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Linux runs on 500 of the top 500 supercomputers

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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.

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Linux dominates supercomputing

  • Linux dominates supercomputing

    Twice a year, in June and November, TOP500 releases it a list of the 500 most powerful computer systems ranked by their performance on something called the LINPACK Benchmark, which calls for the computer being tested to solve a dense system of linear equations.

    I have heard it said, though not been able to verify, that Linux runs on more than 90% of public clouds, more than 60% of embedded systems and IoT devices, as much as 99% of supercomputers and more than 80% of smartphones. If these claims are even close to the truth, it attests to the success and versatility of Linux

    In the most recent TOP500 ranking, a Japanese supercomputer name Fugaku (derived from an alternate name for Mount Fuji) has taken the top spot and pushed the former leaders down a rank. Fugaku was co-developed by Riken and Fujitsu and uses Fujitsu's 48-core A64FX ARM chip. This is the first time a computer based on ARM processors has topped the list.

    The computer was fully assembled only in May but has already helped fight COVID-19 by sorting through more than 2,000 drugs that might effectively block the virus and found a dozen that show promise.

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