Linux developers less keen on commercial distros

Survey: The popularity of non-commercial Linux distributions appears to be growing among developers

Linux developers are increasingly favouring non-commercial versions of Linux over commercial versions, according to a survey published on Thursday.

An Evans Data survey of more than 400 software developers found that 34 percent prefer non-commercial versions of Linux, while 28 percent prefer commercial versions, such as Red Hat or SuSE. The remaining 38 percent had no preference.

In the past Linux developers had tended to favour commercial distributions. An Evans Data survey in 2003 found that the preference for commercial versions was double that of non-commercial Linux.

The main reason for this trend is an increase in online information about Linux which means that developers are less reliant on formal models of support, according to Evans Data. It found that, compared with six months ago, 25 percent fewer Linux developers believe that support is the biggest advantage of choosing a commercial version.