Using Web Data to Determine the Most Popular Linux Flavor
There’s a lot of talk around the internets about which (free) Linux distro is the ‘best.’ And while this article won’t opine either way, I do hope to put some perspective on the Linux debate using public data.
First off, using Compete.com
We all (hopefully) know the good and bad sides of Compete… While their data is great for getting a general sense of how site traffic measures up by comaprison, it relies on tracking visits made by users that have the Compete toolbar installed, and therefore should not be considered entirely accurate by most standards.
Next up: Google
Searching Google for the term Linux returns the following ranks (free distros only):
- Ubuntu (77,500,000 pages contain the term ‘ubuntu’)
- Debian (73,900,000 for ‘debian’)
- Fedora (32,300,000 pages contain the term ‘fedora’)
Wordtracker is a service that estimates search volume for keywords/phrases.
- Ubuntu – 2,289
- Fedora – 536
- Debian – 212
Looks like we’re starting to see a pattern here. I must say that Ubuntu as the leader was not a surprise, but I was expecting to see Mandriva rank a little bit better (it was a close 4th in many categories).
In summary: Ubuntu, presumably, has built a Linux distro that is easily digested by the masses, well supported and gaining ground in huge leaps on the internet. Admittedly this may not be the most scientific method for comparing Linux distros, but it is undoubtedly a method. Other ideas?