I just noticed a big difference in the user structure of Serverfault and this site (the two I use). Having a look at the first page (36 people) of the most active users this year this turns out:

Serverfault (Top 10)
USA : 22 (9)
abroad: 13 (1)
unknown : 1 (0)

Linux & Unix (Top 10)
USA : 9 (3) 
abroad: 18 (6)
unknown : 9 (1)

Of course, that's nothing you have to think about. But one may find that interesting. You could guess that the importance of Linux & Unix is much higher outside the US than within. Or that the foreigners have good (compared to SF) local forums for professional IT but rather bad local forums for Linux & Unix... ;-)

  • Serverfault is a broader church, with three times as many users...
    – jasonwryan
    Jun 8, 2013 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


With less *nix machines around, there is less incentive to provide courses and write books in local languages for these systems. Therefore the general server administrators population will have a larger proportion of people not fluent in a second language than the *nix administrators. This will reflect on more people who can be assumed to have English as their primary language on a general site like serverfault than on a specific site like *nix.

This is primarily based personal observations having lived in five different countries (if you do not include Bavaria), visiting local bookshops' IT departments, reading local IT newspapers etc. Also, I would say *nix administrators are generally more resourceful (have to be), which I think reflects in being able to master a second language like English.

  • Interesting point. I would not agree that courses and books can replace a Q&A service like Serverfault but that a relevant share of the (foreign) audience simply abstains from using an English service (unless absolutely necessary) seems plausible. On the other hand: Among the top 36 users of Serverfault are freaks / geeks only. I would assume about any IT geek to be fluent in "IT English". But that is just a feeling, not based on international observation like in your case. Jun 8, 2013 at 14:13

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