case of “where’s my pay?”

During a presentation at Linux.conf.au 2010 in Wellington, LWN.net founder and kernel contributor Jonathan Corbet offered an analysis of the code contributed to the Linux kernel between December 24 2008 and January 10 2010. (The kernel serves as a basis from which individual distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian or Red Hat are developed, though these will often add or remove specific features.)

A massive amount of coding went on in that period: 2.8 million lines of code and 55,000 major changes were contributed to the kernel, which evolved from version 2.6.28 to 2.6.32 over that time. “The development process is clearly quite alive and quite active,” Corbet said, noting that this amount to more than 7,000 lines of code added every day.

I’ve seen this presentation (well, an earlier version of this presentation – I was not at Linux.conf.au) by Jonathan before and I think the article changes the tone of it in an unintended way (specifically the “Forget lofty ideals about the open-source community” bit). First, Open Source has never been about unpaid labor. The fact that people conflated the meaning of free in “Free Software” long ago is something we’re still dealing with today unfortunately. Next, we’re talking about 25% of 2.8 million lines of code that were contributed by volunteers in a roughly one year span. That’s 700,000 lines of code. It’s not just a matter of how much it would have cost a company to write those lines of code, either. How many bugs fixed in those lines would never met a companies threshold for needing to be fixed? How many features added by those lines would have never made it past a managers cost-benefits analysis? In closed source software, a single unaffiliated person with extra time and the appropriate skills is never able to commit code to address these issues. That’s one reason Open Source software has been so successful.

There another point in the presentation though:

“75% of the code comes from people paid to do it,” Corbet said.

Within that field, Red Hat topped that chart with 12%, followed by Inte (sic) with 8%, IBM and Novell with 6% each, and Oracle 3%. Despite the clear commercial rivalry between those players, central kernel development worked well, Corbet noted.

So the top 5 companies, many of them direct competitors contributed 35% of the code. Unlike in some other competitive landscapes, when it comes to OSS people and companies can all be part of the same community or ecosystem. Yes, Red Hat and Novell have marketing materials and presentations on why you should choose their commercial offering. At the code level however we are all working toward the same goal… realizing that a rising tide lifts all boats. We’ve learned how damaging a monopoly can be in the software world. Having multiple viable companies with Linux offerings based on the same kernel should be seen as a strength; as a way to limit vendor lock-in. We’re far from perfect in this community, but forgetting our “lofty goals” isn’t something I think we should do just yet ;)


Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2009

First, I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year. 2009 was another great year for LQ and we have a ton in store for 2010. You may have noticed this blog has been quiescent lately. While I have been twittering regularly, the terse and off the cuff nature of twitter is markedly different than most blog entries here (the conference based live-blogging entries aside). I’d like to resume regular blogging in 2010, even if the frequency isn’t what it once was. 2010 looks to be another interesting year for Linux and Open Source, so finding material to blog about shouldn’t be too onerous.

I’ll finish this post off with the browser and OS statistics for the main LQ site for all of 2009, which I like to post after the conclusion of each year. Here’s the post from 2008, for comparison.

Firefox 64.28%
Internet Explorer 18.23%
Mozilla 4.80%
Chrome 4.30%
Opera 3.75%
Safari 2.88%
Konqueror .98%

Note that Firefox is actually down .16% while Chrome passed Opera, Safari and Konqueror in its first year. Firefox versions are once again all over the map, with 3.0.10 being the only version above 10% of FF users at 10.70%. No version of 3.5 comes in the top five, but 3.5.3 is the most used in that branch at 6.48% (with 3.5.5 hot on its heels at 6.37%).

Operating Systems
Windows 52.73%
Linux 40.94%
Macintosh 5.43%

That’s right; both Windows and Linux are slightly down from last year, while Mac is slightly up. The most used mobile OS is the iPhone at .12%, with Android coming in at .02%.



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