Linux Statistics: Market Share, Usage, and Fun Facts

Linux belongs to a family of Unix operating systems founded by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Despite being one of the oldest operating systems, Linux is still well-known and widely used by many people.

What’s more, Linux is an open-source that comes entirely for free and is similar to other famous competitors, such as Mac and Microsoft Windows.

If you want to learn more about this fantastic operating system, we have compiled a list of the most fascinating Linux statistics and facts.

Let’s dive right into it.

Top Linux Statistics: Editor’s Choice

General Linux Facts for Beginners

How many people use Linux? What makes this operating system so unique? These are only some of the questions that easily come to mind. So, that’s why this list of stats will give you a better insight into this powerful operating system.

1. Only two out of the 25 most popular websites worldwide don’t use Linux.

Developers can make several uses of the Linux operating system. It’s important to note that 23 out of 25 most popular websites in the world use Linux. Giants such as Google, Youtube, Tmall, Qq, and Baidu are on top of the list of Linux users.

2. In 2020, 54.2% of the most powerful supercomputers operated on Linux.

This is one of the best-known common facts about Linux. It’s quite impressive that all supercomputers run on Linux from 2018 on.

Supercomputers are considered a significant technological breakthrough, which shows how vital Linux is in today’s digital era.

3. About 90% of the public cloud workload is run by Linux.

Linux’s stability and strength come from its supporters and open-source design. According to Linux cloud statistics, this operating system updates its central code every 10 weeks. That’s why Linux is an excellent operating system for public clouds.

4. As a Linux subcategory, Ubuntu accounts for 46% of its usage rate.

Fun facts of Linux indicate that the operating system is running 32.9% of all websites. While Ubuntu is the leading Linux subcategory, Debian ranks second, with 15.3% of the total Linux usage. CentOS comes in third place, making up 10.7%.

As the same Linux server statistics show, there are less common subcategories, such as Gentoo, Red Hat, and Fedora.

5. MX Linux earns the first position of the top Linux distributions in 2021.

Like in the previous years, MX Linux is the most popular Linux distro for this year. According to Linux distribution usage statistics, the reason behind MX Linux’s huge success stands in its high stability, efficiency, elegant desktop, and easy learning curve. Moreover, MX Linux is based on Debian.

6. At least 63 Linux distributions originate from the US.

When it comes to producing Linux distributions, Americans are the most prolific. One of the most exciting things to know about Linux is that Europe is the second region contributing to distributions after the US. Germany ranks second with 25 distributors, followed by Spain and France with 22.

7. 63% of Linux Ubuntu users have one to three CPUs.

These fascinating CPU usage statistics show that most Linux Ubuntu users have at least one CPU. Also known as the central processing unit, the CPU helps computers perform more tasks at once.

These statistics also show that 27% of users have four to six CPUs, while only 8% have seven or more CPUs.

Statistics About Linux Market Share

If we look at all statistics regarding operating systems, we can conclude that Linux isn’t nearly as used as Windows or Mac.

Even if it’s not frequently used as the primary operating system, Linux has many exciting functions.

8. As of January 2021, Android held 71.93% of the mobile market share.

Linux market share statistics show that Android still holds its position as the leading operating system. What’s more, Android and iOS combined can reach nearly 99% of the worldwide market share. 

Although Linux isn’t frequently used as an operating system, Android is based on it. Considering the figures registered by Android, it’s understandable that Linux still plays a big part in the market share.

9. Linux server market share is estimated to reach $15.64 billion by 2027.

This figure is projected to exhibit a staggering CAGR of 19.2%, nearly at the end of this decade. 

Linux has seen massive growth in its market from the $3.89 billion registered in 2019.

10. As of 2021, Linux holds only 0.98% of the operating system market share.

Linux server market share has registered the lowest rate of market share in May 2021. Although the figure was steadily growing over the past few years, Linux is still far away from its competitors. Android is currently dominating the market with a 42.61% rate, followed by Windows with 30.66%.

As for Linux, the distro market share for December 2020 only constituted 0.81%, while Android stood at an astounding 41.58%.

11. Linux accounted for 1.85% of the desktop PC market share in 2020.

Statistics from July 2020 indicate that the desktop market share has seen a slight decrease in market share. In contrast, the desktop uses of the Linux operating system for January and February was around 2%. This figure is much more prominent than the 1.71% registered in March 2020.

12. Linux accounts for 1.30% of desktop and laptop operating system share.

In August 2020, the percentage of Linux users had the highest operating system share, standing at 2.33%. Be that as it may, Linux’s operating system share is pretty much consistent as of 2018 and even earlier.

13. On the Amazon EC2 cloud computing platform, Linux controls 92% of the market.

Linux facts reveal that Amazon EC2 uses both standard Linux and a variety of its distributions. It boasts around 350,000 individual instances or more. In addition to that, it’s important to note that Linux EC2 controls nearly 50% of the total market.

Linux Usage Statistics

Although Windows is among the most used operating systems out there, Linux usage is not to underestimate.

Let’s find out who prefers Linux, how it’s used, and why.

14. According to 83.1% of professional developers, Linux is the most loved platform.

In the most recent Linux user statistics, 54.1% of professionals conducted some development work on Linux. In fact, the same survey reveals that eight in ten developers agreed that Linux is their preferred operating system.

15. Debian has more than 1,000 volunteers.

Linux distro usage statistics demonstrate that Debian is one of the oldest Linux distributors. Because of its devoted volunteers, Debian is known for being a very versatile Linux distributor. 

Therefore, it’s perfect for individuals and businesses, as they can find the most appropriate tools.

16. Around 15,600 developers have contributed to the Linux kernel since 2005.

According to the most recent Linux system stats, almost 16,000 developers from more than 1,400 companies have been a part of the Linux kernel development. This shows that the Linux kernel is the largest collaborative project in the world of computing.

Such quick facts about the Linux operating system reveal how dedicated many developers are. For example, Intel is one of the top companies that sponsored the development of the Linux kernel.

17. 79% of Ubuntu users have approximately 0–499 GB of disk storage.

Disk storage shows how much information can be saved on a computer. Additionally, disk statistics of Linux demonstrate that about 13% of Ubuntu users have from 500 to 2,000 GB. Only 7% of Ubuntu users have more than 2,000 GB of disk storage.

18. A whopping 59% of Ubuntu users prefer English.

In addition, Linux users statistics reveal that Spanish, French, and Portuguese are the second-most preferred languages by 7% of users. Chinese is favored by 4% and Russian by a mere 3%.

19. 0.4% of websites use Red Hat Linux distribution.

Red Hat Linux facts demonstrate that a very small percentage of websites use this particular distro as an operating system, even though it’s one of the most popular ones.

The usage of Red Hat had started to decrease since October 2019, when around 0.72% of websites used it.

20. Fedora is the least popular distro, with only 0.1% of usage.

As demonstrated by Fedora Linux facts, this distro is not as popular compared to many others. In comparison, almost 76% of websites use Unix and 42% Linux. Moreover, Fedora’s usage keeps decreasing by the day.

Other Interesting Facts about Linux

You might not even believe to what extent Linux is present in our daily activities, from video games to mobile phones.

Here you can find some mind-blowing statistics about Linux and its founder, Linus Torvalds.

21. As of 2020, the Linux kernel has 27.8 million lines of code.

This is by no means one of the most unbelievable Linux operating system facts—it proves how this is the largest open-source project globally. Even though this figure might seem massive, the Linux kernel has actually been reduced.

22. As of March 2021, the number of Linux games available on Steam was 50,361.

Steam is one of the most popular online game platforms belonging to the Linux system. These interesting facts about the Linux operating system indicate that the number of games on Steam has increased over the past years.

23. Linus Torvalds wrote only 1% of the latest Linux kernel code.

Maybe this fact might sound a little discouraging, but it’s not like Linus Torvalds is not contributing to Linux anymore.

Even though he wrote almost 100% of Linux’s first release, well-known facts about Linus Torvalds prove that the Linux creator is now busy merging and combining codes written by developers. 

Linux Statistics: The Takeaway

Maybe Linux isn’t as popular as giants like Windows, iOS, or Android, but there are apparent reasons why professional developers love it so much. Although Linux might be a complicated operating system, it still offers unique features and possibilities that competitors cannot provide.

As mentioned in these Linux stats, this system includes many products such as Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Steam. So, we can say that it’s almost impossible not to encounter this relevant operating system in our everyday life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of servers run Linux?

The most recent statistics show that Linux runs approximately 72% of all web servers worldwide. However, this is only an estimate, as the precise number is not easy to quantify. About one-third of Azure now runs on Linux and, as the web grows, Linux tweaks itself to meet its users’ needs. 

The success of Android was a huge step forward for Linux, as well. Android dominates the smartphone market. The reason why it’s so used is because of its customizing options.

Is Linux still popular?

Although it lacks popularity regarding desktop usage, Linux is still fairly popular. Just consider that Android is the mobile version of Linux, making up 25.6% of the mobile market share.

On top of that, 23 out of the top 25 websites and almost 100% of supercomputers use Linux. This suggests that Linux is not only popular, but it’s also an essential part of the internet you know today.

How many Linux users are there in the world?

According to the latest 2020 statistics, approximately 1.84% of the world population uses Linux as a primary desktop operating system. According to their country demographics, this percentage can be more or less consistent. 

A vast majority of professional developers use Linux as a primary operating system. Nowadays, the mobile operating system market share is dominated by Android, one of the most successful Linux products.

Which country uses Linux the most?

The countries where Linux is the most popular operating system are India, Cuba, and Russia, followed by the Czech Republic, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. 

On top of that, various Linux distributions are popular in different countries. For example, Ubuntu is the most popular in Cuba and Italy, OpenSUSE in Russia and the Czech Republic, Red Hat in Nepal and Bangladesh, Debian in Cuba, while the US is in the top five for all Linux distributions. 

Sri Lanka has the highest interest in Fedora, Russia, and the Czech Republic in Mandriva, Bulgaria in Slackware, and Russia in Gentoo.

What is Linux used for today?

Although it has grown considerably over the past few years, Linux is not that used as a primary operating system. Today, it’s a part of systems for phones, cars, web servers, and even networking gear.

It’s one of the most trusted and authentic operating systems due to its reliability, longevity, and maturity. As a result, it’s great for commercial network devices and enterprises to customize their network and data center infrastructure. In addition to that, Linux has improved remarkably in supercomputing and cloud computing.

How long has Linux been around?

Linux has been around since 1991, when Linus Torvalds decided to share his ideas with the world. He was only a student at the time. Minix is considered Linux’s predecessor, as Linus chose to make a new operating system based on Minix. 

The initial release of Linux was on September 17, 1991. The core of Linux, called the Linux kernel, was released in 1994. This operating system is actually two years older than Windows, which was released in 1993. It was born as a free and open-source operating network, and that hasn’t changed since then.

How much does Linux cost?

A good thing about Linux is that you can have it entirely for free, with no license. However, you can buy Ubuntu Advantage Security with live kernel patching, tech support, etc., all included in an essential plan that costs $25. 

More expensive versions come with unique Linux memberships—virtual machines cost $75 a year, and web servers are $225 a year. 

Overall, Linux has always been free, and anyone can run, modify, and even sell their personalized codes.

Why do programmers use Linux?

Programmers prefer to use Linux precisely because they can do specific tasks much better than Windows or macOS. Advanced programs need hackable systems, which Linux can provide. 

They also prefer it because of its speed, reliability, versatility, security, and power. Unix-compatible environment and a variety of customization possibilities are also significant advantages for programmers.

Linux also offers good management of memory consumption in its security networks, servers, and so on. What’s more, the Linux community around the world and continuous feedback are invaluable.

What is the most popular version of Linux?

The most popular version of Linux is MX Linux due to its stability, elegance, and security. It has a simple configuration and is intuitive to use. One of the most popular picks for beginners is definitely Ubuntu. 

It’s also great for underpowered PCs. It’s one of the most prominent of all Linux distributions, but its popularity may vary from country to country. The most popular distribution of all time is probably Debian—and for a valid reason. The staggering majority of Linux’s newer versions are based on this fantastic distributor.

How much is Linux worth?

Last year, Linux was estimated to be worth around $3.89 billion, and it’s expected to see a CAGR of 19.2% from 2020 to 2027. As a result, the worth of the global Linux operating system market size is projected to be approximately $15.6 billion by 2027. 

One of the opportunities for its market growth is more company mergers and acquisitions. North America is increasing investment in cloud platforms, and, as various Linux statistics show, it holds the majority of its market share.


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