A poll of open source users reveals the types of operating systems and devices they use. GNU/Linux-based laptops and PCs top the list; Android and iOS are much less popular.
What kind of desktop, laptop and mobile hardware is most popular among open source fans? How many Linux PC users also sport Apple smartphones or tablets? Are people actually using Raspberry Pis? A recent poll from FOSS Force sheds light on these questions.
The poll was conducted by FOSS Force, an online hub for the open source community, during the week following Christmas. Since the website attracts a self-selected group of open source enthusiasts, it is hardly a measure of general computing trends. But its narrow demographic focus makes it a rare resource for measuring habits within the open source ecosystem.
In the poll, FOSS Force asked users which types of hardware devices they use and which software platforms they run on top of them. People could respond multiple times in order to indicate all types of platforms they use; their responses were not limited to identifying the one they use the most.
Not surprisingly, Linux-based desktops and laptops were the most popular platforms among respondents. But more remarkable findings included:
- A relatively small number -- only 14.2 percent -- of open source fans use Android phones, while 9.7 percent use Android-based tablets. That's notable because Android is also a Linux-based, partially open source platform. The finding suggests that people who use open source for other computing tasks aren't big fans of Android, however, which is good news for Canonical in its ongoing effort to promote Ubuntu-based phones.
- Apple iOS is even less popular than Android. Only 2.5 and 2 percent of respondents, respectively, said they use mobile phones or tablets running iOS.
- A significant number of people reported using Windows laptops and PCs. This presumably means that dual-boot configurations, in which computers have both Windows and Linux installed at the same time, remain common. (Notably absent from the poll was a question about using Windows or another non-open source OS inside a virtual machine, which is another way of completing Windows-dependent tasks on a Linux computer.)
FOSS Force has now posted a new poll asking people which Linux distribution they use. That promises to yield interesting results given the lack of extensive data on this topic.