What Linux Are You Using?

Robert Strohmeyer

Over at DesktopLinux.com , the results of the annual Linux desktop user survey have come in. With 38,500 users responding, the statistics are surprisingly homogeneous. Here's what everyone seems to be using.

Carrying a whopping 30% of the desktop install base, Ubuntu (including Kubuntu, Edubuntu, and the rest of the Ubuntu variants) is far and away the leader in the desktop Linux world. OpenSUSE follows with 19.6% of the vote, with Debian holding the only other two-digit percentage at 11.7%. I'm not surprised to see Ubuntu Linux leading the pack, but it's interesting to see such a dramatic lead, particularly with only two other distributions drawing significant user numbers.

Unsurprisingly, GNOME and KDE dominate the windowing environments. GNOME leads with 44.8%, compared to KDE's 34.8%.

The most substantial lead in the survey comes in the Web browser arena, in which Firefox holds a massive 59.6% of the user base. This shouldn't surprise anyone; Firefox is a dominant browser on Windows and Macs, too. Next up is Konquerer, the default KDE browser, with 13.7%, followed by Opera with 11.9%.

For the most part, the fact that Ubuntu leads the distros appears to automatically dictate the numbers in the survey. But when it comes to e-mail clients, people seem to be of their own mind. Thunderbird is the most popular desktop Linux mail client, with 29.6%, with Evolution holding 25%. 16.8% use webmail clients such as Gmail, while 13.5% use KMail.

Finally, DesktopLinux.com asked users to tell how they run Windows apps on Linux. 31.5%, said they use Wine, while 27.9% said they don't run Windows apps at all. 19.2% use VMWare, meaning they actually run Windows virtually on their Linux desktop.

So now we have a pretty clear picture of what the average Linux user's desktop might look like: Ubuntu with GNOME, running Firefox and Thunderbird, with Wine running Windows apps from time to time. But this is a mighty incomplete picture. I'd like to hear from you, our readers. Chime in with a comment about your own Linux box. But don't just tell us which distribution you're running. I want to know what apps you use, too. In particular, I'd like to know which office suite, which IM utility, which music player, or which graphics app you use on a regular basis. Don't be shy. Tell us about it.

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