Subject: Re: How many people use NetBSD
To: Perry E. Metzger <>
From: Andy R <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 08/21/2002 11:15:43
--- "Perry E. Metzger" <> wrote:
> Alejandro Rosales <> writes:
> > <ignorance>Is NetBSD's users number really around
> 1400?</ignorance>
> > 
> > Plz dont lart me for asking this...
> It isn't even within a couple of orders of
> magnitude.
> On average, something like 1500 unique hosts connect
> to
> on any given day -- that is just, not
> any of the
> mirrors at all. That's more people downloading parts
> of NetBSD every
> day just from the primary site than the idiot trolls
> claim use NetBSD
> at all. (There is some duplication in who touches
> the box day to day
> -- it looks like 25 or 30,000 unique hosts download
> from ftp in any
> given month based on the stats.) There are, of
> course, dozens of
> mirror sites, and most users don't download any new
> NetBSD software at
> all in any given month and probably a lot don't even
> download in any
> given year.
> How many people use NetBSD altogether? No way to
> really know.  Lots of
> people use NetBSD in embedded applications and have
> no idea they're
> using it. How many machines run NetBSD? Also no way
> to know. Both
> numbers are certainly up in the millions, though,
> given all the
> embedded hardware out there with NetBSD in it.
> How many people CONSCIOUSLY use NetBSD altogether? 
> Still no way to
> know. I'd make an educated guess based on a number
> of stats the number
> can't be less than the low hundreds of thousands,
> though there is no
> particularly good way to figure that out precisely.
> That's an absolute
> bottom estimate, though. The true number could be
> far higher, or it
> might not be. We've never really tried hard to find
> out, and it might
> be very difficult to do it.
> So, although in relative numbers we cannot
> reasonably claim to be
> anywhere near as popular as, say, Windows, or even
> Linux, the size of
> the community is pretty damn large in absolute
> numbers, and overall
> usage of NetBSD continues to rise with time.

This wouldn't be a conclusive answer either, but
woulnd't a count of all the unique email addresses
subscribed to our mailing lists be relevant? This
would show how many people are aware enough of NetBSD
to know what it is and how it's used. Still probably a
very small subset of people that dont' actually know
they are using it.


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