Posted on Tuesday 21st of August 2007 at 05:55 in Linux

PCLinuxOS gaining more popularity than Ubuntu?

This may not be as absurd a claim as you may think, especially when you take into consideration the minor backlash that Ubuntu has experienced. So is PCLinuxOS the next poster-child of usable Linux?

It's only natural that something that gains a massive amount of popularity in a relatively short period of time receives some criticism. You see this behaviour in the majority of mainstream society: fans of a movie will become ostrasized when it becomes popular for the masses, the same thing happens with music and anything else that was once "private". So Ubuntu has been suffering this - as discussed in my Ubuntu Kane and Abel community struggle.

pclinuxos chart

Ubuntu has dropped on Distrowatch!
This is what made me stop and think. On the Distrowatch 'page hit ranking' chart (which is a reasonable indication of each distro's popularity) Ubuntu has slipped from the top within the past 3 months. Any metric you use that is within the last 3 months (be that the last 30 days or even the last 7 days) then PCLinuxOS appears above Ubuntu.


Why could this be?
Well, PCLOS has not had any new releases lately; the last one was the distribution release back in May (the 21st if memory serves) so it's not traffic relating to a new product. Ubuntu has a new release out in October (7.10) and put out development release Alpha 4 on the 9th of this month.

Logic would dictate that even if they carried identical popularity then Ubuntu would still have a higher ranking due to the interest around the Alpha releases. Not so. PCLOS has been receiving 400-500 hits per day higher than Ubuntu.


The calm before the storm?
I imagine that 7.10 is going to be another epic release by the Ubuntu team; given the impressive things they're doing with usability (multi-monitor support etc) so this could just be the calm before the storm... Especially considering Ubuntu has averaged 2,600 page-hits-per-day over the past 6 months (which is higher than PCLinuxOS, even at it's current high).

Google trends tells a different tale
Comparing the search terms "ubuntu" and "pclinuxos" tells an entirely different story to the Distrowatch charts:

pclinuxos vs ubuntu

Ubuntu should be higher than PCLinuxOS, especially considering the fact that their servers got hacked. So you can pretty much make your own deductions from this!

I've preferred PCLOS to Ubuntu ever since I first tried it so an increase in popularity would be well deserved - but that's not to say that Ubuntu isn't without it's merit. It's got such a strong community, so many developers and strong contracts (like Dell) to support it - so i find it hard not to be happy for the direction it's pushing Linux. What do you think?

Visit the Distrowatch Page Hit Data chart


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