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Linux runs on 500 of the top 500 supercomputers

One of the primary testaments to the success of Linux is its amazing dominance in the area of supercomputing. Today, all 500 of the world’s top 500 supercomputers are running Linux. In fact, this has been the case since Nov 2017. I know this because the TOP500 organization has been tracking the 500 most powerful commercially available computer systems since 1993 and their data documenting Linux’ takeover of supercomputing since 1998 is nothing short of inspiring. A graph of Linux’ ascension is available on this TOP500 page.

How did this happen?

A little history

As you may well know, Linux began life in 1991 as a personal project of Finnish student Linus Torvalds. He was 21. I first became aware of it several years later while working at Johns Hopkins UniversityP’s physics and astronomy department. I was managing the department’s network along and a number of servers with the help of a couple grad students.

At the time, I was intrigued, but had no way of imagining how an OS would rise to a notable pinnacle of success simply because source code was available to anyone who wanted to work with it. I could not have imagined that a significant group of large companies would grasp its value, work together and innovate in all the ways they have to make Linux what it is today.

Looking back, it’s clear that open source and intense collaboration were key along with a large score of contributors and collaborating organizations that includes Intel, Red Hat, Samsung, SUSE, IBM, NVIDIA and many others.

Simply browsing the corporate members of the Linux Foundation is likely to make your jaw drop.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.


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