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 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.


  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?

  2. Scott Jones says:

    How did you get the graphs out of Open Office and into Inkscape? You really did a nice job making it look nice!

    1. 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.

      1. Have you tried the horrible export to SVG in OOo?

      2. @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. 🙁

      3. 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).

  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.

    1. 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…

  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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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)

  5. […] Posted in Uncategorized by mairin on August 27, 2009 Hey, so I’ve been pondering the results of the ‘getting Fedora’ survey that I compiled last night. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about and some of my ideas. […]

  6. […] the fedora-advisory-board list discussion on the mockups, we ran a survey on how folks get Fedora to help inform the design work. 78 people took the time to fill out the survey! It helped us […]

  7. Allen Halsey says:

    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".
    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"

  8. […] Survey Results Report […]

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