The FOSS Force Linux Distro poll is now one for the record books. The poll, which ran for a week, finishing just before midnight on Wednesday, asked the simple question, “What Linux distro do you use most?”
We figured this would be a popular poll going in. What we didn’t know was exactly how popular. By the time the dust had settled, over twenty-five hundred of you had voted — more than double the previous FOSS Force poll record, set back in 2013 for the third and final round of our Best Personal Linux or FOSS Blog poll. Back then, a little over a thousand of you voted, leading us to think we’d crossed the Rainbow Bridge into Valhalla.
This poll was one for the record books in other ways as well. In our article introducing the poll, published the morning after the poll went up, we invited you to share your reasons for your vote. Again, you responded with gusto, producing 100 comments — more than doubling what we’ve seen before.
The poll itself proved the old adage that things aren’t always what they seem.
When the poll went inactive on Wednesday night, it seemed that Linux Mint was the winner by the slight margin of thirteen votes over Ubuntu. However, after the write-in votes were counted, it turned out that Ubuntu had won, albeit by an even slighter margin of eleven votes, less than a half percent of the votes cast and well within the margin of error even in a scientific poll — which our poll certainly wasn’t — technically qualifying this as a tie.
Ubuntu was the only distro in the field of answers which gained additional votes from write-ins. Some Ubuntu voters, it seems, weren’t content to simply vote for Ubuntu — some wanted to make sure we knew which desktop environment they use as well. This might be because Ubuntu has made the use of various desktop environments something of a cottage industry, or it could be that Ubuntu users are prone to trying numerous desktops due to disgruntlement by some over Unity and GNOME.
Write-in votes were important to poll results in other ways as well. Two of the top ten distros got there by way of write-in votes alone — and a total of four not listed distros ended up ahead of distros offered by default by way of write-in voting.
The results also showed a paradoxical mix of diversity and conformity. Although 67 distros were included in the results, about 80 percent of the vote went to just five distros. Indeed, the top two vote getters accounted for over 35 percent of the votes cast.
Anyway, it’s all over for the Linux Distro poll. Well, maybe not — we’re considering turning this into an annual event, as we’ve done with our Desktop Environment poll.
If you’re interested in seeing how your distro fared, we’ve included the results below.
|Tiny Core Linux||2|
Honorable mention to distros receiving one vote: Alpine Linux, aptosid, BackBox, Black Lab Linux, ChaletOS, Edubuntu, Fatdog64, GoboLinux, KNOPPIX, Makulu, Mozillux, Mythbuntu, Nova, Open Xange, Oracle, Peppermint, Pinguy OS, Point Linux, Raspbian, RHEL, ROSA, Salix, Scientific, SparkyLinux, Trisquel, Ultimate Edition, Voyager, VSIDO, Zorin OS and #!++ Beta.
Is there anything that you found enlightening in our poll results? Anything surprising? Maybe even disappointing? If so, let us know in the comments.