Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Apr 2009 19:54 UTC
General Unix Even though the old-world UNIX operating systems, like IRIX and HP-UX, have been steadily losing ground to Linux for a long time now, they do still get updated and improved. HP-UX 11i v3 is supposed to get update 4 tomorrow, with a host of new features that won't excite you if you're used to Linux, but they're still pretty useful for HP-UX users.
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danieldk
Member since:
2005-11-18

Yes, Linux is frequently used on supercomputers, because it's free


Right, and do you think that matters if you are purchasing a tens of million Euros (dollars) supercomputer?

There are two reasons Linux is used on supercomputers:

- It has become the standard UNIX(-ish) platform that runs on scientist workstations up to supercomputers. Meaning that you can do stuff at every level with the same familiar environment (both API and userland).
- It's scalable enough for supercomputer applications.

Eventually Linux will kill off all other UNIXen (except for Darwin/OS X). Even the remaining UNIX server vendors (IBM and HP) invest quite heavily in Linux, if they can keep their hardware customers and ice their UNIX offerings, there is a much better profit margin for them. Oh, and it is what customers request ;) .

Reply Parent Score: 1

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

Sorry there, Linux will never kill off the BSD family, primarilly FreeBSD. I also doubt Solaris is going to die any time soon. If anything, given another year of development I would say Solaris would be better suited for desktop OS up to super compuers for a common environment. I anxioulsy await the day.

Reply Parent Score: 5

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I await the day when Solaris becomes a common desktop os, displacing the idea of the Linux desktop... but I fear I may be waiting a long time and, if IBM or someone else does buy out Sun... what then? I have a bad feeling that Solaris will faulter once the main driving force behind it, Sun, disappears. It would be a shame, Solaris has so much more potential to be an awesome desktop os than Linux does or ever will.
About the BSDs I agree 100%. As long as there are programmers interested in keeping them going, they will never die and that's a very good thing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Sorry there, Linux will never kill off the BSD family, primarilly FreeBSD.


I hate to say this, because I love BSD (and was an active contributor to NetBSD). But if you look at marketshare, Linux already finished off the BSDs. There were times (up to, say 2001-2002) where most of the BSDs had an edge over Linux in many departments, were in the media limelight and up till 2000 it also had relatively many users (those were the days when IIRC Apache or Sendmail explicitly recommended to run their software on top of BSD rather than Linux, and when FreeBSD was still used on many webservers according to netcraft). In recent years the edge and media attention seems to have evaporated. There's still chance that BSD will be significant in embedded devices, but even there it doesn't seem have have as much momentum as Linux.

I also doubt Solaris is going to die any time soon. If anything, given another year of development I would say Solaris would be better suited for desktop OS up to super compuers for a common environment. I anxioulsy await the day.


We have been hearing that for years. I don't think it will catch up, but if it will, Linux has too much momentum. Solaris is going to stay around for a while, but its growth days are over, its use has been declining for years. If the IBM-Sun deal makes it, Solaris will probably move to maintenance-only mode. IBM is very good at killing OSes ;) .

Reply Parent Score: 2

dvzt Member since:
2008-10-23

Right, and do you think that matters if you are purchasing a tens of million Euros (dollars) supercomputer?


I think it does. AFAIK most OSes for this kind of machines used to be licensed per cpu, that makes a lot of money on a machine with hundreds of cpus. Also if you have a custom machine (which supercomputers are) you also need a customised OS and it's easier to grab FOSS then go through signing of NDAs and stuff.

Even the remaining UNIX server vendors (IBM and HP) invest quite heavily in Linux


Yes, they mostly build drivers for their hardware. Otherwise they develop their own OSes.


Oh, and it is what customers request


Maybe, I've never seen any statistics, but I used to work at one of those companies and only a small minority of customer ran Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 1

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

I think it does. AFAIK most OSes for this kind of machines used to be licensed per cpu, that makes a lot of money on a machine with hundreds of cpus.


There are special licensing deals for this kind of set ups. And if the hardware is manufactured by the UNIX vendor, then they'll allow to minimize the profit margin on the OS because they get a very good margin on the hardware. The price of software is marginal compared to the hardware, housing (most non-cluster of cheap nodes supercomputers need special cooling), and personnel.

Yes, they mostly build drivers for their hardware. Otherwise they develop their own OSes.


They do far more than writing drivers. Have you ever looked at the copyright for core Linux kernel files? IBM's name is plastered all over.

Reply Parent Score: 3