The Four Largest Linux Desktop Users
The largest Linux deployments in the world are still on the server side, but in recent years it has been adopted more widely on the desktop front. Even though Linux is slow to be adopted on desktops outside of government institutions, there are large scale users out there who are proving that Linux is not jsut for computer scientists and programmers. Here is a list of the four biggest names who use Linux on the desktop side:
The most well known company to use Linux on the desktop is Google. Google runs a lighter skinned version of Canonical’s Ubuntu which they have dubbed “Goobuntu”. There are tens of thousands of Goobuntu users at Google ranging from graphic designers and sales people to engineers and programmers. Since Google is a large and diverse organization, there are many different types of users for Goobuntu from people with very little knowledge of computers to people with advanced engineering responsibilities.
NASA uses Linux to power a lot of their computers, not just her eon earth, but on the International Space Station as well. Orbiting 250 miles above ours heads, are dozens of laptops running Debian 6. The roles of the compuer’s on the ISS is critical as they are used to control various systems around the station which make the difference between life and death.
“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable – one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust or adapt, we could,” Keith Chuvala of United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor said.
3. US Department of Defense
The US Department of Defense has developed a Linux based operating system which boots off a CD or USB stick in order to preserve privacy and confidentiality. Their employees can use the lightweight distro on insecure or public machines like airports and hotels to get work done, all without leaving a trace on the computers hard drive. The host machine is simply a means of running the operating system and acts as a pass-through for peripherals when required. The fact that the DoD chose this isn’t surprising as Linux is one of the most secure and stable operating systems on the planet.
The European Nuclear Research Lab, or CERN as its better known as, use a variety of distros on over 3,000 desktops. These are the guys who collide particles at close to the speed of light and discovered the Higgs Boson; we’re pretty sure they know what they’re doing. They have their own version of Scientific Linux and CentOS which they use to run various tasks. The experiments at CERN also generate an enormous amount of data. When the Large Hadron Colider was operational the experiment for the Higgs Boson generated almost 30 petabytes of data within a year.
In 2017 widespread adoption of Linux on the desktop environment is more realistic as there are several software alternatives for Windows or Mac OS based applications. Some of the larger software companies have also started making versions of their software for Linux. As we migrate more towards web based applications which run in the web browser, this also aids in the adoption of newer and more reliable operating systems.