As part of my anthropological fieldwork in the Ubuntu community [1], I have done a Ubuntu Census Survey - a basic questionnaire seeking to map the members of the Ubuntu community. The questionnaire can be found here:



In spite of the name, the survey is not intended to keep track of individuals and their contributions to Ubuntu. Instead, the objective is to examine statistically the membership of the Ubuntu community and to gain some reasonably valid statistical data on a previously unchartered field.

  • Who are joining the Ubuntu community and for what reasons.
  • How they use computers in general.
  • How is their relationship to the F/OSS world in general.

Hopefully, this survey will shed some light on the general membership of the Ubuntu community, comparable to similar statistical surveys like those made by the FLOSSPOLS project http://www.flosspols.org/.

Specifically, I hope use this data on computer use and F/OSS involvement in the community as a basis for a further examination of the social and technical interplay between developers and users in the community which will the main focus of my fieldwork [which you can read more about here: UbuntuFieldwork].

Practical Information

All of the survey data I receive will be anonymized. Names will only be used to file the questionnaire. Your privacy will be protected as according to usual anthropological practice (cf. http://ethics.iit.edu/codes/coe/aanta-1998.html).

I will freeze the data on June 8th at 00.00 UTC in order to have time to analyze the data to present it at the Ubuntu Developers' Summit in Paris. The Survey results will of course be made available on-line following the summit.


Data has been frozen with around 290 valid responses. These have been analyzed and the results will be presented at the Ubuntu Paris Summit at on Thursday the 22nd of June. The results can a basis for discussion - both about the Ubuntu community but also about the further use of statistical surveys on the Ubuntu community. There are some volunteers in the community that have shown interest in helping with a continuing survey effort in the community.

The presentation slides can be found here:

http://eskar.dk/andreas/output/surveyshow.pdf http://eskar.dk/andreas/output/surveyshow.odp

even more charts and further analysis will be available through here:


Depending on interest in the community, the Ubuntu Census Survey (probably in a somewhat shorter format) may be a recurring event in the community. But instead of focusing on the developers and contributors in the community, the survey will probably focus on the end-users instead - especially in the forums where there are many informal polls which might best be answered through a more formal survey.

This potential effort may do well to be coordinated with the WhatDoNonGeeksWant specification.

UbuntuCensusSurvey (last edited 2008-08-06 16:32:04 by localhost)