Conventional wisdom says Ubuntu's popularity is limited to desktop PCs and laptops. However, a reader survey by Works With U reveals that nearly 80 percent of organizations running Ubuntu depend on at least one production Ubuntu server. Here's the scoop.

The survey, known as the Works With U 1000, seeks to identify one thousand organizations across the globe that run Ubuntu. Here are some quick data points from the survey so far.

Of the first 98 surveys received:
  • 77.6 percent of participants indicated that they run Ubuntu on servers
  • The typical survey participant has six Ubuntu servers and 15 Ubuntu desktops
  • The most popular uses for Ubuntu servers include Web servers (57.1%), file servers (57.1%), databases (54.1%) and backup/recovery services (40.8%)
  • Survey participants represent small, midsize and large organizations from across the globe
Admittedly, this isn't a scientific survey. But the anecdotal information suggests that Ubuntu has pushed beyond its desktop heritage to gain a growing presence on some business and organizational servers. Moreover, the server deployments cut across multiple vertical markets including financial services, retail, transportation and technology companies. In other words, Ubuntu servers aren't just for colleges and universities.

Our sister site, The VAR Guy, believes Ubuntu's best initial hope on the server is to displace Microsoft Windows Small Business Server -- rather than competing against entrenched rivals like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux in the enterprise.

Works With U will continue to publish anecdotal data from the survey. If you work for an organization that runs Ubuntu and want to participate in the survey, simply visit our Works With U 1000 center. The survey is free and requires only a few minutes of your time.