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Ubuntu popularity falls as Linux Mint flourishes

United against Unity
Thu Nov 24 2011, 13:41

LINUX DISTRIBUTION Ubuntu is losing popularity according to Distrowatch, with Linux Mint growing at a tremendous pace.

The Distrowatch Linux Distribution popularity tracker was updated earlier today showing Canonical's Ubuntu slipping to fourth place, with Linux Mint increasing its lead at the top. For many years Ubuntu had topped the Distrowatch popularity list, but in the past year it has slipped to second place and now is ranked fourth.

Ubuntu's drop to fourth place sees Red Hat's Fedora move up to second place and OpenSUSE take third. Not only has Linux Mint retained its position at the top of the Distrowatch charts, according to the web site its popularity has increased by over 66 per cent in the last month.

Canonical has faced a backlash over its decision to ship Ubuntu with the Unity desktop as the default interface. The Distrowatch figures could be used as evidence against the firm's decision to stick with Unity as the default user interface on Ubuntu rather than reverting back to Gnome.

Like Ubuntu, Linux Mint is aimed at Linux beginners and is based on Debian. Linux Mint has also tweaked its user interface through the Mint Gnome Shell Extensions, but unlike Canonical, the changes are meant to make the interface more like Gnome 2.

It seems Canonical's radical decision to ship Unity as the default user interface is coming back to bite it. While Unity might be better for devices with touchscreens, those using more traditional hardware seem to prefer using established desktop managers such as Gnome and KDE. µ


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