It reports the system architecture you use, the version of popularity-contest you use and the list of packages installed on your system. For each package, popularity-contest looks at the most recently used files, and reports the filename, its last access time and last change time.
This data is sent to a server server weekly and everyday the server anonymizes the results and publishes the survey on Popcon website.
ISV_Damocles did a nice analysis of this data on Reddit. Below is a meaningful breakdown, however before proceeding ahead but make a note of this:
Not all Ubuntu users have popularity-contest enabled. It's disabled by default and most Ubuntu users have likely never heard of it. So this will not show a true picture of DE usage on Ubuntu. Also the results may not be 100% accurate.
In all total 2,381,625 machines are submitting installed packages details to Popcon. 'Installed' refers to the number of people who have installed packages, not taking into consideration how frequently these packages are used or if they have been upgraded recently.
Out of 2,381,625, xorg is installed on 2,363,432 machines and rest 18,193 are headless machines.
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