Linux is used everywhere. We tell you exactly where

Linux is Everywhere. From Space Stations to Microwave Ovens, Linux powers everything.” You might have heard that a lot and have always wondered ” Is that just a phrase or is it actually true ? “  Be assured, it is true. World’s biggest companies use Linux in one way or another but you are not going to believe unless I take names. Well, get ready for a roller coaster ride across the globe where I show you where and how Linux is used

Scientific InstitutionsTop 500 SupercomputersLarge Hadron Collider And International Space StationEducationSmart Refrigerators And Nest ThermostatSelf-Driving CarsFlight Entertainment SystemsTraffic Control SystemsSmart RifleRobotic Milking SystemBusinesses and non ProfitsGovernment
Linux runs scientific institutions
  • NASA – NASA has migrated the International Space Station from Windows Xp to Debian 6.
  • University of Portsmouth – The University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom has deployed a “cost effective” high performance computer that will be used to analyse data from telescopes around the world, run simulations and test the current theories about the universe. Its operating system is Scientific Linux. Dr David Bacon of the University of Portsmouth said: “Our Institute of Cosmology is in a great position to use this high performance computer to make real breakthroughs in understanding the universe, both by analysing the very latest astronomical observations, and by calculating the consequences of mind-boggling new theories…By selecting Dell’s industry-standard hardware and open source software we’re able to free up budget that would have normally been spent on costly licences and reinvest it.”
  • Tianhe – Tianhe-I, the worlds fastest super computer as of October 2010, located at the National Centre for Supercomputing in Tianjin, China runs Linux.
  • University of Toronto – Canada’s largest super computer, the IBM iDataPlex cluster computer at the University of Toronto uses Linux as its operating system.
  • CERN – Both CERN and Fermilab use Scientific Linux in all their work; this includes running the Large Hadron Collider or the Dark Energy Cameraor the 20,000 internal servers of CERN.
  • Internet Archive – The Internet Archive uses hundreds of x86 servers to catalogue the Internet, all of them running Linux.
Linux runs supercomputers

Think no one uses Linux? Take a look at the top 500 supercomputers in the world. A whopping 96.4% of them run Linux.

There are several reasons why this is the case. Since all supercomputers are staffed with knowledgeable programmers, they can easily take Linux and make changes as they see fit. Second, because Linux can run on virtually every CPU architecture, there’s no problem with getting it to run on the more specialized hardware that supercomputers use.

Linux runs hadron collider

Linux powers The Large Hadron Collider, one of the most respected scientific facilities in the world. And the LHC is hardly alone in this regard: the International Space Station replaced Windows with Linux on the computers onboard. When it comes to science, Linux is common.

Linux runs education

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela. Free Software should be part of the education system and some countries have done a remarkable job of integrating Free Software in their education system.

  • The Children’s Machine – The OLPC XO-1 ( previously called the MIT $100 laptop and The Children’s Machine ), is an inexpensive laptop running Linux, which will be distributed to millions of children as part of the One Laptop Per Child project, especially in developing countries.
  • China – The Chinese government is buying 1.5 million Linux Loongson PCs as part of its plans to support its domestic industry. In addition the provision of Jiangsu will install as many as 150,000 Linux PCs, using Loongson processors, in rural schools starting in 2009.
  • Italy – Schools in Bolzano, Italy, with a student population of 16,000, switched to a custom distribution of Linux ( FUSS Soledad GNU/Linux ) in september 2005.
  • Russia – Russia announced in October 2007 that all its schools computers will run on Linux. This is to avoid cost of Licensing currently unlicensed software.
  • Switzerland – 9000 computers were converted to Linux and OpenOffice in school district Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Georgia – In 2004, Georgia began running all its computers and LTSP thin clients on Linux, mainly using Kubuntu, ubuntu and stripped Fedora-based distro.
  • Philippines – The Philippines has deployed 13,000 desktops running on Fedora, the first 10,000 were delivered in 2007 by Advances Solutions Inc. Another 10,000 desktops of Edubuntu and Kubuntu are planned.
  • India – Government officials of Kerala, India announced they will use only free software running on Linux Platform, for computer education, starting with the 2,650 government and government-aided high schools.  The Indian State of Tamilnadu also plans to distribute 100,00 Linux laptops to its students.

The Indian government’s tablet computer initiative for students use Linux as the operating system as part of its drive to produce a tablet PC for under 1,500 rupees ( US$35 ).

  • Germany – In 2012 the Keibniz Supercomputing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities unveiled the SuperMUC, the world’s fourth most powerful supercomputer. The computer is x86-based and features 155,000 processors cores with a maximum speed of 3 petaflops of processing power and 324 terabytes of RAM. Its operating system is SUSELinux Enterprise Server.

Germany also announced that 5,60,000 students in 33 universities will migrate to Linux.

  • Venezuela – In 2009, Venezuela’s Ministry of Education begins a project called Canaima-educativo, to provide all students in public schools with “Canamita” laptop computers with the Canaima Debian-based Linux distribution pre-installed, as well as with open source educational content.
Linux runs nest

House appliances like a smart refrigerator and or a Nest Thermostat also commonly run Linux. All of these devices use Linux because some sort of operating system must take care of the main applications that run on it, as well as facilitate the use of WiFi and other I/O. Again, Linux is also open and easy to configure which makes it an ideal choice.

Sadly, Linux hasn’t been put on a toaster (yet).

It’s documented that Google uses a modified version of Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution, for its self-driving car project. And the project has a lot of sophisticated work going into it – a sliver of which you can see in the video above. Another impressive project powered by Linux.

Linux is everywhere

Flight entertainment systems, the ones that allow you to watch TV shows and movies, surf the web, and play games in the comfort (heh) of your own airplane seat, commonly run Linux. Why? Because Linux is extremely flexible, fast, and it doesn’t cost anything in licensing fees. This way, airlines can create their own setups which include client systems (the ones that go into the seats and talk to the server somewhere in the plane) which include cheap hardware. Not only are they saving money with the cheaper hardware that still gets the job done, but they also save money on licensing. Imagine having to pay for a Windows license for every seat in the airline’s entire fleet!

Linux runs ATC

Important public systems such as San Francisco’s traffic control system or the nation’s air traffic control use Linux. Such large infrastructure projects require specialized setups that Linux can fulfill best, once again because it’s flexible and cheap. This is one of the best examples of how Linux can affect your life indirectly.

Do you like guns? You can buy yourself a smart rifle which runs what else but Linux. With the smart rifle, you can do all sorts of things, such as setting a target, and having the rifle keep track of the target and automatically fire whenever you’re aiming correctly to hit it. For hunting, that might take the fun out of the sport, but it’s cool technology nonetheless.

Linux runs cow milking

What’s the weirdest device that runs Linux? How about a robotic system for milking cows? The VMS, short for Voluntary Milking System, allows the cows to be milked when they want to, and it frees up a dairy farmer’s time quite a bit.

Linux runs business and non-profit organization

Linux is used extensively on servers in businesses, and has been for a long time. Linux is also used in some corporate environments as the desktop platform for their employees, with commercially available solutions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and Ubuntu.

  • Amazon – Amazon.com, the US based mail-order retailer, uses Linux “in nearly every corner of its business”.
  • Google – Google uses a version of Ubuntu internally nicknamed Goobuntu.
  • Wikipedia – Wikipedia moved to running its server on ubuntu in late 2008, after having previously used a combination of Red Hat Enterprise and Fedora.
  • DreamWorks – DreamWorks Animation adopted the use of Linux since 2001, and uses more than 1,000 Linux Desktops and more than 3,000 Linux servers.
  • IBM – IBM does extensive development work for Linux and also uses it on desktops and servers internally. the company also created a TV advertising campaign : IBM supports Linux 100%.
  • NYSE – The New York Stock System uses Linux to run its trading applications.
  • Novell – Novell initiated a migration from Windows to Linux back in 2004. Of its 5500 employees, 50% were successfully migrated as of April 2006. The Migration rate rose to 80% in november.
  • LSE – The London Stock Exchange uses the Linux based MilleniumIT Millenium Exchange software for its trading platform and predicts that moving from windows to Linux will give it an annual cost savings of at least £10 million ($14.7 million) from 2011-12.
  • Banco do Brasil – Banco do Brasil of Brazil, the biggest bank in the country, has moved nearly all desktops to Linux, except some corporate ones and a few that are needed to operate some specific hardware. They began migration of their services to Linux in 2002. Branch servers and ATMs all run Linux and the distribution of choice is Open Suse.
  • Dukejets – DukeJets LLC (USA) and Duke Jets Ltd. (Canada), air charter brokerage companies, switched from Windows to Ubuntu Linux in 2012 upon converting their operations management suite to the web-based AirManager software package they helped design.
  • Mindbridge – Mindbridge, a software company, announced in September 2007 that it had migrated a large number of Windows servers onto a smaller number of Linux servers and a few BSD servers. It claims to have saved “bunches of money.”
  • Wotif – Wotif, the Australian hotel booking website, migrated from Windows to Linux servers to keep up with the growth of its business.
  • Virgin – Virgin America, the low-cost U.S airline, uses Linux to power its in-flight entertainment system, RED.
  • Erine Ball – Ernie Ball, known for its famous Super Slinky guitar strings, has used Linux as its desktop operating system since 2000.
  • CME – The Chicago Mercantile Exchange employs an all-Linux computing infrastructure and has used it to process over a quadrillion dollars worth of financial transactions.
  • Electrolux Frigidaire – Electrolux Frigidaire Infinity i-kitchen is a “smart appliance” refrigerator that uses a Linux operating system, running on an embedded 400 MHz Freescale i.MX25 processor with 128 MB of RAM and a 480×800 touch panel.
  • KLM – KLM, the Royal Aviation Company of the Netherlands, uses Linux on the OSS-based version of its KLM WebFarm.
  • Nav Canada – Nav Canada’s new Internet Flight Planning System for roll-out in 2011, is written in Python and runs on Red Hat Linux.
  • Kim Cascone – American electronic music composer Kim Cascone migrated from Apple Mac to Ubuntu for his music studio, performance use and administration in 2009.
  • Chi-X – The Chi-X pan-European equity exchange runs its MarketPrizm trading platform software on Linux.
  • Peugeot – Peugeot, the European car maker, announced plans to deploy up to 20,000 copies of Novell’s Linux desktop, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and 2,500 copies of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, in 2007.
  • United Bank Of California – Union Bank of California announced in January 2007 that it would standardize its IT infrastructure on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in order to lower costs.
  • Laughing Boy – Laughing Boy Records under the direction of owner Geoff Beasley switched from doing audio recording on Windows to Linux in 2004 as a result of Windows spyware problems.
Linux runs Government

Most of the Governments use Linux, which is pretty obvious for two major reasons. It saves money and provides the flexibility no other OS can . Below is a comprehensive list of Governments around the global using Linux -:

  • America – Starting July 2001, The White House started migrating the computers to the Linux-based Red Hat Linux and Apache HTTP Server and the migration was completed in February 2009. In October 2009, Drupal was chosen as the primary Content management system for White House Servers.

The United States Department of Defense uses Linux – “the U.S. Army is “the” single largest install base for Red hat Linux and the US Navy nuclear submarine fleets run on Linux.

In 2006, the US Federal Aviation Administration announced that it had completed a migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux in one-third of the scheduled time and saved 15 million dollars.

The US National Nuclear Security Administration operates the world’s tenth fastest supercomputer, the IBM Roadrunner. which used Red Hat Enterprise Linux along with Fedora as its operating system.

The city government of Largo, Florida, USA uses Linux and has won international recognition for their implementation, indicating that it provides ” extensive savings over more traditional alternatives in city-wide applications.”

In June 2012 the US Navy signed a US$27,883,883 contract with Raytheon to install Linux ground control software for its fleet of vertical take-off and landing ( VTOL ) Northup-Grumman MQ8B Fire Scout Drones. The contract involves Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland which has already spent $5,175,075 in preparation for the Linux Systems.

  • Germany – In 2003 the City Government of Munich decided to migrate their 14,000 desktops to LiMux, a customised version of Debian. Even though more than 80% of workstations were already using Free Software like Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird.In November 2008, five years later the migration rate of 20% was achieved because of focusing on smaller deployments and winning over staff to the value of program. By the end of 2011, more than 9000 desktops were running Linux and the government of Munich later reported that the migration to Linux was highly successful and has already saved the city over €11 million ( USD $14 million ).

The Federal Employment office of germany has migrated 13,000 public workstations from Windows NT to OpenSuse.

  • France – the French parliament has switched to using Ubuntu on Desktop PCs. France’s Ministry of Agriculture uses Mandriva Linux.

France’s national Police Force, the National Gendarmerie, started moving their 90,000 desktops from Windows XP to Ubuntu in 2007 over the concerns over additional training costs of moving to Windows Vista, and following the success of OpenOffice roll-outs. The migration should be completed in 2015. The force have saved over €50 million on software licensing between 2004 and 2008.

  • South Africa – The South African Social Security Agency ( SASSA ) deployed Multi-Station Linux Desktops to address budget and infrastructure constraints in 50 rural sites.
  • Turkey – In 2003, the Turkish Government decided to create its own Linux Distribution , Pardus,  developed by UEKAE ( National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology ). The First version, Pardus 1.0, was officially announced in December 2005.
  • Philippines – In 2010, The Philippines started using national Voting System powered by Ubuntu.
  • Malaysia – In July 2010, Malaysia had switched 703 of the state’s 724 agencies to Free Software with a Linux-based operating system used. The Chief Secretary cited,”General acceptance of its promise of better quality. higher reliability, more flexibility and lower cost”.
  • China – State owned Industrial and Commercial bank of China ( ICBC ) has installed Linux in all of its 20,000 retail branches on the basis of its web server and a new terminal platform.

The People’s Republic of China exclusively uses Linux as the operating system for its Loongson processor family, with the aim of technology independence.

  • Cuba – Students from the Cuban University of Information Science launched its own distribution of Linux called Nova to promote the replacement of Microsoft Windows on civilian computers and government computers, a project that is now supported by the Cuban Government and have successfully migrated more than 8000 computers to this new operating system.
  • Russia – In late 2010 Vladimir Putin signed a plan to move the Russian Federation government towards Free Software including Linux in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Denmark – The Dutch Police Internet Research and Investigation Network ( iRN ) has only used Free and open source software based on open standards, publicly developed with the source code available on the internet for audit, since 2003. the use 2200 ubuntu workstations.
  • Spain – The regional Andalusian Autonomous Government of Andalusia in Spain developed its own Linux distribution, called Guadalinex in 2004.
  • Pakistan – The Government of Pakistan established a Technology Resource Mobilization Unit in 2002 to enable groups of professionals to exchange views and coordinate activities in their sectors and to educate users about free software alternatives. Linux is an option for poor countries which have little revenue for public investment. Pakistan is using open source software in public schools and colleges, and hopes to run all government services on Linux.
  • India – The government of Kerala, India, announced its official support for Free Software in its State IT Policy of 2001. which was founded after the first ever free software conference in India, “Freedom First!”. held in July 2001 in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, where Richard Stallman inaugurated the Free Software Foundation Of India. since then, Kerala’s IT Policy has been significantly influenced by FOSS, with several major initiatives such as IT@School Project, possibly the latest single-purpose deployment of Linux in the world, and leading to the formation of the International Centre for Free and open Source Software ( ICFOSS ) in 2009.

So these are the few places we know of where Linux is used and this is not even a fraction of what the real numbers are. Please feel free to comment and if I have missed any Linux using country or company, mention it in the commetns and I’ll  be quick to add it to the list.

Source: Linux Federation & MakeUseOf

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