ubuntu-14.04-laptop-front
Image | Canonical

Short Bytes: Canonical Lead Dustin Kirkland has explained how Linux Ubuntu is being used by tons of people who don’t even know about it. With the help of an open letter and public facts, he claims that there are more than 1 billion Ubuntu users in the world.

Dustin Kirkland, a part of the Canonical community team, has written an open letter explaining that Ubuntu community is much bigger than previously thought. This letter came in response to a report from Phoronix that claimed that Canonical has failed its goal of spreading Ubuntu to 200 million users by the 2015 end.

Before Phoronix, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth started this debate of numbers by estimating that by 2015, there will be 200 million Ubuntu users. Defending his colleague, Dustin gathered a large chunk of data to prove that most people who use Ubuntu don’t even know about it.

This argument by Dustin seems right on point as there is no obvious way to count the number of people using Ubuntu. “No one has. And no one can count all of the Ubuntu users in the world,” says Dustin. Unlike Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Red Hat, Ubuntu doesn’t need users to register their Ubuntu installation. Checking the Ubuntu repos for the number of people downloading updates might be a way to predict the number, but Dustin had other solid data to prove his point.

While millions of Dell, HP, Asus, and Lenovo branded laptops are running on Ubuntu, there are the tons of servers running on the same. “Hundreds of millions of PCs, servers, devices, virtual machines, and containers have booted Ubuntu to date,” explains Dustin.

Collecting the public records, Dustin has posted a list of all Ubuntu deployments in cloud, usage in companies, Ubuntu phones and more. Here are some facts listed by him:

  • Docker users have launched Ubuntu images over 35.5 million times.
  • HashiCorp’s Vagrant images of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit have been downloaded 10 million times.
  • At least 20 million unique instances of Ubuntu have launched in public clouds, private clouds, and bare metal in 2015 itself
  • Over 2 million new Ubuntu cloud instances launched in November 2015.
  • Other Ubuntu applications include Ubuntu phones from BQ and Meizu, Google’s self driving cars , Tesla entertainment system, Snappy Ubuntu application in IoT devices, a large list of supercomputers, Netflix, Walmart, Bloomberg, Wikipedia, Paypal, Dropbox, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Heroku – and the list goes on.

Well, it looks like Dustin has proved his point in the open letter. “How many “users” of Ubuntu are there ultimately?  I bet there are over a billion people today, using Ubuntu — both directly and indirectly,” says Dustin.

He continues:

  • More people use Ubuntu than we know.
  • More people use Ubuntu than you know.
  • More people use Ubuntu than they know.

Dustin Kirkland on Ubuntu 

Do you agree with Dustin’s claims? Tell us in the comments below.

Adarsh Verma
Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]