The biggest Czech Linux magazine Root.cz organized a survey to find out what distributions Linux users are using on desktops. There were 4423 answers which I think is quite a lot from statistical point of view. And here are the results:
I expected Ubuntu to have the largest user base. But still, such dominance is surprising. Over 50% of all Linux users are using Ubuntu. It’s pretty much Ubuntu… and the rest. And what about Deb vs. RPM? 80% vs 22.4% (note that the total is over 100% because there are users using multiple distributions). It’s even more horrifying. RHEL/CentOS weren’t included, but I don’t think they have a large user base on desktops and their share can’t be bigger than 8% because that’s what “Other distributions” got.
Other distributions with traditionally large user base are doing even worse: openSUSE has only 7.4% and Mandriva, which used to be the most popular desktop distro in the Czech Republic, is pretty much dead – <2%. And users didn’t run to Mageia because Mageia has even less users.
Another interesting results are shares of desktop environments:
A very interesting finding is that GNOME 3 is actually more popular than Unity (19.7% vs 13.6%) which is the default environment in the far most popular distribution – Ubuntu. In fact, only 1/4 of Ubuntu users are using Unity according to the stats. GNOME 3 is also more popular than GNOME 2/MATE (16.5%), so looks like it’s not that bad with popularity of GNOME 3. GNOME-based vs KDE-based environment: 49.8% vs 24.5%. KDE 3/Trinity has less than 1%, so stopping time doesn’t seem to be very appealing to users.