12 Things You See Every Day That Wouldn't Exist Without Linux


Photo: Dylan Love

Linux is everywhere.Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, told us, “You use Linux every day but you don’t know it. It’s such a fundamental part of our lives.

“The world without Linux might be a very different place. It’s one where computing is kind of crappy and homogeneous. You’re still using Windows CE on your crappy Windows cell phone. That world is grim and dark and Linux is a reason why that world doesn’t exist.

“It runs air traffic control, it runs your bank, and it runs nuclear submarines. Your life, money, and death is in Linux’s hands, so we can keep you alive, clean you out, or kill you. It’s incredible how important it is.”

We checked around, and it’s true. Linux is all over the place. We rounded up some of the less obvious and more offbeat things that depend upon Linux to function.

Android phones and tablets got their start in Linux

The hugely popular mobile operating system is based on the Linux, and with 550,000 devices Android devices activated each day, it stays radically relevant.

Linux powers a majority of the world's supercomputers.

Japanese high speed rail

Yep, every time a train leaves and arrives from a Japanese station, Linux is behind it.

High-tech traffic control

San Francisco recently started using traffic controllers that are powered by Linux.

Toyota is making cars smarter

The newest company to join the Linux foundation, Toyota's In-Vehicle-Infotainment and communications systems run Linux.

Got milk? You do now, thanks to Linux

DeLaval, A 122-year-old dairy equipment company, has used Linux in a robotic system for milking cows.

The New York Stock Exchange is powered by Linux

When they made the switch to Linux in 2007, the NYSE was able to reduce costs and increase flexibility.

Linux is helping power particle physics research

CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, relies upon Linux to power its huge particle accelerator.

Air traffic control systems use Linux to get you from A to B safely

Nuclear submarines need Linux to run

In 2004, Lockheed Martin delivered a nuclear submarine to the US government that was powered by Red Hat Linux.

Google, Amazon, and Facebook all use Linux for their web services

Your TiVo is powered by Linux

It took Linux 20 years to get this far

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