What is today's most popular linux distribution?

Linux distributions are operating systems that are based on the Linux kernel. With this simplified definition in mind, then perhaps the most popular Linux distribution is Android, the leading smartphone OS in the US, which (as of August 2010) holds a market share of 33%.

Android 2.2 (codename Froyo) is based on Linux kernel 2.6.32, while soon-to-be-launched Android 2.3 (codename Gingerbread) is based on Linux kernel 2.6.33. But is it really the most popular Linux distribution? We head out to Distrowatch.com and see where it stands.

Distrowatch, which ranks the popularity of Linux distributions based on page hits, does not include Android on its list. The top 10 Linux distributions there, as of this writing and with data based on the last 6 months, are:

1. Ubuntu
2. Fedora
3. Mint
4. OpenSUSE
5. Debian
6. PCLinuxOS
7. Mandriva
8. Sabayon
9. Arch
10. Puppy

Now, these are desktop operating systems, which explains why Android is nowhere to be found. Since I’d really like to find out where Andoid stands among other Linux distros in terms of popularity, I’ve decided to consult Google about it. For this simple exercise, we’ll now head out to Google Trends, enter Android and the top 10 distros found in Distrowatch and see what happens.

Here’s what we got. The first Google Trends graph is based on data taken across all regions and since the first recorded data until today. The second graph, on the other hand, is based on all regions and over the last 12 months. 

Google Trends Most Popular Linux Distribution (all years)
Google Trends most popular Linux distribution (12 mos)

Based on Google searches, Ubuntu has been consistently on top since the second quarter of 2006. Android started its run in early 2009 (that’s only last year) and proceeded with a steep ascent early this year, overtaking Ubuntu in the process.

So there you have it. Based on searches alone, the most popular Linux distribution as of this day is Android.

Related posts:

One Android to rule them all
Why Android for 2010

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Ramseize said...

para sa akin ubuntu.

johnV said...

Hehe. This post is almost a year old but yes, you're still right.