Five Ways Linux Impacts Our Daily Lives

Linux is more than a family of operating systems that has limited popularity in the consumer market. It’s a lot more than that, actually. Did you know this very Web page is likely hosted on a machine that is running off Linux? Your television, phone, and even your car may be running a version of Linux. Here are five ways Linux impacts our daily lives.

Linux Influences Other Operating Systems

Did you know that many of the features we take for granted on Windows and OS X originated in the open source community? Desktop spaces, 3D desktop virtualization, and other little features we enjoy every day found their start on Linux. This isn’t to say that all or even most features seen on OS X or Windows are stolen from Linux distros. It just means that some of the ground work and innovation for these features came from the open source community and were later picked up, enhanced, and made available on the larger commercial operating systems.

This influence goes both ways. Many popular features of Mac OS X and Windows have found their way into various Linux distros. In some cases, advances and improvements on these features made by the open source community have generated enough demand among users to be added to the larger operating systems in later releases.

The Majority of the Web Runs on Linux

Linux (and Unix) platforms are currently powering the majority of the Web today. Because if the flexibility of operating systems such as Debian, Cent OS, and Gentoo, Linux has served as the backbone of the majority of the sites you browse on a daily basis. Network administrators love Linux because it can be customized to a network’s specific needs, and is capable of running single and multiple tasks without a lot of background processes clogging up the system. At one point, the ratio of Linux servers to Windows and OS X servers was 4:1. Recent studies have shown that Linux is currently backing between 60-70% of the world’s Web servers.

Most App-Enabled Televisions and Appliances Run on Linux

If you own a modern television with app support, you’ll probably find a EULA in the back of the owner’s manual. This is due, in part, because many manufacturers including Visio and Sony have turned to Linux as the operating system of choice when creating their television user interface. You may not see familiar UI tools such as a dock or standard desktop on these machines, but the various menus and apps you use are actually made possible by a small and specific Linux distro custom-made for the television.

In addition, many use-specific appliances are also powered by a Linux core. Some refrigerators with built-in computers, DVR systems including TiVo, and more can attribute their functionality to a Linux derivative.

Android and ChromeOS Are Based on Linux

The Android operating system powering so many phones and tablets around the world is actually derived from a Linux kernel. While yes, Android is a branch unto itself, it wouldn’t exist as it does today if it weren’t for the work being put in to Linux by the open source community up to that point. Linux is also the primary foundation on which ChromeOS — Google’s flagship open source operating system — is built. In addition, many computer manufacturers have started to develop their own custom Linux distros which are included either in the back end or as a primary operating system for netbooks, tablets, and other computer hardware.

Linux Fuels the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputers

Linux, and various derivatives thereof, currently serve as a primary operating system for over 90% of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers. This is according to the Top500 project, a project dedicated to accurately listing and describing top 500 supercomputers based on various subjects and categories. With this in mind, these supercomputers are presently being put to work making crucial calculations in the name of science, education, mathematics, and other important applications for our day-to-day lives.

This isn’t to say that Linux is the best or most popular choice in all computing categories. Consumers still appreciate the commercial gloss and usability that comes with a financially supported and better-organized operating system such as Windows and Mac OS X. There are, however, applications in which Linux has and continues to come out ahead of the competition for its flexibility and stability.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTZYTXPMBEYVD35YYKJM7N34PQ Karl

    Even in some of the earlier cell phones were using Linux which would not surprise me on this. There are some cell phones using the windows GUI and apple Iposd using their own IOS. But still the ones that are not using the Apple IOS or the windows version. Are linux based. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTZYTXPMBEYVD35YYKJM7N34PQ Karl

    Even in some of the earlier cell phones were using Linux which would not surprise me on this. There are some cell phones using the windows GUI and apple Iposd using their own IOS. But still the ones that are not using the Apple IOS or the windows version. Are linux based. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTZYTXPMBEYVD35YYKJM7N34PQ Karl

    Even in some of the earlier cell phones were using Linux which would not surprise me on this. There are some cell phones using the windows GUI and apple Iposd using their own IOS. But still the ones that are not using the Apple IOS or the windows version. Are linux based. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTZYTXPMBEYVD35YYKJM7N34PQ Karl

    Even in some of the earlier cell phones were using Linux which would not surprise me on this. There are some cell phones using the windows GUI and apple Iposd using their own IOS. But still the ones that are not using the Apple IOS or the windows version. Are linux based. 

  • Ivo Onraedt

    so why do we (the linux-users) got so few lockergnome support ?
    Ivo

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      You got support for years. ;)

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      You got support for years. ;)

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      You got support for years. ;)

  • Ivo Onraedt

    so why do we (the linux-users) got so few lockergnome support ?
    Ivo

  • Ivo Onraedt

    so why do we (the linux-users) got so few lockergnome support ?
    Ivo

  • Ivo

    After listening to you Chris (hope I write your name correctly),
    I undertsand linux doesn’t pay commercially !
    But keep in mind, there are millions of people that need an OS, and can’t pay for it.
    There (e.g. Africa), Ubuntu comes into the picture.
    A little bit of (non-commercial) support from your side would be welcome !
    Ivo

    • http://www.facebook.com/barry.u.tatum Barry Tatum

      What do you mean it doesn’t pay commercially?
      Linux is a free and open source operating system.  Many people turn to it because it’s low cost, and extremely flexible

      • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

        Support isn’t free.

      • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

        Support isn’t free.

      • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

        Support isn’t free.

    • http://www.facebook.com/barry.u.tatum Barry Tatum

      What do you mean it doesn’t pay commercially?
      Linux is a free and open source operating system.  Many people turn to it because it’s low cost, and extremely flexible

    • http://www.facebook.com/barry.u.tatum Barry Tatum

      What do you mean it doesn’t pay commercially?
      Linux is a free and open source operating system.  Many people turn to it because it’s low cost, and extremely flexible

    • Liz ℚuilty

      We get paid to run linux servers, and i get paid to sysadmin them. Unsure where the not being paid is from? I pay the community back by bug testing, doing code etc
      Also, some Linux charge for ‘professional’ versions which include support (eg Redhat etc)

  • Ivo

    After listening to you Chris (hope I write your name correctly),
    I undertsand linux doesn’t pay commercially !
    But keep in mind, there are millions of people that need an OS, and can’t pay for it.
    There (e.g. Africa), Ubuntu comes into the picture.
    A little bit of (non-commercial) support from your side would be welcome !
    Ivo

  • Ivo

    After listening to you Chris (hope I write your name correctly),
    I undertsand linux doesn’t pay commercially !
    But keep in mind, there are millions of people that need an OS, and can’t pay for it.
    There (e.g. Africa), Ubuntu comes into the picture.
    A little bit of (non-commercial) support from your side would be welcome !
    Ivo

  • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

    You got support for years. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/barry.u.tatum Barry Tatum

    What do you mean it doesn’t pay commercially?
    Linux is a free and open source operating system.  Many people turn to it because it’s low cost, and extremely flexible

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      Support isn’t free.

  • http://personalinux.com/ Pchealer

    You forgot to mention three major points:

    1. MAC OS is based on UNIX, the same like Linux…
    2. Many servers all over the world are running Linux, maybe the most of them…
    3. Some of these servers are being used by… Microsoft Labs. But they will never tell you that…

  • http://personalinux.com/ Pchealer

    You forgot to mention three major points:

    1. MAC OS is based on UNIX, the same like Linux…
    2. Many servers all over the world are running Linux, maybe the most of them…
    3. Some of these servers are being used by… Microsoft Labs. But they will never tell you that…