Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

To the space station and beyond with Linux

Filed under
Linux

Unlike my recent spoof story about a Linux-powered Iron Man suit that you could build at home, this story isn't science fiction. NASA really has decided to drop Windows from the laptops on the International Space Station (ISS) in favor of Linux, and the first humanoid robot in space, R2, really is powered by Linux.

Keith Chuvala, a United Space Alliance contractor, manager of the Space Operations Computing (SpOC) for NASA, and leader of the ISS's Laptops and Network Integration Teams, recently explained that NASA had decided to move to Linux for the ISS's PCs. "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."

rest here




In space, no one can hear your laptop Blue Screen

Reg columnist Verity Stob says she's uncovered the following string of eye-opening electronic missives between the International Space Station's crew members. First, some context:

"A NASA contractor deeply involved in Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) operations, decided to migrate to Linux."

What could possibly go wrong?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

ACPI, kernels and contracts with firmware

This ends up being a pain in the neck in the x86 world, but it could be much worse. Way back in 2008 I wrote something about why the Linux kernel reports itself to firmware as "Windows" but refuses to identify itself as Linux. The short version is that "Linux" doesn't actually identify the behaviour of the kernel in a meaningful way. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the kernel can deal with buffers being passed when the spec says it should be a package. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS knows how to deal with an HPET. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS can reinitialise graphics hardware. Read more