According to Distrowatch statistics, during the month of July Linux Mint continues as most popular Linux distribution, although the distance from the second is down compared to previous months, and also the second is the distribution is Mageia, the fort of Mandriva. Ubuntu remains in third place at a considerable distance from the other two.
When Ubuntu decided last year to replace GNOME interface with Unity in its own distribution, many users have been shaken and Linux Mint has been the main beneficiary of this results.
“The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more,” DistroWatch said in the blog post.
Let’s take the top five lists at the DistroWatch ranking over the last few months:
1. Linux Mint
Ubuntu is based on Debian GNU/Linux and Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. However, a project was launched by the Mint team to create a distribution no longer based on Ubuntu, but Debian directly. Debian has a strong reputation in the market as open, stable, and easy to implement, even if some find this version of Linux too conservative.
A major strength of Mint is a good device support, including multimedia equipment through the integration of many drivers and codecs. This distribution is continuously updates by a community, which are very responsive to the issues and queries from end users.
Mint also comes with several user interfaces to choose from including Gnome, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, and Fluxbox. This distribution also includes customization like Gnome shell and MATE.
Linux Mint has exploited better the idea of creating a distribution for novice users, seeking a system ready from the start, without worrying about licensing issues or proprietary.
Born from the fusion of Brazilian and French Conectiva Mandrake, Mageia uses KDE as a desktop environment, and as urpmi package manager (RPM). The latest release, Mageia 2, is built with the best of the free software and open source with a constant expansion of the applications you select – there’s something for everyone’s taste.
After a development cycle of nine months, Mageia 2 comes with many new features, especially in regard to new software versions defendant, beginning with the different desktops, offering really wide, ranging from KDE 4.8.2, GNOME 3.4.1, Xfce 4.8.3 or Razor-Qt 0.4.1, LXDE and even Sugar.
Mageia installer has graphical interfaces that contain a series of windows with a very simple layout. The list of applications by default Mageia includes Firefox and Konqueror, LibreOffice office suite and a program to view documents.
Based on Debian, Ubuntu comes with versions for desktops, servers and netbooks and is a project sponsored by Canonical. The distribution community launches a new version every six months, so that applications are quite updated. For those who need more stability, there are LTS versions (Long Term Support) receiving updates during three years (five years in the server version).
The default desktop is GNOME, but there are versions of Ubuntu designed for other environments, both formal and Kubuntu (KDE) and Xubuntu (xfce) or unofficial as Lubuntu (LXDE).
The number three in DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking is popular among many users. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth believes the OS will receive 20 million new PCs will be sold with Ubuntu in 2012.
Historically sponsored by Red Hat, Fedora is being used as a base and test of commercial distribution for Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform.
Fedora uses Gnome 3.x and is based on RPM packages instead of deb. In addition, this distribution platform does not install default codecs for proprietary formats like MP3 or MPEG, or proprietary software like Adobe Flash Player.
Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu and Mepis have a strong user base. The distro is based on Ubuntu, and is regarded by many as one of the most robust and stable market. It is also probably the most committed to free software.
Debian uses Gnome as default desktop environment and, as expected, deb packages for applications.