2009 LinuxQuestions.org
Member Choice Awards

by Paul Arnote (parnote)

From January 8, 2010 to February 9, 2010, members of the LinuxQuestions.org forum were given the chance to vote for their favorite Linux software of 2009. This was the 9th consecutive year for the poll. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the LinuxQuestions.org forum was started in June, 2000 as a general forum where users can discuss Linux issues. There are forum categories for specific Linux distros, as well as a Linux Beginner's section, a Linux Programming section, a Linux Software category, which also contains a separate Linux Games category for running games under Linux, and a whole host of other categories that are sure to capture your interests.

So, software was divided up into 27 categories, and members had a solid month to cast their ballots for their favorite Linux programs. Some categories were as predictable as you might expect. For example, in the category of "Desktop Distribution of the Year," Ubuntu was the runaway favorite, capturing just over 30% of the vote, with Slackware (16.74%) and Fedora (9.78%) rounding out the top three choices. (Yes, I voted for PCLinuxOS, which captured almost 3% of the vote).

Voting was not required in every category, so if you had no knowledge about the software in a category, you could skip voting in that area. Only one vote in each category per registered forum user was allowed.

Below is a roundup of the top three choices in the 26 other categories. Feel free to visit the official poll results to see how your favorite Linux program fared. You do not need to be a member to read the posts there. You do, however, need to be a member to post there.

Programming Language of the Year:
Python (27.59%), C++ (13.97%), PHP (13.79%)
Desktop Environment of the Year:
Gnome (41.96%), KDE (40.37%), XFCE (11.29%). KDE had won every previous year, before being upset from the top spot by Gnome for the first time.
Office Suite of the Year:
OpenOffice.org (90.76%), KOffice (4.47%), Gnome Office (1.88%)
Audio Authoring Application of the Year:
Audacity (77.26%), LAME (7.94%), Ardour (7.22%)
Server Distribution of the Year:
Debian (24.24%), Slackware (21.79%), CentOS (15.48%)
Video Authoring Application of the Year:
FFmpeg (21.94%), Avidemux (17.30%), mencoder and Kdenlive (14.35%) (Tie for 3rd place)
Browser of the Year:
Firefox (65.21%), Chrome (13.77%), Opera (9.18%)
Window Manager of the Year:
Compiz (23.10%), KWin (19.73%), Fluxbox (16.36%)
Database of the Year:
MySQL (60.81%), PostgreSQL (22.65%), sqlite (8.40%)
Open Source Game of the Year:
Battle for Wesnoth (15.45%), Open Arena (9.27%), Nexuiz (8.99%)
IDE/Web Development Editor of the Year:
Eclipse (23.28%), Netbeans (15.52%), Bluefish and Geany (9.85%) (Tie for 3rd place)
Text Editor of the Year:
vim (35.29%), gedit (15.87%), Kate (10.40%)
Virtualization Product of the Year:
VirtualBox (67.43%), VMware (15.24%), KVM (6.67%)
Mail Client of the Year:
Thunderbird (53.48%), Evolution (14.77%), Kmail (11.38%)
Backup Application of the Year:
rsync (48.99%), tar (14.41%), Clonezilla (8.93%)
Video Media Player Application of the Year:
VLC (46.05%), mplayer (36.28%), xine (6.36%)
Network Security Application of the Year:
Nmap Security Scanner (29.85%), Wireshark (23.13%), ClamAv (10.82%)
Network Monitoring Application of the Year:
Nagios (51.11%), OpenNMS (15.00%), Zenoss (6.11%)
Open Source CMS/Blogging Platform of the Year:
WordPress (45.20%), Drupal (23.60%), Joomla! (22.80%)
Graphics Application of the Year:
GIMP (66.48%), Inkscape (12.66%), Blender (5.77%)
Audio Media Player Application of the Year:
Amarok (38.81%), Rhythmbox (16.83%), Audacious (9.37%)
File Manager of the Year:
Nautilus (24.92%), Dolphin (19.66%), Konqueror (18.81%)
Security/Forensic/Rescue Distribution of the Year:
BackTrack (43.48%), SystemRescueCd (31.88%), Trinity Rescue Kit (4.35%)
Multimedia Utility of the Year:
GStreamer (32.84%), digiKam (26.04%), XBMC (14.79%)
Messaging Application of the Year:
Pidgin (48.74%), Skype (12.18%), Kopete (11.76%)
Host Security Application of the Year:
SELinux (39.26%), chkrootkit (16.56%), AppArmor (12.27%)