Linux share in Supercomputer OS

Linux share in Supercomputer OS

Linux accounts for as much as 94.2% share as Supercomputer OS! This might come to you as a pleasant surprise, but indeed, Linux outshines anyother operating system when it comes to Linux. Investigation of the latest ranking released by Top500 (independent organization responsible for ranking supercomputers according to the LINPACK benchmark) yields some very interesting results. As it might be boring for you go through a detailed report, we have compiled the results in a handy infograph that shall give you a quick and intuitive insight to our findings.

linux supercomputer

Linux share in supercomputers

Some findings are summarized here:

  1. All the top Ten Supercomputers use Linux OS. (Linux OS includes Cray Linux Environment and bullx SUperCOmputer Suit)
  2. All the top Twenty Supercomputers use Linux OS. Two of which use Linux OS bullx SUperCOmputer Suit.
  3. Out of top 50 Supercomputers 44 run on Linux OS while 6 use OS other than Linux. 3 of which use Unix while 3 use Mixed OS. The supercomputers which employ Mixed Operating system use CNK/SLES 9.
  4. Out of Top 100 Supercomputers 7 operate on UNIX, 1 on Windows, 5 use mixed operating system. All the rest 87 Supercomputer use Linux.
  5. The super computer that runs on Windows ranks 96th fastest supercomputer out of 100.
  6. Out of supercomputers ranked from 100th to 150th, 5 employ non-Linux OS 3 of which are Unix, 1 BSD-based OS and 2 run on Mixed type of OS.
  7. Out of Supercomputers ranked between 100th to 200th, 11 use Operating system other than Linux. Of which 1 is Windows OS. The Windows Supercomputer is ranked 157th among top 200 Supercomputers.
  8. Out of Supercomputers ranked between 200th to 300 only 4 supercomputers use OS other than Linux, 3 employ Mixed while 1 employs UNIX.
  9. Finally out of top 500 super computers , 462 run Linux, followed by Unix with 24 Supercomputers and 11 running Mixed 2 running on Windows. Finally there is only 1 BSD OS based supercomputer.
  10. Supercomputers that run on Windows family OS both employ Windows HPC 2008 OS.

Having stated all the stats, we come to the conclusion that Linux despite being an open source software (allegedly having lack of support, lack of proper documentation etc.) has completely crushed proprietary OS when it comes to supercomputers. Why do you think Linux has excelled as supercomputer OS?

  • blade19899

    Great article! loved reading it. BTW the link Top500 ( is broken?

  • blade19899

    “Why do you think Linux has excelled as supercomputer OS?”

    Because it’s free(opensource) if you find a bug u can fix it yourself, if u know programming languages. Which is usually the case for users using supercomputers, and if you don´t like something about Linux you can change it. source code is available for all!

  • MichaelADeBose

    I’m not surprised but it why not break down by actual Linux distro. Certainly helpful to the distro that stands out the most. My understanding is that SUSE rules HPC which is fascinating. If that is the case Ubuntu has desktop, CentOS takes enteprise and SUSE HPC. It would be nice to see BSD up there but, it seems BSD takes development, so it all evens out, right. LOL!

  • Kennon

    I think it is noteworthy that Windows has doubled it’s share of the Top 500 since the last time this poll was taken… ;-)

  • MichaelADeBose

    The thing that helps Linux is its users by and large are much more knowledgeable and demanding about what they use. It really drives the product forward in ways the other OSs can’t match.

  • curtis veit

    Hmmm, Its obvious to me that Windows has won over those Linux upstarts again. Just look the median placement of Linux in the top 500 super computer list is only around 250 while Windows scores a solid 125. Note that we had to use the mean of the two “middle” values to get the score for windows. Oh wait there were only two values for Windows. Just goes to show the value of statistics! I can’t wait to see the marketing machine running with this ball.

  • Bob_Robert

    Microsoft had to write a special “High Performance” version of Windows to get anyone to use it for computational purposes.

    While I am quite certain that each of the system administrators tweaks their kernels, Linus didn’t release a special “High Performance” version of Linux. There was no need to do so, because Linux itself is already exceptionally lean in its system overhead. The loadable device module design means only what is needed is loaded.

    No GUI, no “desktop search” running in the background, if what is needed is just a kernel and the minimum libraries and utilities to run one particular application, then that’s all that will be loaded.

    And if some enterprising graduate student or intern decides to try to shave clock cycles off of an operation, they can do so because the kernel code is all there for the picking.

    I remember mainframe shops where teams of very talented system administrators and programmers would hand-optimize code over years in order to get the last iota of performance out of systems that supported thousands of users and entire companies, which were far less powerful than my phone is now.

    That kind of care and attention still exists, and the one OS that really supports such efforts is Linux.

  • Job Man

    it is so cool and it is free from viruses

  • Ertan ERBEK

    I am not have any supercomputer at my home, because of that I just want perfect GUI from Linux :D.

  • Simon

    What surprises me is that BSD is so under-represented, given the reputation of the likes of Open BSD and Free BSD as reliable OSs.