Thread: Unix Popularity
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Oko Oko is offline
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I think it is really hard to say what part of the market share belong to Unix and Unix like system due to the fact that most of them are not proprietary therefore unreported.
Also personally I could only talk about U.S. with some degree of competence where I have been leaving for the past 13 years.

In my personal experience the Unix market share on the desktop is big 0. The only places in U. S. which still use Unix for desktops are some of the Research Universities stuck with old SUN thin clients and Ultra workstations which run SUN OS or some version of Solaris (ok I have seen few blades but that is it). I still have to see a single place which runs any BSD on its desktops and trust me I have been on lots of Universities in U. S. The BSD market share on the desktop in private hands is no more than 10-20 thousands. That has not been the case when I moved to U. S. In mid 90s
most universities where running SUN OS , Digital Unix, or Irix (O happy days!!!). They started switching to Linux and Windows in late 90s.

The Linux market share on the desktop overall is no more then 0.5%. It is true that
nearly 100% research labs at research Universities in States run Linux. The problem is that there are fewer than 100 Universities in U. S. that could be considered research.
All other 2400 institutions of higher education in U. S. which are not research mostly run Windows. Even Research Universities mostly run Windows on desktops of its non research stuff, libraries, and business offices.
Linux on the privately owned computers is more often than BSD but I would estimate that less than 200 000 privately owned desktops in States run Linux( I do not count multi boot). The Linux desktops in corporations with the exception of proprietary RedHat and some OpenSUSE installations is rarity.

The servers are the other story. U.S. server market is probably at least 60 billion dollars. I would guess that 50-60% of servers in this country run Linux and BSD. Solaris is probably 20%. The other servers are happily running Windows. Linux in U. S. is much more popular and
if I would have to make a wild guess only 10-15% of non Windows non Solaris servers are on BSDs based
and the rest is Linux. Most Linux corporate servers in my experience run proprietary RedHat.

I think that this estimates vary a lot from country to country. I have heard stories that nearly 85% of all servers in Russia run FreeBSD. I am ready to believe it as I have never seen any Russian guy running anything else but BSD. This is Wester Europe based forum so there are much more competent people to give estimate for those countries.
If I have to guess the Linux runs probably on 80% of servers in countries like Germany. I think that the market share of BSD is probably less than 5%. I have no clue about the desktop market.

In countries like Serbia where I was born nearly 95% of all servers run Windows. The rest is Linux. The BSD community in Serbia mostly consist of compatriots who live elsewhere like me. On the Desktop I would guess than there are no more than 300 BSD machines in Serbia. I think that 99% desktops in Serbia run Windows. I think that the same can be said for most Serbia like countries in Europe and probably elsewhere.

Last edited by Oko; 2nd July 2008 at 06:00 AM.
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