Popcorn tracks the usage of RPM packages. This website provides user contributed statistics about installed packages and their metadata.
Users of RPM-based Linux distributions (such as openSUSE or Fedora) provide weekly anonymous information about the packages they have installed. This is done by simply installing the popcorn-client package on their machines.
popcorn-client collects basic metadata about a participating user’s system and all their installed packages. It also figures out when those packages were last used and splits them into four categories: recent, old, voted or nofiles. Once a week it sends this data to the popcorn server (here). Read more about the popcorn-client here.
The Popcorn server receives the data sent by popcorn-client and stores it in a database. We don’t track user IPs or even the history of a system’s installed packages over time. It then makes this data available to everyone through charts (like the ones above and on the various API documentation pages) and a RESTful API (for other services to use).
Linux distributions are built from open source packages. But there are a lot of them and people resources are often very limited. Figuring out which packages our users really use would help a lot with prioritising tasks. It’s also good to know that someone uses that package you were up all night trying to build.
There are a lot of questions that Linux distributions ask themselves: from things as simple as figuring out what CPU architectures people are using to more specialised questions like:
The best way to help right now (and the easiest) if you’re an RPM-based Linux distribution user is to install popcorn-client and then forget about it. It will send us the data we need to make your distribution better for you.
If you’re a developer you might want to check out the sources and hack something on the server. It’s mostly python under an MIT License. Look for bugs in our issue tracker or think up new features. We’re really open to contributions even if you’re not so experienced.
If you want to develop a third party service, go ahead and look at the API.
If you have a question that you think popcorn’s data might be able to answer and you can’t find the answer by looking at all our crazy graphs, contact us and we’ll try to figure out an answer for you.