Linked by David Adams on Wed 29th Oct 2008 21:04 UTC, submitted by irbis
Linux Would the internet as we know it exist without Linux? "Absolutely not", says Rich Menga. "Where Linux shines the most is in its server applications". In the 1990's "There were thousands of Mom n' Pop ISPs that operated out of a garage and the vast majority of them were all running Linux. Windows couldn't do it back then and neither could MacOS. What would you have used that you could afford? Netware? Lotus Domino? HP-UX (that requires those refrigerator-sized HP servers)? Linux was literally the only OS out there that had the right price (free), ran similar to a Unix and could use existing computers of the time to connect customers. The internet as we know it today predominantly runs on Linux. There's an extremely high probability that the internet connection you're using right now is connected through a Linux server - and routed through many other Linux servers along the way."
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Well the article has little fact behind it, and I wonder if it was intended to be deliberate irony, rather than fanboy rubbish. The internet predated the WWW by decades and the web itself was simply not built on linux, it kicked off around the same time, and the web was growing like mad before Linux was even practical as a server. Linux was a relative late comer, and even then linux didn't have a sizeable market share of the www's server hardware until the late 90s, by then the web was well up and running and growing like crazy all without Linux. Somehow this has become suppressed knowledge, that linux has a formidable market share now seems to justify the historical non-fact that it's always been that way. A lot of infrastructure had been laid down long before linux become popular as a server, UNIX and other variants like BSD and SunOS(later solaris) and whatever bearing most of the load. There were also plenty of NT based systems I recall working on in the 90s. Linux only really got traction from about 1995 onwards when there were distributions other than Slackware, such as Novell's distros and so on from there. I recall not seeing or hearing of linux servers in the enterprise environment in the 90s but suddenly in 1999 it was the thing to do. You might say there's been a explosion of internet growth since linux, but then your forgetting it's always been exploding since Tim Berners-Lee said hey.. hey dood, i has an idea. That's just my subjective experience and I do agree the DIY web crowd got moving on linux a little earlier though. Yet the reverse claim that linux couldn't exist without the internet is entirely the truth, and I say again, the internet was not built on Linux, although it runs a good chunk of it now. If Linux didn't exist, say Linus fell of a bike when he was 12, something else would have filled the void, possibly Hurd. Oh and the internet would still be here just the same.

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