Your verification ID is: guDlT7MCuIOFFHSbB3jPFN5QLaQ Big Computing: What Operating Systems do R users use?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Operating Systems do R users use?

I went to the Greater Boston R meetup last night where the Rstudio guys did a presentation on their IDE. It was well attended, and Josh and JJ did a great job.

At the end of the talk JJ said that the breakdown of Operating Systems for the Rstudio downloads was roughly 60% windows, 30% mac and 10% linux. Frankly I was surprised by those numbers. I always felt that the majority of people who use open source R would run it on an open source Operating System. Rstudio's results would seem to strongly counter that thought. After the talk, I remembered a survey done by KDnuggets in September of 2007 on what Operating system did people use for their analytics work. It also showed about 60% Windows users but 30% linux and 10% Mac. I believe this suggests an increase in the number of people using Macs to do analytics in the last four years.

I am not sure the data from downloads of an IDE or a survey of Operating Systems by KDnuggets is a good indicator of what is the relative popularity of the various Operating Systems being used by the R community. I do believe it does show the importance of supporting Windows which is consistantly shown as the dominate platform among people surveyed and downloads at least Rstudio. It also showed that if you make an IDE that is not supported on the Mac you could be missing 30% of the potential users.

The recent KDnuggets survey on which R interfaces which was interesting. For example, I would not have expect so many people to respond that they use Tinn-R or R commander but they do.  I always enjoyed the KDnuggets surveys.

KDnuggets Operating System survey
KDnuggets R interface poll