FreeBSD usage statistics

usakhncit

Active Member

Reaction score: 32
Messages: 241

Hi
I usually visit this Forum to read threads/posts. Sometimes, a thread contains posts which are many years old. Whenever I find such threads/posts, I always look at the total number of posts that a particular person made in all these years. Many times, a member who posted a reply in the thread (few years ago) has very few total number of posts (as shown under his username). So, I wonder where all these FreeBSD users went? Why he/she has so less number of post in all these years? Did he move to some other BSD, Forum or he simply quits BSD?
So, are there any statistics exist? that:
1. How many total number of FreeBSD users are there?
2. How many new users join FreeBSD in a day or week or month?
3. How many of them dropout and move back to their previous OSes?
4. What is the dropout rate of users on this Forum?
And many other users related statistics.
Do these numbers exist? If yes then can you share?
And if the dropout rate is high then it also raises an important question that why such high number of users usually drop FreeBSD? What are their main concerns?
Thanks
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 11,563
Messages: 37,878

1) don't know, can't tell, it's not being accounted. Nobody really knows how many FreeBSD installs there are, so no user numbers either.
2) See #1, I could tell you how many join the forums, but a lot of them are spam accounts
3) don't know, see #1. We have had some people that "proclaim" or "threaten" to leave for another OS on this forum, but everybody is free to do so, nobody is forcing you to use FreeBSD. Do what you got to do. Use whatever makes you happy.
4) Not that much, but again the numbers are somewhat skewed due to the culling of spam accounts. We do get the occasional request to be completely removed from the forums. Again, you're free to do so and we'll remove your account, no questions asked.

We also get a lot of accounts that drop in, ask a question then are never seen again. Or a bunch of sign ups that never post anything. Every so often we cull those "unused" accounts (no posts and no logins in the past 2 years for example).
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,198
Messages: 4,191

And this forum does not account for all users or installations. I'm aware of other forums with lots of users who don't come here. I interviewed at one company that's a heavy user but has never been here and want even aware of its existence.

Some longtime users have different accounts now for some reason.
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 11,563
Messages: 37,878

There are also lots of FreeBSD users that have never used any forum or the mailing lists. Before this forum came into existence I never used those either and had been using FreeBSD for a decade or so. Like I said, nobody really knows how many FreeBSD installs are "out there". Those numbers simply aren't tracked. You can get some statistics from https://bsdstats.org/ but that's voluntary. There are many installs that have never registered with it.
 
OP
U

usakhncit

Active Member

Reaction score: 32
Messages: 241

There are also lots of FreeBSD users that have never used any forum or the mailing lists. Before this forum came into existence I never used those either and had been using FreeBSD for a decade or so. Like I said, nobody really knows how many FreeBSD installs are "out there". Those numbers simply aren't tracked. You can get some statistics from https://bsdstats.org/ but that's voluntary. There are many installs that have never registered with it.
You have mentioned that you are using FreeBSD before the creation of this forum. This reminds me of a funny quote:

Before the advent of the search engines, people have to solve their problems by themselves.
😄
 

vigole

Daemon

Reaction score: 1,325
Messages: 1,192

First of all, statistics and survies are overrated, esp. usage statistcs of OSes, tools, developers, so forth and so on. e.g. Distrowatch ranks and StackOverFlow survies. There's no [accurate] way to find out how many people have installed or are using what/where/when. Clicks, downloads, telemetary, registered-users, ... could be bogus. They may give you some ideas, but that's all, just some ideas. It could be true or false.

Some examples -- how could you possibly make sense out of this?
* 1 ISO && 12 VMSes.
* 12 Downloads (1 ISO) && 1 machine.
* 1 admin && 12 machines. /* ** or 12 admins && 1 machine (windows XP). this one was a joke, ignore it! ** */
* 1 FreeBSD php-Developer && 12 Linux/apache web servers.
* Isolated, off the grid installations and NDA-projects
* Embedded, derived and boxed-devices , e.g. NanoBSD, pfSense and DragonFly BSD
* Partial, sub-project and drivers, e.g. PF, LibreSSL and bioctl
* Scripts, installers and dandyDistros, e.g. FuryBSD, TrueOS and bunch of other newborns!

Second, survey/poll are even worse. People lie when answering polls and survies. Not because they're bad. It's just fun! If you've been on Earth for awhile, then you're well aware of the situation!

And finally, The Odds!
Both FreeBSD (1992/BSDi lawsuit) and OpenBSD (2003/DARPA funding) should be dead by now, all top 500 supercomputers are Linux-fied, but against all the odds, BSDs are still here.

Conclusion: I generally dissmiss statistics, polls and survies.

[EDIT]
Before get branded as Stats-Denier and eventualy flat-earther:
As a field, there's nothing with Statistics itself. It's just too complex, even more than Calculus. Very few poeple know how to use it (I'm not one of them). For example Statistical Thermodynamics is one of the few fields, that people are using probability and statistics correctly, and it produces reliable empirical results.
 

Alain De Vos

Daemon

Reaction score: 541
Messages: 1,880

A very wild guess.
One in 300 persons use unix/linux.
Of these one in 300 persons uses freebsd.
With an Earth population of X this is substantiaL.
 
OP
U

usakhncit

Active Member

Reaction score: 32
Messages: 241

How do you know they went anywhere? I started using FreeBSD at version 7. Made 17 posts now in about 7+ years. Did not go anywhere. Read the forums nearly every day.
Here you are!! I was looking all over for you... :)
What are the main reasons of lack of posting?
1. Are you using other Forums more frequently?
2. Are you genius enough to solve all your problems by yourself?
3. Are you busy enough to make a post?
or any other reason.
Please shed light on your lack of posting? We miss you! :)
 
OP
U

usakhncit

Active Member

Reaction score: 32
Messages: 241

A very wild guess.
One in 300 persons use unix/linux.
Of these one in 300 persons uses freebsd.
With an Earth population of X this is substantiaL.
As mentioned by richardtoohey2, it may be more accurate for developed world. In developing countries, only privileged one's have the luxury of using Computers and Internet. Sadly, most of the people in poor countries work on daily wages and don't know that whether they will find any work tomorrow or not :-(
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 11,563
Messages: 37,878

Are you genius enough to solve all your problems by yourself?
You don't have to be a genius to be able to read the documentation. You do have to have a bit of affinity with computers and have an incentive to learn. I managed to run FreeBSD on several different computers for at least 10 years before this forum even existed. It involved a lot of trail and error (lots and lots of errors!) but that's all part of the learning process. We've all been at the bottom, green as grass. Everybody was a noob at some point in time.
 

mer

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 179
Messages: 314

Ok, I'm almost as old as dirt, actually been using FreeBSD as a home desktop for a long time, roughly the 3.x days, when CDs could be had from Walnut Creek. I've been following (subscribed and unsubscribed) to a few of the mailing lists off freebsd.org for just as long; wonderful stuff in there around the 4.x to 5.0 transition/design. I've recently subscribed to this forum after years of lurking because I finally felt like talking.
Lack of posting:
Not everyone is a social animal and needs to be talking/engaged 24/7. Some only ask questions when they really need the help, get their help, then go for a long time before they need help again.
Some folks only answer questions when they feel they have something to offer.
As SirDice points out there is a lot of documentation. Start at freebsd.org and poke around to the handbook, the online manpages. A few really good blogs out there vermaden comes easily to mind. Books: Pretty much anything by Michael W Lucas (especially the ZFS and Storage books), used to be good ones by O'Rielly publishing, so one can effectively become a genius if they use the documentation.
Life sometimes happens. Work, family, other stuff takes up time and priority instead of talking to internet strangers.

Some people like all this social media/networking stuff and live to see how many people liked a post, others see it as a necessary evil in todays world and strive to ask good questions or to give good answers, and the bulk of folks probably fall in between with somedays they are involved other days they aren't.

One can't force people to read a book or post on a forum. As long as people know the book or forum are they, they have value.

Anyway, my opinion.
 

richardtoohey2

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 278
Messages: 554

Please shed light on your lack of posting?
Speaking for myself (a) some questions do seem to be on the lazy side or trolling so why bother and (b) often when I bite and assume the question is in good faith, the OP's replies can be jaw-dropping in terms of rudeness or their apparent sense of entitlement. It's free, you've got many other options, 99.99% of the people working on it or answering your questions or hosting these resources are volunteers! No-one is holding a gun to your head demanding you use FreeBSD! I know, toughen up, it's the internet, etc. but easier just to 🤐 🤐 🤐
 

bobmc

Member

Reaction score: 33
Messages: 81

We also get a lot of accounts that drop in, ask a question then are never seen again. Or a bunch of sign ups that never post anything. Every so often we cull those "unused" accounts (no posts and no logins in the past 2 years for example).
Profile says I visited in 2009. I only woke up recently. :cool:
 
OP
U

usakhncit

Active Member

Reaction score: 32
Messages: 241

Although many well experienced users on this forum remain quite for long duration, however, I must say that it is one of the few forums where a query rarely go unanswered.
Many experienced users devote their precious time to answer our queries and keeping this forum alive. It is really a great service. Thanks a lot.
 
OP
U

usakhncit

Active Member

Reaction score: 32
Messages: 241

And yes, I like to talk more 😁
May be because I am from Social Sciences and it trained me to talk more 😁
 

mer

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 179
Messages: 314

Although many well experienced users on this forum remain quite for long duration, however, I must say that it is one of the few forums where a query rarely go unanswered.
Many experienced users devote their precious time to answer our queries and keeping this forum alive. It is really a great service. Thanks a lot.
It's all about knowledge. Knowledge wants to be free, wants to be available to everyone. Every experienced user was a newcomer at one point; someone took the time to answer questions and share their knowledge. As they transition from newcomer to experienced user, they gain the ability to start answering questions, based on their own experience.

I personally love the mailing lists. Sometimes you get public arguments, but most of the time the worst is "engineering disagreements where both sides strongly believe in their position". Sometimes it gets to personal attacks but most of the time stays on the technical aspect of the argument. I'm not sure how far back they are archived but you can often gain a lot of good history. Seeing a post or a commit message by someone involved in the original design of BSD is incredible. How many things could say that? Look at the UFS (UFS2) filesystem, how long has that been around and it's still a good choice today? I think UFS has been in use longer than most people keep a car.

I think most important is how people treat each other; these forums and the FreeBSD mailing lists have consistently been the best I've seen. To me, that says a lot about the people that take the time to answer questions (no one is getting paid for this).

In seriousness, look at your OP in this thread; a quick read it could sound a bit trollish, but then read the replies. None of them sound out of place; your OP made people stop and think and then respond to your questions, not attack you. I know it caused me to do that.

And yes, I like to talk more 😁
May be because I am from Social Sciences and it trained me to talk more 😁
Hah, just wait. You get old enough and you just want the "young kids" to shut up :) (mostly so you can take a nap)
 

mer

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 179
Messages: 314

Not a troll. It was a serious question that comes to my mind very often.
Understood. That's why I said "quick read" and then tied in to the responses. I understood it was not a troll, other responses showed they did not think it was a troll.
So just a thought provoking question.

Alls good.
 
Top