Thanks. There are some very old releases still phoning home to report their stats. The stats gleaned from these tools are misleading because the only provide statistics from those willing to proactively provide statistics (a certain demographic).
bsdstats-sendmanually until I added the monthly line to /etc/periodic.conf
The update and pkg servers would be another place good information could be sourced but even that would be a subset of the total (with caches/proxies and the like). This is hypothetical, as we can't look anyway.
We discussed this topic here some time ago - only very few install sysutils/bsdstats and there is no way to tell how few. I appreciate this initiative, but this is still not a good indicator.
I think people underestimate how much code here is used for other projects too. I recently discovered both the playstation and switch have license attributions to the FreeBSD kernel (so they use it in some capacity, whether it be as the primary kernel or as a secondary component) also include Apple and you easily have millions, if not billions of devices running FreeBSD code. It isn't even the case that these systems are just 'derivative' of, the same codebase for the JVM works on all of the BSDs AND Apple, because they are so similar and only need minor changes.I think the better question would be - how many people are using FreeBSD? Assume that this number is much bigger than the number of users in this Forum.
Good point. Definitely the fact Intel ship so many machines means it likely has more users than stock Linux or FreeBSD but no one is really *using* Minix except Intel since that is on non exposed firmware, there are millions of L4 users too because of its usage in baseband processors. I don't find statistics reported by systems to be at all accurate, a better metric is what big users are using it, Netflix, Apple, Sony, Nintendo, are all big players using code here.The fun thing is some OSes were also considered as really, really niche - like Minix. Nobody would ever considered that as a widespread thing outside of academia.
That was until it turned out that Intel's management engine included in chipsets runs it. So the install base of Minix dwarfs the one of Linux and FreeBSD in comparison without many people being aware about it because it comes hidden and deeply buried into systems for free.