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The Linux market share still appears to be rising

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Looking at multiple places, it appears like the Linux desktop has been on something of a roll lately with the market share starting to trend upwards. As always with any kind of statistics gathering, you need a pinch of salt.

On the NetMarketShare website, the Linux share as we reported last month suddenly had an upwards surge from 1.36% to 2.87%. You could easily write it off once but here we are again and the Linux share has risen up to 3.17%. Even on their stats, it rising twice in a row is quite rare and never usually this much either. Looking into their stats further, it appears Ubuntu is the clear winner and what's pushing it going from 0.27% in March up to 2.11% in May.

It's somewhat backed up by Steam's statistics too, when you look at their monthly hardware survey. The Linux user share on there has risen now three months in a row which we keep an eye on with our Steam Tracker, and the trend there is pretty darn clear. Currently Linux is sat on 0.91% according to Valve's Steam survey.

We can speculate as much as we like as to why but we may never really know what's going on. More people at home, more people using Linux in the home than the old Windows machines at the office? Could be any mixture of things but it's still interesting to see.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Misc
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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57 comments
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vipor29 2 Jun
people are plainly sick of windows 10 and rightfully so.let it keep rising.im not saying we will pass the mac numbers but if that keeps happening we might just do that.
x_wing 2 Jun
Quoting: vipor29people are plainly sick of windows 10 and rightfully so.let it keep rising.im not saying we will pass the mac numbers but if that keeps happening we might just do that.

I think Corona may be a factor too. Lots of people bored and during last year and LTT and many other youtubers has been showing Linux distros qualities. This unexpected free time probably allowed many to give it a try.


Last edited by x_wing on 2 June 2020 at 5:47 pm UTC
jens 2 Jun
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Quoting: x_wing
Quoting: vipor29people are plainly sick of windows 10 and rightfully so.let it keep rising.im not saying we will pass the mac numbers but if that keeps happening we might just do that.

I think Corona may be a factor too. Lots of people bored and during last year and LTT and many other youtubers has been showing Linux distros qualities. This unexpected free time probably allowed many to give it a try.

I wish I had more free time :)
Shmerl 2 Jun
How does NetMarketShare analyze the distro? Browsers don't report it, so how do they even know what's Ubuntu and what's not?


Last edited by Shmerl on 2 June 2020 at 6:09 pm UTC
I would love to cheer at this development, but two things make me modify my glee. First, the idea of Ubuntu going from 0.27% to 2.11% in two months is ridiculous. This sounds more like someone fixing something that was causing existing Ubuntu not to be shown. So, probably Linux just had a higher share all along than NetMarketShare realized. That in itself is kind of nice, but it's not the same as a sudden major rise.

Second, I note that in tandem with the rise of Linux share on Steam there is, as usual, a decline in simplified Chinese share. So again, this may not mean much except that the Chinese don't use Linux (more fool they--if there's one bunch that would benefit from ripping out Windows and replacing it with Linux, that would be China).
x_wing 2 Jun
Quoting: jensI wish I had more free time :)

Me too. Everyone at home with free time but I'm at home working as always and trying to figure out when to stop... Corona stole my vacations :(
x_wing 2 Jun
Quoting: ShmerlHow does NetMarketShare analyze the distro? Browsers don't report it, so how do they even know what's Ubuntu and what's not?

User agent reports that information:
https://www.whatismybrowser.com/detect/what-is-my-user-agent

But is quite easily to change (there is a very handy firefox plugin)
Shmerl 2 Jun
Quoting: x_wingUser agent reports that information:
https://www.whatismybrowser.com/detect/what-is-my-user-agent

I don't see anything about the distro in mine:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0

So I'd consider it a very unreliable method for that.


Last edited by Shmerl on 2 June 2020 at 6:22 pm UTC
Tiixxel 2 Jun
It would be beautiful if this rise would stay and be consistent.
Dedale 2 Jun
Maybe more devs working from home on their own Linux machines, freer of corporate constraints ?
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