curl installations per capita

I’ve joked with friends and said that we should have a competition to see whom among us have the largest number of curl installations in their homes. This is of course somewhat based on that I claim that there are more than ten billion curl installations in the world. That’s more installations than humans. How many curl installations does an average person have?

Amusingly, someone also asked me this question at curl presentation I did recently.

I decided I would count my own installations to see what number I could possibly come up with, ignoring the discussion if I’m actually could be considered “average” in this regard or not. This counting includes a few assumptions and estimates, but this isn’t a game we can play with complete knowledge. But no crazy estimates, just reasonable ones!

I decided to count my entire household’s amount just to avoid having to decide exactly which devices to include or not. I’m counting everything that is “used regularly” in my house (things that haven’t been used within the last 12 months don’t count). We’re four persons in my household. Me, my wife and my two teenage kids.

Okay. Let the game begin. This is the Stenberg household count of October, 2021.

Computer Operating Systems

4: I have two kids who have one computer each at home. One Windows 10 and one macOS. They also have one ChromeOS laptop each for school.

3: My wife has no less than three laptops with Windows 10 for work and for home.

3: I have three computers I use regularly. One Windows 10 laptop and two Debian Linuxes (laptop + desktop).

1: We have a Windows 10 NUC connected to the living room TV.

Subtotal: 11 full fledged computers.

Computer applications

Tricky. In the Linux machines, the curl installation is often shared by all users so just because I use multiple tools (like git) that use curl doesn’t increase the installation count. Presumably this is also the same for most macOS and ChromeOS apps.

On Windows however, applications that use libcurl use their own private build (as Windows itself doesn’t provide libcurl, only the curl tool) so they would count as additional installations. But I’m not sure how much curl is used in the applications my family use on Windows. I don’t think my son for example plays any of those games in which I know they use curl.

I do however have (I counted!) 8 different VMs installed in my two primary development machines, running Windows, Linux (various distros for curl testing) and FreeBSD and they all have curl installed in them. I think they should count.

Subtotal: 8 (at least)

Phone and Tablet Operating Systems

2: Android phones. curl is part of AOSP and seem to be shipped bundled by most vendor Androids as well.

1: Android tablet

2: iPhones. curl has been part of iOS since the beginning.

1: iOS tablet

Subtotal: 6

Phone and tablet apps

6 * 5: Youtube, Instagram. Spotify, Netflix, Google photos are installed in all of the mobile devices. Lots of other apps and games also use libcurl of course. I’ve decided to count low.

Subtotal: 30 – 40 yeah, the mobile apps really boost the amount.

TV, router, NAS, printer

1: an LG TV. This is tricky since I believe the TV operating system itself uses curl and I know individual apps do, and I strongly suspect they run their own builds so more or less every additional app on the TV run its own curl installation…

1: An ASUS wifi router I’m “fairly sure” includes curl

1: A Synology NAS I’m also fairly sure has curl

1: My printer/scanner is an HP model. I know from “sources” that pretty much every HP printer made has curl in them. I’m assuming mine does too.

Subtotal: 4 – 9


I have half a dozen wifi-enabled powerplugs in my house but to my disappointment I’ve not found any evidence that they use curl.

I have a Peugeot e2008 (electric) car, but there are no signs of curl installed in it and my casual Google searches also failed me. This could be one of the rarer car brands/models that don’t embed curl? Oh the irony.

My Peugeot e2008

I have a Fitbit Versa 3 watch, but I don’t think it runs curl. Again, my googling doesn’t show any signs of that, and I’ve found no traces of my Ember coffee cup using curl.

My fridge, washing machine, dish washer, stove and oven are all “dumb”, not network connected and not running curl. Gee, my whole kitchen is basically curl naked.

We don’t have game consoles in the household so we’re missing out on those possible curl installations. I also don’t have any bluray players or dedicated set-top/streaming boxes. We don’t have any smart speakers, smart lightbulbs or fancy networked audio-players. We have a single TV, a single car and have stayed away from lots of other “smart home” and IoT devices that could be running lots of curl.

Subtotal: lots of future potential!


11 + 8 + 6 + 30to40 + 4to9 = 59 to 74 CIPH (curl installations per household). If we go with the middle estimate, it means 66.

16.5 CIPC (curl installations per capita)

If the over 16 curl installations per person in just this household is an indication, I think it may suggest that my existing “ten billion installations” estimate is rather on the low side… If we say 10 is a fair average count and there are 5 billion Internet connected users, yeah then we’re at 50 billion installations

What’s your score?