Linux Mint becomes the World’s most used Linux distribution

Linux Mint 11- Desktop Screenshot / Wikimedia Commons (1)

Linux Mint has now become the first most used Linux Distro in the world, outranking Ubuntu after only 5 years of existence.

Linux Mint becomes the World’s most used Linux distribution

By CanadaNewsLibre.com

November 4, 2011

Linux Mint is a Linux-based computer operating system best known for its usability and ease of installation, particularly for users with no previous Linux experience. It is available in several editions with different codebases, nearly all of which are based on Ubuntu, which is itself based on Debian.

Source: DistroWatch.com (2) as of November 4, 2011

DistroWatch’s statistics are often cited as a guide to the popularity of various distributions. Its “page hit counter” has been called “the best ‘barometer’ of Linux distributions on the Internet”.[10]

What is a “Distribution”?

A Linux distribution, commonly called a “distro”, is a project that manages a remote collection of system software and application software packages available for download and installation through a network connection. This allows the user to adapt the operating system to his/her specific needs. Distributions are maintained by individuals, loose-knit teams, volunteer organizations, and commercial entities.

A distribution is responsible for the default configuration of the installed Linux kernel, general system security, and more generally integration of the different software packages into a coherent whole. Distributions typically use a package manager such as dpkg, Synaptic, YAST, or Portage to install, remove and update all of a system’s software from one central location.

Linux system distributions may vary in many details of system operation, configuration, and software package selections. A distribution is largely driven by its developer and user communities. Some vendors develop and fund their distributions on a volunteer basis, Debian being a well-known example. Others maintain a community version of their commercial distributions, as Red Hat does with Fedora and Novell does with openSUSE.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint started in 2006; it focuses on usability, with emphasis on accessibility and internationalization in order to reach as many people as possible. UTF-8 is the default character encoding and allows for support of a variety of non-Roman scripts. All editions of Linux Mint are available in both 32 and 64-bit.

Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components. It also adds a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface. Linux Mint is compatible with Ubuntu software repositories.

Clement Lefebvre is the founder, project leader, developer and maintainer of the Main, Universal and x64 Linux Mint editions

Its country of origin is Ireland amd the latest version is Linux Mint 11 “Katya”.

More on Linux

Linux runs on a wide variety of computer hardware, including mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, televisions, video game consoles, desktop computers, mainframes and supercomputers. Linux is a leading server operating system, and runs the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world.[18]

The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux is packaged in a format known as a Linux distribution for desktop and server use. Some popular mainstream Linux distributions include Debian (and its derivatives such as Ubuntu), Fedora and openSUSE.

Commercial and popular uptake

Today, Linux distributions are used in every domain, from embedded systems to supercomputers, and have secured a place in server installations often using the popular LAMP application stack.

Use of Linux distributions in home and enterprise desktops has been growing. They have also gained popularity with various local and national governments. The federal government of Brazil is well known for its support for Linux. News of the Russian military creating its own Linux distribution has also surfaced, and has come to fruition as the G.H.ost Project. The Indian state of Kerala has gone to the extent of mandating that all state high schools run Linux on their computers. China uses Linux exclusively as the operating system for its Loongson processor family to achieve technology independence. In Spain some regions have developed their own Linux distributions, which are widely used in education and official institutions, like gnuLinEx in Extremadura and Guadalinex in Andalusia. Portugal is also using its own Linux distribution Caixa Mágica, used in the Magalhães netbook and the e-escola government program. France and Germany have also taken steps toward the adoption of Linux.

Linux distributions have also become popular in the netbook market, with many devices such as the ASUS Eee PC and Acer Aspire One shipping with customized Linux distributions installed.

Linux as web client operating system

Usage share of web client operating systems:

Source: Median values from Usage share of operating systems for August 2011 (3)

Servers, mainframes and supercomputers

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory‘s Jaguar supercomputer, until recently the world’s fastest supercomputer. It uses the Cray Linux Environment as its operating system.[68][69]

Servers designed for Linux

Linux distributions have long been used as server operating systems, and have risen to prominence in that area; Netcraft reported in September 2006 that eight of the ten most reliable internet hosting companies ran Linux distributions on their web servers.[70] Since June 2008, Linux distributions represented five of the top ten, FreeBSD three of ten, and Microsoft two of ten; since February 2010, Linux distributions represented six of the top ten, FreeBSD two of ten, and Microsoft one of ten.

Linux distributions are the cornerstone of the LAMP server-software combination (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) which has achieved popularity among developers, and which is one of the more common platforms for website hosting.

Linux distributions have become increasingly popular on mainframes in the last decade partly due to pricing and the open-source model. In December 2009, computer giant IBM reported that it would predominantly market and sell mainframe-based Enterprise Linux Server.[74]

Linux distributions are also commonly used as operating systems for supercomputers: since November 2011, out of the top 500 systems, 459 (91.8%) run a Linux distribution.[75] Linux was also selected as the operating system for the world’s most powerful supercomputer, IBM’s Sequoia which will become operational in 2011.[76]

Analysts and proponents attribute the relative success of Linux to its security, reliability, low cost, and freedom from vendor lock-in.

References:

1. Linux Mint 11- Desktop Screenshot
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Linux_Mint_Katya.png

2. Source: http://distrowatch.com
Copyright (C) 2001 – 2011 DistroWatch.com. All rights reserved.
DistroWatch is a website which provides news, popularity rankings, and other general information about various Linux distributions as well as other free software/open source Unix-like operating systems such as OpenSolaris, MINIX and BSD. It now contains information on several hundred distributions

3. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

Sources for this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distrowatch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linuxmint
http://distrowatch.com/index.php?language=EN
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux

Update and related article: Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” released! – November 26, 2011

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