Linux Desktops Dominate at Black Hat

Black Hat USA 2012

From the ‘Linux Desktop Lives!’files:

There are some people that don’t believe the Linux Desktop is relevant.

I’m not one of them, and apparently neither are hordes of security professionals that were at the recent Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas (including me).

The show itself doesn’t calculate who uses what..but Aruba Networks (they have a Linux powered set of wireless routers) does measure.

For desktop OS users of the Wi-Fi network, the top desktop OS was…


That’s right Linux (and no we’re not talking about Android either).

Linux came in at 19.9 percent of the total users on the Wi-Fi network. Windows came in at 19.2 percent and Mac OS was 13.7 percent.

While Linux lead on desktops, when you add in mobile OS’s it falls to second behind iOS, which came in at 29.6 percent. In contrast Android was only 17.6 percent.

So yes, the Linux desktop is alive an well. No Android isn’t the savior necessarily either. Linux on its own (gnome, kde or otherwise) can do well in certain environments. Those of us that use Linux desktops have long relied on it for security, which is likely the chief reason why it showed up so well at Black Hat.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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