According to what criteria one chooses to use a specific Linux distribution?
What determines a Linux distribution popularity and usability?
It has a lot to do with personal taste, I think the vast majority will choose a stable and an out of the box distro that looks appealing and (or) familiar. That’s why distro’s like Mint, Ubuntu, Manjaro and Elementary are the big favourites, according to distrowatch.
Although, I always wondered about the the distrowatch ranking. I mean how do they measure the popularity of a distro, since most of the distro’s don’t collect data. Okay there’s download numbers, but how many of those users stick around longer than a month, those figures aren’t monitored, right?!?
You’re right. Similar is observed in the spread of Windows 10 as well.
The main difference is that Microsoft has (sadly) some acces to their user’s behaviour, so they can fairly come up with a figure, this can also be said about Apple.
Coming back to the distrowatch figures; I think the ranking would be changed if the total amount of users would be measured by loyalty users, so users who stick with a distro for over 6 months. I know that won’t be measured, but wouldn’t the outcome be completely different?
I think Mint would still be in the top of the list, but the rolling release distro’s would bump up much higher, I think.
Apple is, in my experience, quite stubborn about user feedbacks. In my opinion, loyal customers’ custom habits can not be measured by a manufacturer because they can only concentrate on sales numbers. This is especially true for closed source products.