Why Linux on the Fastest 500 Super Computers?

In the computer-verse, there is a lot of debate on which operating system is best for general use, specific use and advanced use. Tech savvy parties have been at logger heads; debating the pros and cons. You have probably been in such a spot before. Wondering which operating system to use for your computer.

This article is dedicated to illustrating why Linux has been dominant over the super-computer sector over other operating systems. We are taking you a step further, making you understand what super-computers are and why they are important. More to that, why Linux is used on them.

What is a super computer?

Simply put, it is a computer that has a significantly high level of performance compared to a general computer, tuned to perform a specific activity such as engineering or website hosting.

Super computers are basically everywhere, and you interact with them without even knowing either directly or indirectly. To server you as they should, super computers are tweaked with high end hardware run by software that is specialized.

To run such specialized software, a specialized operating system is needed. Most of the time, Linux is the go to operating system; but why?

There are a variety of reasons why it is used in a majority of the super computers and in this article, we shall discuss them briefly.

Open Source: Being open source means that the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified as any tech savvy person may deem fit. This means that computer administrators can customize the OS at any level. This allows the fixing of vulnerabilities, improvement of performance among other issues. Freedom and control is the major point here.

Cost Efficiency: By no means is running an open source operating system free. Human resource is needed verily for its maintenance however, compared to other OS’s. This means that owners of super computers can save a huge chunk of money by just running Linux.

Modularity: Where Linux is involved, modularity is not far behind. The OS is divided into modules that perform specific functions. This means that each module can be though of as independent, increasing security as well as performance. Other OS’s are not structured as this. Modularity allows for modification at the very core.

Kernel Collectivity: Here, it is in the sense of being generic meaning; the kernel can run virtually anywhere. It is not made for a specific type of hardware rather, for any type of hardware. In turn, this allows for stripping down of the OS to basic components without loss of much time or quality.

Scalability: This can be thought of as a measure of efficiency. The ability of an OS to adjust its functionality to larger loads is very necessary especially while running specialized tasks on a computer. By extension, scalability ensures that the OS can be used anywhere, with various activities.

Those are some of the few reasons why severs have employed the use of Linux over the years. As of 2019, 100% of the fastest supercomputers ran on Linux and a 7 years before that, 94% ran on Linux. The growth of Linux in the supercomputer sphere has been exponential ensuring its domination over the years.

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