Linux is Everywhere: 5 Places Where You Didn't Know It's There

Have you every wondered where is Linux? What key sectors does it power and in what areas is it commonly used?

Many people, to this very day, think that Linux is nothing more than a server operating system for advanced users, and nothing more. But that’s not true.

Linux can be found in unusual places that you may have not known before, and in today’s article we’ll be seeing some of these places.

Unknown Places of Linux Existence

1. In Your Smartphone

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There is a very high chance that you are using an android-powered smartphone, but did you know android is a Linux distribution?

Yes, android is powered by the Linux kernel, and many of android’s components are also open source. It is true that not all of them are open source, which is why you can’t say android is a fully open source OS, but still, it is powered by Linux nonetheless.

There are currently more than 2.8 billion active android users, which is 35% of the entire human race (7.9B). You can say that one third of the human race is using Linux on daily basis in their smartphones without even knowing about it!

2. Serving Most Websites You Visit

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You probably know that Linux is a very good operating system for servers, but do you know the actual number of websites that are served by Linux?

According to W3Techs, Linux marketshare of Internet websites could be as high as 78.5% (It says Unix, but <1% are actual Unix OSes), while Windows holds 21.7%.

Let alone that most of the top 500 companies in the US are depending on enterprise Linux providers, such as Red Hat, to power their infrastructure and serve their customers. Platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube… They are all powered by Linux.

Thus, almost every Internet website you visit is powered by a Linux distribution that you don’t know about.

3. Serving Your Government’s Infrastructure

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Linux was so good that even governments started picking it up many years ago. You will find many countries around that world that use Linux:

  • Either as part of their technical infrastructure responsible of providing services to citizens.
  • Or as a default desktop OS on machines that belong to the state (E.g schools, universities, laboratories, hospitals… etc).

Pretty much any government around the world is using Linux somewhere in its technical infrastructure. They have to do so, because using Microsoft Windows and buying a license for every machine they might have could be gigantically expensive to the level that no government can afford it.

U.S. Department of Defense for example uses Linux to conduct its operations, Russia uses Linux on all its school computers and Brazil does the same. You will find Linux running pretty much in most countries in the world.

4. In The Upcoming Steam Deck

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You may have heard about how Valve, the company behind Steam, plans to release a handheld gaming computer called “Steam Deck“. But did you know that it is going to be powered by a Linux distribution as well?

Yes, because according to official Valve sources, Steam Deck is going to use an Arch-based Linux distribution named SteamOS as a default operating system.

This means that if you are ever to buy one of these devices, then you’ll be gaming on a Linux platform!

5. Powering Global Stock Markets

Stock markets need a reliable system capable of conducting many operations in real time with huge load. That’s why many stock markets around the world have switched to using Linux to conduct these operations.

Tokyo’ Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext are examples of stock markets that are fully powered by Linux. Thanks to enterprise Linux providers like Red Hat, stock markets can save money while still doing their normal financial activities.

These are not the only examples; NASDAQ uses a Linux distribution in its infrastructure as well, and the London Stock Exchange has been running Linux for more than a decade.

Linux is Everywhere

From your smartphone and the websites you visit all the way up to managing the economy of the country as well as its technical infrastructure, Linux has been a huge success in powering all of these sectors.

Perhaps the only sector where Linux is absent is the desktop, where it controls roughly 2% only of the market. Many Linux distributions and helpful tools exist for the Linux desktop, but hardware vendors have been historically very attracted to Microsoft’s money, which is why they don’t ship Linux by default.

See this video by Linux Foundation for how Linux is built:

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