Linux eclipses Windows
The Eclipse team released a survey that shows Linux is the most popular deployment platform, outstripping Microsoft Windows. Ubuntu is the second most popular Linux deployment platform, just behind Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). On the development side the Linux desktop shows strong growth, with 27% of developers using it.
The survey itself had over 1,300 participants from a range of different organisations, you can get the full results from their site. Eclipse is popular with Java developers or developers not strongly tied to Microsoft technologies, so the survey gives good insight into their behaviour.
From the survey Linux is used by 27% of developers as their desktop environment, up from 20% in 2007. This is very strong growth, and shows that Linux continues to expand its reach on the desktop. Ubuntu is the lead distribution with 14.5% of users, RHEL/Fedora is next on 4.7% and then SUSE/Novell on 3.2%. Windows is still the largest platform but has lost 10% market share; it was 74% in 2007 and has now dropped to 64% in the 2009 survey.
The survey also asked what platform was used for deployment. There’s a dramatic shift from previous surveys as Linux now represents the majority on 43% and Microsoft Windows 41%. The breakdown is also interesting. RHEL/Fedora is the lead distribution with 13.1%, Ubuntu comes second with 12.0% and SUSE/Novell is used by 5.3% for deployments.
The desktop Linux trend is really good news as it’s another strong data point showing that Linux is growing on the desktop. Developers are power users who tweak and play with their environment, so if they’re satisfied with Ubuntu then it bodes well for other broader users.
For Ubuntu the deployment platform data is also good news as it shows continuing growth for the server. By it’s nature the server isn’t as flashy as the desktop, it’s strengths and capabilities are more subtle. It’s great to see that developers are appreciating that the server edition is capable of delivering the full range of enterprise workloads, including Java application serving. A lot of work has been put into making LAMP and Tomcat easy to install and maintain, to my mind this survey demonstrates that the work is paying off – we’re helping users deploy Java more simply.