In the culmination of a steady rise to dominance over the past 20 years, Linux is now the operating system used on 95.2 percent of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers, according to the most recent Top500 supercomputer rankings.
Linux debuted on the Top500 list in 1998, consistently dominated the top 10 over the past decade, and has accounted for more than 90 percent of the list since June 2010, according to the Linux Foundation.
"Linux [became] the driving force behind the breakthroughs in computing power that have fueled research and technological innovation," says the Linux Foundation. The foundation attributes Linux's popularity in supercomputing to the fact that researchers can easily modify and optimize Linux for unique, cutting-edge supercomputer designs. In addition, Linux offers access to free support and developer resources.
"By isolating RMax [a supercomputer's maximum achieved performance on the Linpack benchmark] by operating system using the past 20 years of Top500 data, it's clear that Linux is not only responsible for supporting the majority of supercomputers today, but is a driving force behind the disproportionate growth in supercomputing capacity over the past decade," says the Linux Foundation. "In continuing to drive progress and innovation in computing, Linux is also helping to explore the mysteries of the universe and solve our toughest problems."
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