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Type of siteNews website
Available inEnglish
OwnerLadislav Bodnar
Launched31 May 2001 (2001-05-31)

DistroWatch is a website which provides news, distribution pages hit rankings, and other general information about various Linux distributions as well as other free software/open source Unix-like operating systems. It now contains information on several hundred distributions and a few hundred distributions labeled as active.


The website was launched on 31 May 2001 and is maintained by Ladislav Bodnar.

Initially, Bodnar also wrote the Distrowatch Weekly (DWW). In November 2008, Bodnar decided to step down from the post of editor for DWW. Bodnar said he would still continue to maintain the site while the DWW would be written by Chris Smart.

As of 2017, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$47,739 to various open source software projects since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004.


The site maintains extensive comparison charts detailing differences between the package sets and software revisions of different distributions. It also provides some general characteristics of distributions such as the price and the supported processor architectures. There is also a Distrowatch weekly (often abbreviated DWW) that comes out every Monday "as a publication summarising the happenings in the distribution world on a weekly basis".

Distrowatch has a monthly donations program, a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software.

The database consists of hundreds of different open source distributions, mainly Linux but also BSD and Solaris. It also has a small number categorized as "Other OS", namely ReactOS, Haiku, KolibriOS, RISC OS and Minix.

Page rankings

Distrowatch itself affirms that its page rankings are "a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality, and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more."

PC World has written that "the page-hit counts on DistroWatch give some indication of which distributions are drawing the most interest at the moment, of course, but such measures can't be assumed to gauge who's actually using what or which are preferred overall".


  1. ^ Site contents are in English while some user interface elements are also available in Arabic, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.
  2. ^ e.g. see the Red Hat Enterprise Linux page on the web site https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=redhat


  1. ^ "DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". DistroWatch. Retrieved 29 Jan 2019.
  2. ^ "DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". DistroWatch. Retrieved 29 Jan 2019.
  3. ^ "About DistroWatch". DistroWatch. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b "DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 278". DistroWatch. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  5. ^ "DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 279". DistroWatch. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  6. ^ "DistroWatch Donations Programme". DistroWatch. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  7. ^ "DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". distrowatch.com. Retrieved 2024-06-13.
  8. ^ "How Mighty Mint became one of the most popular Linux distros". TechRadar. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  9. ^ Terry Relph-Knight (2012-02-10). "A tale of two distros: Ubuntu and Linux Mint". ZDNet. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  10. ^ Jake Edge (2011-12-07). "Distribution "popularity"". LWN.net. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  11. ^ "Groklaw - Some Facts about openSUSE and Distrowatch Figures - A Correction". Groklaw. 11 January 2007. Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  12. ^ Noyes, Katherine (25 April 2012). "Which Linux Distro Is Fairest of Them All? Ubuntu, Survey Says". PCWorld. Retrieved 17 June 2012.

External links