Nobody is sure how many are exactly using Linux worldwide but guesstimate is 1% of the computer users.
This is excluding Linux servers which is in the majority in all the spheres including Science.
This statement is related to desktop users.
I am urging all the people using Linux desktop to register at the distrowatch affiliated organization.
Global census is mandatory to see what the exact penetration is.
The fact of the matter is millions of users are out there but getting them registered in one site is humanly impossible but if a cross section of them register reasonable guess work estimate can be arrived at.
I use several machines and a laptop with Linux on board with number of distributions (some for testing and some for my work) but I registered once with my regular machine.
My wife uses another Linux machine which is not registered and my daughter uses both Microsoft and Linux.
My household is not a typical one but I would rather reflect (not that it matters a lot statistically) an average family where husband or wife uses Linux and the other half uses Microsoft.
Current statistics are very interesting.
In a 20 million population of Sri-Lankans only 133 machines are registered currently.
In a 1.2 billion population 2340 Indian are registered from India (208 out of 224 countries). Monaco with 1113 comes 5th out of 224 on of the richest private cities in the world. Vatican city comes 6th with 26 Linux machines.
What about Singapore?
119th with 150 machines.
No Country Pers Current Mach P/Mpop Mpop
103 US United States Of America 15555 133 21367 51.2 303 millions
Tanzania, North Korea, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Nigeria come last 5 (five) and Japan, Bangladesh and Pakistan behind them.
This is revealing.
That is a big puzzle for me where Indian institutes boast that they produce lot of technocrats including Linux for India and for the West.
That argument evaporate into thin air statistically.
Somebody from India should do a study on this.
I will talk about Sri-Lanka why we are behind in this rat race.
I will start with a real story.
Way back in 1984 when I came back from England with Two computers one Atari and the other Compact 128, I happened to visit the college where I studied celebrating its 100th year in existence.
The principal was futuristic and asked me what we should do and I promptly said we will establish a computer unit and I told him I will get a few computers from England.
With the help of some of our old college guys in UK I manged to get the first 3 computers myself. Then the ambassador of UK was from our college and coordinating the thing was just a matter of few phone calls.
This was done without any government help.
Some years later I visited the college and the principal was different and I met him and told him I would like to see the computer unit.
I did not tell him that the early conceptual idea of starting the computer unit was mine and I physically brought the first three computers.
I just wanted see how those old computers were used and what new ones they have added (this was before windows 95).
I was sent from pillar to post.
First to Vice Principal, then to another teacher and another and nobody was of any help and I could not get the room opened where the computers were locked in.
In my mind I had decided I will not visit it again.
This is the type of teachers we have here and we did not have a computer course till 2 years ago.
That speaks volumes of the Education Ministers too.
Anyway I joined a private hospital in Colombo where I worked with 6 programmers and we got Unix from Singapore and used it there in dumb or black and white terminals and got the network running for the first time in Sri-Lanka.
Then within six months I joined the university and was very much involved with computers (a new hospital was built with Japanese aid) till I stepped down to devote full time to Linux.
Why we are behind in Linux?
1. We use pirated copies even in Universities.
2. We teach them in Sinhala or Tamil and they cannot read a book on computers in English.
3. We have not trained teachers in English and IT (computer science) for over 30 years.
4. If somebody has a good idea all the other teachers come and destroy that somebody (person) first and then the idea.
5. Our administrators including principals takes bribes to admit students with the help of some powerful politicians.
6. Politicians use teachers for political work and sometimes even malpractices at polling stations.
7. Only corrupt teachers get promoted and stay in one station till life.
8. Most evident corrupt practice is to not to teach during school hours but to do private tuition after hours.
9. Even our professors are paid half what is paid in India.
10. Next round is to destroy the higher education and install private universities.
That is why we have only 133 guys using Linux Boxes in the entire country.
I am not at all surprised.
Very simple explanation.
We have got our priorities wrong.
Now few words about E-commerce in Sri-Lanka. We have Electricity Board, Water Board and telecoms fully digitalized and none of them can give an accurate bill or balance sheet on the last day of the month. I have personal experience that computer programmers fiddle with the data and produce inaccurate reports. There is some sort of racket going on with money matters and the higher authorities neither have vigilance, know how and the necessary apparatus to make investigations. The programmers themselves do what the teachers do kill the person first and the idea of check and balances that needs to be installed next.
When I was in the private sector there were over 100 computer mistakes I manually detected daily including wrong blood groups and wrong blood transfusions out of over 1000 (over 10% error which is not acceptable when working with computers) reports and my target was to make zero defect (Quality Control).
This malady has now infiltrated the private sector too.
That is why when I do shopping check every computer entry which I ask every intelligent customer should do.
My final analysis is that we a mathematically stupid nation run by mathematically stupid Central Bank who runs the affairs in a very ordinary manner without check and balances and let the country taken to ransom by speculators, hedgers and IMF and is equally very good at printing various coloured notes with politicians face on them and cost of printing is far in excess of the face value of the currency note.
If we wean off these malpractices we would be able pay economic professors 3 to 4 times the current pay so that they are also not involved in corrupt practices.