Home > GNU/Linux > GNU/Linux is the “fastest” OS

GNU/Linux is the “fastest” OS

Check out how many of the top 500 fastest machines in the world are running GNU/linux.


So is this because it is a leaner OS than the others or because Microsoft and Apple could not be bothered getting their offerings to work on the computing equivalent of a Formula1 car?

Here’s another interesting statistic which lists the market share of the top operating systems in use for browsing (server machines excluded).  Windows is winning this hands down with over 92% of the desktop market at time of writing.  GNU/Linux is currently sitting at under 1% with Apple’s OSX at around the 5% mark.

So we have a free operating system which is the preferred option for squeezing extra performance from the world’s fastest machines and it is still virtually unknown for most people.

You would expect that interest in linux is trending upwards but this simple search suggests not.

Until GNU/Linux manages to get some significant public airtime, not much is going to change despite it already being capable of delivering what the majority of people need.

Anyone got a friend who’s a media magnate?

  1. elldove
    November 9, 2009 at 10:11

    Seems like its also possible that the open source OS is being used on computers designed to be powerhouses so that it (the OS) can be tweaked and optimized for that computer. It’s definitely an advantage that linux (and other open source OSes) offer.
    But it also means that you can’t extrapolate that to mean that on typical PCs linux is the fastest OS. OS X, in particular, has been optimized to run on a very small set of hardware configurations. And yes, that means it less applicable to super-computers…

    Calling linux the fastest OS because it runs on the fastest computers is unfair, and irrelevant. All that matters is what is the fastest OS for your computer… and, even more importantly, for the software you want to run on your computer.

    Since I use Adobe creative suite, linux is not the fastest OS for me.

    • gurrier
      November 9, 2009 at 20:55

      you can’t extrapolate that to mean that on typical PCs linux is the fastest OS

      Agreed. Your point is valid and the most likely explanation.

      To hold my F1 car analogy, I guess it’s a bit like Bridgestone claiming to be the fastest tyres if they are used on the winning car. That’s why I enclosed “fastest” with quotes.

  2. gurrier
    November 17, 2009 at 08:08


    Have just updated with the November 2009 link for the top 500 machines.
    Linux usage has increased.

    • gurrier
      September 11, 2010 at 12:33

      And now the link is for June 2010 with yet another increase for machines running linux.

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