Back in the year 1993, Linus Torvalds walked into a bar.
He saw a lonesome cowboy about to mercilessly dig into a bowl of kernels.
The cowboy said:
Mmmmm, those kernels are the best…
And that’s how a new operating system was born.
Not with 10,239 lines of code, but with a kernel.
Now, there is a lot (seriously!) that can be said about Linux statistics.
And today, we will lead you through most of what there is to know about Linux.
If you are neither a programmer nor a techie, chances are that Linux seems strangely unfamiliar to you.
The thing is:
Linux powers much more of the global technology than most people give it credit for.
AND it is one of the most powerful operating systems in the world!
Maybe you are thinking – Windows claims 82.56% of the world’s OS market.
While one of the most powerful OS in the world is struggling with 2%…
Well, if we look at the surface, here is what we’re going to see:
- In April 2019, 1.63% of all desktop operating systems worldwide ran on Linux.
- In February 2019, Linux held a market share of 1.47% of the global desktop/tablet/console market.
- In April 2019, the net market share of Linux was 1.99%.
Now, that’s what the everyday user sees.
What’s all the fuss, then?
Here are some stats that may change your mind:
- In 2019, 100% of the world’s supercomputers run on Linux.
- Out of the top 25 websites in the world, only 2 aren’t using Linux.
- 96.3% of the world’s top 1 million servers run on Linux.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Now, if you wish to learn more about Linux and not ask questions like “Linux who?”, this is the perfect opportunity to fill the gap with some Linux usage statistics.
Let’s start with the basics:
What Exactly Is Linux?
Linux is an operating system. Just like Window 10, or Mac OS. It manages the hardware resources that are on your device.
Linux is also the name of a large family of open-source operating systems based on the Linux kernel. There are Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Manjaro, Debian… the list goes on.
Not many people know that basically all of the world’s supercomputers, which happen to make major scientific breakthroughs, run on Linux.
As we’ve already mentioned, the creator of the original Linux code is Linus Torvalds. He is a tech VIP, but we’ll get to that later on. For now, let’s just say he was born in Finland and has an asteroid named after him. Yup, the 9793 Torvalds asteroid…
Now, if you are asking yourself:
How many people use Linux in 2019?
Many, including you. Hosting Tribunal resides on a Linux-powered web server
There are lots of Linux facts and stats coming your way.
Here we go.
Table of Contents
How about we start off with some key facts about Linux:
- Linux was launched on September 17, 1991, and it is 27 years old today.
- Linux is the OS of 1.63% of all desktop operating systems worldwide.
- In 2018, the market share of Linux in India was 3.97%.
- In 2018, Linux ran on 100% of the world’s 500 supercomputers.
- In 2018, the number of Linux games available on Steam reached 4,060.
- 19.5% of the global infotainment operating market in 2017 belonged to Linux.
- 95% of the servers that run the world’s top 1 million domains are powered by Linux.
- In 2018, Android dominated the mobile OS market with 75.16%.
- 85% of all smartphones are based by Linux.
Yes, but what exactly does Android have to do with Linux?
Well… Android is the world’s most used operating system, right?
Its developers based it on a modified version of Linux kernel.
That’s why we can say that 4 out of 5 smartphones in the world are run on Linux.
Speaking of smartphones, the Ubuntu Touch looks pretty amazing nowadays, don’t you think?
Linux server usage has been going strong in recent years. They are freely available in an open-source format.
However, the impact of Linux doesn’t stop here.
Supercomputers also run on Linux… all of them!
In 2018, there was not one supercomputer that ran on another OS.
(So, if you are planning on buying a supercomputer on Amazon to achieve world domination over the world, keep reading our Linux statistics. They’ll certainly help. Keep in mind you’ll also need around $100 million to purchase one, and another $9 million per year for the electric bills. No biggie.)
Linux Usage Statistics
Now, tech professionals love Linux. It is one of the most popular operating systems among developers.
Let’s see how much exactly:
- 25.3% of professional developers used Linux in 2018.
- 36.7% of the websites with known operating systems use Linux.
- 54.1% of professional developers use Linux as a platform in 2019.
- 83.1% of developers say Linux is the platform they prefer to work on.
- As of 2017, more than 15,637 developers from 1,513 companies had contributed to the Linux kernel code since its creation.
Some of the platinum members of the Linux Foundation are Google, AT&T, Fujitsu, Cisco, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft… And according to the stats, programers are more and more fond of Linux with every passing year.
Before we go on, did you know that:
The Linux penguin was created in 1996 by Larry Ewing.
But did you know that his name is Tux? And that it’s short for tuxedo?
The idea to have a penguin mascot came from Torvalds himself.
OK, enough penguin talk.
Like in any other field, women have contributed significantly to the Linux kernel as well. Let’s see how much:
- 10.5% of the developer population in 2016 were women.
- 9% of the Linux kernel Git population are women.
- Women make 3-10% of the Linux kernel merge requests.
- 5% of Ubuntu’s users are women.
- On a global scale, the countries that prefer Linux are India, Cuba, and Russia.
- In the US, Linux is most popular in the states of Utah and California. (Of course, the Silicon Valley is in California, so that’s hardly surprising.)
Now, Linux is open-source – everyone can use and modify the code.
AND most Linux versions are free to download.
Add its functionality to the pile and voilà!
Linux Usage by Field
As they say nowadays:
A world without Linux is hard to imagine.
Here is why:
- Linux is the largest open-source project – in 2018, there were more than 20 million lines in the Linux kernel code.
- Every major space program uses Linux, including one of the SpaceX vehicles Falcon 9. Their software runs on Linux, and the language of choice is C++.
- According to Alexa’s count of the top 25 websites in the world, only 2 aren’t using Linux.
- 96.3% of the world’s top 1 million servers run on Linux. Only 1.9% use Windows, and 1.8% – FreeBSD.
- Linux has great applications for personal and small business financial management. GnuCash and HomeBank are the most popular ones.
- 90% of the public cloud workload runs on Linux.
- 90% of Hollywood’s special effects are made on Linux.
That’s right, guys. Hollywood loves Linux to bits.
In 1997, the special effects for the blockbuster Titanic were made on Linux. And that was just the big break-through.
Since then, well…
In Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers, the “10,000 strong” that Aragorn announces to the King in the Battle of Helm’s Deep are created digitally by Linux.
Yoda, the lightsaber-wielding figure – Linux-made!
Linux stands behind the creation of some of the world’s most iconic motion pictures.
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Shrek, Titanic, the list goes on…
Some of those movies won Oscars for visual effects.
So, we may say that Linux is an Oscar-winner!
Well done, Linux!
Who Adopted Linux and Why?
The area of application of Linux has expanded greatly in the last 15 years.
Linux has even become the national OS in certain countries.
This may seem a little far fetched at first, but it’s actually a lot closer to the truth than you’d think.
Here are some interesting facts about Linux adoption that may surprise you:
- Amazon Web Service is a leading cloud platform that helps millions of customers power their infrastructure.
- Every Android smartphone works on the Linux kernel. 75.16% of all smartphones in the world ran on Android in 2018.
- Sony PlayStation 4 runs on Orbis OS, which is developed on a Linux-based kernel.
- In 2019, IBM is in the process of acquiring Red Hat Enterprise Linux. An IDC report states that Red Hat is expected to contribute $10 trillion to the global economy.
It is not only companies that are interested in Linux. How about entire countries?
Here are some of the local distributions, based on the Linux kernel:
- China has its own Linux OS, called Ubuntu Kylin.
- The Turkish government has been using a Linux-based OS called Pardus since 2005.
- The Russian government uses Astra Linux.
- In 2001, the White House moved to a Red Hat-based OS.
- The Austrian capital of Vienna has adopted a Debian-based OS, called Wienux.
- In 2004, the government of Venezuela adopted a Debian-based OS, called Canaima.
Governments are migrating to Linux because they consider Windows to be unreliable and a spyware tool.
Security is paramount for every company, organization, or government, which fears (or has already suffered from) a data breach.
There are also many military establishments that prefer Linux over every other OS. Most of them decide to do so in order to avoid contributing to the biggest data breaches statistics.
Military… security… you get the picture.
Here are just a couple of examples that will show us how important Linux is on a military level:
- The US Department of Defense migrated to Linux in 2007 because of its higher level of security and lighter software.
- The US Navy’s warships have been using a Red Hat-based Linux software since 2013.
- The French Police switched half of its PCs to Linux in 2013 with the intention to migrate all 72,000 PCs to Linux in the near future.
- The Dutch Police internet forensics switched to Linux desktops in 2003. In 2013, they were already using Ubuntu.
Linux adoption is becoming more and more popular in many fields.
Banking institutions are no exceptions when it comes to using Linux. Let’s have a closer look:
- In 2005, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China switched to Linux as a strategy to avoid piracy.
- In 2007, the Union Bank of California started using a Red Hat-based OS in order to lower costs.
- In 2002, the Bank of Brazil migrated their desktops and servers, as well as all their ATMs, to Linux.
Linux has definitely made its contributions to the world of banking. In terms of security, Linux beats both Microsoft and Apple software.
Top Linux Distros
While the progeny of Linux are numerous, there are those among them who have certainly made quite the impact on global technologies.
We’ll start with everyone’s favorite:
Ubuntu is one of the golden children of Linux. You can think of it as somewhat akin to everyone’s favorite Olympian god – the golden-haired, pretty boy with the golden bow and arrow – Apollo.
Unlike Apollo, though, Ubuntu is totally orange-purple…
Which is actually kind of cool!
Let’s peek behind the curtain of some key Ubuntu stats and facts:
- Ubuntu’s first version, Ubuntu 4.10, was released on October 20, 2004.
- Ubuntu has been free to use since its launch.
- It takes between 10 and 18 minutes to install Ubuntu.
- Currently, around 755, 000 websites run on Ubuntu.
- The US is the country with the most Ubuntu users in 2019.
- Over 125,000 websites in the US run on Ubuntu. The next leading country is Russia with almost 75,000 websites.
- 59% of Ubuntu users are English speakers. The next in line are Spanish speakers, who form an audience of 7%.
- 14.56% of Ubuntu’s users are in the Business and Industry sector.
- 80% of Ubuntu users prefer a clean install over updating.
The latest version is Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo). Let’s see what it brings to the table:
- It was launched on April 18, 2019.
- It’s based on GNOME 3.32.
- Ubuntu 19.04 uses Linux Kernel 5.0.
- It offers an amazing responsive desktop experience, the switch between applications happens super fast, and people say it provides an excellent UX.
- It will be a short-term release – Ubuntu 19.04 will expire in January 2020.
What’s not to love?
Did you know:
Ubuntu was named after an African culture of human solidarity. It is an African philosophy based on the capacity to show compassion and create harmony.
(AND if you pronounce ubuntu with a Japanese accent – it sounds like a Japanese swear word… right?)
Now, let’s have a look at the other outstanding kids in the Linux family:
In 2019 Linux Mint actually surpassed Ubuntu in popularity, and it’s now the main Linux competitor of Windows 10 and MacOS.
Let’s check out some Linux Mint facts:
- The initial release of Linux Mint took place on August 26, 2006.
- Each version of Linux Mint receives a code name that is always female, and also always ends in “a.”
- The first version of Linux Mint was called 1.0 Ada and was based on Kubuntu 6.06.
- The current LTS version, Tessa, is based on Ubuntu 18.08 and Linux Kernel 4.15. It will be supported until 2023.
- The upcoming version will bear the name of Tina as a tribute to Tina Turner – because they want it to be “simply the best”.
- Since the 2012 Maya, each version comes in 3 or 4 editions: Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, and Xfce.
- All Linux Mint versions since the 2013 Olivia are based on Ubuntu.
- Some of the best features of Linux Mint Tessa include low memory usage and faster software manager.
Linux Mint and Ubuntu are the most popular Linux distributions.
Everyone in the Linux kernel family supports each other.
Here comes another rock star:
- The initial release of Manjaro took place on July 10, 2011.
- It is free to use as open-source, which is based on Arch Linux.
- Its current version is 18.0.4, aka Illyria, which was released on March 12, 2019, and is based on a 4.19 LTS Linux kernel.
- Users say Manjaro is an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals.
Next comes Harrison Ford’s hat in Indiana Jones…
Well, not so much a hat as a Linux family member. And an awesome one as well:
- Fedora’s initial release, (Fedora Yarrow), took place on November 5, 2003. It was based on Linux Kernel 2.4.22, and GNOME 2.4.
- The Fedora Project is sponsored by Red Hat.
- The current version is Fedora 30, which was released on April 30, 2019.
- Fedora 30 comes in 3 separate versions – a workstation, a cloud-centric version, and a server.
- It uses the Linux Kernel 5.0, and GNOME 3.32.
Fedora is an old family member, but not as ancient as the next one.
Debian is one of the oldest children in the Linux family. Some even call it “grandpa Linux.”
It is also one of the longest standing Linux distros:
- The release of Debian was as far back as September 1993.
- It is available in 75 languages.
- Debian was one of the first GNU/Linux that was organized by developers.
- It serves as a framework for Ubuntu and Linux Mint, Knoppix, and Xandros.
- Debian’s version contained 283 million lines of code.
- The current version, Debian 9 Stretch, has been active since June 2017. It is based on Linux kernel 4.9 and will be supported until 2024.
- In mid-2019, there will be a new version arriving – Debian 10 Buster.
Many Linux distros are based on Debian. As of 2018, DistroWatch listed 141 active Debian derivatives. Not bad for an old man.
MX Linux is one of the most popular Linux distributions.
- The initial release of MX Linux took place on March 24, 2014.
- The current version is MX 14.
- MX Linux is based on Debian stable.
Now you know which are the most outstanding members of the Linux family.
Top Corporate Contributors to Linux Kernel
A growing number of companies are working towards the development of the Linux Kernel.
Let’s see some of the major contributors now:
- 75% of the Linux code is written by programmers working for corporations.
- More than 54% of the Linux kernel code is written by the top 10 contributors.
- 1.1% of the code was contributed by Google.
- Intel contributed 12.9% of the Linux kernel.
- Red Hat is the first billion-dollar open-source company.
- 8% of the Linux code is contributed by Red Hat.
- In 2016, 3.6% of the Linux kernel was contributed by Samsung.
- Red Hat is responsible for 8% of all contributions to the Linux kernel.
- Linaro contributed with 5.6% to the Linux code up to 2017.
Microsoft used to be one of the major contributors to the code.
Well, times change.
LOC and Version Statistics
In 1991, Linus Torvalds created the Linux kernel.
(And due to the similarity between “Linux” and “Linus,” we bet that sentence is fun to say out loud. Go ahead and try it. I’ll wait.)
Now, let’s see some Linux kernel lines of code (LOC) stats and release information:
- The standard Linux kernel spreads over 100 million LOC, which grows by 10% every year.
- The first version of Linux had 10,239 LOC.
- A new version of Linux kernel is released every 60-77 days.
- The latest release of Linux kernel is version 5.1.4, launched on May 12, 2019.
- Linux 5.1 contained 17.8 million LOC. For reference, the kernel had 15 million LOC back in 2011.
Now that we know how much the Linux kernel code has grown over the years, let’s move on and have a look at the top Linux operating systems.
Which Are the Most Used Linux Applications?
Linux is awesome, and so are its applications. There is no telling how many there are, but at least we can list the most frequently used ones:
- Rsync – open-source backup tool.
- Dropbox – cloud storage.
- Google Drive….more storage.
- Aria2 – download manager.
- Thunderbird – email platform.
- GnuCash – finance software.
And last but not least, let’s pay homage to the man that gave Linux to the world.
Linus Torvalds Facts
In the tech industry, his name comes alongside those of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
Those guys changed the face of technology forever.
You already know about the asteroid 9793 Torvalds, named after him.
But what else?
- Linus Torvalds was born on December 28, 1969, in Helsinki, Finland, and is now 49 years old.
- He wrote 100% of the first version of Linux, which represents around 1% of the present-day code.
- He almost named his project “FreaX” instead of “Linux”… So now, instead of a combination of the words “free,” “freak,” and “Unix,” we are enjoying a combination of the Trovald’s given name and “Unix.”
- In 1999, MIT proclaimed him one of the top innovators under 35.
- In 2001, Steve Jobs offered Torvalds a job at Apple, but he refused.
- In 2019, his net worth is estimated at around $150 million, with an annual salary of $10 million.
- He has a soft spot for scuba surfing. He is the creator of a platform called Scubaserfice that can create a scuba diving planner for you.
- Linus Torvalds created the version control system Git in 2005.
- Among other things, he has undergone military training and is a Second Lieutenant.
As advertised – he is awesome!
Linux is considered a part of the Holy Trinity of global operating systems, along with Windows and MacOS.
Today we saw more than 110 Linux facts and stats, which have probably changed your mind about the importance of Linux in global technology.
Linux is a major contributor to the world of technology. That’s why Linux statistics matter.
See you next time, guys!