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It appears that during the Coronavirus lock-down, the Linux market share according to website NetMarketShare has seen quite a large bump.

While calculating the market share of a desktop operating system is never going to be exactly correct, sites like NetMarketShare are one of the best ways to look at it. According to their stats the Linux share has bumped between around 1.5% and 2% for some time. That changed when they recently put up April's stats, which shows the Linux market overall according to them at 2.87%.

The biggest winner appears to be Ubuntu when looking over what Linux versions they track. Ubuntu alone seemed to go from 0.27% in March up to 1.89% in April.

What would be the cause of such a bump? Well, entirely possible it's due to more people using Linux personally at home where they would perhaps be using Windows workstations in their job. Really we could speculate forever on this - so over to you, what do you think?

Nothing to go popping open the champagne over though, while it's a big jump it would only truly be worth celebrating if it sustains the higher position. At least when looking over the Steam numbers too (see our Steam Tracker), we're trending upwards there.

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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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Pikolo May 6, 2020
That's really good news! MacOS also rose by 1%, while Windows fell from 89% to 87%, showing a part of the degree to which corporate usage inflates it.
Oet_ May 6, 2020
Using Linux at home during lock-down seems plausible. Combine that with a new long-term support release of Ubuntu in April 2020 (which happens only every two years). Makes it easier to choose.
silmeth May 6, 2020
Ubuntu gained 1.61 % (from 0.27 % to 1.88 %) of the whole market-share while Linux as a whole gained 1.51 % (from 1.36 % to 2.87 %) of the market-share.

So the whole gain is only Ubuntu (and other distros actually lost some share in Ubuntu’s favour).

Looks like some change of the method of classifying Ubuntu (1.5 % ‘stolen’ from what previously has been classified as Windows?) + some fluctuations between distributions (0.1 % of the whole gained by Ubuntu from other Linuxes).

Last edited by silmeth on 6 May 2020 at 12:28 pm UTC
Samsai May 6, 2020
Cue Microsoft demanding that people go back to their offices. :P
Nanobang May 6, 2020
Numbers, numbers, numbers;
math, math, math.

We win!

In the world of Linux market share, any good news is still good news, so while I'm not breaking out the champagne, I will be just over here tossing back a few pints if anybody's interested.
ShabbyX May 6, 2020
If you look at stackoverflow surveys, you can easily gather that there are a good deal of developers that prefer Linux, but have to use windows for work. Developers alone being at home and on their favorite os can probably explain this completely.
Pikolo May 6, 2020
One factor could be people trying to install Zoom/Teams/whatever on Windows XP/Vista/Unpatched 7 and finding they have to replace it with something newer for their video conferencing tool to work. Ubuntu is the default for those users.

NetMarketShare's statistics don't support that though: Vista was flat, XP grew, Windows 7 lost 0.5%, Windows 8 lost 0.1%, Windows 8.1 lost 0.5% Windows 10 lost 1%.
a0kami May 6, 2020
We ain't the top 1% anymore fellas :P
Koopacabras May 6, 2020
well also VPN use has skyrocketed so with governments like South Corea and China, spying and tracking their citizens because of the covid19, this seems the logic response of people not willing to give away their private data to the governments.
SirLootALot May 6, 2020
Wow here in Germany the marketshare is at 4.14% as of March 2020
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