Linux dominates top 500 supercomputer list

From the ‘Beefy Penguin’ files:

The latest Top 500 Supercomputer list is now out (see my colleague Andy Patrizio’s story on, with the top rig doubling its performance to 1.75 petaflops.

Of particular interest to me is the fact that while multi-core CPU’s are the hardware components enabling the fastest computers, it is Linux as the operating system the powers the software.

Just over 78 percent of the top 500 supercomputers run some type of Linux.  The official Top 500 Supercomputer site lists 391 of the top 500 supercomputers as using ‘Linux’.

Digging a little deeper, there are 32 additional machines that identify themselves as running some version of Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. There are some 16 that identify Red Hat Linux or one of its derivatives including CentOS.

So doing a little bit of math, at least 88 percent of the list is using some form of Linux, generic or otherwise.

That’s astounding. The only other operating system that is even noteworthy beyond Linux is IBM’s AIX Unix at 22 systems (or just over 4 percent).

It’s also interesting to see how the list has changed over the past nine years.

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