Attention desktop Linux users - Are you a typical user?

Attention desktop Linux users - Are you a typical user?

Summary: Are YOU a typical desktop Linux user?

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OpenSUSE.org has published the results of a three-month survey of over 27,000 participants.  The results are interesting:

A typical Linux desktop user is a guy in his twenties who's computer savvy but may very well not be an IT professional.

Professionally speaking, an openSUSE Linux desktop user tends to be a student. Since a plurality of users are in their twenties, it seems safe to assume that most of them are undergraduate or graduate students. For those who are working full time, the greatest number, 21.4 percent, work as system administrators.

However, while 32.9 percent of openSUSE users said they make a living by working on computer-related jobs, the single largest group of openSUSE users, 35.7 percent, describe themselves as experienced users but without any great technical skills. These users can set up openSUSE the way they like and keep it updated, but they don't consider themselves Linux experts. Perhaps the term "power user" could best describe them.

The results certainly are interesting.  Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • 27.2% of Linux users are 24 years old or younger while 11.4% are 50 years old or over.
  • 98% or Linux users are male.
  • 4.2% of users only have a basic level of knowledge.
  • 89.1% of users use a broadband/DSL connection, but 0.7% has no internet connection.
  • 25% said that price was the most important software criteria but hardware support was up at 58% while security was at 63%.
  • 31.6% mainly use Windows, while 50.9% mainly use OpenSUSE/SUSE LINUX while 5% of those surveyed used Ubuntu (hmmm ... ).
  • 69.5% dual boot with Windows.
  • 84.7% of those surveyed aren't involved with the OpenSUSE project. 

So, if you are a desktop Linux user, are you a typical desktop Linux user?

You can find the results of the survey here (PDF).

Topics: Hardware, Linux, Open Source

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48 comments
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  • I guess I am

    I fall in the majority of every one of those categories you listed, so I suppose I am a typical desktop Linux user.
    Michael Kelly
  • Pretty much the same ...

    except for the age group, but then again I'm an open minded person that likes to try new things. I guess the saying you're as young as you feel has some truth to it after all.
    MisterMiester
  • Vista user here.

    I used to use Linux. But application support (and virtual machine emulator speed) wasn't quite there. Wouldn't mind going back to it, but I've learned sometimes Microsoft is wrongly criticized. (not always, obviously, but definitely sometimes.)
    HypnoToad72
  • WAAAAAY in the minority

    [i]* 27.2% of Linux users are 24 years old or younger while 11.4% are 50 years old or over.[/i]

    Put me in the 11.4%

    [i]* 98% or Linux users are male.[/i]

    Guilty as charged.

    [i]* 4.2% of users only have a basic level of knowledge.[/i]

    Nope.

    [i]* 89.1% of users use a broadband/DSL connection, but 0.7% has no internet connection.[/i]

    Currently my Torrents are getting about 150 KB/s -- by some accounts that's broadband.

    [i]* 25% said that price was the most important software criteria but hardware support was up at 58% while security was at 63%.[/i]

    None of the above.

    [i]* 31.6% mainly use Windows, while 50.9% mainly use OpenSUSE/SUSE LINUX while 5% of those surveyed used Ubuntu (hmmm ? ).[/i]

    None of the above.

    [i]* 69.5% dual boot with Windows.[/i]

    Nope.

    [i]* 84.7% of those surveyed aren't involved with the OpenSUSE project. [/i]

    A touch -- a definite touch.

    Not in the list, but employed and not as any kind of computer operations/programming/support/etc.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • 150 KB/sec isn't bad, that's 1.5 mbps

      150 KB/sec isn't bad, that's 1.2 mbps which is the most BitTorrent will get with a 1.5 mbps T1 speeds because of overhead issues.
      georgeou
      • For the USA it's freaking GREAT

        ... other parts of the world, it's "paper bag mask" stuff.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • Compared to dense cities, sure

          Compared to dense cities, sure. If you have people packed in close enough, you just provide Ethernet to them. All those so called claims of how cheap and how great it is in Europe or South Korea are overblown. My friend lives in Germany and he's not getting 10 mbps for $15 a month or anything close to that like so many people like you to believe. On the other hand I have friends in LA getting 10 mbps for $40/month. I'd also love to see what the rural areas in South Korea get. You do realize that South Korean telcos make up for profit by banning VoIP right? Heck they blocked our serviceman from using VoIP to force them to pay for long distance.

          What do you need more than 1.5 mbps other than BitTorrent? Which business applications? I'm not saying I wouldn't mind having more bandwidth, but the typical answer is almost always BitTorrent.
          georgeou
  • 98% male and 95% more than basic knowledge.

    Linux fanciers are apparently young guys with a time-consuming computer hobby, when not working for a living in IT.

    Unsurprising.
    Anton Philidor
  • 98% male? Wow that new ad is really wrong

    98% male? Wow that new ad with linux being represented by a cute girl is really wrong then.
    georgeou
    • Gasp!

      You mean they actually are trying advertising? 'Bout darn time if they want to get the bandwagon rolling!!!
      Confused by religion
    • Not convinced it's such a male thing

      George - I don't really think that survey should be taken too literally. After reading countless posts on the PCLinuxOS forums and elsewhere about how guys successfully persuade their wives/gf/female relatives to use PCLinuxOS, I think 98% is an exaggeration. Women respond to geeky surveys less than guys, so figure less in the results.

      Now where can I get Linux's phone number? s i g h...
      Don Collins
      • But why take the

        anonymous posting of someone stating [i[how guys successfully persuade their wives/gf/female relatives to use PCLinuxOS[/i] over that of an actuall survey results?

        You mean to tell me you don't think a lot of the stuff some people post here is just a load of BS?
        John Zern
      • I definitely am.

        The description of this group makes it highly unlikely they have head a gir friend and even more unlikely that they are married. :)
        ShadeTree
    • It sure is a gross misrepresentation

      Go here for some accurate demographics.

      http://www.autographworld.com/catalog/wholesale/carradine_robert.jpg
      osreinstall
    • Just curious...

      George Ou wrote:

      [i]98% male? Wow that new ad with linux being represented by a cute girl is really wrong then.[/i]

      What ad is that? I haven't seen it.
      JDThompson
      • Link to Video's

        http://www.novell.com/video/

        Scroll down to PC Mac Linux 1, 2 & 3
        utterchaos
    • 2% female

      I`m one of the 2% female...maybe some chicks don`t answer the surveys? I don`t recall having taken this survey. I`m not in a computer related industry,or a student.
      parrotnut
    • Not really

      wrong - they are suggesting getting together with Linux :) I'd say they hit their target market about right...
      Freebird54
  • Translated

    Computer geeks...
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Yes

      You could have saved some people plenty of time.
      People