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Popularity contest

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We all want to be successful, in one way or another, don’t we? And when it comes to our favourite kernel the same is true. Most people want to think that they’re backing a winner, right?

It’s a bit puerile, but obsessing on Linux usage figures (even if it’s just web browsing) does at least give some tangible bread crumbs to rally around. Forget the two billion active Android devices, overlook the 498 of the top 500 super computers running Linux, ignore the 98 per cent of the top million websites powered by Linux… lately people seem to be most excited that mainstream Linux use topped 3.3 per cent, creeping closer to the 3.8 per cent of Mac OS X 10.12 users.

Our tribe is bigger than your tribe, my team scored more goals than your team. Lovely. I use Linux because it gets the job done the way I want it to. I don’t have to be locked into Amazon’s dreadful system, Google’s digital dream or the expensive, dongle-filled Apple lifestyle. It’s exactly that freedom and flexibility which helps deliver this issue’s streaming media feature. Store your content wherever you like, stream it however you like, to wherever you like, using whatever device you like. And you can still use Amazon, Google or Apple devices because we respect your freedom to choose to do so.

It’s heartening to think more people are warming to Linux – even if it’s perhaps through Chrome OS more than a mainstream distro – but we hope it’s because Linux delivers an experience that’s better than the rest can do, rather than because it’s a hip thing to do.

As always we'd love to hear from you: what projects you’re contributing to, the latest software you're using and any problems you might have. Email us your thoughts to send your problems to and catch all the FLOSS news at

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