Brief: Linux may not have a decent market share in desktop, but it rules the supercomputers with 498 out of the top 500 supercomputers running on Linux.
Linux is still running on more than 99% of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. Same as last year, 498 out of top 500 supercomputers run Linux while remaining 2 run Unix.
No supercomputer dared to run Windows (pun intended). And of course, no supercomputer runs macOS because Apple has not manufactured the ‘iSupercomputer’ yet.
[Tweet “#Linux now runs on 498 out of top 500 #supercomputers in the world”]
This information is collected by an independent organization Top500 that 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 country, OS type used, vendors etc.Don’t worry, I’ll do it for you to present some of the most interesting facts from this year’s list.
No worries if you don’t want to do that because I’ll present some of the interesting facts here.
Linux rules supercomputers because it is open source
20 years back, most of the supercomputers ran Unix. But eventually, Linux took the lead and become the preferred choice of operating system for the supercomputers.
The main reason for this growth is the open source nature of Linux. Supercomputers are specific devices built for specific purposes. This requires a custom operating system optimized for those specific needs.
Unix, being a closed source and propriety operating system, is an expensive deal when it comes to customization. Linux, on the other hand, is free and easier to customize. Engineering teams can easily customize a Linux-based operating system for each of the supercomputers.
However, I wonder why open source variants such as FreeBSD failed to gain popularity on supercomputers.
To summarize the list of top 500 supercomputers based on OS this year:
- Linux: 498
- Unix: 2
- Windows: 0
- MacOS: 0
To give you a year wise summary of Linux shares on the top 500 supercomputers:
- In 2012: 94%
- In 2013: 95%
- In 2014: 97%
- In 2015: 97.2%
- In 2016: 99.6%
- In 2017: 99.6
- In 2018: ???
The only two supercomputers running Unix are ranked 493rd and 494th:
Some other interesting stats about fastest supercomputers
Moving Linux aside, here are some other interesting stats about supercomputers this year:
- World’s fastest supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight is based in National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China. It has a speed of 93PFLOPS.
- World’s second fastest supercomputer is also based in China (Tianhe-2) while the third spot is taken by Switzerland-based Piz Daint.
- Out of the top 10 fastest supercomputers, USA has 5, Japan and China have 2 each while Switzerland has 1.
- United States leads with 168 supercomputers in the list followed by China with 160 supercomputers.
- Japan has 33, Germany has 28, France has 18, Saudi Arabia has 6, India has 4 and Russia has 3 supercomputers in the list.
Some interesting facts, isn’t it? You can filter out your own list here to further details.
While you are reading it, do share this article on social media. It’s an achievement for Linux and we got to show off 😀