Ubuntu drops to 2nd place in Linux rankings

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Ubuntu is now only the fourth-most popular Linux distribution, according to the latest rankings from DistroWatch.

According to DistroWatch, the most popular has for some time been Linux Mint. Fedora is second and OpenSUSE third, with Ubuntu — in second place just a couple of months ago — now behind all three.

The site-monitoring service Pingdom said on Wednesday that Ubuntu's switch to Unity was probably to blame. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, made Unity the distro's default user interface earlier this year, although users can still use the familiar Gnome shell if they change the settings.

"It seems like Canonical… may be paying the price for the change," Pingdom said.

The site pointed out that it was too early to judge whether use of Ubuntu was declining in the real world, and also stressed that no firm explanation could be drawn up as to why the popularity figures were changing.

However, the post read, "it does seem certain that the timing of Unity's introduction coincides with the decline in Ubuntu's popularity".

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