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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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57 comments
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Shmerl 2 Jun, 2020
Quoting: DedaleMaybe more devs working from home on their own Linux machines, freer of corporate constraints ?

Another option is uptick in Chromebooks that schools give out to children for remote learning. Not sure if ChromeOS is reported as something else or as Linux.


Last edited by Shmerl on 2 June 2020 at 6:32 pm UTC
Naib 2 Jun, 2020
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I wonder if this is due to Corona and furloing of staff.

Business will have tonnes of windows machine for day to day usage. A large number of employers shut down operations not only due "work from home" but furlow. So a percentage rise could easily be a reduction in windows usage.


Whatever the reason, the result is good
Liam Dawe 2 Jun, 2020
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: DedaleMaybe more devs working from home on their own Linux machines, freer of corporate constraints ?

Another option is uptick in Chromebooks that schools give out to children for remote learning. Not sure if ChromeOS is reported as something else or as Linux.
ChromeOS is separate in NetMarketShare.
Shmerl 2 Jun, 2020
Quoting: Liam DaweChromeOS is separate in NetMarketShare.

OK, thanks for clarifying.
Sojiro84 2 Jun, 2020
Well, this week I finally got a steam survey. The last time I got one, I was still on Windows. So now finally, since November 2018, I am also counted as a Linux user.

Valve really should just sent out a survey for once to all active users. That way we get a proper look.
pytrys 2 Jun, 2020
Quoting: DedaleMaybe more devs working from home on their own Linux machines, freer of corporate constraints ?

I might live in the bubble, but the devs around me are happily keeping their Windows 10 and trying WSL2...
Purple Library Guy 2 Jun, 2020
Quoting: pytrys
Quoting: DedaleMaybe more devs working from home on their own Linux machines, freer of corporate constraints ?

I might live in the bubble, but the devs around me are happily keeping their Windows 10 and trying WSL2...
Well, we're not looking at a big percentage here even now, so yeah, most are no doubt doing that.
CatKiller 2 Jun, 2020
Quoting: Purple Library GuySecond, 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).

China's mandating that government computers stop using foreign proprietary software for the same reasons other governments do:
QuoteBeijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years, in a potential blow to the likes of HP, Dell and Microsoft.

Report from the Financial Times.

They have their own distros in Kylin and Deepin already. Whether that will translate to more people using Linux in their leisure time it's too early to say (or even if they'll manage to achieve it for government computers) but people wanting to use the same system at home that they were used to at work was a part of Microsoft's desktop dominance back in the day.


Last edited by CatKiller on 2 June 2020 at 8:15 pm UTC
Dedale 2 Jun, 2020
Maybe the average Chinese does not trust Software from their government. Like those who prefer to use vanilla steam instead of the Chinese version of steam out of fear of censorship or surveillance.
randyl 2 Jun, 2020
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Quoting: Shmerl
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.
In Fedora I have an extension that modifies my user agent and reports my OS.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Fedora; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4044.138 Safari/537.36

Maybe Ubuntu (and it's many children) have something like that? Dunno, just throwing that out there. No comment on the reliability of it all either. I haven't looked at their data collection methods at all.


Last edited by randyl on 2 June 2020 at 8:57 pm UTC
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