Bonum Certa Men Certa

There May be Close to 100,000,000 Laptops and Desktops Running GNU/Linux Around the World in 2024

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Feb 22, 2024

But it's incredibly hard to track the number of deployments, due to the decentralised nature of distribution among other factors, as I explained 17 years ago (still applicable)

You wouldn't download a GNU/Linux

THIS year it's time to revisit an old question.

Some people wonder how many desktops and laptops run GNU/Linux. Given that few buy GNU/Linux PCs (preinstalled), many are offline, and one can install a distro on many machines after just one download, let's extrapolate a little.

"In 2019," this page says, "there were over 2 billion computers in the world, including servers, desktops, and laptops."

Motif of science/technology

So set aside tablets and phones running Android, which has Linux. Ignore those for now.

5 years have passed. More hardware exists now. Many people purchased laptops during the pandemic.

Most servers run GNU/Linux and that leaves us with close to 2 billion desktops and laptops at present (there aren't that many physical servers). Now that GNU/Linux is measured at over 4% based on several worldwide surveys, 1% would be about 20 million and 4% or more would be over 80 million. Add Chromebooks on top of that... how many Chromebooks are out there? Google probably knows because it "phones homes" ('telemetry').

GNU/Linux is widely used in the domain of science and technology, even on the client side. Film studios also use it extensively, but it is not a subject that today's media (what's left of it) typically explores. There's no company like Apple and Microsoft to "commission" so-called 'journalism' (marketing) about it.

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