Linux optimize

I am "smolten" with Linux!


Okay it was a bad play on words but, hopefully, it got your attention. Why? Because that's sort of the issue behind this blog. Attention. Or at least gaining the world's attention. Okay let me explain.

Microsoft proclaims that it has X^10 Windows users. How do they get that number? My guess is that every time a copy of Windows sells (no matter if it's to the same user over and over or if it's X amount of copies sold to a reseller - regardless if that copy is installed or not) their numbers increase. So MS can legally claim they have X^10 Windows users. On the other hand, Linux isn't sold generally. The majority of Linux users download a copy or get a copy burned from a friend or pick up their copy from the local LUG. You can't really count those copies among Linux installations because there's no way to track them. Until now...

With the release of Fedora 7 comes a new application called Smolt. This application collects information after installation and, with the user's consent (that's a key factor with the open source community) sends that information off to the Fedora Development team. So now the Fedora team can start counting numbers. But wait, there's a problem! According to Max Spevak (the Fedora Project leader) 95% of the profiles that show up on their smolt servers are coming up as run level 5 - GUI (aka desktop machines). Why is this? During the installation, you are in GUI mode. Even if you are only installing a server, if you have ANY GUI when you first boot your machine, the Fedora Firstboot will begin with a GUI - runlevel 5 (desktop). So what is happening is that all those severs being installed without a single GUI are not being counted.

A glitch in the system!

I have always been one of the naysayers when all those MCSEs chase me down screaming 98% MARKETSHARE! To that I usually reply /DEV/NULL! Why? To date it's been nearly impossible to account for every single Linux installation. Who really knows how many machines have been installed with Linux? For all we know that 98% marketshare could really belong to Linux.

Can you imagine MS's shame to find out that all those basement Linux installations added up to more than Windows installations? Shame! Not that I am implying it would. But what I am saying is that numbers pretty much lie. For example, out of six machines here at home, only one of them has Windows installed (and that is Windows 2000). Another machine has OS X on it. The rest? Linux. Apple knows about the one OS X installation. Microsoft knows about the Windows 2000 installation. But does Ubuntu know about the one installation? Does Fedora know about the 2 installations? Does Puppy Linux know about the one installation? Well, I just ran the command smoltSendReport on the Fedora 7 machine. So Fedora knows about one. Unfortunately, the other machines do not have such an application.

So how do I make myself known? I could go to the Linux Counter and at least make them aware of my systems. As of now the Linux Counter project has counted 153611 systems. That's not much. So that really doesn't work so well.

I would think that each of the Linux distributions would be in a bit of a quagmire about how to keep a count on how many users they have. Should they set up a registration form that would require user input in order to complete and installation? I don't know. Would it suffice if everyone using a particular distribution would pop off an email to that distribution saying "Hey, I have X number of installs of your distribution as of X date!" That couldn't hurt.

I guess what I am saying to Microsoft us tgat I wouldn't bank on the numbers you have vs. the numbers you think the competition has. They don't work. And someday banking on those numbers just might come back to haunt you.

Like I said, I have four out of six installations at home using one form of Linux or another. Of those four, only one is known by the distributor. And I know plenty more people just like me with even more installs at home or at work that have never been accounted for.

So tell me, how many installations of Linux do you have at work or at home? And of those, which are registered? Don't worry - you can't get into trouble like you would if you were fessing up to having X number of unregistered copies of Windows 2000.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

87 comments
pmshah
pmshah

You missed out on a major source of Linux installation media. The monthly magazines. I first came across Slackware 2.1, I believe, way back in 1992 on an included cd in a British pc magazine. Not quite sure if it was PC Plus. Till then I wasn't even aware of its existence. For majority of us here in India downloading is not an option, bandwidth & usage are slow & expensive. I like many others depend on the packaged DVDs that are included with monthly PC magazines. Very often I simply discard the magazine after a cursory leafing through & hang on to only the DVDs.

rayrich
rayrich

I do a lot of installs and de-installs currently I'm retiring alot of Win98,Win2k systems. Right now I can safely say that for every 5 Win98 machines I retire only 3 are replaced with WinXP or Vista, 1 is Linux, and 1 never gets replaced. I think MS's count should be cut by 1/4 or 1/3 and Linux should be doubled.

grax
grax

?I think MS's count should be cut by 1/4 or 1/3 and Linux should be doubled.? From other contributions we?d get 4,000,000 Linux machines. Assume there are three times as many Macs. (Don?t ask why!) That makes a total of 16 million, leaving Microsoft with the other 800 million. Let?s ignore all the pirates and the weird stuff that Apotheon uses and what have we got? Crap! See what I mean about statistics? OEF????????

emenau
emenau

Let the M$ marketing team dream on. And don't start a number battle between all other OS types. there are many mobile phones, library kiosk systems, SBC's in machines, DVD players, scanners, printers, external diskdrives, synthesisers, navigation systems, car stereo's, MP3players, ticket machines, harddrives, airplanes, etc., etc... OS'ses are everywhere. You just can't count them, so why even try to bite dust to claim 98%? Intelligent fools..

joeller
joeller

I know many people swear by Linux. Some by Unix. Others swear at Unix and Linux. My thought is that you use the operating system that is most efficient for want you want to do. If you want to build ArcCatalog COM components, then you need to be working on Window. If you want to build C++ CLI assemblies, then again you need to be working on windows. If you build C++ applications you have a choice, as you do with Oracle applications. If you adhere to only one operating system you limit youself. Besides don't forget all the pirated versions of Windows that got distributed before Microsoft cracked down. I got one copy that I installed on four different machines, and a friend of mine got is from a friend that had the purchased copy installed on ten different machines. Then there are MSDN Universal copies that were installed who knows how many machines in a company.

melekali
melekali

I would suggest Linux go to a registration system that identifies the install by a piece of information identifying the hardware it is on (like a MAC address). That way a reinstall or a wipe/reinstall would identify the same install that was initially registered, ensuring an accurate count. Because of my system setup, I cannot load Ubuntu on my hard drive - but I want to. Do I count? :o)

Dapaw
Dapaw

We have a mixed environment at home. All desktops are running XP and one on Vista. We have one PC with Fedora 5 that we use as a file/media server. I've connected 250GB USB Drives to it and have them RAIDed. We also have a nice IDMS for documents. It's great, a central place for everyone to share files. Everyone connects via Samba and we have a User directories and group directories where common sharing can happen. Everyone really likes it, plus the RAID has cut down the amount of backups I was having to do in the past. Most Windows machines also have Linux installed within a VM. On a professional level, we are a Windows shop at my work, but we use Linux as our VM Server and I have Fedora installed in a VM that is used regularly. I'm a MSCP, I feel Windows is the best solution for "most" desktops, but I also think there is always room for a mixed environment because Linux has so many advantages that you just can't get in Windows, specially in the server area. btw - Our Linux server at home has not been rebooted in over 6 months. I can't say that about our Windows machines.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

My Windows 2k box was been going for over 5 months before I decided to put a new video card in.

apotheon
apotheon

So . . . you haven't been installing software updates on the Win2k box. I see.

ron.sellers@dcnr.alabama.gov
ron.sellers@dcnr.alabama.gov

A good way to track the number of installations is to examine the logs from web servers....

apotheon
apotheon

Webserver logs would only be somewhat accurate if you got the logs from [b]all[/b] servers, and only for desktop systems that are used to browse the Web -- and even then, only if nobody used a web proxy, connected from a network behind a NAT device, and was individually identifiable within the logs to account for overlap. Statistics for one subdomain of one domain of mine are as follows: 1. Windows 693 71.37% 2. Linux 124 12.77% 3. Macintosh 84 8.65% 4. FreeBSD 68 7.00% 5. (not set) 2 0.21% I'm sure some of those numbers are inaccurate.

Freebird54
Freebird54

if only because a higher percentage of 'educated' or 'IT capable' people are likely to be visiting! Interesting nevertheless - but hardly widely representative, unfortunately....

Jeneral22
Jeneral22

The only reason I have for not registering is SPAM... I really don't trust any company with my information any more. The recent round of PDF bs has really gotten me pieved! That is my reasoning for not registering and although I see the point of counting I would much rather see information collected without any personal or identifiable information being sent to anyone. I realize that defeats the purpose but the time and bandwidth being used for "crap" is so wasteful.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

0700 02 Aug 07 57% of 488 respondents said they were running 3 or more Linux installations. 70% of 420 respondents said they never register their open source software (including me). Anybody got an ideas why people are using the software but not to register it? The registration question is about open source software in general and not Linux specific, but since Linux is a subset of OSS I think we can assume some overlap. All of my Linux installations have been test machines behind a proxy server. It's been a couple of years since I did the first two, so I don't remember if they prompted me to register. I do remember the last two did, but I was unable to complete the process since I didn't have the proxy settings configured at the time I was prompted. After I configured the proxy settings, I did not know how to rerun the registration application.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I mean, other than to show your support and be counted? It is an extra step, which takes time. I skip the MS OS registration wizard too (though my motive there is because it's nunna their !@$# business.)

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

M$ doesn't know about any of my Windows installations, and I assume that I am not the only one. So, you can deduce that their 98% number is way too low, and its is more like 99.999999(repeating forever )%. Sorry 'nix folks, the numbers don't lie.

Freebird54
Freebird54

installs, they already counted them when they shipped it out. Sorry, non-'nix folks - the numbers DO lie...

apotheon
apotheon

Microsoft bases its user rate on sales figures and (inflated) estimated piracy rates far more than on registration. As such, yes, the numbers lie -- especially since Microsoft not only counts sales of preinstalled MS Windows on purchased computers even if the user wipes it out and replaces it with something else, but also sales by MS to vendors that haven't even been passed on to end users. In other words, many of Microsoft's market share statistic "users" are actually unused licenses sitting in a metaphorical box in a Dell warehouse somewhere.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm asking why 70% of open source users don't register. Microsoft isn't open source.

thegd77
thegd77

RTFM :P smoltSendProfile

bdash
bdash

Do numbers really matter? The fact is that there are more than enough users out there to sustain a very healthy global open community and to keep several global commercial organisations ticking over very nicely. I suggest it's neither healthy nor helpful to try to play a numbers game against Microsoft. The open community has bever been about numbers, it's always been about quality.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Hardware manufacturers won't write drivers for a niche OS. If those who release or manage Linux distributions can show increased use, more hardware manufacturers would include drivers with their products.

DanLM
DanLM

Because of manufacturers and the drivers they create. Dan

dogknees
dogknees

You appear to be blaiming MS for the fact the the Linux community can't/won't count their installs correctly. I'm not suggesting the numbers are what MS says, but that's not really their problem. If the Linux users want to see real stats, it's up to them to ensure all the copies are counted. Perhaps, he says with tongue firmly in cheek, Linux should have an online activation process and use that to log installs. Regards

fbrentwood
fbrentwood

Inflating numbers if common in business. The more numbers you can count, the bigger the bragging rights. The more numbers get people to say "Hey everyone else likes it why not me." This apples to almost everything. Television ratings and advertising are the biggest examples I can think of. It doesn't make it the right but it happens. I'm curious about what the counts of MS activations are in comparison to their sales numbers. That should be a more accurate method of counting and comparison. Personally out of three home computers I run varying versions of Windows. XP, XP Media Center and 2000. I have no Linux or other OSS installed. Why? Well 98% of the PC's I work on are Windows PC. the only PC I can remember ever working on not being a Windows PC was an old Mac.(Very old) My Organization has 5000+ Windows PC because thats the standard. My friends all have Windows because thats what ships with the Dell or eMachine they bought. They know how it works and don't have the tech knowledge or desire to try something else. Outside the tech community most of the world still uses Windows. At least in my corner of the world.

dogknees
dogknees

I agree with your analysis of who's using it. While Linux is undoubtably popular in the tech and enthusiast communities, it's almost unknown to the vast majority of PC users. And it's going to stay that way until it is as easy to use and manage as Windows. No "normal" user wants to have to go looking online for apps, patches and drivers themselves. It needs to be as simple as Windows to update. It needs to work out of the box with ALL the windows functionality, including media access and the like. It needs to have drivers packaged with most new hardware,..... While all of these things can be managed, non-techies don't want to be bothered with this. The prices they pay for Windows, both financial and in terms of their time and effort, pay for this kind of out-of-the-box stuff. I'm a techie, but at home, I just want it to all work. The last thing I want to do when I get home from supporting PCs all day is start supporting my own. Some will say that I still need to update drivers and the like. This is not true. I've had a PC at home running XP now for 4 years. It's never had a driver update, never needed to download anything to keep it running. And it still boots in less than 30 seconds. It's crashed maybe 3-4 times in 4 years. And, I've bought quite a bit of hardware and software over that time, and everything works. Until Linux can do this, it's not going to get significant market share amongst the great unwashed. Regards

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If the drivers are written for a *nix kernel then they are just there; no driver disk, no fiddly installation. That excludes the high end megalomaniac video cards of course but hopefully one day they'll see the light and realize hardware sales from the full market instead of the Win32/64 over-saturating minority. (And just encase it hasn't popped up on there web research yet: THIS MEANS YOU ATI. You're a pending video card upgrade away from loosing another life long brand loyal customer.) Now, as for updating core system, user space apps and drivers; far easier than windows. No win update website, just type "urpmi --auto-update" at the prompt and "Y" after it tells you how much it's going too upgrade. Heck, last night I found I didn't have a specific app on a machine for what I was doing and moments later it was there. By baud, I love the way urpmi/yum and similar handle software updates and additions. Hehe.. sorry, couldn't resist responding to that first line of yours. Most distribution OS (of whatever core) just handle updates better than what I've seen on osX and Windows.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

After all, it'll only continue to get better and thanks be to the Developer for that. I'm not pushing the issue though as it's the freedom of choice I love so much. Sunbird does also come as a Thunderbird plugin but I've not yet decided if I like it as a seporate program or consolidated into one. Either way, Thunderbird remains my emailer currently but anything that runs across platforms wins quickly over single OS supported software. Cheers though, I feel your PIM pain and continue to be spoiled by Outlook and my years and years of data now locked into it; besides, what else is going to act as a primary data source to sync with PalmOS *and* motorola's now humbled first gen Razr. Oh but the Nokia N800.. daddy like.. that's likely to be my PalmOS replacement in the near future unless I can suddenly afford that little Sony UX monster (which reminds me.. gotta go see if there's been any more articles on stuffing the UX with a non-MS OS).

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

I agree with everything you say, except for the 5th year and the PIM. Trust me when I say that I tried every OSS PIM out there. I include calendar, email, etc. Sunbird and kOrganizer were both tossed ( I can't remember what in kOrganizer did not work ), but Sunbird should have been a plugin( at least ) to Thunderbird. Have to have yet another program for calendaring when Outlook had it all in one was a big minus for me. Btw, Thunderbird was pretty good for pop3 email, but the contact manager needed(needs?) a ton of work to be competitive in its market space. Evolution definitely did not work as advertised, though graphically it looked nice. It was a bear to get installed, I had again the syncing issue, its newsgroup interface was could not handle my school's secure newsgroup server, and it had frequent lockup issues, too. The only thing that I miss from T-Bird were the user profiles to let me have multiple options for customizing the "from" field in emails that I sent. Since I have large number of email aliases, that was a very nice feature. And no, I will never go back to non-push email again, especially because it also synchronizes contacts, calendar, todo lists, and notes over the air. The best OS for the job is the way to think, I heavily emphasize that my problems with said OSS apps are exactly that, my problems. What someone else's experience is does not help me, as it does not mean that mine will be the same. YMMV, eh?

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

that Linux is now as easy to manage as far as updates and drivers as Windows is. I never said it was perfect for everyone. But in the case of the post I was responding to, I was completely accurate and not trying to push anything. I was simply correcting a misconstrued opinion that was based on false facts. If you love Windows, great. I still use it every day. But for my basic needs at home of video, sound, graphics editing, central file server, few games for the kids, office docs, media center, file server, email, web browsing, and syncing my blackberry Linux is fine and works great. It took me a few hours to have everything working, but not any longer than it would take with MS (most likely faster) and have had no problems. I think it is time for you to ask Mr. Gates to remove himself from your back door so you can be open minded when it comes to OS options. Maybe it was just you that made it seem so bad. Sound like an EBKAC error to me.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Can Linux work for the non-demanding users? Certainly. Can it work for hobbyists? Definitely. Does it work for the demanding end-user who needs it to just do the job it was purchased for so that they can go on with their lives? Definitely not.[/i]" The fact you do not find it satisfying doesn't mean nobody does. In fact, for much of the work I do, it's MS Windows that would utterly fail to do the job satisfactorily. It lacks in too many areas, and just doesn't have the capabilities I need.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Ah.. and here I read down your comment further but a few notes incase they end up helping you. Blackberry/Smartphone.. yeah.. currenly your SOL due to your own buying decisions and the decisions made for you by the hardware vendor who won't support more than a single OS platform. I'm SOL with my Motorola and Palm PDA; that remains the last lingering need for Windows outside of video games. PIM.. should have taken a look at Sunbird or kOrganizer.. both very capable. I have the latter running perfectly with a groupware server at home now. "Advanced" may depend more on your definition. AutoCAD, yeah.. your out of luck due to AutoCAD's vendor decisions for the moment. "Advanced" networking software.. way ahead of other choices. There are a number of other really nice programs that fall into the more industrial grade level also. Again, these are not issues caused by Linux based OS and many have some very creative solutions though it's always an ongoing work. nVidia.. your issue hsould be with your video card vendor. The now available nad easily installed drivers work well but they'd work far better if nVidia would release driver interface specs like a responsible hardware vendor. My grief is on the ATI side and I'm no longer purchasing hardware from that particular company since I need something that works with more than one OS (and it barely works with the single OS for which it was designed; Thanks ATI, you shure got my money huh). The Treo issue was commened on earlier and still should be an issue you take to your hardware vendor. I'd love to see my Tungsten T5 sync with Linux but I realize Palm isn't going to be the one who supports it so my next PDA purchase will be from someone who does. I've had no issue with Samba.. works better than Windows native file sharing but that's my experience. I'd have to know your setup to understand yours fully. I'd say I'm about as demanding an end user as they come. I know what the hardware is capable of and I'm well aware of what the software is not making use of. Linux is great for my needs currently. I'd like to think you should have had a fifth year working with it but again, I don't know the details and if something else works better for you then that's what you should choose. For me, one OS doesn't do everything so I use the OS that does what I need best; Windows for games and syncing Palm/Motorola/Outlook. Linux for getting real work done and managing all my information as soon as I kick the nasty Outlook habbit.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

Doesn't mean that it works for everyone. I am one of those cases. After running Linux for 4 years( a very wasted 4 years, mind you ) up until last November, I came to the conclusion that Linux isn't ready for someone who needs features. If you like to do Simple Browsing, Simple Email, Simple Desktop application tasks, then you might be ok with Linux. If you are doing advanced video/graphics editing, using a Smartphone/Blackberry, PIM( no Gnome's PIM does not qualify as a PIM app ), Matlab, or other advanced applications, then you are SOL with Linux. I used to spend hours trying to get my Treo to sync with my Linux box, hours trying to get the latested Nvidia driver to install( YUM/APT did not work ), and hours searching for an application that did what I needed it to do. Thunderbird is not a PIM, nor are any of the other OSS Email/contact apps. As a file server, NFS and Samba were unreliable at best. A kernel update with security patches can ruin all of your compiled modules( .so's ) and for a recompile. Can Linux work for the non-demanding users? Certainly. Can it work for hobbyists? Definitely. Does it work for the demanding end-user who needs it to just do the job it was purchased for so that they can go on with their lives? Definitely not.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

about 7 years ago when I tried Linux. I thought it was hard to setup, control, and manage. just recently, I decided to give it another chance after hearing lots of good things about it. Ubuntu in my case. I find it easier to setup, configure, and manage than Windows. I was able to try it first from the Live CD to make sure all of my drivers were included. A 4 year old machine was fine, but Vista would not install on it. After the 30 minute install, I was informed that updates were available, so I clicked the button and off they went. I decided I needed software, so I opened add/remove programs and viewed the hundred of applications available to me sorted by category, popularity, and name. All had short descriptions to tell you what they did. After selecting the apps that I needed to match my Windows functions, I click apply and everything was taken care of for me. Have not had to reboot it except once, when I installed my nvidia driver. Now I have installed Ubuntu on my main machine and my kids machines. Everything works great, I don't need virus scanners, weekly updates, and everything just works. I still have Windows machines, mainly a couple of laptops. They all work fine with my central media server which runs Ubuntu, MythTV, and Samba.

Freebird54
Freebird54

[i]And it's going to stay that way until it is as easy to use and manage as Windows.[/i] I have no wish to go backwards to the Windows ways for managing, and handling updates. I much prefer not NEEDING to manage much of anything, and having the updates show up ready to go, and not even requiring reboots for anything short of a kernel update. For thos 2 points, many distros are WAY ahead of Windows. As for the rest of your post - it WOULD be nice if more hardware came with Linux drivers OOTB, but that hardly under anyone's control. Sticking to standards when choosing hardware eliminates much of that problem though. Also - sorry can't much your crash numbers over the years... can't get it to crash yet! It won't even slow down significantly if untended for a few weeks. Actually, I suspect your Linux info is just out of date... your points would have been valid 5 years ago.\

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]I'm not suggesting the numbers are what MS says, but that's not really their problem.[/i]" So . . . being dishonest isn't a problem. I see. Care to elaborate on that?

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

It's marketing. You're supposed to be dishonest. Silly apotheon.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Are they being dishonest? After all, they have the statistics ( ).

apotheon
apotheon

I wonder why there weren't any options in the second survey for other open source OSes than Linux distributions.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Why not include proprietary operating systems too? Oh, and I'm glad you're returning to your previous levels of activity here. I missed your sorry @$$ :-)

apotheon
apotheon

Thanks for the backhanded compliment, I mean. I'm sure you only missed me because you're not a very good shot. Actually . . . the topic was a comparison of user statistics, and a discussion of various means of counting users. The title has "smolten" in it, and that utility may well have inspired the rest of the post to some extent, but it obviously grew well beyond that. Also -- take note of the fact that the first survey asks about registering open source software, then the second follows up by talking about Linux as though it were the only open source platform out there. For a monthly look at self-identified users of the various BSD Unices, by way of a utility that does much the same thing as "smolten", check out the [url=http://bsdstats.org][b]*BSDstats Project[/b][/url].

tcunningham4
tcunningham4

Great commnets, apotheon... I wanted to interject a few additional thoughts: 1. Linux is seeing widespread use as an embedded system. Should that count, or not... 2. There are other options out there as well for the desktop - such as Solaris. 3. Does Microsoft count all of the licenses I (and many others) no longer use, such as Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000? 4. PDA's and phones? PalmOS? 5. Who cares, besides the Microsoft Marketing Department... "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics" Mark Twain ascribed the saying to Disraeli in "Chapters from My Autobiography," published in the North American Review, No. DCXVIII., July 5, 1907. "Figures often beguile me," Twain wrote, "particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'" (from wikipedia.org)

DanLM
DanLM

I have to look at that when I get home from work(haven't left for there yet). Dan

grax
grax

Statistics! One can prove almost anything with them but the main thing to appreciate is that they?re all inaccurate. It would be nice to include every OS every invented but would that serve any purpose except to cloud other issues? Purpose: What is the point of gathering these numbers? For Microsoft it?s clear that they wish to demonstrate their dominance of the market. ?510% of people use Windows, so it must be the best!? A false statement leading to a false conclusion but this sort of thing happens all the time. Remember that it?s all ?lies?. So, I ask; why do we need to know how many installations of a particular OS are running out there? Method: You have already discovered that there is no practical method that will produce accurate results but that doesn?t mean one shouldn?t try. Allowances for the failings of the method can be included in their interpretation. That?s where statistics can really go wrong. On a personal note: I have a desktop that dual boots XP and Ubuntu 7.04; a laptop running XP; and I ?manage? two machines that run XP. However, I occasionally run other flavours of Linux: Knopix, Suse and Red Hat. Of my 150 or so clients ? they all have versions of Windows but I?m very slowly wearing them down. Pick the bones out of that lot. What I did like was that this has been an interesting and informative discussion that, with one glaring exception, has stuck to the point and not descended into irrelevancies. Such a nice change.

eyore
eyore

Mandrakiva has had an installation survey/hardware report since the Mandrake8.1 days! Where have you been? Plesae don't make the same mistake some other 'journalists' have been making lately when some of the older distros have implemented the very "new thing" that you want to crow about.

jlwallen
jlwallen

i used to be a fan of mandriva. even knew some of the developers personally. but at some point i fell out of like with that distribution. and you are right. they have had a good registration tool...one i am surprised other distributions haven't followed. i guess the moral of the story is this: the collective distributions really need to come together and come up with a standard for registration if for only one reason: to know how many installations are out there. let's fact it, numbers "sell". microsoft figured that one out a long time ago.

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

I have one good sized hard drive. On that hard drive I have Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Sabayon, Wolvix, Mint, Fedora and Slackware - used to also have Mandriva but hated the thing and scrapped it. Also have a PC-BSD there as well. At some point I will pare this down to 2 or 3 that I really like but not quite there yet. Lately have been on Sabayon and PC-BSD mostly but like to keep Ubuntu as it seems to paly well with others better than the other distros do.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Now I keep two OS installed directly and throw anything I'm curious about in a virtual machine.

atkinson_mike
atkinson_mike

This is an interesting idea that needs to be developed. My 3-4 linux installations does not tell an accurate tale. I teach at a technical college and have at least 5 or 6 drive cases that I use for instruction. Two of those contain Fedora Core 5, including one that I run in VMWare on my Instructor's server, one is Fedora Core 4, and one is Simply Mepis. I also have a Fedora Core 5 machine at my house for backups. That doesn't count the various mini distros, i.e. DSL, Puppy, FeatherLinux, etc. that I run using Virtual PC. I have 3 laptops, all with multiple mini iso's; how do we count those? What about the 30-40 DIFFERENT distros of live CD's that I possess. I hand those things out like candy; esp. Knoppix and SimplyMepis. How do we count those? The 3-4 linux installations that I indicated could quickly become 45+ Linux installations depending on how we choose to count them. But, then again, isn't that how Microsoft is playing the game?