Linux Now Runs on All of the Top 500 Supercomputers

Linux might be struggling for a decent desktop market share but it is definitely ruling the world of supercomputers.

Supercomputers love Linux

As per the latest report from Top 500, Linux now runs on all of the fastest 500 supercomputers in the world. The previous number was 498 as remaining two supercomputers ran Unix.

Top500 is an independent project that was launched in 1993 to benchmark supercomputers. It publishes the details about the top 500 fastest supercomputers known to them, twice a year. You can go the website and filter out the list based on various criteria such as country, OS type, vendors etc.

Don’t worry. I am going to list some of the most interesting facts from this report.

Some interesting facts about top 500 supercomputers

Top 10 fastest supercomputers
Top 10 fastest supercomputers in 2017
  • China has still got the fastest supercomputer in the world. Sunway TaihuLight, developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC), maintains this position for last two years.
  • China also has the most number of supercomputers as it owns 202 out of top 500 supercomputers. The USA falls in second place with 143 entries in the top 500.
  • Japan is in third place with 35, followed by Germany with 20, France with 18, and the UK with 15. India and Saudi Arabia have 4 each while Russia has 3 supercomputers.
  • Out of the top 10 fastest supercomputers, USA has 5, Japan and China have 2 each while Switzerland has 1. Top 2 positions are held by supercomputers from China.

There was a time when Unix was the most used operating system on supercomputers. By mid-2000’s Linux started outnumbering Unix.

The main reason for this growth is that Linux is free and easier to customize. Supercomputers are devices built for specific purposes. This requires an operating system customized ed for those specific needs.

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Unix, being a closed source and propriety operating system, is an expensive deal when it comes to customization. This is why Linux gains the upper hand here.

Do share this article on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. It’s an achievement for Linux and we got to show off :D

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IGnatius T Foobar

This is a good example of why the desktop doesn't matter anymore. One generation of computing ago, the common wisdom was that if Microsoft was permitted to retain its desktop monopoly, they would eventually monopolize everything else, and Linux was the only possible challenger. Today, we see that Microsoft still owns the desktop, and it doesn't matter, because Linux has utterly *dominated* everywhere else. 100% of supercomputers. 80% of mobile (with most of the other 20% other unices, not Windows). 100% of the cloud (except for Microsoft's own). And Linux pretty much owns the server space too; no one runs Windows Server anymore except to run Microsoft's own server software (sharepoint, sql server, exchange, active directory).

The point is, we don't need to worry about Linux's anemic share of the desktop market anymore, because the desktop doesn't matter anymore.

mmmmmh, maybe this is just related to price licensing on each server core....