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Mark Shuttleworth lately said that the goal of Ubuntu is 200 million in 4 years. How can they determine that? Which method will they use? IPs, Downloads? Updates? Which all seems to be inaccurate.

How can I tell Canonical I'm an Ubuntu user? can't they make a survey during the install process saying, if you are an Ubuntu user tick this option once? Or to make an update to all supported versions, with a pop up saying click ok if you are an Ubuntu user. And if you have more than one machine running Ubuntu please click ok just on one machine?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Braiam, guntbert, Eric Carvalho, bain, Sneetsher Jun 16 at 22:28

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possible duplicate of How many Ubuntu users are there worldwide ? –  bain Jun 16 at 22:19
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1 Answer 1

They do this by measuring the number of unique IPs hitting the servers for security updates.

A source: old interview with Canonical's Gerry Carr.

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i assume that is not accurate. me for example i use every day 3 different ip's. so the number they have must be bigger x3 or x2 than reality. –  suli8 May 16 '11 at 18:28
    
suli8 - you'd be right of course, it can never be anything better than a guess. Your multiple IP's per user are counter-balanced by all of those users behind a single firewall (network address translated NATted users) who all share a single IP per gateway. The benefit of these statistical analysis methods though is that the trend is informational, and if we can get to '200 million' users (read that as '200 million' unique IP addresses on update servers), then the trend will have been heading north -- regardless of accuracy vis. real user count. –  finley May 17 '11 at 7:47
    
@suli8 I know but they also admit that in the link: "He noted that it's not an exact science, and that Canonical is sure that they have at least 12 million users, but it's probably higher than that." –  Rinzwind May 17 '11 at 10:38
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