Ten Years Past GNOME's 10x10 Goal, The Linux Desktop Is Still Far From Having A 10% Marketshare

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 14 December 2019 at 10:25 AM EST. 128 Comments
Way back in 2005 the GNOME "10x10 Goal" was formed to "own 10% of the global desktop market by 2010." Now approaching ten years past that failed goal, GNOME or even the broader Linux desktop marketshare is still well off from seeing a 10% market-share.

That very ambitious 10x10 goal is still documented on the GNOME Wiki and is about "10% of the global desktop market." Perhaps in some very select geographic regions, the Linux desktop marketshare may be close to 10%, but on any large scale that goal is still a pipe-dream.

GNOME in late 2009 with Fedora 12.

As most Phoronix readers know, as for the Linux gaming marketshare that is sub-1% per Valve's numbers and the numbers often confirmed by various game studios. But for the broader Linux desktop marketshare, it still seems to be around ~2% by most indicators. Netmarketshare's latest numbers put Linux at 2.03% based on browser traffic, a leading adult entertainment website put out their usual year-in-review this week where they report a 2.1% Linux marketshare (a relative 2% increase from 2018), Statcounter puts Linux at 0.84%, and Statista at 1.65% for Linux, among other counters / statistic portals putting Linux in the 2% realm.

GNOME in 2019.

So however you want to put it, even ten years later GNOME's 10x10 goal hasn't been realized on their "global" scale and even for most geographies would not be accurate. Granted, GNOME isn't the only open-source camp that has come up with over optimistic goals over the years. Canonical had a goal for 200 million users in 2015 that was another lofty goal and not realized on any desktop/mobile front. At the end of 2019 it's tough to say if Ubuntu has 200 million active desktop users currently as Canonical hasn't been publishing their statistical data. Granted, after our 2015 reminders about the goal, they argued that they succeeded by counting cloud users -- by counting users/visitors to cloud services like Walmart and other platforms by Ubuntu rather than direct users.

In any case, GNOME has advanced a lot over the past decade and particularly the past 2~3 years since Canonical switched back to GNOME Shell by default and has helped in addressing many bugs -- including several high profile performance issues. GNOME 3.34 is a hell of a lot better than the state of GNOME 3.0 from at the start of this decade. In reliving GNOME's highlights from the past decade, here is a look at the twenty most viewed GNOME stories since 2010.

GNOME 4.0, GNOME OS Coming In 2014 & Other Crazy Plans
While some GNOME developers and users see the once fledging desktop environment fading into abyss, other GNOME developers see nothing but GNOME getting better with the best yet to come. It's been called for this week from GUADEC that GNOME 4.0 to be released in March of 2014 along with GNOME OS. That's not all of their ambitious plans but they think they can gain a 20% market-share by 2020 and they also have some other plans on their agenda.

Ubuntu To Abandon Unity 8, Switch Back To GNOME
Canonical has announced via Mark Shuttleworth they are ending their development of the Unity 8 desktop environment and will be switching back to GNOME desktop by Ubuntu 18.04.

Linus Torvalds Is Back To Using GNOME 3 Desktop
The Linux desktop choices of Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, tends to pique people's interest. Linus has now shared he's switched back to using the GNOME 3.x desktop.

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
While GNOME has been riding high lately with driving the development of its Wayland-based compositor and being the first major desktop getting there natively for most of its applications, and the overall work on the recent GNOME 3.12 release being fairly exciting, on the foundation side they are running into a budget shortfall and funds are becoming very tight within the GNOME Foundation.

A Fork Of GNOME 2: The Mate Desktop
A lot of people hate Canonical's Unity desktop, but a lot of people also hate the current state of the GNOME 3.0 Shell too. For those that are still fond of the GNOME 2.x environment, there is a fork of GNOME2 that's been little talked about up to this point. This fork is called the Mate Desktop Environment.

GNOME 2.31.4 Is Ready For Some Testing Love
It should come as no surprise that there is now a new GNOME 3.0 test release seeing as in the past couple of days we have talked about new development releases of GNOME Shell and Mutter, GTK+ 3.0, and Clutter 1.3/1.4, along with a slew of other GNOME packages being checked-in.

Ubuntu 19.04 Released As A Big Linux Desktop Improvement Thanks To GNOME 3.32
The Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" has been officially released as the latest non-LTS, six-month installment to Ubuntu Linux.

An Experimental GNOME Shell Running On Wayland
On Wednesday of the 2012 LF Collaboration Summit, besides the X and Wayland integration talk, there was a second discussion concerning Wayland/Weston during a Tizen track. During this talk were a few tid-bits of interesting information revealed, such as an experimental GNOME 3.x desktop on Wayland.

GNOME Shell Works Without GPU Driver Support
As reported on Thursday, GNOME Shell / Mutter no longer requires OpenGL-accelerated hardware drivers. It's possible to run this GNOME3 desktop with a software back-end via Gallium3D's LLVMpipe.

GNOME Lands Mainline NVIDIA Wayland Support Using EGLStreams
While waiting for a new API that can succeed GBM and is agreed upon by both NVIDIA and the open-source community, GNOME developers have gone ahead and merged support for using EGLStreams into their Mutter compositor so that the current proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver will work with GNOME on Wayland.

2016 Wayland Experiences: GNOME: Perfect, KDE: Bad, Enlightenment: Good
Developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the different desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results aren't a big surprise, but nevertheless it's great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring Wayland will be able to dominate the Linux desktop.

Mark Shuttleworth Makes More Comments On Ubuntu GNOME, Mir, Convergence
By now you have probably read Mark Shutttleworth's Google+ comments from Friday concerning Ubuntu GNOME, including the continuing of Snaps, UBports looking to take over Unity 8, and the desire to move quickly in supporting Ubuntu GNOME. He has now provided more follow-up comments.

GNOME Will Move Full-Speed With Wayland Support
We already know that KDE developers aren't fond of Mir, Canonical's display server for the Unity desktop not derived from X.Org and Wayland. KDE developers aren't happy about it, some Xfce developers have also expressed dissatisfaction with the recent Canonical changes, and now there's a GNOME response. What's GNOME doing about Mir? They're laying out plans right now to move hard and fast with Wayland support!

Trying Out Ubuntu GNOME 16.10, Wayland Session Not So Great
With today's Ubuntu 16.10 release one of the exciting spins we've been looking forward to is Ubuntu GNOME 16.10, which has an experimental Wayland session available but is not the default. I spent a few minutes trying out Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 this morning.

A GNOME Developer's Arguments On Vala Being A "Dead" Language
Longtime GNOME developer Emmanuele Bassi has pleaded his case that Vala is a "dead" language and that new applications/developers should look at alternatives or first work on improving this GNOME-centered language.

GNOME 3.16 On Fedora 22: Wayland vs. X.Org
In complementing this morning's early Fedora 22 Workstation benchmarks, here's some numbers in looking at Fedora 22's GNOME Shell 3.16 desktop under an X.Org Server as well as Wayland.

Debian Switches Back To GNOME As Its Default Desktop
While Debian defaulted to the Xfce desktop in the past after switching from GNOME, the default Debian desktop is back to being with GNOME.

GNOME & KDE Developers Go To Battle Over A Name
Ahead of the Berlin Desktop Summit, several GNOME and KDE developers have begun a mailing list battle...over a name. In particular, that with GNOME 3.0 their control panel areas is called "System Settings", which is precisely what the KDE developers call their system control area too.

Debian Trying Out Xfce Over GNOME By Default
While Debian GNU/kFreeBSD has used Xfce as its default desktop environment and prior to 7.0 Wheezy they experimented with Xfce by default for Debian GNU/Linux, it's being tried out once again.

It's Easy To Guess What Angers GNOME Users
The 2011 GNOME User Survey, an end-user survey that was assembled by independent GNOME users and hosted on Phoronix, began less than 24 hours ago and we're already approaching 2,000 submissions. There's still one month to go, and from these submission so far when simply dumping the comments it amounts to about 148 pages. However, it's not hard to guess what most of these comments are about when it comes to the GNOME desktop.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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