Option to ping a server to count the number of users running the OS

Registered by eyerouge on 2007-12-06

There's at least one Ubuntu counter website that aims to tell us how many Ubuntu users there are. The problem with all solutions that aren't integrated within the OS itself is that it depends and relies on website registrations and/or something else that >= 90% of the average users wouldn't bother to do or will ever hear of.

To get a far more accurate number of the amount of Ubuntu users a lightweight solution should be implemented in the OS, and whatever it is it should of course also be enabled by defeault, work behind the scenes and be fully optional so that it can be shut of if the users doesn't wish to be counted. There are several ways to implement it, and the below is just one possible example - ignore it and work out a new if it doesn't fit the shoe.

Primitive example:

To get the number of machines running the system a give day it would be enough to let the OS report it's existence to a central server. It does that only on the first machine boot of the day.

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A rough count of Ubuntu's install base can be achieved because Ubuntu checks various servers for updates on a daily basis. All you have to do to count the computers running Ubuntu would be: obtain the log files from each mirror server and then run them through a script.
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