Why is there so much software available for linux when so few people use it?

Vimmer

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I'm actually shocked that despite the very small number of linux desktop users in existence, there's such a huge amount of software we have to choose from. Why is this?
 


very small number of linux desktop users in existence
`how did you arrive at that conclusion ?....do you have numbers ? I would be most interested to see them
 
despite the very small number of linux desktop users in existence,
as there is no creditable way of accurately measuring how many people worldwide use some form of Linux, I always think this is a non-starter for an argument.
there's such a huge amount of software we have to choose from.
Not everyone is the same shape, so why should they have to put up with an ill-fitting suite, the same with computer systems, why put up with something that doesn't fit when you can Taylor make it to fit your own circumstances, variety gives you that opportunity
 
Current users of computers worldwide

A total of 5.35 billion people around the world were using the internet at the start of 2024, equivalent to 66.2 percent of the world's total population. Internet users continue to grow too, with the latest data indicating that the world's connected population grew by 97 million users in the 12 months to January 2024.

Current users of Linux indicate that we have reached the 4% mark of the market.

That could mean 214 million LInux users. The population of the UK, Germany and France.

Not an insignificant number, I would suggest.

If your question were

How many components in a car?

We could not answer, either.

If the question on automobiles was worded

How many components in a car contribute to

  • safety
  • quick performance
  • efficiency
  • appealing looks

then you are starting to get somewhere, and there will still be a kazillion answers.

You could ask the car manufacturers, and similarly, the Linux Developers and then cross-reference it against Windows and MacOS figures.

Good luck on that one. :)

Wizard
 
How many components in a car?
That has nothing to do with my question.

But the whole "there are a lot of people" the trick.
`how did you arrive at that conclusion ?....do you have numbers ? I would be most interested to see them
I do appreciate that nobody trusts statistics, but it doesn't appear you have discovered google's conflicting info.
 
I only install software I need...doesn't everyone.
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If Linux had hardly any software everyone would complain...you can't please everyone.
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As @bob466, just pointed out...Linux is about Choice !....and plenty of it at that.
 
I'm actually shocked that despite the very small number of linux desktop users in existence, there's such a huge amount of software we have to choose from. Why is this?

That basically is because everybody is re-inventing the same wheel, in this world this is known as "distro"

And that divides the number of users extremely.

In addition, Linux still isn't sold with hardware, which will be their downfall if they don't realize this.

One Distro at least is, and it's big in the corporate world. It may not be the "best" Distro (who's to judge ?), but it will exist in 20 years, which we can't say from others.

Just a reminder, ALL Unix OS'es (which could technically be described as some kind of Linux distro), still exist, and that is because they understand how the world used to work. You wouldn't realize how many servers still run Unix. And technically there are less good as Linux (well, in 2024 that is, but not in 1984), but the discussion is not about quality.
 
In addition, Linux still isn't sold with hardware, which will be their downfall if they don't realize this.
Doesn't seem to be a problem so far: open source licenses are structured in such a way that anyone could do it.
 
Take out crystal ball, give it a good rub and look into the abiss..
I can see that with Microsoft's in house use of Linux for programming and running their cloud operation, and the appearance of WSL a couple of years back, that Microsoft may turn into just another Linux distribution, at which point manufacturers will be more acceptable to supplying GNU licenced software. The windows' operation can be slimmed down to a Bere minimum to cut cost, then they will be able to concentrate on the more profitable side of the industry
 
That basically is because everybody is re-inventing the same wheel, in this world this is known as "distro"

And that divides the number of users extremely.

In addition, Linux still isn't sold with hardware, which will be their downfall if they don't realize this.

One Distro at least is, and it's big in the corporate world. It may not be the "best" Distro (who's to judge ?), but it will exist in 20 years, which we can't say from others.

Just a reminder, ALL Unix OS'es (which could technically be described as some kind of Linux distro), still exist, and that is because they understand how the world used to work. You wouldn't realize how many servers still run Unix. And technically there are less good as Linux (well, in 2024 that is, but not in 1984), but the discussion is not about quality.
Greetings Diputs,
Please do yourself a favor and read the history of Linux. Unix preceded Linux by several years and could not possibly be a Linux distro. Eric Raymond has an interesting book about some of it.
Old Geezer
Tango Charlie
 
Just a reminder, ALL Unix OS'es (which could technically be described as some kind of Linux distro), still exist, and that is because they understand how the world used to work.
Technically, that's the wrong way round. Charlie's got the right of it; Unix existed long before Linux did, so your statement that Unix OSes are all forms of Linux makes no sense whatsoever, I'm afraid!

(I'm in "nit-picking" mode today. Sorry, guys....)


Mike. ;)
 
I'm actually shocked that despite the very small number of linux desktop users in existence, there's such a huge amount of software we have to choose from. Why is this?
Hello Vimmer,
A little history might help here.
Almost everything done in Linux is because someone had an itch they had to scratch - in other words, Linux programs are created for personal reasons. The creators all had different 'itches'.
One thing most people coming to Linux for the first time is that "There's too much choice in Linux."
That is exactly what makes Linux so valuable to those who want the freedom to choose what they want to do with their computer.
Believe it or not {your choice}, Linux does not care if I use it or not. Linux does not owe me anything. If I find some program that I can use, I have complete freedom to download and use it - no strings attached.
One other thing; Linux does not care if the desktop takes off or not. Linux is not in competition with anyone else for "market share" or any other reason.
I hope this helps you understand Linux a little better.
Old Geezer
Tango Charlie
 
That basically is because everybody is re-inventing the same wheel, in this world this is known as "distro"
It would be a very dull world if everyone drove a Ford.
It would be a very dull world if everyone used Ubuntu.

It's not the same wheel at all. There are different colors, different tires, different sizes, different engines, different trim packages, different options and accessories... providing a great deal of variety and choice.

I wouldn't want it any other way. :cool:
 
I'm actually shocked that despite the very small number of linux desktop users in existence, there's such a huge amount of software we have to choose from. Why is this?
Do you think we have too much? What would you eliminate?

Or do you think we should have more Linux users? In that case, I agree. :)
 
How it happened.



 
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To me, this section from

Linux is NOT Windows (a.k.a "One & one is two...")

...pretty much sums it up in a nutshell:-

Linux pretty much started out life as a hacker's hobby. It grew as it attracted more hobbyist hackers. It was quite some time before anybody but a geek stood a chance of getting a useable Linux installation working easily. Linux started out "By geeks, for geeks." And even today, the majority of established Linux users are self-confessed geeks.

And that's a pretty good thing: If you've got a problem with hardware or software, having a large number of geeks available to work on the solution is a definite plus.

But Linux has grown up quite a bit since its early days. There are distros that almost anybody can install, even distros that live on CDs and detect all your hardware for you without any intervention. It's become attractive to non-hobbyist users who are just interested in it because it's virus-free and cheap to upgrade. It's not uncommon for there to be friction between the two camps. It's important to bear in mind, however, that there's no real malice on either side: It's lack of understanding that causes the problems.

Firstly, you get the hard-core geeks who still assume that everybody using Linux is a fellow geek. This means they expect a high level of knowledge, and this often leads to accusations of arrogance, elitism, and rudeness. And in truth, sometimes that's what it is. But quite often, it's not: It's elitist to say "Everybody ought to know this". It's not elitist to say "Everybody knows this" - quite the opposite.

Secondly, you get the new users who're trying to make the switch after a lifetime of using commercial OSes. These users are used to software that anybody can sit down & use, out-of-the-box.

The issues arise because group 1 is made up of people who enjoy being able to tear their OS apart and rebuild it the way they like it, while group 2 tends to be indifferent to the way the OS works, so long as it does work.

That's the world of computer users, to a tee...


Mike. ;)
 

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