Over the six months from July 2003, Debian has been the fastest growing Linux distribution according to Bath-based Internet researcher Netcraft. Netcraft counted active sites containing the name of a Linux distribution in the Apache server header. In percentage terms, Debian is closely followed by SuSE, now owned by Novell, and Gentoo. Red Hat has a far greater number of sites but - quite typically for larger players in the market - a much slower growth rate. Its share fell this month, following widely publicised and controversial changes to its licensing and security update policies, which saw the company move to a more commercial model to which many in the open source community were unaccustomed. However, with a hit rate of over 1.45 million, more than the rest of the distros combined, Red Hat won't be too upset. A distribution name was present in a little over a quarter of Linux-based Apache sites, according to Netcraft, and the overall growth rate of Linux servers was just under 15 per cent.
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