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Engineering LibreTexts

01-A.10: How is Linux Used?

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    26786
  • One of the cool things about Linux is that we can change it in whatever manner we desire. As such, we can alter it to run on a variety of platforms. Here is a list of some of the devices Linux runs:

    Where is Linux Being Used Description
    NASA You might not be aware that Linux powers NASA. NASA’s Pleiades supercomputer runs Linux. The International Space Station switched from Windows to Linux six years ago due to the operating system's reliability. NASA even recently deployed three "Astrobee" robots—which run Linux—to the International Space Station.
    eReaders If you use any of Amazon’s services—from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to Fire TV—you are running on Linux. When you ask Alexa what time it is, or for the score of your favorite sports team, you are also using Linux, since Alexa is powered by Fire OS (an Android-based operating system). In fact, Android was developed by Google as Linux for mobile handsets, and powers 76% of today’s mobile phones.
    Television TiVo, Roku and Chromecast all run Linux. LG uses webOS, which is based on the Linux kernel. Panasonic uses Firefox OS, which is also based on the Linux kernel. Samsung, Phillips, and many more use Linux-based operating systems to power their devices.
    Smartwatches & laptops If you own a smartwatch, it’s likely running Linux. School systems outfit their students with a Chromebook - these lightweight laptops use Chrome OS, which is based on Linux.
    Automobiles Automotive-Grade Linux has enlisted manufacturers like Toyota, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen in a project that will see Linux as the standard code base for automobiles. It is also likely that your in-vehicle infotainment system runs Linux. The GENIVI Alliance develops "standard approaches for integrating operating systems and middleware present in the centralized and connected vehicle cockpit," according to its website.
    Social media As you're scrolling and commenting, you may realize what a lot of work these platforms are doing. Perhaps then it's not so surprising that Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all run on Linux.
    Business and government The New York Stock Exchange runs on Linux, as does the Pentagon. The Federal Aviation Administration handles over sixteen million flights a year, and they operate on Linux. The Library of Congress, House of Representatives, Senate, and White House all use Linux.
    Retail That entertainment system in the seat back on your latest flight is likely running on Linux. It’s possible that the point of sale at your favorite store is running Linux. Tizen OS, which is based on Linux, powers an array of smart home and other smart devices. Many public libraries now host their integrated library systems on Evergreen and Koha. Both of those systems run on Linux.
    Apple If you are an iOS user who uses iCloud, then you, too, are using a system that runs on Linux. Apple Computer’s company website runs on Linux. If you would like to know what other websites are run on Linux, be sure to use Netcraft and check the results of "What’s that site running?"

    Adapted from:
    "11 surprising ways you use Linux every day" by Don WatkinsOpenSource.com is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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