Fedora, Linux, Red Hat

Another distro popularity polls

Last summer, I published results of survey organized by the biggest Czech Linux portal where Fedora was the 3rd most popular Linux distribution. Today, the second biggest Czech Linux portal ABCLinuxu.cz published results of a very similar survey. Shares are slightly different, but Fedora was again the 3rd most popular distribution. The TOP10 is:

  1. Ubuntu 37.09% (53)
  2. Debian 18.78% (17)
  3. Fedora 18.39% (12)
  4. Linux Mint 14.03% (10)
  5. Arch 13.36% (9.5)
  6. (open)SUSE 11% (7.4)
  7. Gentoo 8.68% (6.7)
  8. Mageia 2.51% (<2)
  9. Slackware 2.20% (<2)
  10. Mandriva 1.18% (<2)

The number in brackets indicates shares from the survey done by the other portal in summer. Shares are slightly different, but order on the first seven positions is the same and there are the same distributions in TOP10. The other portal – root.cz – is read by broader audience while ABCLinuxu.cz has more die-hard Linux fans among their readers. You can see that Ubuntu has a much larger share outside the core Linux user base. On the other hand, at least in the Czech Republic, it has lost some core Linux user base because in 2010, Ubuntu had 44.3% in the same survey. Over 18% for Fedora is a good result. It’s definitely on the rise in the Czech Republic which is not such a big surprise because we promote Fedora quite a lot and the largest engineering office of Red Hat also has some impact.

What’s interesting is distro popularity among groups of people with different length of Linux experience:

As you can see, Ubuntu is very popular among Linux newbies. Almost 60 percent of them choose Ubuntu to be their first Linux experience. Quite surprisingly to me, Fedora is the second most popular distro among newbies. Fedora has pretty much the same popularity through all groups, but it’s especially popular among newbies and then among people with >15 years of Linux experience. I suppose those are mainly users that started with Red Hat Linux.

There were also other categories:

Server: Debian 50.92%, CentOS 23.61%, Ubuntu 16.22%, RHEL 13.79%, Gentoo 8.87%, (open)SUSE 7.24%, Fedora 5.55%, Arch 4.81%, Slackware 3.33%. So Fedora is much less popular on servers.

Enteprise: RHEL 75.68%, SUSE 22.77%, Oracle 4.94%, Mandriva 1.55%. RHEL is dominating this category.

The survey also showed that the Linux user base is getting older. 43% of people who participated in the survey are over 30 and only 25% of them are students.

Fedora, GNOME, Linux

What Desktop Environments Are Czech Fedora Users Using?

Yesterday, I posted results of a survey to find out what distributions and desktop environments Linux users are using. Today, I asked the editor-in-chief of Root.cz for figures solely for Fedora to find out what desktop environments Czech users of Fedora are using. Here are the results (and comparison with figures for Ubuntu from the same survey):

Fedora: GNOME 3 – 45.8%, KDE 4 26.5%, Xfce 12.4 %, GNOME 2 8 %, LXDE 1.8%, KDE 3/Trinity 0.6%, Others – 4.9%. Ubuntu: Unity – 29.8%, GNOME 3 – 20.5%, GNOME 2 – 17.5%, KDE 4 – 14.9%, Xfce – 9.9%, LXDE – 3.8%, KDE 3/Trinity – 0.5%, Others – 3.7%. GNOME 2 also includes GNOME 3 Fallback, MATE.

And some findings:

  • Adoption of GNOME 3 among Fedora users is not bad at all. Almost half of them is already using GNOME 3. Xfce didn’t gain much ground and GNOME 2/Mate is quite low. Ubuntu is apparently struggling more with adoption of their new default environment – Unity. Less than 30 % of its users are using it and the number of users with GNOME 2 is high compared to Fedora.
  •  KDE 4 is very popular among Fedora users. Over 25 % is a really decent job for an environment that is not default. It proves that our KDE SIG is doing a great job. They have always had to fight the widespread opinion that Fedora is a GNOME distro and not very KDE-friendly. Those figures show they are doing great at it and I have a feedback from the community that KDE in Fedora is really well supported. In Ubuntu, KDE is not so popular according to these stats.
  • I expected Xfce to be more popular in Fedora than the stats show. There have been many people loudly saying that they are switching to Xfce because of GNOME 3. This has probably been a bit exaggerated, at least in the Czech Republic. But still: Xfce is more popular among Fedora users than among Ubuntu users.
  • KDE 3/Trinity is pretty much dead. Again, I’ve heard many people saying that they stick with KDE 3 and don’t want to switch to KDE 4, but in fact, almost no one is using it today. It may be a message for MATE developers that stopping time is not a viable vision for a desktop environment. Most users just get used to new generations of DEs, or switch to something else, but don’t stick with old generations.
  • Unity is still an Ubuntu-only thing. Unity was recently ported to Fedora, or more precisely there is a third-party repository with Unity for Fedora, but Unity didn’t get a single vote from Fedora users in this survey. Maybe it’s too early, we’ll see later.

State of Czech Linux Community

The more I look outside the Czech Republic the more I’m surprised how strong the Linux community in the Czech Republic. We always looked at our neighbour – Germany, where there are huge events such as LinuxTag and a lot of active FLOSS contributors, and felt there is not much going on in the Czech Republic. But that’s logical, Germany has 8 times more citizens. In fact, the Czech Linux community is one of the strongest per capita and there is quite a lot going on here.

There are three big Linux portals that are professional or semi-professional (Root.cz, ABCLinuxu.cz, LinuxEXPRES.cz) and bring articles and news from the world of FOSS every day. There are also FLOSS-oriented websites which are not so big, but still very active (OpenOffice.cz, Linuxsoft.cz, Fedora.cz, SUSEportal.cz, Ubuntu.cz,…). There were also two paper Linux magazines (LinuxEXPRES and Linux+), but they closed up. The market was too small for them and paper magazines don’t have good times generally. There is a digital magazine though – OpenMagazin. We don’t have such big events as in Germany, but there are still quite a few big conferences. LinuxAlt and (Red Hat) Developer Conference are attended by hundreds of people. LinuxExpo, which used to be the biggest event in the country (with 2,000 attendants in the best years), didn’t take place this year, but hopefully will be replaced by another Linux conference in Prague. Local LUGs organize events every month. The strongest one is in Brno, followed by Prague.

A vibrant Linux community was one of the reasons why Red Hat and SUSE chose to start their development offices in the Czech Republic. And those offices keep growing. The Red Hat one has over 400 engineers and the SUSE one about 100.

That’s not bad at all for a country with 10 million citizens. Linux in the Czech Republic also has one of the highest market penetrations in Europe (according to StatCounter). All countries higher in the list have government programs which support Linux and FLOSS. Unfortunately, the Czech government has no such programs. We have no “Munich” or “Gendarmerie Nationale”. Quite the opposite. Government organizations, that adopted Linux, were under big pressure, and many of them eventually gave up. So unlike in other countries with higher Linux adoption, Linux in the Czech Republic is doing well in spite of the government.

Of course, people complain that it used to be better, and there should be more active community members, but there is never enough active members and as I said at the beginning when I looked at possibilities to promote Red Hat and Fedora in other countries in the region, I found out that Linux communities are not so vibrant as in the Czech Republic.  Hopefully, we’ll keep up and especially Fedora community will be more and more active.