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File:DistroWatch Logo.png
URL http://distrowatch.com/
Commercial? Yes
Registration No
Available language(s) English, Hindi, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Japanese, Persian
Owner Ladislav Bodnar
Launched May 31, 2001
Alexa rank 69938
Revenue Advertisement

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 operating systems such as OpenSolaris and BSD. It now contains information on several hundred distributions.[1] It was originally published on May 31, 2001, and is maintained by Ladislav Bodnar.[2] ("Distro" is a short form of the word "distribution"; it's a popular usage in Linux.)

The site maintains extensive comparison charts detailing differences between the package sets and software revisions of different distributions. It also provides some general characteristics of distributions such as the price and the supported processor architectures.[3] There is also a Distrowatch weekly (often abbreviated DWW) that comes out on Monday "as a publication summarising the happenings in the distribution world on a weekly basis".[4] As of 17th November 2008, 51/2 years and 278 issues later, Ladislav has decided to step down from the post of the editor for DWW. Ladislav says he will still continue "bringing you the latest release news and to keep all distribution pages up-to-date"[5] while the DWW will be written by Chris Smart.[6]

Distrowatch has a monthly donations programme, a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software. Since the launch of the Donations Programme in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of $17,283 USD to various open source software projects.[7]



Despite Bodnar saying "I'd like to believe that there is some truth in the figures, but in all honesty, they really don't mean all that much and should not be taken very seriously",[8] 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".[9]

It has been pointed out that DistroWatch's system is prone to fraudulent statistics, and certain distros have been accused of attempting this, such as Ubuntu[10] and Freespire.[11]

Current Distro Statistics


Year Rank Top Distros Hits Per Day Notes
2002[12] 1 Mandrake 473 Currently called Mandriva
2 Red Hat Linux 453
3 Gentoo 326
4 Debian 311
5 Sorcerer 253
2003[13] 1 Mandrake 770
2 Red Hat Linux 631
3 Knoppix 489 Live CD, Based on Debian
4 Gentoo 460
5 Debian 428
2004[14] 1 Mandrake 1457
2 Fedora Core 1202 Community-based Red Hat Linux
3 Knoppix 910 Live CD, Based on Debian
4 SUSE 858
5 Debian 832
2005[15] 1 Ubuntu 2546 Based on Debian
2 Mandriva 1664
3 SUSE 1451
4 Fedora Core 1211
5 MEPIS 1145 Based on Debian
2006[16] 1 Ubuntu 2640 Based on Debian
2 openSUSE 2027 Community-based SUSE Linux
3 Fedora Core 1444
4 MEPIS 1045 Based on Debian
5 Mandriva 1015
2007[17] 1 Ubuntu 2519 Based on Debian
2 PCLinuxOS 2502 Based on Mandriva
3 openSUSE 1596
4 Fedora 1332
5 Sabayon 1087
2008[18] 1 Ubuntu 2325 Based on Debian
2 openSUSE 1740
3 Linux Mint 1458 Based on Ubuntu
4 Fedora 1376
5 PCLinuxOS 1147 Based on Mandriva
2009[19] 1 Ubuntu 2249 Based on Debian
2 Fedora 1569
3 Linux Mint 1408 Based on Ubuntu
4 openSUSE 1367
5 Debian 1034


External links

de:Distrowatch es:DistroWatch fr:DistroWatch ja:DistroWatch nl:DistroWatch no:DistroWatch pl:DistroWatch pt:Distrowatch ru:DistroWatch tr:DistroWatch

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