Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ubuntu's Impressive Numbers

I remain impressed with Canonical and Ubuntu. My Ubuntu computer works brilliantly. With each release I see the delta between my main OS (Mac OS X) and desktop Linux, becoming smaller and smaller. Mac still has a bit more polish and service offerings, but the main difference for me remains the quality of software available for Mac vs Linux, but even there the line is starting to blur considerably.

Ubuntu 8.10--Impressive OS is only four years old.

Considering that Canonical is barly four years old, here are some impressive numbers to consider (source):
  • Ubuntu has 8 million+ users.
  • Ubuntu has over 500 active developers.
  • 120+ of those developers are full-time Canonical engineers.
  • Canonical has over 215 employees.
  • Ubuntu has over 600,000 forum users.
The latest 8.10 release of Ubuntu is now available for download. If you haven't already, you should check it out. It's definately better than Vista, and getting very close to OS X.



Anonymous said...

What exactly has Ubuntu developed? It has nothing that exactly makes it stand above normal Debian. It basically takes Debian source packages and does some backporting and such to provide a fancied up Debian. Big deal. It's not in the same league of development that Red Hat or Novell are in, yet all you hear about is Ubuntu. I'm just waiting for the day that Shuttleworth decides that he's spent enough and he's shutting it down. It hasn't earned him a single dime of profit. In doing so, he's basically denied true innovators and developers like Red Hat, Novell, and Mandriva much needed revenue resources to continue to develop for the Linux ecosystem. Even HP and IBM do more developing for Linux and neither of them actual have a distro.

Ubuntu spends way to much money and time promoting it's derivative distro and not enough resources in contributing to the Linux ecosystem.

Kevin Carmony said...

Debian = Hard to use.

Ubuntu = Easy to use.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous,

Your comments do nothing to help the cause of Linux. People preach that Linux is what you want to make of it, yet when someone makes something (that a lot of us think is good), the rest of you turn on it. You are failing to see the "big picture", they are creating a distro that WILL impress people and give them reason to change (from Windows). Continue to use whatever distro you are happy with (and all the power to you), but is there any need for you to "trash" these people. I think you should applaud what they are trying to do. It is indeed a pleasure to see this innovation and guidance to put something solid behind a distro, rather than see it vapourize like so many others. Maybe, it is not (yet) in the league of Red Hat or Novell, but it has not been around for very long, give it some time, what will it become. I have been using Linux for the last ten years and have installed approximately 50 - 60 different distro's (including all the BSD variants) and honestly they just are just making things easier to use and is that so bad - NO, IT'S GREAT !!!!

Anonymous said...

Ubuntu this and ubuntu that...blah blah.
If it were the only Linux distro, I'd rather stick with that Windows XP grab.

L4Linux said...

Ubuntu developed a "Linux for human beings". Before Ubuntu everyone (who had heard of Linux) thought that Linux was only for IT gurus. Ubuntu changed that. None of my colleagues has asked me yet "Is this Linux that you 're using?". Instead they ask "Is this Ubuntu?".

Anonymous said...

For many users, Ubuntu is Linux. Shuttleworth has done a great deal to "market" Linux to the public. He now has lofty ambitions to make the next release Mac-like in appearance and usability. I really believe he can do it given the massive number of developers working for the cause.

I am very impressed with Ubuntu's numbers. What other distribution has been able to do so much in so little time?

To the anonymous posters that "hate" Ubuntu - that is certainly your choice. Just because Ubuntu is so successful does not mean that you will have to give up your personal choice of distribution. Just be thankful that Linux is finally gaining the numbers that it needs to persuade companies like Adobe to perhaps create a Linux port of their software. That is what I'm waiting for. That will be THE DAY that Linux reaches maturity.

Anonymous said...

anon 1 sounds almost like an MR comment. play with somthing tell you are board.
the fact is that ubuntu works. and for the most part better and more easily that linspire did. at the time we had a killer distrubtion. but all i use now is ubuntu. heck i even bought a dell mini with ubuntu preinstalled.

kevin is correct the delta is closing. there are not may things we are missing. adobe give the cs suiet and we are set.

Kevin Carmony said...

My Ubuntu machine is also a Dell that I purchased with Ubuntu pre-installed. I've updated it several times since, of course, which is very easy to do with Ubuntu.

Anonymous said...

My point is simply this: Ubuntu spends oodles of money making sure it sits squarely at the top of the distro pile. However, it spends little to actually develop for Linux. Shuttleworth wants Linux to rival the Mac, but what's he gonna do? He doesn't contribute to Gnome development enough to make a dent. Unless either Gnome or KDE improves to the point that it rivals Mac OS, nothing is gonna happen.

If you want Linux to move forward, either get Shuttleworth to put his money where his mouth is or send your money to someone who IS heavily contributing to the Linux ecosystem. Until then, Shuttleworth is causing the distros that do actually innovate and add to our Linux user experience to miss out on much needed resources to continue their work. It's that simple. I don't care how long it's been around.

Anonymous said...

while I'm not as disheartened about Ubuntu as anonymous is...I agree that Ubuntu gets a bit too much press.

Kevin, you said earlier that Ubuntu is easy to use...Debian is hard...
I have used both (I started using Xandros Linux which furnished the code that begat Lindows years and years ago)...and for me...there is not much difference in Debian Unstable (Sid) and Ubuntu (other than the ugly color scheme. And the fact that Ubuntu DOES allow you to access your NTFS drive w/o having to install anything extra.)

I think you should still look around a bit...I myself use Sidux at the moment. It was created by some disgruntled Kanotix developers and it is quite stable for your linux needs.

My main gripe with Ubuntu is that it takes, takes, and takes more from Debian...but it doesn't contribute back as much as it borrows from its parent.
That and the fact that it has many proprietary elements that make some packages incompatible with Debian.

expat said...

Mark Shuttleworth through Ubuntu has done wonders in bringing desktop Linux to a great mass of Windows users looking for an alternative. Sending out free CDs at his own expense was inspirational.

Ubuntu may be ugly to some (personally, I'm a Gentoo/Fluxbox user) but it's a good grounding for other distros too. Linux Mint is an excellent distro built from Ubuntu that Windows migrants find very familiar and simple to use.

I had used Debian since potato and agree that it is a decent solid distro, but it's not a distro that Windows migrants will find simple to use at day one. Likewise, there are many Debian users who would find Gentoo a nightmare to use. This is the beauty of what we have here: Choice.

Keep up the excellent blog, Kevin.