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Nine Reasons Linux Rules the Supercomputing Space

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Linux

The latest TOP500 List of the fastest supercomputers in the world helped many in the technology community understand what open-source aficionados have known for years: Linux has quickly become the operating system of choice in the high-performance computing (HPC) market, growing from relative obscurity 15 years ago to powering 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world. But its appeal is found in more than cost or choice. Here are a few of the main reasons Linux has grown to own the lion's share of the fastest supercomputers in the world. Although the United States remains the top country in terms of overall systems, with 233, this is down from 265 on the November 2013 list. The number of Chinese systems on the list rose from 63 to 76, giving the Asian nation nearly as many supercomputers as the United Kingdom, with 30; France, with 27; and Germany, with 23—combined. Japan also increased its showing, up to 30 from 28 on the previous list. HP has the lead in systems and now has 182 systems (36 percent), compared to IBM, with 176 systems (35 percent). HP had 196 systems (39 percent) six months ago, and IBM had 164 systems (33 percent) six months ago. In the system category, Cray remains third with 10 percent (50 systems).

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The Linux Kernel Bang-Bang Thermal Governor Is Banging

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Development
Linux

The Bang-bang thermal governor remains under discussion on the kernel mailing list after patches for it originally appeared a few months back. Bang-bang will hopefully be ready for an upcoming kernel release (Linux 3.17?) and the latest technical discussion about it can be found via the LKML archives.

One Linux kernel driver already planning to utilize the Bang-bang thermal governor is the "Acerhdf" driver that serves as the fan driver for Acer's Aspire One and other Acer systems where it has a simple fan that only supports being on or off. Up to now the acerhdf driver has handled its own on-off controls by post-manipulating the kernel's thermal subsystem trip point handling but will now be able to utilize the unified Bang-bang governor.

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Docker security with SELinux

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GNU
Linux
Server
Security

This article is based on a talk I gave at DockerCon this year. It will discuss Docker container security, where we are currently, and where we are headed.

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Linux Foundation SysAdmin Clint Savage Reminisces on Weeklong Hackfest

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Linux
Interviews

Clint Savage is a system administrator for the Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects. Here he discusses the new technologies he's been digging into lately, his favorite part of the job, and fond memories of a weeklong hackfest with his coworkers.

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Best Linux Desktop: KDE's Plasma

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KDE
Linux

From ratpoison to Unity, I must have tried just about every Linux desktop environment available. The best Linux desktop, in my view: my main computer continues to run KDE's Plasma. No other alternative can match its design philosophy, configurability, or its innovations on the classical desktop.

Nor am I alone in my preferences. At a time when the Linux desktop offers six main alternatives (Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, Mate, Unity and Xfce), KDE Plasma consistently tops reader polls with an average of 35-40 percent. In such a diverse market, these figures indicate a broad appeal that other Linux desktop alternatives can't match.

I believe that one of the main reasons for this appeal is the KDE design philosophy. GNOME and Unity may offer a more aesthetic-looking default, but only at the cost of simplifying both the desktop and the utilities in the name of reducing clutter.

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Meet the DragonBox Pyra, the Linux DS equivalent

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Linux
Gaming
Gadgets

I’m a begrudging Linux user, specifically Ubuntu. It’s the result of being too cheap to buy software like Photoshop and too ethical to just steal it like everybody else. As a result I get to enjoy all the benefits of free software, including the attempts to develop the “perfect” portable console, like the DragonBox Pyra.

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4MLinux Rescue Edition 9.1 Beta Is a Good Tool for Beginners and Professionals Alike

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Linux

All the 4MLinux operating systems have really small sizes, but the Rescue Edition is actually bigger than most of the other flavors. There is a very good reason for that size and it all has to do with the integrated packages. The OS could have been a little bit smaller, but the developer would have been forced to remove some important applications.

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Russia to Reduce Reliance on Microsoft, IBM After Sanctions

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Russia’s parliament is preparing new rules in a bid to cut its reliance on foreign technology suppliers after U.S. sanctions against some of the country’s largest companies, a move that could hurt sales at vendors such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to require government agencies and state-run enterprises to give preference to local providers of software and hardware, according to a document from the commission for strategic information systems obtained by Bloomberg News. The paper addresses criteria for tender processes such as favoring products that don’t have imported, licensed components.

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Google shows off new Chrome OS look

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GNU
Linux
Google

Google has shown off a candidate for a new Chrome OS user interface.

Dubbed “Athena”, the new UI appeared fully grown from the head, and Google+ page, of Googler François Beaufort.

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UberStudent 4.0 Is a Complete Linux OS Teaching Tool

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Linux

“UberStudent is developed by a professional educator who specializes in academic success strategies, post-secondary literacy instruction, and educational technology. It has been designed around a core academic skills approach to student success—the research and writing, reading, studying, and self-management skills that are essential to all students,” reads the official website.

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Open source licensing: What every technologist should know

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Kali Linux 2017.2 Release

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Open source-based business lessons from a seasoned CEO

The default now is to build from open and in the open. So that's a positive. The downside is that by open source being the default, we may be getting a little lazy. If you remember back 5-10 years, open sourcing was a big deal, and it forced a level of rigor that may have led, in some cases, to founders and early investors taking better approaches to building their company—for example, shifting towards SaaS wherever possible, in part because of the ability to demonstrate clear value versus their own open source. Read more

Keeping up with advances in open source database administration

The world of open source databases is rapidly evolving. It seems like every day brings a new release of an open source technology that might make a database administrator's life easier, if only he or she knew about it. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay on top of what's going on with open source database technology. One such way is the Percona Live Open Source Database Conference, taking place next week in Dublin, Ireland. We've covered Percona Live before, and invite you to take a look back at some of our previous stories. From IoT to big data to working with the cloud, there's plenty to keep up with. Here are a look at a couple of the sessions you might enjoy, as described by the speakers. Read more