Community: Top 500 Supercomputers Increasingly Turning to Linux and Open Source
The top 500 list of supercomputers is published every six months. The last publication was in November 2003, the next will be later this month.
I decided to investigate how many of the very fastest of these machines use Linux or another Open Source operating system. Is Open Source really leading innovation in this area? Unfortunately, it's the one bit of information that's not included on the top500 web pages themselves.
However, a bit of digging quickly reveals the results. Here's the results of my investigation. Please note that most of this information is from the list itself, I have just added information about the operating system and a reference URL.
In summary, 3 of the top 5 use an open source OS, 5 of the top 10, and 7 of the top 20. Almost all open source OS used are Linux, with the brief exception of 1 Mac OS X. It's interesting how IBM and HP, for all their promotion of open source, prefer to sell their proprietary operating systems with the high-end hardware. Will that change? Apparently, Linux can run on the pSeries 690, which has 3 of the top 20 slots.
Soon, this table will need updating, based on the June top500 list. If recent press releases are to be believed, Linux will take even more of the top slots.