Linux Market Share Passes 1%!!

NetApplications’ just released their april market share stats and linux passed 1% for the first time ever.

Here is a plot of the linux market share for the past several years based on hitslinks’ stats:


1 in 100 desktops/laptops is now linux according to hitslink.  Hurray.  While this number may be a low estimate due to linux users visiting different sites or hiding their browser identity, the main thing to take away from this is the trend: up!  Over 300% in just a few years.

71 thoughts on “Linux Market Share Passes 1%!!

  1. That’s not bad. There are reports that the data consulted was actually flawed with a lot of false negatives–that the number of Linux-based desktops was actually higher than that which is reported. Even so it seems the rate of Linux use is increasing: We had an increase of .1% overall per year (2005 & 2006) to start with, 2007 doubled that rate for .2% per year. 2008 doubled the 2007 rates for .4% per year. 2009 has gotten another .2% during about four months, which means we can likely project a .6% increase for the remainder of the year as a conservative estimate.

    Rock on!

  2. That means roughly 16,281,955 people use GNU/Linux if the website is right about the total number of Internet users in the world.

    Anybody want to sell a $10 game to at least half of the GNU/Linux users out there? That might make a little bit of money… about $81,409,775

    Anyone care to take all the GNU/Linux users out to lunch?

    Break the glass… Free yourself… Use GNU/Linux.

    Shannon VanWagner
    humans enabled

  3. The world percentage is much higher since this are too US based (english sites mostly), which is where Linux adoption is lower… Europe has a much higher percentage and the rest of the world even higher.

    Anyway this is good news.

  4. @El Mono Jojoy – Linux does support your DVB-T board though your DVB-T board may not support Linux. It is up to your board manufacturer to make a driver for Linux not the other way around. Microsoft doesn’t make drivers for your board either. if you want to complain it the board manufacturer you should complain to.

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  7. I have used Linux since the summer of 2004. I have notice more people use it when talking to people at book stores. Also I do not get that we do not support Linux any more from my internet provider. I think most of the technical people are using it and many of their customers are using it. When I buy computer parts online I notice that many comments are from other Linux users. Also many devices feature the penguin on their wrappings to show they support Linux. Just these interactions have told me that Linux use is moving up in use on the desktop. My understanding is that Windows 7 has an XP emulator built in. Linux has Wine. It is telling when Microsoft is loosing compatibility with programs written in the past for Windows. The reason that we use operating systems is to run applications. Microsoft is losing the only real advantage they have. AMD and Intel both support Linux as they know it is in their best interest to do so. Other vendors are figuring that out also.

  8. using a 3rd order polynomial regression, shows a 2% at the end of 2010 and 4% at the beginning of 2012, while it takes us all the way to the end of 2014 for a 10% market share. How realistic is this? Between you and me, I think it’s a pessimistic prediction. It doesn’t take into account the positive feedback effect, with more developers working on the platform, which becomes more prominent as linux reaches critical mass.

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  10. If the masses only knew how many consumer electronics devices were powered by Linux. Probably greater than half the US population interacts with such devices on a daily basis.

  11. Don’t forget to thank MS and Vista for this, never had I seen so many of my friends trying out some Linux distro just to get rid of their infamous (and terribly non-compatible) pre-installed Vista.

  12. This also probably doesn’t include people like me, at least not accurately, since I dual boot linux with windows and switch fairly regularly.

    Interestingly, the size of the linux user base in the UK pushed the BBC to alter how their iplayer on demand service worked. Before it required windows, as their security features relied on windows specific software.Because of the massive outcry from linux users they’ve now corrected this issue, re-building it so that linux is supported as well, and were shocked at just how many people there were came out to complain about it

  13. El Mono Jojoy Says:
    Until Linux supports my DVB-T board, I won’t try it again.

    Ubuntu 9.04 supports my MSI Mega Sky MS-5580 DVB-T Stick over Kaffeine flawlessly.

  14. The Linux market share is actually significantly larger.

    But due to the very limited WLAN support in Linux, most computers just aren’t connected to any network at all.

  15. So, if everyone using a Linux distro today will take some time to teach just one other person, donate an old computer, become their “help desk”, ……..then by this time next year we’ll be at 2%. I did that last year, and I’m ready to do it again.

  16. While the competition against Vista was easier, the competition against Windows 7 will be much tougher.
    The reason for that is simple : Vista sucks and Windows 7 isn’t.
    I predict that the release of Win7 is going to end this trend, and the percentage of linux users will remain the same (meaning less than 1.5%).

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  18. I have seen the original page. the results are taken out of context. the original graph was for which machines use the product called “net applications” not how much total linux usage there is.

  19. Windows 7 will rule. Everyone in the world will by it cauz its the awsomist soiftware ever! I don’t like linix cauz it dosnt play my windows games. Macs suck cauz thaty dont pla ymy windows games neither.

    bill gats is god

  20. Linux really seems to be gaining steam as microsoft vista has been a real disappointment to windows users, and they want an alternative. Linux is getting much easier to use, while windows is going the other direction.

  21. Hey, if it can get to 2%, someone might even write some drivers for it and so it will kind of work with some peripherals n’stuff. Gotta dream man.

  22. GaryB, what are you smoking ?

    There are gazillions of drivers for Linux out there, these days. Plus: unlike drivers for Windows, they can NOT be killed (meaning ‘not supported anymore’) by any hardware manufacturers (in order to sell the new hardware…).

    -> With Linux, you get the freedom to use whatever hardware YOU want to use, not a COMPANY.

  23. I love the hypocrisy. When you mention the low usage rate of Linux, zealots always respond, “Oh, you can’t trust those web stats, they are always wrong.” But now that it shows 1%? Pop the champaign!

  24. Leave Linux to those who understand the benefits. When I run Linux, I get more work done, faster, with less effort. I don’t care who else uses it, as there will always be at least enough people for me to get my relatively standard hardware to work just fine. SuperMSWin is a great example of why I can laugh.

  25. AT Internet Institute (formerly Xitimonitor) puts Linux at 1.2 %. This is based on web traffic on a large number of sites. ATII is based in Europe, which probably explains the somewhat larger share for Linux (ans a smaller share for Mac OS X compared to the US surveys).

    I’ve been a Linux user for more than a decade and I’ve installed it for several friends and relatives. I actually find the growth rate quite bad. 30 % growth sounds like a lot as a proportion, but when you start with a small absolute number, it does not amount to that much. I see a couple of ways this might change: first, large government and corporate users adopt Linux because of the cost (French Gendarmerie), and second, the OMEs offer and support Linux properly, and not just on netbooks. Both are happening to some extent, at least outside the US.

    I think Linux is a big factor in Windows 7 being as competitive as it is. In that way Linux has had a major effect on the desktop: it showed that Microsoft could not get away with anything as bad as Vista and forced them to get their act together.

  26. Gnu/Linux still has a LONG way to go.

    The Gnome desktop still needs a lot of work to get it up to the beauty and functionality of Mac OS X. I mean, Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) was released at least 4 years ago, and it is still several years ahead of Gnome. Yes, Gnome may be catching up to Windows, but anyone that uses Mac for only a couple of weeks would realize how far behind it Gnome is. One absolutely nice feature that would be nice to have in Nautilus is the “column view” available in the Mac OS X Finder application. The column view allows one to see all levels of all subdirectories in one view. It is also used to view drives and installed applications. Truly ingenious.

    Another really critical thing that I think Gnu/Linux needs is the ability to run Microsoft Office easily via Wine. Yes, I know this is presently possible, but it is not immediately convenient and there is no spectacularly and impressively elegant implementation. I realize the first thing most people will say is that we already have OpenOffice. No one knows that better than I do. However, I know from personal experience that even though a newbie may be willing to try Ubuntu, when they want to run Microsoft Word, OpenOffice just doesn’t cut it. It may have the essential functionality, but it just isn’t up to par in terms of what the average Word user expects. It may not be pretty enough, or whatever.

    The point is that a newbie needs to be able to run Microsoft Office easily on Gnu/Linux. End of story. This is where Wine and Canonical need SERIOUS work. A newbie needs to be able to quickly and easily install Microsoft Office and go about their business of opening Word documents IN OFFICE.

    The only possible work-around for the future is to make OpenOffice (or some other Free Software productivity suite) EVEN BETTER than Microsoft Office. In other words, out-innovate them. This, however, is much easier said than done, considering the fact that Microsoft has been developing Office for decades (seriously). They have pretty much perfected their software, which continues to reinvigorate their monopoly.

    In summary,
    1) Mac OS X is the most advanced desktop OS and Gnome needs to be even better than that if it is to prosper. It would also be nice for Nautilus to implement a column view similar to that in the Mac OS X Finder.
    2) Ubuntu and Wine need to perfect an implementation which allows a newbie to run Microsoft Office on Gnu/Linux.

    It is my belief that these advances could really help push Gnu/Linux, especially Ubuntu, over the edge in terms of functionality, ease-of-use, and in encouraging adoption by the average Windows user.

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  28. To the above poster:

    I agree with your ‘suggestions’. However, may I point you to KDE. KDE4’s new file manager, named Dolphin, has the ‘column view’ you mention. I’ve been using Fedora and then Ubuntu for years, both Gnome oriented, but recently (with 9.04), switched to KDE (kubuntu). Even though far from perfect, it does bring some nice features to the mix.

    In addition, in terms of application frameworks, I’ve used GTK+ in some of my apps and I find it seriously outdated. From what I’ve seen from QT4.5, it looks modern and clean, resembling in many ways Cocoa (OS X). It integrates conventional toolkit elements, with a powerful drawing canvas, presentation layer, networking layer, concurrency abstractions and run-time message based communication (dbus bindings), among other things. These things are possible with GTK+ based design, but are provided by separate projects, like Cairo and Clutter for drawing and presentation layer, while for the rest, one will need to resolve to lower level APIs. Furthermore, QTCreator seems to be a decent IDE.

  29. (by “Linux” I mean “GNU/Linux” except where otherwise noted, and except when discussing kernels)

    What is there to say? Yes, it’s gone up. Yes, it’s awesome.
    Is Linux terrible? No. Linux brings out all the weaknesses in Windows. I don’t know enough about Macs to comment as I don’t use them (although I hear they’re more pleasant to use than anything and everything else — plus they have shells like the bourne shell so you can get your hands dirty if you want).
    Is Linux perfect? No. Everybody has things they hate about Linux. They’re not really problems with “Linux”, but generally problems with whatever default software is installed in a particular distribution.
    Can those problems be solved? Almost always. They just don’t “come” solved, and this is a bit like Windows. Windows:
    – can only run on x86-style chips (which, happily, are rather prolific)
    – comes with drivers for basically nothing (but a power user can get the appropriate drivers from the internet or from their stack of driver disks)
    – comes with only very basic utitilies that don’t allow you to get an awful lot done (however if you’ve found a working network driver you can download better tools)
    – is ridiculously hard to install (and sometimes can’t even interact correctly with NTFS or FAT partitions on IDE disks during its own installer)
    – is very hard to configure or troubleshoot (not to mention highly susceptible to attack)
    – doesn’t have a mature package manager (even the iPhone has this, and it’s a cellular phone for crying out loud)

    Some issues with Linux (mostly in Ubuntu, other distributions have solved these):
    – Some issues with dual-head configurations (although once I had virtual desktops I gave up dual head displays — they work for me but I just don’t need them and am better off with a clear desk)
    – generally doesn’t come with WINE by default, and doesn’t set the filetype association for .exe to WINE by default (although, WINE is only good for loading Windows programs… And Linux simply isn’t Windows!)
    – forgets the keyboard layout if you rewrite your X configuration (although, if you see why this is annoying then you probably know how to fix it)

    Personally I have a plethora of problems with Windows, and no real complaints about my experience with Linux. I’ve installed it on friends’ computers, work computers, all my own computers…. And you know what? It’s stayed installed. It does everything we need. I can administer it with even greater ease than what I could administer Windows, despite a decade of Windows experience.

    Linux is going up and it is good.
    But let’s not get into bashing various operating systems.
    My friend Vince has tried moving to Linux about five times. Every time he tries, he struggles tremendously with some stupid thing and goes back to Windows – that thing which makes him a power user and an addict.
    Windows bluescreens on boot, locks him out of his data, formats his disks, deletes important system files… And still, he goes back to it every time, he just can’t handle Linux.

    Let us look forward to the world where GNU/Linux, Mac and Windows each have 20% – 60% of the desktop OS market.
    THAT will be a bright day.

    Maybe desktop operating systems will be so radically changed by that time that Linux vs Windows vs Mac will simply no longer be an issue.

  30. The only possible work-around for the future is to make OpenOffice (or some other Free Software productivity suite) EVEN BETTER than Microsoft Office. In other words, out-innovate them.

    It’s better now, because the features that it does have are more stable and more cleanly implemented. “out-innovate them” is just silly talk, no one wants innovation in a word processor. What the end-user wants is stability, compatibility and predictable consistent behaviour.

    They are doing the same typing of reports they have been doing for 30 years since computers were first hooked up to printers, and they absolutely do not want some excitingly annoying different way of doing it. They want headings, a table of contents, a few different fonts, and a bit of page layout, that’s it. Keep your innovation.

    I’ve found converting people to Open Office is pretty easy when they try getting a system of paragraph and heading numbering happening in Microsoft Word and after beating their head against that for a while, show them an example of how to do it in Open Office and they suddenly discover that it actually works as advertised! Not rocket science, nothing adventurous, just quality implementation of a well understood concept.

  31. @Tel:
    I’m not sure how else you think you can overcome a monopoly and gain significant market share over the de-facto leader without serious innovation. A few arbitrary cases in point: Back in the day, search was pretty much owned by Yahoo. Google became “Google” by out-innovating the hell out of search, to the point that their company name became the everyday verb for “search”…. A few years ago, Apple was pretty much in the dumpster, walked all over by Microsoft, and relegated to the “also ran” segment of history. The ONLY reason why Apple is still here is because it out-innovated the hell out of OS X, the iPod, the Mac desktops, the Mac laptops, iTunes, and every single thing it put its hands on…. And anyone paying the slightest attention to browsers will know that FireFox wasn’t always this influential. Internet Explorer, as horrid as it was, was by virtue of being offered by default on >90% of the world’s computers, the run-away champion. The only reason why FireFox has this much penetration is because it was light, fast, secure, and MUCH more advanced….

    The point is that the only reliable way you take over a de-facto leader is to out-think and out-innovate him. As the saying goes, innovate or die.

    Don’t get me wrong, though. I appreciate the fact that you were able to successfully convert some people to OpenOffice, even though I wonder if they just examined it briefly out of curiousity before going back to their cozy relationship with Microsoft Office or if they really did stick with OO.o. But I hope you appreciate this, too: I love Free Software and I myself have tried to convert others to OO.o without much success. Most of the time, they are horrified. Trust me, if you want to pull people away from an accepted monopoly, their impression has to be MUCH better than that. Headings, a TOC, page layout are a start, but the requirements for mass migration go way beyond that.

    Like I said before, we have a LONG way to go and (no offense but) mediocre thinking is not what will get us there.

  32. I love this graph because we know that linux share holders are cashing in with this information, but how ever if you can cross referance this graph with quntcast graphs and build on that you can cash in without a dout but it will take alot of knowlege.
    but this app is hot people

    Thanks for the info


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