TuxRadar by the numbers


It's been about six weeks since we went live, and thanks to Apache log files and Google Analytics we've got a nice collection of data about the kinds of people who visit. We thought you might like to know just who comes to a Linux news and tutorials site, so let's dive into the numbers and see what we can find...

The headline number is of course unique visits, and we've had 630,000 of them - about 100,000 a week, which is pretty good for a new site. Our policy of posting articles on a single page means that the number of page views isn't a great deal higher: 888,000, meaning that the average person reads 1.41 pages per visit.

Our most popular articles so far have been:

  1. Linux tips every geek should know
  2. Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7
  3. Benchmarks 2: Even Wine beats Linux Firefox
  4. From the archives: the best distros of 2000
  5. How the Linux kernel works

...and yet combined those articles add up to less than half our total page views - the long tail means that articles such as How to fix Linux boot problems, Resurrect your old PC and How to install Linux on a USB flash drive add up to far fewer views, but there are many more of these small articles, so they add up to a lot.

Those big articles largely became popular because of sites such as Digg.com (driving 22.54% of people to our site), StumbleUpon (9.59%) and Slashdot (6.27%), but Google is increasingly directing people our way simply as a result of us having more content online that people might search for.

Now onto the really interesting stuff: what kinds of computers are TuxRadar visitors using. If you thought they'd all be Linux users, you'd be wrong. If you even thought the majority would be Linux users, you'd still be wrong. In fact, over half of all our visitors are running Windows, making up 55.11%. Linux users make up 34.47% and Mac users are 9.19%. Here's the full list:

  1. Windows: 55.11%
  2. Linux: 34.47%
  3. Macintosh: 9.19%
  4. iPhone: 0.45%
  5. Unknown: 0.35%
  6. iPod: 0.14%
  7. FreeBSD: 0.08%
  8. SunOS: 0.07%
  9. Android: 0.05%
  10. SymbianOS: 0.03%
  11. OpenBSD: 0.01%

Even if our Linux users increased by 50%, it still wouldn't match that Windows number. As a side note, it's pretty amazing to see that there are five times more iPhone users visiting than FreeBSD users, despite a lot of the stuff we cover working just fine on BSD!

Let's dig a little deeper into those top two numbers: what kind of Windows users were we getting? Well, there were five major Windows versions in our logs:

  1. Windows XP (66.83%)
  2. Windows Vista (25.99%)
  3. Windows NT (4.11%)
  4. Windows Server 2003 (1.79%)
  5. Windows 2000 (1.14%)

Windows XP made up 232,145 visits so far, which, by itself, is more than all Linux versions combined, which add up to 217,266 visits. D'oh.

While we'd love to break down which Linux distros people are using, it's just not possible - most Linux distros don't give away that much information. However, Ubuntu does identify itself, and a couple of grep and wc commands later we can tell you that Ubuntu users make up at least 54% of all Linux visitors to our site. Note that we've said "at least", because we can only count Ubuntu users that positively identify themselves as using Ubuntu - any Ubuntu user who installed a custom Firefox, uses a different, non-identifying browser, or just removes that kind of information from their user agent isn't counted.

On the browser front, Firefox leads the way. Here's the breakdown:

  1. Firefox/Windows (39.21%)
  2. Firefox/Linux (27.90%)
  3. Internet Explorer/Windows (8.30%)
  4. Firefox/Macintosh (5.52%)
  5. Chrome/Windows (4.13%)
  6. Mozilla/Linux (3.36%)
  7. Safari/Macintosh (3.23%)
  8. Opera/Windows (2.73%)
  9. Opera/Linux (1.95%)
  10. Konqueror/Linux (1.02%)

Again, somewhat surprising numbers - we hadn't expected twice as many Opera users than Konqueror users, although to be fair some Konqueror users still change their user agents despite the rise of WebKit making that less important.

Google Analytics tells us that over 92% of visitors use at least 1024x768 (hurray!) with the most popular resolution being 1280x1024, with 21% of visitors. Giving that a great many netbooks use 1024x600 for their screen resolution, we can safely assume they make up nearly all the 1.43% of visitors with that screen resolution.

Another interesting metric is Adobe Flash usage, given its closed-source nature. Well, it looks like most folks just don't care: only 4.26% of all visitors had no Flash installed, with only 0.21% of visitors running the Free Software Gnash replacement. In comparison, a pretty hefty 19.36% percent of visitors didn't have Java support.

On the flip side of all this, there were a few articles we had expected to be popular that just didn't seem to do too well. To give you some examples, 30 Days with Haiku, Group test: Web editors, Banish your daemons!, Hassle-free mobile phone syncing, and Version control with Git all garnered comparatively few visitors.

This raises some questions

Why do so many Windows users come to a Linux site? As far as we can see it, there are four likely reasons:

  • They use Windows as well as Linux, either because they dual-boot at home or because they are forced to use Windows at their office/school.
  • A lot of the content we cover, such as programming or server stuff, works just fine on Windows, so people come here to learn and just mentally filter out the Linux-specific stuff.
  • Some Windows users would like to switch to Linux, or have tried to switch in the past and failed, and are just curious about the state of Linux and Linux distros.
  • Our benchmark stories sometimes show Windows in a positive light compared to Linux, so Windows users come here to gloat/flame/troll. NB: we actually had a lot of intelligent discussion from some folks, which was most welcome.

As you're reading this right now, there's a greater than 1/2 chance that you're a Windows user. So tell us, what brought you here? Do you run Linux and Windows on the same computer, or different computers? Does all the free software on Linux make you want to switch, or are you comfortable using free software on a non-free OS?

If you're reading this page from a Windows machine, drop us a comment below and explain yourself!

You should follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter

Your comments

Work = Constraints

I make up a piece of the percentage in each of the top 3 OS categories, but the Windows comes from a lack of other options at work for sure.

At home, I usually have a full screen on the Linux box devoted to what I'm doing, so I'll have any given article pulled up on my mac for quick referencing.

Add in some general browsing on the Linux machine, and there's a couple of page views for everyone.

Various PCs, various OS

As I write this, I'm on an Ubuntu-only laptop. My wife's laptop is running only Ubuntu. My upstairs PC (750MHz AMD Duron) is running Xubuntu. The only PC in the house that runs Windows (XP and dual boots Ubuntu on another partition) is the fastest PC I have in the house and that's only so I can continue to play commercial PC Games. All of the Ubuntus in this house run the latest version when available.

Another confused statistic

Another confused statistic here! Read the articles under OS X, two Linux distros and Windows at home and Windows elsewhere as well, all in the same open-source browser, of course ;)

W00t! Linux!

Windows is obsolete.
Linux in its various forms is what I try to use all the time, however at my school they use only outdated Xp sp2+, which is terrible at doing everything! (Seriously, IE6 breaks most of the time when I'm trying to do something, especially, surprisingly, linuxformat.co.uk.)

Let Linux (and other OSS OSes) lead us on to victory!

Why Windows

Just wanted to respond as to why I use windows

On my home desktop I use linux all the time,
yet when I visit this site through a windows comp it's because I'm either at work
on my laptop that dual-boots both. So why dont I use linux all the time on my laptop? Well because atm it doesnt have the greatest hibernation setting (doesnt even work...) and for some odd reason doesnt pick up wifi as good....

A Windows switcher

My main desktop runs Windows XP at the moment but I have an old PC and a netbook both running Ubuntu. I'm one of the readers who will be making the switch to Linux this year. Thanks to Linux Format magazine and this website and podcast, your making the transition much easier.

I think I probably represent 6 'unique' visitors

My Laptop dual boots Vista/Ubuntu (2 visitors)
My Work laptop is XP (1 visitor)
My main pc runs ubuntu (1 visitor)
My tv pc runs ubuntu (1 visitor)
My phone is an n95(1 visitor)

Also, from experience. when I look at my website logs, I quite often find that a lot of the 'windows pcs' are just spambots looking for forums to pollute.

Dual boot

I dual boot my aging machine XP sp3 and fedora 9 kinda broken ATM soon time to boot the LXF 115 dvd :)as 9 is near end of life and 10 is stabilizing as fedora releases usually do when a new one is almost out the door ;)

Enjoy the Choice :)

Why windows?

I'm visiting the site in WinXP. I run my home server on linux, I've setup a small college to use linux for it's servers and some desktops and my laptop and this computer both dual boot linux. However, for the most part I do end up using XP. I'd like to use XP, however, when I'm editing lots of word file with equations and complex formatting OOo can't import and export with enough precision for me to exchange files with word users. I've had a year support extension for crossover office for at least the past 4 years but the equation editor doesn't work properly and I'm a physics teacher I need the equation editor. I also run a lot of custom software for datalogging experiments and it only works on windows. The fact is I could probably get everything I need running a virtual machine and by tweaking but my laptop isn't really powerful enough to be running a virtual machine and other applications. Also I really can't be bothered running through these lengthly configuration processes every 6 months for the latest version of ubuntu. The fact is I love linux and I will continue to use and explore it but when I need to just get on with my work, XP just works while linux needs way too much fiddling to get it to nearly do everything I need it to.

(Hopefully, in a years time I'll be doing this on linux.)


Sorry should have proof read before I posted, I meant to say "I'd like to use Linux" not "I'd like to use XP" (I'd actually rather not but I do).


Ubuntu here, how do I become unknown? :D

I think the large number of

I think the large number of Windows users coming to a site like this bodes well for Linux's future. Before I made the total switch, I spent about a year reading Linux type sites on a Windows machine to learn and prepare for the final move. I often installed and played around with different distros but didn't make the complete move until a year ago.

I got sick of pirating Windows just because every time I made a major hardware change I had to reactive or repurchase. I could never go back now.

no mystery here...

In the mornings i read you from my windows machine (at the office)... in the evening from my ubuntu box.

keep up the good work guys!

Interesting stats

I hope you'll continue publishing these statistics every few months or maybe yearly.

...oh, and thanks for some really helpful articles too.

workplace guys don't know the world

I use linux (only linux) on my all computers. But when I'm at work I have no other choice but windows.

Ubuntu user here!

Here's another Ubuntu user! I use Ubuntu on my main pc and my laptop. Sometimes, just sometimes I dust off Vista on my main machine to update and stuff.

I made all of my family switch to Ubuntu full time and for one or two things Vista, example, my sister loves a service called Picnik., but the flash based uploader doesn't work on Linux (only the basic uploader) so she goes to Windows and uploads the pics from there.

5th reason for me being Firefox/Windows

Switching from xp desktop to linux desktop is like having your hand tied behind your back. When I putty/ssh to linux servers it's like I'm there, but without loosing desktop productivity. So it's a win-win situation.

sources of bias

First, I do quite a bit of reading on my employers pc.It is WinXP because microsoft bribed Dutch administrators (they don't do what they say, they don't say what they do, even Caesar knew this 2000 years ago).
Once home, all pc's are in Dual Boot, so I use WinXP to download and store on a WinXP-only-NDAS. And then comes Linux. So this biases your readings too.
Third, I use NoScript, so all the sniffing around by Netstats, Google Statistics and others is blocked. This could create a massive bias if a lot of Firefoxes use this extension.

You have to compare

My main box runs using openSUSE 11.1 (sorry I just can't get on with Ubuntu). My wife's laptop runs Xp and I'm down in the lounge using it to write this.

I have two reasons for using both:
1. I can't get my Benq 5000E scanner working on Linux.
2. I love just how responsive Linix is compared to Micro$oft Windows!!

Get Sane to cure the hardware problems and I'll be there full time!

WHy windows

I dual boot xp and various linux distributions, currently fedora. playing games and using media based websites tends to bit more trouble free in windows.

I'm afraid I also add to some of those windows numbers

My school forces us to use windows =[ And IE6 =[ You page doesn't even display correctly on it (though that may partly be due to the schools seemingly high dislike of javascript and CSS).

And then there's the fact that I'm subscribed to your feed via iGoogle and dual boot.

If only I could time travel...

I currently use XP I actually tried to change to Ubuntu 8.10 a few days ago but decided against it. I was going to use it with WINE but when I installed µtorrent it was lacking basic features such as being able to select more than one torrent at once, which was a major problem for me because I have over a hundred torrents seeding. I think it might have been a bug or a feature not yet implemented in WINE. I also found that it felt slower than XP, although this might just have been because I am used to XP and ignore it's flaws. Plus, The slowness might have been distro specific (according to some benchmarks I have seen, Ubuntu has gotten more bloated over the years, and that is one 'feature' that I do not want ported from Windows).

I might consider trying to switch again soon. I just wish I could go to the future, and get a super efficient distro which is fully (more?) compatible, when using WINE, with all Windows up until Windows 8 ( I doubt Windows will progress much further after that, because many users are switching to linux, but mainly because 'cloud computing' seems to be getting more popular, and future OSes might just be thin clients).

Unfortunately, until the future I am stuck in the present (paradox?). So I will probably wait until I have more than one computer, because then I will be able to install programs that do not work well under WINE on to a xp computer, whilst my main computer(s'?) OS can then be made into a linux distro.


To totally skew your figures from my perspective: I use Mandriva on my main system at home and I sometimes browse on my downstairs system which uses Kubuntu. At work I have no option but to use Windows XP. 3 visits all told on any given day except at weekends.

Cos of Work

I've subscribed to the RSS feed, and I usually read it while at work, which is a windows m/c.

Mixed environment...

I'm in a mixed environment. I started to move towards Linux many years ago. Today all my servers run on Linux. Most of my virtual machines also run on Linux (some servers without desktops other for development including a desktop). Still got some XP machines around. I would love to replace them but there are still hurdles preventing me. Corporate policy provide me with a Windows PC no matter what (but that is only one out of the four PC I run at work). Some software I use at home require XP (it can usually be handled by the use of virtualization but not always). I would love to make Linux my new desktop environment but I don't find it there yet (I have never liked KDE, I am beginning to really like Gnome but a bit too bloated, XFCE is nice but Gnome is nicer, sick of having to choose applications based on my desktop environment). Gimp is great but I still prefer Photoshop. NLVE falls short on Linux so I'm still stuck with Vegas (one of the best application out there). Linux is slowly getting there. Microsoft has totally dropped the ball. I am seriously considering buying Mac's to replace the few desktop workstation I got at home (even though I hate Apples closed nature) to ensure flawless photo and video editing. By the way, I run Linux (with a Gnome desktop) on my Aspire One... I use Firefox on all platforms and I prefer FOSS and I am willing to pay for working solutions (time is money)...

At Work!

I'm afraid I'm another one who messes with the stats due to being forced to use M$ at work.

Linux Xubuntu 8.10 & Windows XP/Vista User.

On my laptop I use Linux Xubuntu 8.10 using a dial-up access to the Internet. But while job hunting at the local library I use Windows XP with a broadband connection. Writing this using my sisters Windows Vista computer again with broadband. Hopefully once I find re-employment I'll be able to afford broadband and will then solely visit TuxRadar with my laptop!

Interesting stats. Solely

Interesting stats. Solely Ubuntu here though.

(though, I believe opensuse and fedora were indentifying themselves on th default firefox installation too, last time I checked.)

Work & Hardware Support

At work, the company has standardized on Windows XP. Much of the software they run is Windows-only, with no viable Linux alternative.

At home, I dual-boot Windows XP and Ubuntu 8.10.

I have to run Windows because of hardware support. I have a very nice USB scanner that isn't supported by SANE, and, according to the comments, probably never will be. I have a Palm Tungsten E2 with DataViz SheetToGo and have no way of synchronizing spreadsheets between the Palm and desktop in Linux.

Linux and OS X

I am one of the Linux/OS X visitors using Firefox and Opera:)


We should attract more people to walk away from the dark side (55.11% OMG...).

Work As Well

I'm another work-skiver, reading tuxradar at work on a Windows XP machine. I run Ubuntu at home.

Another Penguinista Trapped at Work

Add me to the list of people trapped with Windows at work. At home it is nothing but Linux, on My laptop, Desktop, PS3, HTPC, you name it. When I get home it's generally time with the family, not time ignoring them while surfing through daily news.

That leaves me surfing from my Windows Vista PC at work. I also have a machine at work running Debian, but since it's not a supported architecture I'm not allowed to connect it to the network. After all, who knows what horrible security breaches I could cause by running Linux and being restrained by the same firewall as everybody else.... :)

99% Linux

I use a Windows laptop for work because I must, Windows VM in Linux laptop for work when I don't care for working with my work laptop, Windows in a dual boot system that hardly ever boots into Windows, and Windows in a headless 10+ year old Compaq Presario that serves as a print server for a Canon copier with no built in driver. The only purposes Windows serves for me any more are printer services, work, and taxes; everything else is now Linux (4 out of 5 PCs - not counting my work laptop).

Forced to use vista

I use Vista at work becase they make me use it.

I have my dual boot Ubuntu/XP laptop at home. 95% of the time I'm on linux.

I have another computer at home, the family computer, it runs xp because my family does not like Linux. "Is not windows" they say.

Running Vista... It's a cruel world we live in!

That's right! You've heard it a thousand times... But I simply have to explain myself.

I'm Linux. It's true! I don't even dual boot. Why should I?

Unfortunately, my work computer has Vista installed. And, quite honestly, I don't really follow news feeds at home. I simply don't have time for it. On the other hand, all that spare time at work can be filled up with catching up on interesting blogs and good articles on Linux.

So, you see... If I have Linux running in front of me, there's so much we can do, that I'm not gonna lose my precious time reading feeds.

Crappy Vista on the other hand, does seem to have found its purpose... ;)

because i have no choice

I'm one of those windows users, simply because the office only uses windows. have 4 machines at home (main desktop, portable+ 2 kids notebook) all under linux. But I also browse the web from the office, and hence i'm counted as windows user. I believe my situation, being the simplest, is probably the most common: most of your readers are linux users who have to use something else in the course of earning a living...

This Desktop duel boots XP

This Desktop duel boots XP and Ubuntu. My laptop Duel boots Vista and Ubuntu currently but have tried Fedora and others on it. AA1 bricked waiting for new BIOS. Wife's laptop XP. Once a month I run windows on these computers for update & scans but I seldom use windows, starting to hate windows. Even grandson likes Linux games.

Live at home son has desktop with XP and laptop with Vista. Has windows tech friend that keeps his stuff running.

I have only used XP on this

I have only used XP on this one machine, at home but I am very interested in linux, and I have it on my NC10.
The main reason I haven't switched on the desktop is the lack of games.

One WinXP for games

and another 3-4 Linux
3 Debian Lenny and 1 Puppy Linux (ancient Laptop)

I'm working on my WINE foo. When I'm there, I'll be Windows free.

XP, OS X, Linux, and BSD

I use whatever computer is in front of me at the moment and that computer is usually based on the work I'm doing. I have OOo, GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, Pidgin, etc., on all of my computers and that makes it fairly easy to switch between them.

I always use Opera as my first choice browser then Firefox if a site doesn't work quite right in Opera. My visits to tuxradar.com probably count for many different OSes but almost always register as an Opera user.

forced with W$

Seems like I find my self @ the top with XP and Firefox. Well I expected that and that's because like many, I'm at work. No Vista here; IE is a NO, and linux... only on servers. But I smoke linux @ home!
My opinion is that the majority of the visitors are linux guys at work, forced to use XP and reading tuxradar when they have some free time.

Windows, as many have said, is probably due to work

I think most offices, at least here in the US, use Windows. And lots of people surf the net at work during their lunch hour (if not more often than that). So I think that's the reason for the inflated numbers. If Netcraft were to consider that, I wonder if Linux would have more than a 1-3% user base.

Android 0.05%

Fedora fulltimer here. I probably made up the whopping 0.05% of Android users!

Speaking of which, have you guys thought about a mobile version of your site? I love your articles but they don't format well on portable devices (such as G1).

Horses for courses

Most of my contact is on Symbian on my mobile,then Ubuntu, then my XP PC for bookkeeping and Creative software, then maybe the occasional Vista use on the laptop that my wife monopolizes for her embroidery. It is the specialised software that holds Linux out of some areas. The scanner is now on my Linux box because XSane is better than the packaged solution. I use Windows for work and Linux for games!

Windows at work

Windows at work - lunchtime surfing with Firefox

Ubuntu at home

Keep up the good work

Why windows,,, ?

because i'm in college!
Ubuntu on my laptop though!

My reasons

I use an XP box at work, as well as an Ubuntu VM and a session on RHEL ES 4. At home I have XP on a laptop for college,Vista/ Unbreakable Linux on a desktop. The Vista is for the wife, and learning for supporting customers. Most of the software that I support is run on UNIX, so I have to know both.
Funny thing is, I am a trained in MS, but a convert (rebel?) to Linux. Both have their good points, but Linux is getting better as I learn more!


I come here as a long-time affort to use both linus and osx. This have come as quite an troublesome jurney regarding Linux on a Macbook Pro and/or Mac Pro. Issues by the tenfold that needs taking care of before even talking about havíng a working machine. Right now i have withdrawn to running Linux on VM since my (medium) tech skills could not solve all the issues.

I would really like to use Linux in my professional work (photographer) but the hardware have so far way too many problems and the list of software not beeing good enough is long: not good enough a image wiewer, no sufficient RAW-converter, Gimp lacking adjustment layers (why?), no or poor syncing to phones/iphones/callendars and lastly poor support for Wacom boards.

Naturally i did not come here to be negative but if someone techy enough out there would build a photographers/grapical designers Linux distro that will run flawless on a Mac they would be absolutely heroes!

Why am I here?

Working on a project for school.
Which OS to recommend for SME installing 200 workstations?

Found nice benchmark data for Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu.

Thanks a bunch,

P.S. Spent 20+ years working on OpenVMS, that's where my heart is, but...oh well.

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