Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Linux survey

As part of the prelim exam for my Open Source Technologies class, I included a short survey on Linux. Specifically, I asked:
  1. if they had used Linux before
  2. if they installed Linux after the class
  3. what distributions they had used
  4. what advantages they saw in Linux
  5. what disadvantages
The results of the survey from my class of 36 students:
  • 18 -- half the class -- had used Linux to some degree in the past
  • 17 have installed Linux since the class started
  • 7 students who had never before used Linux installed it on some system outside of class

On the distributions previously used:
  • the most common Linux distribution was Ubuntu (9), followed by Red Hat (6)
  • other distributions mentioned: Sabayon, Debian, CentOS, Kubuntu, and OpenSUSE
Advantages of Linux, by rank:
  • security from viruses (16)
  • free (cost) (13)
  • easy to install and manage the OS (10)
  • easy to install software (7)
  • minimal hardware requirements (5)
  • complete software on installation: (3)
  • other mentioned factors: speed (2), flexibility (2), good interface (2), fun to use (1), community (1), stability (1)
Disadvantages of Linux, by rank:
  • not used to it (13)
  • limited applications or difficult to install software (12)
  • no popular native games (5)
  • incompatible drivers (3)
  • command line difficulties (3)

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