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19 January 2009, 10:27

Linux on the desktop - a survey

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The website DesktopLinux, a Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings publication, is currently conducting its annual survey on the topic of Linux use on the desktop. The survey asks Linux users eleven questions, including which distribution they use, which browser and e-mail client, which desktop environment and office suite they use, whether and how they are running Windows applications on the Linux desktop, and what programs in the fields of graphic design, desktop publishing, multimedia, private financial management and desktop database they use.

According to it is perhaps no surprise that, in the past year, the Ubuntu distribution is the run-away favourite distro for the desktop, followed fairly closely by openSUSE, the Novell sponsored distro.

Naturally the DesktopLinux site promises to publish the results of their survey, but simply says 'when concluded' with no indication of when that might be. Their survey result from 2004 showed Debian way out in front with 33.7 per cent. Mandrake (now Mandriva) came second with 18.4 per cent. Their most recent survey from 2007 showed Ubuntu, first released in 2004, as having 30.3 per cent of the 'market' with openSUSE at second place with 19.6 per cent. Ubuntu is of course, a Debian based distro, which is sponsored by UK based company Canonical. From the statistics it seems, as you might expect, that the most popular distros are the best developed and these are the distros with a strong commercial backing.

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