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What is Ubuntu's market share on non-servers?

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closed as not constructive by Jorge Castro, txwikinger, Marco Ceppi Apr 7 '11 at 22:41

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I voted to close as it's impossible to answer this question accurately. – Jorge Castro Apr 7 '11 at 15:50
@Jorge Castro: Agree. – Rafał Cieślak Apr 7 '11 at 19:59
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Since most users don't buy Ubuntu, it isn't traded, and if there is no trade, there is no market, hence no market-share.

This might look nitpicking, but of course you don't have sales figures, if you don't sell it, so how should you count it? How do you handle parallel installations, which are quite common?

Nobody counts the number of installations in a reliable way, So it is hard to estimate.

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These statements are true, but I think most people could agree that what they're really curious about is what's the usage of desktop OSs, when broken down between windows, OSX, and linux/ubuntu. – tamale Dec 13 '11 at 20:01
I don't think the market share and the sales share are the same. The market share is what out there and the sales share is how many people have bought something. well ask the Ubuntu community how many download the recent updates and upgrades for the current Ubuntu operating systems. Then we will know how many users we have. – Alvar Sep 13 '12 at 21:51
@Alvar: Due to the license of GNU, people don't only get their Ubuntu from Ubuntu, but from other sources too. However, downloading an ISO doesn't mean that it is installed. If it is installed - is it used in a dual boot scenario with Windows, is it tested and abandoned, is it used exclusively? How many upgrades and updates are there? I for instance use 2 PCs but rarely both at the same time. Do you count that as 2 installations or as one user using Ubuntu? If one user uses Ubuntu 8h/d, is that equivalent to another user, using Windows for 1h/d? To know what to measure, you need to know why. – user unknown Sep 14 '12 at 3:28
You could do something simply as asking the users, how they use it why they use it. But that's not reliable. if you know how many download the updates then you will know how many users use it on a daily basis. Then you will know what users just use it to test it or actually use it. Since I mostly right java code and listen to music in Linux I wont show up on any web browser stats, so it's not really exact... Also If you know how many have downloaded the updates you will know how many users have installed Ubuntu and use it. – Alvar Sep 14 '12 at 8:41
@Alvar: So you are only interested in "use it regularly" - not how many hours, for example? So if there are 3 users, one uses just Windows, one uses just Linux, and one uses both, sometimes Linux, sometimes Windows, you would count the altering user 2 times, once for each OS, because he updates both? And do you get reliable update informations from Microsoft? – user unknown Sep 15 '12 at 22:31

For these kind of things I tend to turn to Statcounter Global Stats, more specifically this part. That doesn't go beyond the distros, but given Ubuntu's popularity compared to other distros I'll wager that it's not too far below the linux number. Of course that's only computers that are online, so the numbers are still skewed most likely.

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I don't think it's an unanswerable question. The Wikipedia article about it has a thoroughly-researched and up-to-date answer. That conclusion is just over 1%. What's intriguing here is Android, which is already at 3/4ths of whatever penetration "Linux" has been able to achieve in the past 15 or so years.

As far as breaking down the relative use between popular distros, I like to use Google trends. Ubuntu has been running away with it, and making a good case for Linux on the desktop, for years now, but it's clear from the trending that Android is about to make desktop Linux statistically irrelevant.

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Cited wikipedia article says: Information about operating system share is difficult to obtain. In most of the categories below, there is no reliable primary source or methodology for its collection. – user unknown May 8 '11 at 2:33

No idea about just Ubuntu, but W3schools claims 5.1% for Linux since March 2011.

W3Schools OS Statistics

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But that's on a more developer oriented site (although...), the numbers are skewed compared to the general public. – Ward Muylaert Apr 7 '11 at 22:12
@Ward is correct about W3Schools. They are not a very good place to learn about web development. That link I gave is pretty safe though, as it's just some information about their visitors (AFAIK.) – Spaisekraft Apr 9 '11 at 2:52

We don't know for sure. Microsoft says <1 % but I think its somewhere between 2% to 3%.

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Can you cite a source for this (or at least for Microsoft's claim that it's less than 1%)? – Eliah Kagan Sep 13 '12 at 21:32

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