Linux has long dominated the TOP500 list, powering the majority of the machines that make it. At last count, back in June, 99.6% (or 498) of the top 500 fastest supercomputers ran Linux,
But as of November 2017 that figure stands at a full 100%: the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world now use Linux.
The majority of these machines aren’t running your average off-the-torrent desktop distribution, but a bespoke, highly customised, and specialised version of Linux. But a minority do run something more familiar:
- 5 supercomputers run Ubuntu
- 20 supercomputers run some form of RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
- 109 supercomputers run the RedHat affiliated CentOS
The world’s (current) fastest supercomputer is China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which is powered by a colossal 650,000+ CPUs. This beast of a machine, which runs a customised version of Linux called ‘Sunway RaiseOS’, has a processing speed of 93 petaflops — or the equivalent power of 2 million laptops working in unison.