Home News Featured Blogs Jim Zemlin 2013: The Year of Linux on the...Everything

2013: The Year of Linux on the...Everything


In the Linux community we love predicting that this is the year of Linux in cars, or in gaming, or yes, even the desktop.

But in fact, this was the year of Linux in everything. From smartphones, tablets,   consumer appliances and cars, to the open cloud and high-performance computers, to gaming platforms and more, Linux was, and is, literally everywhere. It’s the software that is running our lives.

The last report showed more than 1.5m Android phone activations are happening every day. Android continues to dominate on phones, and embedded Linux variants are bringing Linux into the living room with it running everything from your TV to your washer and dryer to your fridge and heating/cooling system.

Linux’s success in cars is demonstrated by, among other things, its role in the Motor Trend Magazine’s car of the year for two years running. Both the Cadillac CTS sedan (2014 Motor Trend car of the year) and the all-electric Tesla Model S (won in 2013) run Linux. Furthermore, IHS Automotive recently reported that sales of automotive Linux are expected to overtake Microsoft and Blackberry QNX in the global automotive infotainment market by 2020.

The cloud computing space is one of the fastest growing areas of IT with Gartner forecasting it will account for the bulk of IT spending in 2016. The cloud is built from the ground up using Linux and open source software, which is helping to accelerate innovation in this area (Open Cloud Directory).

Twenty years of data was analyzed this year to reveal that not only has Linux risen to dominate high performance computing but that it’s driving the most important computing advancements of our age.

And, of course one of the year’s most exciting Linux success stories is that of Valve and SteamOS. Well known for its award-winning games and more than 65 million active users, Valve announced that its SteamOS would be based on Linux and then joined the Linux Foundation just a few weeks ago. This represents a major shift in the way the gaming industry looks at Linux and open source and is poised to transform the competitive dynamic among companies in that space and the way in which users interact with their games. Linux is making this happen.

The community also celebrated a number of milestone anniversaries in 2013. Thirty years ago, the GNU system announcement fired a seminal shot in the open source movement. And 20 years ago, we saw SUSE and Red Hat emerge, both of which celebrated these important anniversaries this year. The community also rallied around increasing opportunities for women and other minorities to contribute to Linux and open source. We and many others took part in and organized a variety of new initiatives in this area in 2013 and are encouraged by the high participation.

We’re always thinking about what’s next for Linux and how we can continue to support the community and industry to protect, promote and advance the operating system and the principles that make it so successful for the long term.

We found this year that companies and community members are increasingly looking to Linux’s groundbreaking development model as a template for more effective collaboration and accelerated R&D efforts. Look no further than the successes I just shared to understand the impact this is having on technology and business. Also consider Google and Samsung, both of which were among thtop 10 companies contributing to the Linux kernel this year, to understand how companies are leveraging Linux and collaborative development to compete.

Companies from networking, virtualization, the Internet of Things and even life sciences came together in 2013 to adapt these principles to advance technologies in their markets. Some examples of this work can be seen in efforts that have become Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects such as the AllSeen AllianceOpenBELOpenDaylightOpen Virtualization Alliance and Xen Project

We also continue to see demand for Linux talent in the marketplace and an increasing number of attendees at Linux events worldwide. Together with our members and the community we are helping to equip thousands of developers and sysadmins with the skills and training required to become Linux professionals. And, we’re looking towards the new year with a keen eye on what we can do to increase access to Linux training materials and event forums for more people around the globe.

All of the efforts by the community continue to inspire us to do what we can to support the world’s largest collaborative development project and apply its principles to new areas for the benefit of everyone. One of the reasons I’m so excited about what comes next for Linux and open source is that collaborative development keeps pushing the limits of technology innovation into the future, a future we can’t predict, but one in which we know Linux and collaborative development will play a defining role - one line of code at a time.

Please join us in celebrating another amazing year for Linux.



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  • Mark H Harris Said:

    hi Jim. Thanks for the article. I would say that this is the year of gnu/linux "awareness". It generally takes 25 years for new technology to "catch on," and that has certainly been true for gnu/linux. But you forgot my two favorites... the International Space Station (ISS), and governmental infrastructures all over the word. This is also the year for global awareness and global participation in libre software. Gnu/Linux is going to lead the way forward into the 21st century with free "libre" code, databases, and applications. The NSA debacle has brought this to the front recently with the Snowden revelations, and the blatant attach on the Constitution of the United States. The way forward for protection from tyranny locally, and the violation of international law globally, is going to be libre software; and gnu/linux is paving the way forward. Happy holidays dude, and thanks again for the insights. Cheers

  • ricegf Said:

    Even on laptops, Microsoft is running scared as evidenced by their desperate yet ineffective attacks against Chromebooks - low-cost mainstream devices that already sold 3 million units buoyed by interesting innovations from all of the major players (a $300 touch Chromebook from Acer, the USB-rechargeable HP Chromebook 11, etc.) and a rapidly expanding app store. Microsoft's last true stronghold is under siege at last - and it couldn't happen to a nicer convicted monopolist. Popcorn, anyone?. ;-)

  • chris_clay Said:

    I couldn't agree more... the decline of Microsoft is upon us. Finally, they have real competition. Sure, Microsoft has been trying to sidetrack the decline by issuing lawsuits over patents against some big name players, but slowly but surely their Windows monopoly is eroding. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the upcoming year or two. GNU/Linux is constantly releasing new and exciting updates and products, and the future is looking very bright for it, too.

  • Jacob45 Said:

    I think social media will be the benefit for GNU/Linux. I think a lot of people will ask: can I use Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Google+, Gmail, e-mail, etc. They won't care if it's Windows, Apple, or Linux. Sure you'll get some asking about MS Office, or Adobe products, but with those programs costing extra money the sales people can inform that LibreOffice can replace MS Office, and GIMP can replace Photoshop; or use WINE to run Windows OS programs. Maybe a university can do the following experiment: setup 4 laptops: Windows OS, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS. Have all desktops have simillar icons to Facebook, Twitter, Firefox, Dropbox, Photoshop (with WINE in Linux), Office suite, etc. Then ask participants to perform some task related to each applications. Then ask them 'What OS was the laptop running?' They progably will know Windows & Mac; but they will be surprised how capable Linux & Chrome is.

  • Geoff Said:

    Why do us Linux folk feel the need to sh*t on Microsoft at every chance? Can't you see that this article is talking about something that is much larger than a company. Its about how Linux permeates every aspect of our lives.

  • Chris Visagie Said:

    Makes me very happy to see the successes and progress of Linux. "Linux on everything", "Linux on cars" literally, our Linux branded car also on the winning side,

  • Andrew Porter Said:

    SteamOS and the continuing success of the Raspberry Pi are my Linux highlights of the year.

  • Scott DuBois Said:

    Ahh.....That was my favorite video of the year! It really struck home while I'm in my studies for software engineering.

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