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(report time span currently from May 2001 to April 2006 inclusively)

GNU/Linux browser statistics
GNU/Linux host CPU distribution
Solaris browser statistics
Solaris CPU remarks
Mac OS X browser remarks

Introductory Remarks

One remark from my main browser statistics page holds especially true, when it comes to certain OSs: I can only create meaningful statistics, if that OS is sufficiently frequent in my logs. This holds true only for the following at now: M§ Win*, Mac OS <= 9.22, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and Solaris. If the *BSD systems increase their hits further, I may include them in future too. —Recently HP-UX made a certain footprint too especially in Mozilla hits, because of my download offer of third-party compiled HP-UX BOINC clients; if this holds on, I may include HP-UX statistics in future too (though they look boring, mostly Mozilla, some dated Netscapes and virtually nothing else).

Another requirement is an equal base: it has to be possible, to classify the browsers on the correct OS. Despite I would like it very much, I can't give you at now meaningful numbers for the Mac OSs. The reason: I can't tell for sure the two rather different Mac OS flavors correctly, despite I'm trying hard, because the general Mac OS kind is far too often not displayed. And there are now three browsers endemic to OS X (Safari, Chimera=Camino and OmniWeb) and another, only available for the dated Mac OS <= 9.22 (Netscape <= 4.8), which pose the problem. This is: I could only count all Mac browsers together, which would be an disadvantage for the browsers running only on one major flavor of the two, or seperate speculatively the both major flavors, giving fairly wrong numbers for the respective totals and therefore also wrong percentages. It seems we have to wait for the old Mac OS to die away, to cope with this problem.

Therefore two statements regarding Mac OS are all, what I can give you at now: first the preinstalled M§IE 5 has/had on Mac therefore too a monopoly, but it is not as strong, than on M§ Win, and second the three Mac OS X bound, because Aqua integrated browsers Safari, Camino (formerly Chimera) and OmniWeb are clearly not equally popular. The free Camino, a Gecko derivative, is more standard compliant (especially XML/XHTML), has better JavaScript support and renders much more quickly than the commercial OmniWeb, and these reasons probably cause the advantage of a factor two to three of Camino against OmniWeb in usage. OmniWeb has improved with the version 4.5, using Apples WebKit (KHTML based) and Mozillas Rhino JavaScript implementation, but we have to wait, if this will help its share going up (again). And newcomer Safari seems to gain in it's early beta stage only so much popularity, because it is from Apple, despite it is fast, the KHTML rendering engine is clearly inferior regarding web standards compared to the Gecko engine of Camino, new Netscape and Mozilla. On the other hand, on OS X Safari rivals even the M§IE meanwhile, which has probably already lost that monopoly! With Mac OS 10.3 Safari replaces that evil Redmond monopoly tool completely… The ratios of hits between these three OS X endemic browsers Safari are half a magnitude each, which makes Safari roughly a magnitude more popular than OmniWeb, with Camino in between. If you are willing to read some limited value, somewhat speculative statistics regarding the browser situation on the Mac, you may read my recently created Mac browser statistics though.

Finally it doesn't make any sense, to analyze the monopoly OS browser situation, because there exists an illegal monopoly regarding browsers too and because of the desktop OS monopoly these numbers are nearly identical with the general numbers for all OSs together.

This means I have to limit this account on the two remaining operating systems mentioned above for now: GNU/Linux and Solaris. Finally: all time intervals are the same as in the general browser statistics produced by analog. Numbers mean per cent and in braces the number of counted hits is given too; too seldom found browsers like Beonex, Dillo or text browsers are not listed (below 1 per cent). For the interested: here is the tarball with the scripts, with which I made the special statistics below — just a few simple statements combined, and for your information.


Here M§IE was never available, but there are some Gecko derivatives present (hold essentially true also for Solaris below), which are not running on Win or the old proprietary Mac OS <=9. So we have not monopoly tilted statistics, but the user base is still special with uncommon many developers and admins around. Linux distributions come usually with a considerable number (if not all of them!) of browsers available all at installation time, so there is virtually no preference given as precondition.

Browser Numbers

time interval\browserNetscape <=4.8Netscape >=6MozillaFirefox (Firebird, Phoenix)GaleonEpiphanyOperaKonqueror
200105–20011068 (4172)1 (70)8 (494)-2 (143)-12 (773)4 (259)
200111–20020448 (3192)4 (279)16 (1085)-4 (323)-13 (900)8 (552)
200205–20021019 (1691)6 (579)34 (3040)0 (12)9 (841)-14 (1220)11 (1009)
200211–20030412 (1861)4 (716)43 (6546)4 (637)8 (1335)012 (1851)11 (1753)
200305–2003107 (830)5 (626)45 (4785)6 (646)7 (790)0 (37)10 (1062)12 (1350)
200311–2004044 (473)3 (395)52 (5522)11 (1264)3 (409)1 (169)9 (1015)11 (1241)
200405–2004102 (380)4 (691)44 (6621)24 (3636)2 (404)2 (275)9 (1395)9 (1474)
200411–2005041 (270)2 (491)29 (5410)43 (7956)0 (162)1 (220)6 (1261)12 (2279)
200505–2005100 (307)0 (239)17 (6181)61 (21515)0 (315)<1 (343)5 (1947)11 (3983)
200511–2006040 (126)0 (274)12 (4308)69 (24190)0 (172)1 (365)6 (2191)9 (3166)

Now let us look at two sums too, seperately determined, because partly overlapping:

time interval\browser groupNetscape brandedGecko based (Mozilla, Netscape >=6, Galeon, Epiphany, Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox, …)
200105–20011069 (4242)11 (707)
200111–20020452 (3471)25 (1687)
200205–20021026 (2270)51 (4472)
200211–20030417 (2577)61 (9234)
200305–20031013 (1456)65 (6884)
200311–2004048 (868)73 (7759)
200405–2004107 (1071)77 (11627)
200411–2005044 (761)78 (14239)
200505–2005101 (546)81 (28593)
200511–2006041 (400)83 (29309)

There are many rather interesting tendencies and facts visible! The major tendency: the old, dated Netscape browser in versions <= 4.8, the monopoly browser of former times especially on GNU/Linux too, is quickly dying away, while the new king of Linux browsers is without any doubt Firefox, which has inherited the crown from the intermediate ruler, its ancestor Mozilla, which had at time also the absolute majority and inherited the crown from old Netscape itself.

And the brand Netscape is vanishing too, because the Gecko based one has not the acceptance of Mozilla (what is right: Mozilla is more fresh and more user-friendly) and can't compensate for the heavy losses of its predecessor, at last it is even also weakening, due to Firefox' ascent.

Some more remarks: Phoenix is available only since a short time ago and shows up for the first time in the 200205-200210 interval; it was recently renamed to Mozilla Firebird and subsequently once more to Firefox. Looking at the second sum, you see another monopoly stepping in: the Gecko engine is now dominant in the GNU/Linux browser market, has increased in just one year the share by about a factor 4 (!) to the majority. No doubt, the enormous strength of this engine regarding recent standards supported and open framework made this possible.

Opera was and is a valuable and nice, extremely fast browser since the later version 5 beta releases (I use it since 5 beta 6). It is the single browser responsible for the most innovations in this area in the last couple of years; it was hovering around 12 to 13 per cent, recently a little weaker, and the Presto engine of the Opera 7, the now as 7.11 and later 7.21–7.23 released successor of Opera 6.12, is in my view the only remaining challenge for the Gecko driven browsers: we will witness, if Opera 7 will gain share from the leading Gecko browser(s)… But so far even the release of Opera 8 is doubtful from keeping Opera up in the share, Firefox is the winner and seems indeed to take it all.

Galeon is the GNOME browser-only derivative of Mozilla, it seems to be more popular than GNOME itself, especially compared to Konqueror, which has the advantage to be strongly integrated into KDE, which is much more popular than GNOME at now (but this might change in future). But with Epiphany 1 there is now a new official browser for GNOME since version 2.4, in future it will gain several per cent too without any doubt (too new to be reported for the few hits until October 2003, but made it as expected in the statistics since November 2003), especially, but not only affecting (i.e. lowering) the Galeon percentage. Meanwhile Epiphany has overtaken Galeon indeed.

CPU Numbers

time interval\CPUi686i586i386NetBox sum ia32ppcsparcAlphax86_64unknown
200105–20011071 (4316)16 (980)1 (74)3 (183)91 (5553)0.3 (20)00-9 (548)
200111–20020471 (4661)13 (834)0.8 (55)2 (107)86 (5687)0.4 (31)0.0 (5)0-13 (885)
200205–20021073 (6310)7 (618)0.7 (69)1 (127)82 (7125)0.7 (62)0.0 (2)0.0 (7)-17 (1496)
200211–20030479 (11667)5 (684)0.7 (109)0.5 (77)85 (12540)0.5 (84)0.3 (43)0.0 (7)-14 (2008)
200305–20031083 (8673)2 (197)0.5 (58)0.2 (28)86 (8956)0.2 (21)0.0 (2)0014 (1479)
200311–20040479 (8308)8 (825)0.9 (96)0.2 (23)88 (9257)0.4 (45)0 (2)00.3 (40)11 (1208)
200405–20041087 (13011)3 (403)0.1 (16)0.0 (11)90 (13441)0.3 (50)000.3 (47)9 (1377)
200411–20050479 (14285)1 (192)0.4 (74)0 (9)80 (14561)0.8 (157)0 (4)0 (10)7 (1187)12 (2190)
200505–20051065 (22756)1 (326)0.1 (43)0 (21)66 (23146)3 (1070)0 (23)1 (388)21 (7409)8 (2940)
200511–20060468.5 (23925)1 (324)0.2 (86)0 (1)70 (24336)5 (1744)0.2 (75)0.7 (265)24 (8423)<1 (78)

Here two important remarks are necessary first: the Intel hardware monopoly for home/desktop systems is obvious from the sum for ia32 as well as from the strongest single CPU family, i686 (which includes the higher ones, but browsers are usually not build for higher ones only). The other point highlights again in a negative manner the lack of completeness of these statistics: especially the Konqueror browser generally doesn't show up the CPU kind running on (with rare exceptions), and Opera does this in some more seldom used agent settings too (not). The rise of the unknown category is therefore due to the rise of Konqueror usage.

NetBox is a rather unspecified ia32 CPU (maybe Intel, AMD, Via, Cyrix, …). The older Intel kind CPUs like i386 and i586 are receding due to their age, of course. The PowerPC (ppc) is gaining a little bit, but hasn't reached the one per cent limit yet though. Current numbers to be published later for this half year hint to a similar usage of Linux on SPARC as on ppc now, therefore I had it already included, despite no hit was listed in above table due to their absence before. The Alpha CPUs are also only marginally relevant (mostly running Tru64, which is obvious by the numbers of analog). We will see, if in future there are significant changes in this one-sided distribution. The biggest chance for change comes from AMDs 64 bit CPU (x86_64), which will run probably a fair number of GNU/Linux desktops… you can see first hits of it in the last, now complete report interval, it may be better known as Opteron (Server), AMD64 or Hammer — indeed it has now gained a noticeable share mainly away from i686 — maybe my BOINC x86_64 Linux client offers have helpt this to evolve.


Despite M§IE was available formerly in version 4, later in version 5, it was rarely used there as you can see, even before it was retired in autumn 2002. Besides that exception the very same browsers are available as on GNU/Linux, maybe with the exception of Skipstone, which I haven't found so far in my statistics (even not for GNU/Linux). The user base is probably even more dominated by developers and UNIX admins as on GNU/Linux. Sun Microsystems uses to preinstall respective offers Netscape branded browsers only, by the way, giving them a clear advantage: but look yourself! (meanwhile Netscape seems to be no longer supported, so Mozilla, Firefox and in future maybe even Epiphany will be supported by Sun)

Browser Numbers

time interval\browserNetscape <=4.8Netscape >=6MozillaFirefox (-bird, Phoenix)OperaKonquerorM§IE
200105–20011099 (1517)00-000 (7)
200111–20020497 (1268)0 (12)0 (2)-000 (9)
200205–20021088 (940)5 (53)2 (30)-0 (2)02 (22)
200211–20030468 (714)18 (189)10 (104)01 (14)01 (11)
200305–20031056 (373)24 (161)13 (89)2 (19)0 (2)02 (16)
200311–20040468 (536)10 (80)14 (110)3 (28)2 (18)0 (3)0 (5)
200405–2004107 (39)37 (201)35 (186)2 (11)9 (50)3 (19)4 (24)
200411–2005045 (45)9 (81)52 (429)27 (228)3 (32)00
200505–2005107 (181)1 (45)64 (1670)21 (556)3 (96)0 (20)0
200511–2006046 (303)2 (97)56 (2499)31 (1415)2 (123)0 (20)0

Now let us look at two sums too, seperately determined, because partly overlapping:

time interval\browser groupNetscape brandedGecko based (Mozilla, Firefox/-bird (Phoenix), Netscape >=6, …)
200105–20011099 (1517)0
200111–20020498 (1280)1 (14)
200205–20021093 (993)7 (83)
200211–20030486 (903)28 (293)
200305–20031080 (534)40 (269)
200311–20040479 (618)28 (220)
200405–20041045 (240)75 (398)
200411–20050415 (126)90 (738)
200505–2005108 (226)88 (2271)
200511–2006048 (400)89 (4011)

That's also rather interesting: despite the browser availability, OS and its user base are so very similar to GNU/Linux as you can think of, the picture ist totally different!

What we saw here, was a fully intact, ancient times reminding Netscape monopoly. Only recently Mozilla stepped in as another important player and the Gecko engine share increased strongly due to both browsers. Maybe another reasons play also a role, but preinstalling one and only one browser seems to be on any OS an effective means, to enable a monopoly of it, either if it is on Win, Mac or even Solaris, with total different user bases. M§IE was always meaningless. And Opera has only recently released a final version (since 7.21 available), there were only public beta 1 of version 5 (which caused all of those few hits) as the much later released 6.12 beta (with some non-public 6 previews) in existence so far. Maybe Opera can manage to convince Sun, to include its browser in the installation and media in future; despite Sun Microsystems is traditionally close to AOL/Netscape, they are so open-minded, that they might offer this alternative either way: the best chance for Opera to get a foot into that one? I read a positive statement in the official Sun Developer magazine shortly ago regarding Opera, by the way… Meanwhile shortly before the 200305 to 200310 report timespan elapsed, the first Solaris Opera release appeared as mentioned. Netscape seems to be ceased completely (the 7er versions included, even not 7.2, questionable, if 8 will be ever released outside the monopoly OS) and Sun supports now Mozilla and Firefox, we see a similar, slightly time-delayed distribution as on GNU/Linux now.

Remarks about CPUs

time interval\CPU kindsun4u = sparcv9 (64 bit sparc, UltraSPARC or SPARC64)sparcv7 (sun4m, sun4c, 32 bit sparc)i86pc = ia-32 (Intel/AMD/… CPUs)unknown
200105–20011090 (1386)6 (98)2 (45)0
200111–20020495 (1250)1 (19)2 (35)0
200205–20021089 (943)5 (61)5 (53)0
200211–20030496 (1006)0 (10)2 (23)0
200305–20031094 (626)2 (15)2 (19)0
200311–20040489 (697)0 (2)10 (80)0 (3)
200405–20041096 (510)0 (2)3 (16)0 (2)
200411–20050473 (603)1 (10)24 (202)0 (5)
200505–20051054 (1450)0 (1)43 (1170)1 (39)
200511–20060461 (2789)0 (1)37 (1704)0 (29)

These seem to be mere fluctuations, but strong tendencies. The numbers show primarily the expected dominance of the SPARC architecture, and that the majority of desktop and workstation Solaris systems is now running on the 64 bit version 9 of the SPARC architecture. Keep in mind, that the AMD64 CPU can't be told from the 32 bit x86 one on Solaris; the rise seen at last for PC may be at least partly due to the BOINC page offering clients for Solaris (10) and AMD64 as well i686.


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