20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

Summary: The movers and shakers of Linux gather in San Francisco to celebrate Linux’s 20th anniversary and to look to its future.

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San Francisco--Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, speaking from a wheelchair, opened the 2011 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. This meeting Zemlin said, was for the “leaders of Linux.”

The leaders of Linux aren’t ready to declare victory over Microsoft, Zemlin told me before the presentation, but “We’re beyond the obsession with Microsoft.”

In his presentation, Zemlin amply demonstrated why Linux vendors, developers and users are looking far beyond Microsoft. Zemlin who had had a nasty ski accident, opened his presentation with a clever video celebrating 20-years of Linux history.

From there, Zemlin pointed out that Linux runs everything from air traffic control systems to infotainment systems to nuclear submarines. Linux also powers the $10-billion CERN super collider, the special effects in Avatar. Zemlin also pointed out that Linux-powered stock markets now trade “72% of the world’s equity trades in 2010.” This, I might add, was before the London Stock Exchange went to Linux earlier this year. And of course, there’s been a "complete inversion" in supercomputing. In ten years, the top 500 supercomputers have switched from 96% Unix to 96% Linux.

This is all stuff that tech fans might care about but what about the real world? The real world does care... a lot.

Zemlin pointed out that “Wall St. is telling the world that Linux is the future. Over the last 10-years of comparing “Red Hat Stock price vs. Microsoft, you can see that Red Hat’s stock price has gone up 400% while MS stock price has remained stagnant. Sure Microsoft’s market cap is greater and revenue is greater, but for long term future growth, Wall St. believes in Linux and Red Hat.”

Looking ahead Zemlin, after talking not just to people in Linux but in the technology business at large, sees much more innovation around business models being built on top of open source coming down the road. For example, Amazon’s Kindle, which is an Android Linux device, has enabled Amazon to sell more books. Zemlin believes we’ll see more interesting uses of Linux in support of both old and new business models.

As for mobile, Zemlin thinks “The fat lady hasn’t sung in mobile yet. There are huge sea changes ahead. There will be new mobile devices and business models.” He won’t even guess what these might be because mobile is such a hot and changeable field. All he does know is that since open source enables companies to control their own destiny, Linux and open source will have major roles to play in smartphones and tablets.

Zemlin concluded this part of his presentation by encouraging the audience to not believe in the current wave of “FUD about copyright and patent violations.” The real problem is with the patent system. None of these problems in general are specific to open source and the specific complaints always seem to be coming from Linux’s competitors so you have to take them with a large grain of salt.

As for Linux real’s future, after introducing the 1.0 release of the new Yocto Project for embedded Linux developers, Zemlin said, “The next Steve Jobs is probably using Linux. That’s a safe bet because Linux and open-source tools make it so easy to create. Linux give developers the richest colors, the best possible tools, to allow them to create that product, whatever it is. The next breakthrough device will be running Linux"

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Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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  • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

    Better Linux than OSX! Proprietary lockend down platform!
    jatbains
    • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

      @jatbains Yes, FreeBSD/Mach is just SOOOO proprietary. Check your facts... your ignorance is showing.
      eak2000
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @eak2000 I didn't mention FreeBSD. I have no problems with that OSX != FreeBSD!!!!
        jatbains
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @eak2000 yes because osx is a locked down version of bsd.
        Jimster480
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @eak2000 | @jatbains : stop trolling.

        Neither of you is right, in technical terms.

        1) (Mac) OS X is (of course) proprietary ("lockend down" in your terms), just as Windows, NeXT, Amiga, DOS, HP-UX, AIX, et. al., just like any other million dollar investment prior to the open source revolution... e.g. OS/360, the Apollo computer, Hoover dam controllers, etc.

        2) That doesn't mean it doesn't have open source products inside. Apple open sourced the whole kernel and CLI experience of Mac OS X in the "Darwin" project.
        cosuna
    • This idea that Linux is open and free is total myth.

      Want proof? Make your own distribution with your own tweaks and then sell it as binary only without sharing the source code. Oh. Wait. You can't. Linux locks you into their model of use it and share it. FreeBSD is the truly open and free OS. Take it, make whatever changes you want, and KEEP YOUR CHANGES PRIVATE IF YOU WANT. Or share them if you want. YOU GET TO CHOOSE. Linux takes that choice away from you.
      fr_gough
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @frgough@...
        > Linux takes that choice away from you.
        Yes it does; don't use the world's most advanced software if you don't like the benefits that it gives. But working on a BSD-based system means that your contributions, if you do make them open, can be closed and used against you in the future by someone else. I'd prefer that we all benefit.
        lefty.crupps
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @frgough@...
        True but what do I care, I'm not selling it. I'm running the server that I didn't have to fork over $1200 for the OS on it. Kind of nice that.

        If I wanted to make money I develop on Linux and package and sell that. The OS allows me to reduces the costs for the purchaser. They pay me for the software. Kind of like Checkpoint SPLAT.
        voska1
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @frgough@...
        the changes you make can be closed source. However, the source code is Linux. Make any tweaks, any changes you want. The only parts you can't lock down are the open source aspects. Otherwise, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader would have to have been made open source before Linux users could use them.

        I know I named two applications, however, the idea remains the same.
        tmsbrdrs
      • It's free

        @frgough@... <br><br>I've used so far 6 different Ubuntu releases, 3 Mint releases, 2 Mandriva, PC Linux, Puppy, Fedora and SUSE. So far they haven't sent me a bill.<br><br>4th year using only Linux, thousands of applications and the price - 0. Linux is a really good choice. I like it much.
        Matsi66
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @frgough@... Actually you can; you only have to distribute the source to YOUR customers, not the world. Now, you really only get the full benefit by sharing with the world, but you only have to share with your customers.
        TemporalBeing
      • re: This idea that Linux is open and free is total myth.

        @frgough@... <br><br><i>FreeBSD is the truly open and free OS. Take it, make whatever changes you want, and KEEP YOUR CHANGES PRIVATE IF YOU WANT. ... Linux takes that choice away from you. </i><br><br>Let's see, how many manufacturers use embedded Linux versus embedded FBSD? Gee, seems the vast majority of companies that use an embedded OS couldn't care less.




        :)
        none none
    • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

      @jatbains OSX uses an open source OS, Darwin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_%28operating_system%29

      The GUI and applications, which sit on top of the OS, are proprietary.
      david08048
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @david08048 Exactly!! We should promote Darwin and not OSX!!!
        jatbains
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @david08048
        My God, yes you are absolutely correct.
        Now , back to my Ubuntu 10.04.1
        elderlybloke
    • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

      @jatbains

      Once upon a time there was a pig of an OS called Unix. In the early 90s it gave birth to a piglet called Linux. Apple in its usual quest for other people's research saw the pig and said , "let's slap some lipstick on it and call it our OS". As for the piglet, it never grew up or got any better, but managed to produce by parthenogenesis so there were lots of piglets running around. One day Google decided it was time to follow Apple, so they slapped lipstick on a piglet and called it a phone OS, Unfortunately Google's piglet became a cyborg and started pumping out mutated clones of itself, each claiming to be the real OS.

      I think Robert Heinlein had the right idea

      "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.?
      tonymcs1
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @tonymcs@...
        The fact is that Unix/Linux is a lot more stable and flexible than Windows. The proof is in the pudding. Mission critical systems do tend to use nix. The examples Steven has given are facts, go and check it out. Most stock exchanges, airline reservation systems, military systems, NASA systems run some version of nix, most likely Linux. Windows just cannot cut it in these scenarios where reliability and scalability are paramount...
        prof123
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @tonymcs@...

        Linux is somehow much more interesting than the others. There are tens of Linux-distros, lots of choices. It's free, easy to install, easy to use, easy to upgrade. And still - majority of computer users are thinking that Linux is difficult. Linux must be charismatic. And many scare it coz they believe in myth of "there ain't free lunch".

        I think Zemling is wrong about Windows winning the desktops. It hasn't. Mac and Linux are winning more and more friends even in desktop battle.
        Matsi66
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @prof123...

        [i]The fact is that Unix/Linux is a lot more stable and flexible than Windows. The proof is in the pudding. Mission critical systems do tend to use nix. The examples Steven has given are facts, go and check it out. Most stock exchanges, airline reservation systems, military systems, NASA systems run some version of nix, most likely Linux. Windows just cannot cut it in these scenarios where reliability and scalability are paramount...
        [/i]


        Where in tony's post did he mention Windows?
        Hallowed are the Ori
      • RE: 20 Years of Linux down, and the best is yet to come

        @tonymcs@...
        I don't agree with you, but it's pretty funny though.
        Eleutherios