The Numbers Don't Lie: Arch Linux Reigns Supreme on Reddit

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Arch Linux Reigns Supreme on Reddit

As of January 1, 2023, Arch is the most popular Linux distribution based on the number of members in individual Linux communities on Reddit.

The popularity of individual Linux distributions has always piqued the interest of the Linux community. Every year, new ones emerge, with some gaining popularity at the expense of others losing it for various reasons. In other words, the popularity of different Linux distributions is dynamic and challenging to track metrics.

For many years, Distrowatch has been used as an example in measuring this factor. However, the metric used there, unique page views of a specific Linux distribution, is hard to accept without reservation, even though it provides a good indication of popularity.

So our team decided to take a new approach, using publicly available data on the number of Reddit (subreddits) community members. It is the world’s leading social news aggregation platform, with around 430 million users.

Users can join a specific community of interest, and we focused our attention on the communities of individual Linux distributions. Therefore, the indicator that a user has explicitly stated an interest in joining one of the many Linux communities available can be used to compare the popularity of particular Linux distributions with high confidence.

The results, which are accurate as of January 1, 2023, while expected, surprised us slightly. So, without further ado, let us share them with you.

Top 10 most popular Linux distributions, according to Reddit’s communities data.
Top 10 most popular Linux distributions, according to Reddit’s communities data.

Our research showed that Arch Linux is the most popular Linux distribution on Reddit, with 226K community members, followed by Ubuntu, which has 209K users. Moreover, these two distributions outperform everyone else, with a more than 50% difference to the third, and so on.

When it comes to third place, the huge surprise is that it is held by the Tails subreddit with 91K members, overtaking names like Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian, etc. It is a privacy-focused Linux distro intended for security paranoids looking for maximum personal security and anonymity on the Internet. This indicates how much privacy matters to the Linux community.

The table below ranks the top 30 Linux distributions by the number of Reddit community members.

Linux Distribution Members
1 Arch Linux 226K
2 Ubuntu 209K
3 Tails 91K
4 Fedora 76.3K
5 Linux Mint 72.7K
6 Kali 69.1K
7 Manjaro 67.7K
8 Debian 60.9K
9 Pop!_OS 58.5K
10 Red Hat 29.5K
11 openSUSE 24.3K
12 elementary OS 23.1K
13 Gentoo 21.7K
14 CentOS 16.4K
15 SteamOS 14.9K
16 NixOS 11.9K
17 Solus 11.2K
18 Void Linux 10.4K
19 Kubuntu 9.7K
20 EndeavourOS 8.5K
21 Rocky Linux 6.5K
22 MX Linux 6.3K
23 Zorin OS 5.7K
24 KDE Neon 5.5K
25 Lubuntu 5.1K
26 Xubuntu 4.9K
27 Slackware 4.7K
28 AlmaLinux 3.8K
29 Ubuntu MATE 3.6K
30 GarudaLinux 3.6K

We’re sure you have something to say regarding the data presented here. So, your comments are always appreciated in the section below.

In addition, we recommend you to read our articles on the best desktop and server distributions for the year 2022, as ranked by us.

Bobby Borisov
Bobby Borisov

Bobby is an Editor-in-Chief at Linuxiac. He is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, Bobby has worked as a Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

6 Comments

  1. If you include the flavors (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, and Ubuntu Mate), it adds up to 232.3K. This would make Ubuntu the most popular distribution, since those flavors are inherently part of the distro. Granted, there are probably a few thousand people who are members of both one of the flavors and the main community, so this is probably not valid.

    When you add the Ubuntu derivatives (Mint and Pop), you get 363.5K. Arch and its derivatives (Manjaro, EndeavourOS, and Garuda) add up to 305.8.

  2. I’m using Linux since 1998 and tried so many flavors 🙂 Now I’m an happy Arch user since 2017 and for sure my hop and back for trying different distros is over!

    You wrote “Arch is the most popular Linux distribution based on the number of members in individual Linux communities on Reddit”, well it only shows for me that Arch users are those who want to understand the most their OS, not that Arch is the most popular. Arch users like to understand what’s under the hood and tweak or repair — does it broke? — their OS so they are more incline to ask the community. Unlike other users, Arch users prefer to understand their OS than the desinstall/install/reeinstall paradigm for nothing…

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