DistroWatch is a well-known website in the open-source community as a dedicated place to get up-to-date information predominantly about open source operating systems. This article will cover details about what the DistroWatch website offers to open source community including its much hyped ranking system for Linux distros.
The DistroWatch – what does it provide?
The DistroWatch features release announcements of new versions of hundreds of Linux and other distributions. It does host reviews of distros, podcasts, and newsletters. DistroWatch first published by Ladislav Bodnar, the founder, and maintainer, on May 31, 2001.
DistroWatch initially focused on Linux distributions. But later based on user requests, it went on adding different flavors of operating systems like BSD family, Android x86, Oracle Solaris, MINIX, and Haiku etc.
The DistroWatch presents detailed information at one place in a very convenient manner. At the time of writing this article, the DistroWatch hosted information of more than 300 active distributions (referring the list of distros populated under drop-down feature on the first page of the DistroWatch) and more than hundred in queue. It is said that the DistroWatch lives out of advertising and donation. LinuxCD.org is the first to advertise on the DistroWatch site.
The DistroWatch features a number of resources for both beginners and experienced users. Below is the partial list of what the DistroWatch offers to you:
Ranking System of distros, the DistroWatch style
The DistroWatch started their much-debated controversial ranking system in the year 2002. The ranking system is based on page-hit count on specific Linux distro. It works like this – DistroWatch increment count of a particular Linux distro when somebody visits a Linux distribution with a unique IP address on a day. The DistroWatch defines its ranking system as -
It is a light-hearted way of looking at popularity of distribution. Since each distribution has its own page, we thought it would be fun to track the number of visitors viewing individual distribution pages. The Page Hit Ranking figure represents hits per day by unique visitors; as determined by the visitor's IP address.
The DistroWatch lists top 100 distros based on page hit figures. Below is the list of top 30 ranked distros at the time of writing of this article:
After seeing the list, one may get surprised by not finding the popular ones. For a long period of time, Manjaro has been on top of the DistroWatch! Suppose you are looking for Gentoo distro, then generally you try to access Gentoo official website to download or to know details of it rather visiting the DistroWatch every time. One reason to visit DistroWatch could be that some websites belonging to distros are not well maintained or looks ugly. Though many did not consider the DistroWatch’s Page Hit Ranking system seriously but it is considered authoritative.
Distributions and the Waiting List
The DistroWatch moves a newly submitted distribution a waiting list first where the submitted candidate distro will be evaluated on several parameters before listing on the DistroWatch. Below screenshot captures current waiting list at the DistroWatch:
Statistics of distors at DistroWatch
As per DistroWatch Weekly Issue 746, various number related to distros are following:
There is no doubt that the DistroWatch keeps you up to date on all the latest news about release announcements of Linux/open source distributions. The reviews, podcasts, and articles making it as ultimate place of Linux distributions. Go ahead and find your favorite distro at the DistroWatch.
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