Unix and Linux philosophy


New Member

Messages: 10

I found this on wikipedia today about operating system usage amongst super-computers :


And I found that highly interesting. I come from an academic background, and work currently at a large university within the IT department, we have a very impressive supercomputer which is running on scientific linux, mainly to run Unix like applications such as mathmatica etc..

It got me think, why has there been a trend to switch from Unix to Linux as the main operating system for super computers in recent years? What are your thoughts?


Son of Beastie

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Because to use Unixes you need to pay a lot of cash
While Linux is good, free and OpenSource alternative

It could be BSD in Linux place (if not some lawsuits probably)


Aspiring Daemon

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Marketing or buzz-words. There is more BSD use the closer to the time of the law suit, so I'd rule that out.


Retired from the forums

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Linux: Ease of use, custom build, available support, trends.

BSD systems require maintenance- Read that as "More personal interaction"- along with knowledge.


Aspiring Daemon

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sossego said:
Linux: Ease of use, custom build, available support, trends.

BSD systems require maintenance- Read that as "More personal interaction"- along with knowledge.

We're talking of scientific workstations or servers, on this level knowledge is alway a requirement. You certainly think of the desktop, well, this is a different story and there 'the ease uf use' rules.

Usually it's hype, it looks better in the public if some university uses Linux instead of some 'obscure' *BSD etc. Whereas if you have a look at professional applications like Mathematica, there is no real alternative to Linux, if you want to use some UNIX-like operating system.


New Member

Messages: 10

Ahh yes, I tend to forget we live in a world dominated by money! I do totally agree also that Linux does seem like a great buzz word - especially around Universities, I also think that if I were to ask all of my friends most of them would have at least heard of Linux and know it's "Something todo with a computer".

Where as some Linux users I know, have never heard of "BSD".

I have a lot of respect for how linux performs as a 'super computer' OS, we run it on a high performance computing cluster and with excellent results. The ext2/3 filesystems also seem todo a pretty decent job of handling the large amounts of data produced by some of the "experiments" run on it.

Does anyone know of a famous supercomputer / cluster running FreeBSD?



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I'm currently involved in an HPC project and it is kinda sad to see a complete lack of BSDs in this space. HPC is a big pr/pride/ego thing for governments and corporations who are happy to fund it to spark interest in other big projects (eg. SKA). With that kind of funding HPC centers "need" the corporate support offered by companies like Novell, Redhat, etc. while also needing to service the actual users of HPC who are often from the educational field with no money to develop their software for commercial unix and non-x86 architectures.