Taken as a whole, 2012 was a great year for Linux. The most popular stories, however, were more about the day-to-day happenings of Linux than the big picture.
2012's top Linux story was The truth about Goobuntu: Google's in-house desktop Ubuntu Linux. The title said it all. We'd long known that Google uses its own house-blend of Ubuntu on its PCs, but it wasn't until this summer that Google finally revealed exactly how its workers use Ubuntu,
The next most popular tale was about the popular Linux Mint distribution. I declared that 2012's Best Linux desktop was Linux Mint 13. I've changed my mind since then. Now, I think the best desktop Linux is Linux Mint 14.1. I'll be telling you more about it in the next few days.
One story from 2011 remained popular throughout 2012 and that was my how to install Google Chrome OS feature. This Linux-based operating system with a Chrome Web browser interface powers Chromebooks. As I explained though you don't need a Chromebook to try Chrome OS out for yourself.
Another article that a lot of people liked was The 5 most popular Linux distributions. The most popular Linux in 2012 was, by the by, Linux Mint. See, it wasn't just me who liked it.
Finally, my Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison also had tens of thousands of readers. My point was, and still is, that Ubuntu is a better, more secure, and flexible desktop operating system than Windows 8. That said, if you want to move from Windows 7 or XP to a system that feels more familiar than Windows 8, Mint, with the Cinnamon desktop, is my personal recommendation.
In 2013, I expect these themes to continue to expand. Desktop Linux isn't going to knock Windows off the top of the desktop heap, but on all other platforms--servers, cloud, supercomputers, tablets, and smartphone--Linux and its mobile cousin Android, are going continue to dominate.
What will be interesting is to see how exactly it all plays out. I hope you'll join me for 2013's journey.