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The market share of Funtoo and Gentoo

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It is written in Distrowatch about Slackware:

"Slackware Linux, created by Patrick Volkerding in 1992, is the oldest surviving Linux distribution. Forked from the now-discontinued SLS project, Slackware 1.0 came on 24 floppy disks and was built on top of Linux kernel version 0.99pl11-alpha. It quickly became the most popular Linux distribution, with some estimates putting its market share to as much as 80% of all Linux installations in 1995". 

Reference: Top Ten Distributions
An overview of today's top distributions: https://distrowatch.com/dwres-mobile.php?resource=major
The estimates are putting the market share of Funtoo and Gentoo in wich percentage of all Linux installations in 2018?

I'm asking this question because I really like the subject.

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The article you linked actually says "There are no figures to back it up".. so from what I understand this is based entirely upon page hits for the distros on distrowatch? I don't think distrowatch has a metric or statistic of any sort that qualifies them to say definitively that any distro is "top 10".

To be fair though, funtoo/gentoo are not as popular as distros with easy binary installers. At least not to your everyday end user of linux. Those numbers may sway the other way when you distinguish the types of users and systems in particular. For instance embedded devices and headless systems, which is where we shine the most.

Also consider the sociology involved.. the type of people that use funtoo/gentoo probably don't spend much time on distrowatch. I say that because funtoo/gentoo tend to be the final resting place of the linux obsessed and tinkerers. People who are done distro-hopping and just want a system that can be easily tweaked to infinite possibilities without breakage.  

Perhaps a hidden metric might be the number of packages in the ecosystem as well as (in the case of funtoo/gentoo) overlays and repos. Also the number of developers working on the distro.

On Gentoo's website they claim to have some 250 or more developers and thousands of contributors and users. They also claim the repo has some 
19,465 packages. Ubuntu forum posts suggest somewhere in the range of 35,000 packages though they also piggy-back debian's repo.. not unlike funtoo piggy-backs gentoo's in a sense.

I think you are probably better off basing a statistic on the package manager used rather than the distro. So distros like Ubuntu and Mint and a gazillion others all are actually just representative of the variations available in the Debian ecosystem and share the same packages as well as having their own mods of some of those packages and apt package manager. This muddies the water a bit because you have packages that are replicas within the same package management system. If you applied the same logic to the funtoo/gentoo ecosystem, you would have to include a million overlays with endless variations of ebuilds for any number of packages. Suddenly that 19,465 looks more like 100,000 packages or higher. 

Package managers are the most significant difference between 99% of all linux distros. Under the hood the rest is just "linux" and all it's possible variations. If you consider the package manager as the most valid metric of market share then your top names in terms of sheer volume and size of the development group..will have to be:

  1. apt or more specifically "dpkg" (debian, ubuntu, mint and many others)
  2. rpm (with various front ends like "yum" and "dnf"...redhat, fedora, CentOS and many others)
  3. portage (funtoo, gentoo, and many others)
  4. pacman (Arch, ArchBang, Manjaro and many others)

The list of package managers is much larger but I think the 4 I listed are probably the top 4 though not necessarily in order. Those 4 package managers probably represent 100 or more "distributions" that have contributed to the given ecosystem but are not really it's originator. There are also a number of binary distributions that use portage to build their binaries and the binaries are distributed using a separate package manager (think Sabayon and others). This is where the term "meta-distribution" comes in. Funtoo/Gentoo are basically the back end to a lot of distributions who's users have no idea what gentoo/funtoo even is. Now are those users contributing to Funtoo/Gentoo market share statistics?

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There is one page that I know of:


I don't think that most of linux users even know about this linux counter effort.

Funtoo is going to have or already has a funtoo-reporting tool where users submit metrics about their systems. So once this has gained broader adoption we can tell you how many unique machines are reporting to this tool.

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And the Linux Counter project was announced on Oct 8, 1993, so their stats on SLS and Slackware back then are meaningful.  But even then, the estimated number of Linux machines and users based on the number of actual registrations was many multiples higher.  That's the problem with all deployment assessment strategies using unforced registration.

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