Asking delegates to pick their distribution, shell and editor of choice gives us a chance to gain some insight into the average Linux conference attendee.
As an optional part of LCA registration this year, delegates were asked to pick their distribution, shell and editor of choice.
This information was then printed on the badge, presumably to either avoid or facilitate flame wars.
Here are this year's stats:
Ubuntu -- 254
Debian -- 156
Fedora -- 59
Gentoo -- 50
No doubt about the popularity of Ubuntu nowadays. It is interesting that Gentoo is almost as popular as Fedora amoung the delegates -- where as Gentoo did not figure in the Open Source Industry Census distribution figures.
The lesson to take away from this data is that Gentoo people to not like filling in surveys (we are too busy compiling KDE4, golly that takes a long time) but Fedora people are more than happy to.
bash -- 541
zsh -- 37
tcsh -- 27
No surprises here, in fact I would have thought it was more than 90 percent for bash usage.
vim -- 343
vi -- 93
emacs -- 85
nano -- 40
The winner of the vi vs emacs flame war is vi. Even separated into vim and vi, they still have a larger percentage than emacs. People will of course argue that all emacs lacks is a good editor, and that's why this flame war continues to go on.
Therefore if you are a vim using, bash welding Ubuntu user then you will feel right at home amongst the delegates at a Linux conference. If you are not then thank you, if everyone did the exact same thing then it would get rather boring.
Update: For full results see these pretty graphs.
Some great answers in there such as "coil of wire and 9V battery" and "dd" for favourite editors and the shells graph has some great subversive responses.