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I work at a hardware company writing drivers for Linux. There seems to be a lot of difficulty estimating the size of the Linux install base, and as a result resources are directed to non-windows platforms, which are easier to quantify with sales numbers.

It occurred to me that most people installing Linux have at least one question about the platform. In my experience, everyone gets a few answers from askubuntu.com over time. The unique visitors to this site seem like a decent proxy to the size of the Linux install base.

Can anyone provide google analytics numbers for askubuntu.com that I could use to support my team?

migrated from askubuntu.com Oct 21 '15 at 18:58

This question came from our site for Ubuntu users and developers.

  • You know that askubuntu only covers Ubuntu, which is just based on Linux and one of many available distributions, although the most popular one. But anyway, I think other numbers (download statistics for various distributions maybe) will fulfil your requirements better. – Byte Commander Oct 21 '15 at 18:56
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    Such data are available only to 25K+ users, moderators and obviously Stack Exchange employees; 25K+ users are explicitly asked to not disclose those numbers, although they're encouraged to diclose their own researches performed on those data; so I highly doubt you'll be given the raw data; however indeed someone might disclose their own conclusions based on that data. – kos Oct 21 '15 at 19:07
  • @kos or just look at quantcast? quantcast.com/askubuntu.com#/trafficCard – Tim Oct 21 '15 at 19:13
  • in what time frame? daily? monthly? quarterly? around certain holidays? Around a certain time of day? Maybe this will answer your question alexa.com/siteinfo/http%3A%2F%2Faskubuntu.com – j0h Oct 21 '15 at 20:53
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    I doubt that the usage stats of ask ubuntu is indicative of anything much. Trying to count Linux usage is tricky at the best of times. My guess is that Linux has something on the order of 2%% of the desktop market (different studies vary wildly, but something under 5% is fairly reasonable imo). Again depending on which study you look at Linux probably has the majority of the webserver market - I've seen estimates over 95%, but I'm not sure I believe them totally, 70%+ is more than believable though. It's a REALLY hard thing to estimate. What exactly are you trying to prove? – ssta Oct 22 '15 at 22:11
  • @ssta (and others) I suppose it useful as in a business environment it is very useful to know the size of the target market (otherwise they might just think they are doing something for the benefit of a few 100 geeks). BTW also with server usage many likely use Ubuntu (ISPs I have know about use it), and I guess some of the millions of servers there are probably count as well... – Wilf Oct 23 '15 at 23:19
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This is a very poor proxy for how many people download it, but nevertheless...

Stack Overflow inc. uses Quantcast to monitor visitors and demographics for advertising, so here is the last 30 days:

Every 30 days, they get about 7.3 Million unique visitors globally.


Ubuntu has about 40 million users over 10 years - quite a lot less than your figure would suggest from here.

  • Minus a few though - Ahh the wonder of tracker blockers... :) Also due to Google etc seemingly using ubuntu = linux for search keywords, it is possible to get answers for other linux distros (and other OSs completely occasionally) here as well, so not all may necessarily be Ubuntu users – Wilf Oct 23 '15 at 23:15
  • @Wilf good point, and there may be browsers when we appear in the HNQ list. – Tim Oct 23 '15 at 23:16
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    What list - all I can see is the thing beneath it that probably says that lots of people here are young male geeks who like hockey....??? Even more glad of tracker blockers now... – Wilf Oct 23 '15 at 23:27
  • @Wilf the Hot Network Questions list - stackexchange.com – Tim Oct 23 '15 at 23:33
  • @Tim: what Canonical write there is: Ubuntu has over 40 million users now. – Reinier Post Oct 30 '15 at 20:32
  • @ReinierPost no, "Ubuntu now has over 40 million desktop users and counting." Now has not has now. They're counting the total ever by the sound of that. – Tim Oct 30 '15 at 20:47

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