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Old 2nd July 2008
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Default Unix Popularity

I've always wondered about this. How popular really is Unix in the server and desktop markets? We know that Unix is still the defacto standard in the enterprise market. Am I right in saying that Unix is about 12% of the desktop market and about 80% of the server market? What about the popularity of each Unix, you know Tru64, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD...I was kind of surprised to see one survey show that Linux held only 12.1% of the server market? I though it might have been more.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Well, statistics can lie, as I'm sure you know.
My guess, judging from the last time that I went job hunting, would be that Solaris is probably the most popular Unix in the server market. (Very unscientific, it was just an impression.)
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Old 2nd July 2008
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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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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
In my personal experience the Unix market share on the desktop is big 0.
I find this hard to accept because Mac OS X market share is roughly 8%, unless people don't want to count that as Unix. And, I always thought about 4 to 5% was divied up among the traditional Unix. Now, the server market stuff is no surprise. That's one way Unix survives, the other is being Open Source. The mobile and embedded sectors are Unix's.

And, yeah I know statistics can lie, which is why I don't care so much. I see all the activity around Open Source and have a good grasp at how popular this stuff is and how much potential it has.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
I find this hard to accept because Mac OS X market share is roughly 8%, unless people don't want to count that as Unix. And, I always thought about 4 to 5% was divied up among the traditional Unix. .
Sorry, I do not count Mac as Unix due to the fact that an average Mac user is about as computer literate as Windows user. Most people whom I know, who use Mac can not even find the shell (Hint: Check utilities). I completely agree with your estimate of the Mac desktop market share but I respectfully disagree with your estimate of traditional Unix. At the University of Arizona where I work out of 15-20 computer labs that I have seen with probably no less than 1000 desktop computers only one in the engineering building has
one SUN Ultra 10 workstation and two SUN blades 100 running Solaris 9. Hardly 5% of the market.

In the last year on bi-weekly auctions of old computer equipment from University of Arizona I have seen two O2 SGI work stations and one DEC alpha station. I have not seen a single SUN machine. So much about non
Intel hardware and traditional Unix. As I said before I still have to see a single i386 desktop running BSD other than the one in my office

Since I am mathematician and computer enthusiast I can give you one real information not just my story.
I have personally checked the servers at top 30 U. S. mathematics departments. With the exception of math department at Berkeley which has 4 FreeBSD, 2 Solaris, and one Linux server everyone else is running Linux. Mostly Ubuntu or Fedora on desktops and mostly Debian on Servers.

I forgot. Yes, Stanford math department runs Solaris besides Linux.

Last edited by Oko; 2nd July 2008 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Technically, yes, you'd have to count the Mac. However, a.) there is Oko's point, that the average Mac user isn't really computer literate, and b.) it's not going to help in the sense of adding numbers to Linux/BSD users to impress hardware/software manufacturers.

That's the biggest point (to *me*) about the numbers game. The more people using Linux and BSD, the more likely hardware makers are apt to say, gee, well, OK, we better make this part usable for them.
Even if it's a server market, it's numbers, and it means that part X is usable with Linux and so you can probably get it for your workstation.
So, in that sense, I don't think of Mac. (Actually, I didn't think of it till you, correctly, mentioned it, as it is a certified Unix, for better or worse.)

However, in the context of this discussion, I would say its numbers don't really count to our advantage--and, again, Oko's comment about Mac users.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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I guess the reason I count Mac OS X as Unix is because I use it as such. Right now, I have five zsh sessions running in screen in a fully customized Xterm on my MacBook Pro. I testing pkgsrc yesterday. Right now, I'm adjusting the Gimmix configure script to look for intltool in the right place.

Well, that's truly reassuring, the information about the math departments. If it's hardly five percent of the desktop market, then that's still very good, considering who Unix is going up against, a thousand pound gorilla that can start its own facts campaign that's based on crap.

I value the information you've presented. I'm going by statistics because I haven't had much chance to see what's actually going on out there. I'm heading off to college in August, JHU. I'll see what goes on there. I saw a lot of Mac users on campus when I was there for the tour. The only real experience I've had is from what my Dad tells me about his work as an Oracle DBA at the NJ state government. They use RHEL and Sun Solaris for their mainframe, and he's been trying to get some of the lesser machines converted to Linux too because they don't scale well under load on Windows.

I forgot to ask, but you said that server industry is about $60 billion dollars, at least in the US. I'd imagine that the desktop market is smaller no?
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Old 2nd July 2008
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People who claim Mac OSX isn't Unix because it's users aren't aware of it being Unix is the worst reason ever.

Mac OS X is Unix, so the percentage of Unix workstations should include it...

I would have to agree scottro, Solaris is quite common on servers.. sill, BSD(Yes, OS X too..) and Linux are on the rise.

The Internet owes it's existence to Unix...
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
I forgot to ask, but you said that server industry is about $60 billion dollars, at least in the US. I'd imagine that the desktop market is smaller no?
You would have to check about desktop market. I would be just guessing.

I think somebody mentioned but I definitely should repeat. Unix and *BSD in particular are masters of appliance market. Probably 70-80% of code in Cisco routers are from BSD. Most embedded device that you find anywhere from washing machine to your car run BSD code. You should check but I think that appliance market is bigger than server market. Probably about 100 billion dollars a year in U.S. alone I am sure that server and appliance market dwarfs desktop many times over.


I agree that Unix is on the rise but not on Desktops and Workstations. Twenty five years ago when there were 200 000 machines in this country 60% were Unix and the rest VAXs with its native VMS. Today is just Windows and little bit of OS X.

Best,
OKO

P.S. I apologize to a power Mac user. Yes body, you are running Unix but 99% of Apple users run GUI. As I grow in the former socialist
country it took me a while to understand church of Apple as its hardware was always TOO EXPENSIVE for us. Unfortunately after Apple has switched from PPC architecture I can not say that I understand you any more. Paying
premium price for commodity Intel hardware with Ubuntish version of BSDs
seems like a very stiff price for a few extra drivers comparing to vanilla *BSDs. On another hand once I got to U.S. and to graduate school Apple was like a toy to me. I was surrounded by DEC, SGI, and SUN stations and I will cherish those times till the end of my life.

Last edited by Oko; 2nd July 2008 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
People who claim Mac OSX isn't Unix because it's users aren't aware of it being Unix is the worst reason ever.

Mac OS X is Unix, so the percentage of Unix workstations should include it...

I would have to agree scottro, Solaris is quite common on servers.. sill, BSD(Yes, OS X too..) and Linux are on the rise.

The Internet owes it's existence to Unix...
Actually _using_ UNIX _as_ UNIX is something different than using a nice desktop and _advertising_ with UNIX '03 conformance. Apple hasn't been a UNIX or 'console'-company, it has always been a company which adheres the desktop.

---

The 8% market share _is not_ because of UNIX. By the way Apple market share in the early 80s was about 15%, with a steady decline until Jobs return in the 90s. The market share of Apple Mac OS is because of the desktop, the 'usability'. You wouldn't call Solaris a desktop-sucess because of its market share and the fact it's delivering a desktop too. So you have to differ between causes.

I don't know whether there is a domination of Solaris servers, we are using some of it and we're using some Apple machines for different work. In the end you will allways find heterogeneous environments and some business guys playing with numbers to sell their precious product. But we are using e.g. OpenBSD (firewall) too, like many companies I know of. But OpenBSD developers and users aren't very vocal, so you will hear about Mac everywhere, Linux this and that and of course Bills nightmare Windows. Different point of views to consider and if you don't want to sell something, burn the numbers and the marketing. Just use it, be happy and maybe flame for fun
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Old 2nd July 2008
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In answer to Oko's question as to, Why a Mac? I know that I've given this reason and others have said, 'Yes, me too."
In my case, I use Linux and FreeBSD for my desktops. (With a Win2k VM, only used to access my company's VPN.)
However, I steered my wife towards a Mac, despite the extra cost, because it's easier to support than is Windows--fewer viruses, trojans and the like. In this case, the extra cost probably saves me hours of time.

It's not completely safe of course, but it is still safer than Windows as malware writers still aim at MS targets--which makes sense, since it's almost certainly still 90 plus percent of the desktop market in the US.

Mac is making inroads and Vista is hurting them, but they are still the dominant desktop, as you've mentioned in your posts.

The only thing that really bothers me about Mac is that people forget their basic geometric proofs, if A=B then !A=!B is not necessarily correct. That is, MS is evil, Apple isn't MS, so people think Apple isn't evil. In some ways, they're even more evil than MS, they're just not as skilled at it, and are a bit better at hiding it.

For instance, their lower echalons are all quite nice and helpful--when we went to get her Mac, (at a flagship NYC store) we got a personal shopper, Mike, who was extremely helpful. The personal shopper was free of charge.

So things like that help their public image, though, as they increase in popularity, people are realizing it. Still, whether they're evil or not, it's (in general) easier to support a family member's Mac.

No, I don't have the time or energy to try to turn her towards Linux or BSD. Every time something didn't work, it would have been a major issue---as we all know, family members are the worst users.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Even being a true UNIX, I would also be reluctant to include Apple market share in with Linux/BSD. particularly on the desktop.

In the end, it's all up to people's opinions though. It can be argued all you want, I'll probably not accept OSX as a "Desktop UNIX" unless I get much smarter (or much stupider.)

But when OSX makes up 8% of market share, and that number doesn't change when you remove or add all of the BSD/Darwin users it's simply not accurate to say, "UNIX makes up 8% of the desktop market." It's arguably correct, but it's still not right.

Just because 9/10 dentists recommend using a certain type of toothbrush it doesn't mean that the other one recommends eating rocks.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Desktop statistics ...
what I see in large companies or administrations (and I don't think I exagerate) 80% of the screens run the screensaver 80% of the time.
These are run on complete PCs with floppy drive, HD, many with CDROM while these could run on thin clients.
Thin clients would spare fortunes in energy bills.

Now, seen frome the side of the employee, would he be given a keyboard, mouse and monitor, with a thin client integrated in the furniture or the display his first question will be to ask if he is considered inferior as he does not receives a "computer" like other people. Maybe his union has requirements.

Then, there are the licenses: most hardware manufacturers signed an agreement with MSFT to be authorized to install Windows. This agreement is binding a fee per CPU the manufacturer sells. So, the Windows license has been paid for in any case. Why not use it?

One license fee per CPU is the way MSFT gained dominance.
The fun is that it is completely illegal as, even if you build machines typically for other OSes, you still pay an unneeded license, and this is enrichment without a cause. Has been going so for more than 20 years.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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scottro, I do agree with you that in some ways Apple is worse than Microsoft. Apple tries to exercise control over its users in ways that Microsoft hasn't even tried, probably because it hasn't needed to. Forcing hardware on people who are only attracted to the operating system is pretty dirty tactic. This really confirms to me that Apple is a hardware company. They have the benefit of being able to market a good operating system and making it compatible with only their own computers, which really helps them in the hardware business.

Also, I do agree that Apple's market share didn't increase because OS X is Unix. Apple hasn't heavily marketed it as Unix because it doesn't matter to their current users or to their target customers. All most people need to know is that OS X is more stable than Windows and is easier to maintain than Windows. The usability bit would be nice to mention as well, but it's usually a hit or miss with people.

Like I said, I consider Mac OS X to be Unix because I use it as such, but saying that it isn't Unix because they user don't know that it is or they don't use it as such causes some more questions. Is Ubuntu really Unix (Unix-like...) since it really is the OS X of Linux? If you go on Ubuntu forums, you'll see so much misinformation and n00biness. I saw one thread in which Ubuntu users were arguing with a Debian user about how a GUI actually has a place on server, how a server should be running a GUI.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
Also, I do agree that Apple's market share didn't increase because OS X is Unix.
The fact that OS X has roots in FreeBSD is incidental. Apple was in dire need of a stable operating system as they had a string of failures (First, Pink & Blue farmed out to Taligent, followed by Symphony...) throughout the '90's. One of the things that Jobs brought with him from NeXT was their hybrid Unix system based upon Carnegie-Mellon's Mach kernel with a FreeBSD 4.0 userland. Moreover, Jobs brought a number of NeXT employees who were knowledgeable about its inner workings, so this group formed the core of Apple's new OS group.

There was something of an effort in the earlier releases of OS X to attract technophiles given that the basis was essentially Unix, & it worked to a degree. A number of standard Unix applications still run on OS X, but Apple's culture is based on trendy stylistic issues rather than geeky internals. As long as it works, they are happy.

Given that Apple had the resources to pay for the certification, they are officially recognized as being an official Unix vendor by the Open Group:

http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/c...ates/1190p.pdf

...so they can pull out a pedigree if need be, but the company's goal is to perpetuate its brand of coolness, not technical focus.
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As for that thread on Ubuntu forums you mention, I believe that our own windependence was involved in that one--there's a thread about it somewhere on these forums.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
Forcing hardware on people who are only attracted to the operating system is pretty dirty tactic.
It's not.
Quote:
This really confirms to me that Apple is a hardware company.
This is true, and they always have been. Some on Wall Street think this is a problem, though.
Quote:
All most people need to know is that OS X is more stable than Windows and is easier to maintain than Windows. The usability bit would be nice to mention as well, but it's usually a hit or miss with people.
The 'usability bit' IS the main feature of Apple and their main selling point.
Quote:
If you go on Ubuntu forums, you'll see so much misinformation and n00biness.
Any forum about a hobbyist accessible, popular topic will get such a collection. All the web development forums I visit, I can count on one hand the number of truly professional users that are there.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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For the unix minded, this a great era of Unix we are in now. We have so much flavors to play with and Apple of all companies has done an awesome job disguising unix in their OS. I'm glad they're going the Unix way because it just goes to show that Unix can also be used for non technical people. I remembered I started with DOS and I thought it was cool but when I discovered unix, it was like wow! I was in awe of the power, control, and complexity and I'm still learning new things everyday. I really don't care on the popularity as long as unix is here to stay and continue evolve.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Well said revzalot

I had a brief stint with DOS in my early years, but I also played around with Minix and 386BSD.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
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Well said revzalot

I had a brief stint with DOS in my early years, but I also played around with Minix and 386BSD.
Now that's OG. It's unbelievable how unix evolved throughout the years and I still feel we haven't reached the top of its evolution. As hardware continues to improve, I feel unix will become more organic in the upcoming years. Come on we all watched the Matrix.
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