Linux Statistics

Linux Statistics image

Albeit less popular than its rivals Mac and Windows, Linux is favored by a surprisingly large number of people. High-speed trains, supercomputers, smartphones, and super-secure routers all rely on this technology. If you want to learn more about this amazing operating system, now is the perfect time to do so with some Linux statistics and facts.

Let’s dive right into it!

Linux Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • All of the world’s 500 supercomputers run on Linux. (It’s FOSS)
  • 85% of all smartphones are powered by Linux. (Hayden James)
  • One of the leading contributors to Linux Kernel is Intel. (It’s FOSS)
  • Out of 25 top websites in the world, only two aren’t powered by Linux. (ZDNet)
  • There are over 600 Linux distros available. (Tecmint)
  • The US boasts the most significant number of Ubuntu users. (Ubuntu)
  • Ubuntu powers nearly 40% of all websites with a known system. (W3Techs)

Linux Usage Statistics

1. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all use Linux as their operating system.

And that’s hardly all since we can also add the likes of Google, Fujitsu, Cisco, Huawei, eBay, and Intel among the sites that have chosen Linux. Developers love it too, with 76.9% citing it as the platform on which they preferred to work in 2020.

(ZDNet, Stack Overflow)

2. Linux powers 85% of all smartphones.

Google’s Android and Chrome OS are both operating systems built on the Linux kernel. Having said that, even though Android boasts a global market share of 86%, it’s still built on Linux, so, understandably, it plays a significant role in the market share.

(Hayden James)

3. Linux was used for the special effects in Titanic.

As historic Linux usage statistics indicate, this operating system quickly made inroads into the film and video industry at the turn of the millennium and seems to be the preferred OS among professional animators. One of the first most notable cases of Linux usage by Hollywood was for rendering frames for Titanic.

(Linux Journal)

4. SpaceX, NASA, and the ESA employ Linux for their missions.

Linux popularity isn’t limited to Earth, with major space programs using it. Elon Musk's SpaceX, for example, has performed 65 space missions and counting aided by a fault-resistant Linux system in their Falcon 9 rockets.

(Omg Ubuntu)

5. Linux ran on all of the world’s 500 supercomputers in 2021.

Yup, you read it right! Linux usage stats unveil that there isn't a single supercomputer that runs on a different operating system. The world's most intricate and powerful computers, which conduct the most intensive processing jobs ever, all rely on Linux. With a 100% market share of the current fastest computers the world has ever seen, Linux has secured its place on the throne.

(It’s FOSS)

6. Women account for 9.9% of the Linux kernel Git population.

Despite all the efforts to bridge the diversity gap, women remain underrepresented in the tech field, and open-source software is no exception. Data on Git activity and population show that women account for only 9.9% of Linux contributors and only 6.8% of the activity on the kernel, with approximately 4,000 commits, according to Linux statistics.

(Linux Foundation)

7. Intel is the leading contributor to Linux Kernel.

Intel is one of the top contributors for Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, with 96,976 lines changed and 1,297 changesets. Huawei is next on the list but has outperformed Intel by the number of changesets. Contributors from this company added 1,434 changesets and modified 5.3% of the lines (41,049).

(It’s FOSS)

Linux Market Share Statistics

8. Linux accounts for 2.14% of all desktop operating systems worldwide.

As one would expect, Windows boasts 75.23% of the desktop market share, followed by Apple’s Mac with 15.86%. While regular desktop users aren’t exactly flocking to Linux, the operating system’s popularity has more than doubled in the last decade. The main reasons for the growing Linux adoption are its low cost of ownership, flexibility, and strong security.


9. Linux server market share is expected to reach a whopping $15.64 billion by 2027.

Linux market share statistics suggest that the market was worth $3.89 billion in 2019 and will grow at a CAGR of 19.2% between 2020 and 2027. The company also claims that one of the main reasons for this growth is that Linux is becoming a viable OS option for gaming and will add support for a larger number of games in the future.
(Globe Newswire)

10. Linux user share on Steam is 1%.

Although Windows is the more popular choice for a gaming OS, Linux usage stats indicate that gamers are now opting for the open-sources system as a faster and less prone to crash alternative. Valve’s Steam shows that, as of June 2020, there were over 6,000 Linux-compatible games.

(Blackdown, OS Today)

11. Android dominates the mobile OS market with a 73% market share.

Android maintains its position as the leading mobile operating system in the world, with a 73% share of the mobile market. Although Linux isn’t widely used as an operating system, it serves as the foundation for Android. As a result, we can say that Linux powers four out of every five smartphones in the world.

12. The number of lines of code submitted to the Linux Git repository reached 27.8 million in 2021.

Linux statistics disclose that the Linux kernel now has around 27.8 million lines of code in its Git repository, up from 26.1 million a year ago. Linus Torvalds was the most prolific contributor, with
3.19% commits, followed by David Miller and Chris Wilson.
(The Register)

13. Linus Torvalds owns less than 1% of the remaining lines of code.

Despite having written 100% of the code in the first release, his original contributions currently make up less than 1% of the total codebase. This is because he’s preoccupied with merging and managing codes from other contributors which leaves him little time for programming.
(Omg Ubuntu)

Linux Distribution Usage Statistics

14. Linux has over 600 distributions.

Linux offers over 600 distributions, with another 500 in the works, so there’s plenty of options for those trying to decide which distro is best for them. Some of the most popular distro options are Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, Deeping, and Kali Linux.


15. Ubuntu powers around 411 million websites.

Linux usage statistics unveil that Ubuntu is the most used Linux OS, powering more than a third of Linux-based websites, including Netflix, Dropbox, Uber, and Snapchat. Debian comes in second, accounting for 15.4% of Linux-based websites, followed by CentOS, with a share of 10.1%.


16. The US has the largest share of Ubuntu users in 2021.

The US boasts the largest number of Linux users, while English is the primary language of 59% of users. Next on the list is Spanish with 7%, followed by French with 5%.


17. Red Hat has a 33.9% share in the worldwide server operating environment market.

According to Linux server statistics, Red Hat Enterprise subscriptions increased by more than 14.1% in 2018. Paid subscriptions accounted for more than 51% of commercial server operating system deployments during the same period. This data is consistent with the IDC research demonstrating how Red Hat Enterprise Linux affects more than $10 trillion of the global business economy.
(Red Hat)

18. Debian is Linux's oldest distro, released in 1993.

As one of the longest-standing Linux distros, Debian serves as a framework for many others, including Ubuntu and Linux Mint. In fact, according to DistroWatch, there were 141 active Debian derivatives in 2018. Linux usage stats further show that Debian is used by 6.% of all the websites.


19. Blank lines account for 13.3% of the latest Linux kernel.

The most recent data suggest that about three-quarters of the Linux kernel code is made up of drivers, file systems, and architecture-specific code, with plenty of comments and blank lines thrown in for good measure. This may appear strange and insignificant, but using blank lines of code is an integral part of the strict coding style that keeps the Linux kernel neat and efficient.


20. Gentoo is used by 5.07% of heavy industry and engineering.

Gentoo is an all-around Linux distribution with an advanced package management system called Portage. According to Linux usage statistics, Gentoo is used by 21,618 websites, with 19,577 unique domains. Computer electronics and technology (4.22%), cars (3.38%), and science and education (3.35%) are among the other industries that use this Linux distribution.


Final Thoughts

While it may not be as popular as its competitors, Linux powers more technology globally than people give it credit for. Linux statistics show that some of the world’s most well-known companies rely on this operating system, including Google, AT&T, Fujitsu, Cisco, Huawei, IBM.

Overall, this operating system is a fantastic option for anyone who values simplicity, as well as privacy. However, even if you're a penguin user, having a Linux VPN in place will make your data considerably safer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people use Linux?

Despite being a minority operating system, Linux still has millions of users. According to Linux user statistics, the platform is used by 2.68% of desktop PCs and laptops globally, which works out to roughly four million devices. The number of Linux users is 32.8 million, in addition to 1.6 billion Android users.


How many people use Ubuntu?

Though we don’t have enough data to obtain the accurate number of desktop users, based on the reported number of users by Canonical over the years, Ubuntu boasts over 40 million desktop users.


Who uses Linux?

Linux may be used for a wide range of operations, from smartphones to space missions, and its open-source code and versatility give it a significant advantage over its competitors, Linux statistics show. Here are the most notable Linux users:

  • Google
  • NASA
  • Intel
  • CERN
  • The US Department of Justice
  • YouTube


What runs on Linux?

Mozilla Firefox is the default browser on most Linux distributions, and everything should work just as it would on any other operating system. Google also offers a Chrome version for Linux, and you can also find an "unbranded" open-source version of Chrome known as Chromium. However, most desktop apps that you use on Windows or Mac are unlikely to work on Linux. Many open-source alternatives, on the other hand, will work just fine. There are numerous closed-code programs built with web-based technologies, such as Spotify, Slack, Minecraft, and Skype, accessible for Linux.


How many Linux distributions are there?

It is estimated that there are close to 600 distros to choose from, with 500 more in the development phase. Linux statistics suggest that some of the most popular Linux distros are Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Linux Mint, CentOS, and Manjaro.

These are just a few of the most well-known, and many have their own distributions. Ubuntu, for example, is one of Debian's distributions. These two together account for a sizable portion of the Linux distro market share.


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