Getting Fedora Survey Results

Some caveats:

  • Many respondents gave multiple answers to questions. I counted every answer – I did not limit each respondent to one answer. Maybe this means using pie charts is bogus (I’m open for other recommendations!) But consider that the percentages are percentages of the total responses, which is greater than the number of total respondents (78) so when you’re reading it, don’t think “5% of respondents only do this” think “5% of respondents do this, and they might do other things as well.”
  • I tallied everything manually, copying from the blog post comments to an OO.o spreadsheet. I’m sure there’s manual errors. With 78 respondents though hopefully it all rounds out.

Okay, with those out of the way… here’s what I’ve got from my earlier survey on how folks get Fedora:

There’s a lot of interesting points brought up in the comments, you can read them for yourself but here are some that caught my attention:

  • Two respondents pointed out they download during beta or pre-release and track rawhide following that rather than waiting for final.
  • The most frequent standard response that I saw to A B C was 1 5 1.
  • Many people noted once they download, they keep that copy around for later use.
  • Some folks mentioned downloading live media specifically for USB keys only (cheaper overall than blank DVD media)
  • A few respondents mentioned they are primarily Ubuntu or other distro users but download Fedora during a new release to see the new technology.
  • Several people noted they like to download the bare minimum, the initrd and boot image or whatnot, because they’d rather install things they need on demand than have them waste HDD space and potentially never get used.
  • A few respondents mentioned they get the LiveMedia strictly for showing off / demoing.
  • One respondent pointed out he gets one each of GNOME and KDE Live Media.
  • A couple people mentioned braveness being involved in preupgrading. Also some mentioned they’d like to use preupgrade but for various reasons couldn’t.
  • A lot more people upgrade via yum than I thought would.
  • One person pointed out they go to get.fpo specifically because they know a KDE link isn’t elsewhere.

Here’s my work produced during this:

  • The ODF spreadsheet used to tally the results and generate the graphs. (244K OpenOffice.org Calc ODS file)
  • Inkscape SVG Source for the prettifying I did of the graphs.
  • (174K Inkscape SVG file)

It’s late here so I’ve not quite processed all of this, but I already have some ideas on how to interpret all this so hopefully I’ll follow up with a later post.

About Máirín Duffy

Máirín is a principal interaction designer at Red Hat. She is passionate about software freedom and free & open source tools, particularly in the creative domain: her favorite application is Inkscape. You can read more from Máirín on her blog at blog.linuxgrrl.com.


17 thoughts on “Getting Fedora Survey Results

  1. I’m really looking forward for the follow-up to see your interpretations of the data. I know the results are biased towards contributors (those reading your blog via aggregators) and may not be representative for “normal” users, but Fedora is targeted at contributors, right?

    Posted by Nicu | August 27, 2009, 1:27 am
  2. How did you get the graphs out of Open Office and into Inkscape? You really did a nice job making it look nice!

    Posted by Scott Jones | August 27, 2009, 1:45 am
    • Honestly, I didn’t do that much! OO.o definitely doesn’t make it easy. I had to take screenshots of the charts in OO.o, crop them in Gimp, then in Inkscape I added the title and the labels for each pie slice. OO.o already makes the pie look pretty slick; I just couldn’t figure out an OO.o way to label it the way I wanted.

      Posted by mairin | August 27, 2009, 7:43 am
      • Have you tried the horrible export to SVG in OOo?

        Posted by Nicu | August 27, 2009, 8:20 am
      • @Nicu – you know, I tried desperately to figure out how to do that, and I couldn’t find it so I gave up. I even tried exporting to PDF and opening that in Inkscape but OO.o PDF export is fail as it cut off most of the charts. 😦

        Posted by mairin | August 27, 2009, 9:55 am
      • Actually OOo suck at his… you have to create the chart in Calc, make it 2D (as Draw can’t use 3D objects), copy, open Impress, paste, admire the ugliness and use Export, where you can select SVG (a SVG which will not make Inkscape happy).

        Posted by Nicu | August 27, 2009, 10:56 am
  3. Nicu, not only contributors but also users. I have a normal users using Fedora daily without complain. It is all about setting the desktop for the needs.

    Posted by Luya | August 27, 2009, 4:00 am
    • Well Luya, contributors are the *primary* target of Fedora. I fully agree it *must* be more and more friendly to “normal” users, I as a contributor myself want most of the time nice things that “just works”.

      But I also remember how Mo was flamed by known Fedora developers when she posted frontpage redesign mockups for being too friendly for “normal” users…

      Posted by Nicu | August 27, 2009, 4:15 am
  4. As Nicu pointed out, I would love to see some segmenting of this data not only by user type, but also by geographic location, speed of internet, age, gender, etc, etc. Because a quick reading of this would support promoting the DVD over any other type of image. This is probably an incorrect choice because a higher percentage of all Fedora users, as opposed to those who filled out the survey, would prefer a CD over a DVD because DVD burners are still not all that common and DVDs are more expensive.

    Posted by Corey Burger | August 27, 2009, 4:37 am
    • There isn’t a way to segment this data really since I didn’t collect any ‘demographics’ – but it’s easy – it’s readers of Planet Fedora and Planet GNOME.

      You would have to give a different survey to newbies because a lot of the options on here would be bewildering to them.

      Posted by mairin | August 27, 2009, 7:41 am
      • Oh, I am merely interested in the conclusions you draw from this for the download page redesign (I believe that was the reason of the survery)

        Posted by Nicu | August 27, 2009, 8:22 am
  5. I always download via torrent. Not only is it fast but I help other members of the community by seeding their downloads.

    I found the “How do you get fedora” question confusing. There was 17 possibly overlapping answers.

    I’ve always found the torrent by going to fedora home page and clicking “get fedora”. Thus I wouldn’t have chosen answer 8 “Go straight to torrent.fedoraproject.org”.

    If you do it again, how about breaking it down into two separate questions, with the second question being:

    “If you downloaded fedora, by which method did you use:
    a) direct download from a mirror
    b) torrent
    c) jigdo”

    Posted by Allen Halsey | May 27, 2010, 8:58 pm


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