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The two minute CEO guide: What is Linux, and why should I care?

What is Linux?

Linux is the operating system that underpins some of the world’s biggest businesses.

Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, Salesforce and Facebook all run on Linux, as does every one of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. Linux provides a secure, resilient and scalable foundation to run world-class applications.

Why should I care?

Here are six reasons:

  1. Zero cost licensing. Linux is distributed under licences that encourage copying and free distribution. That’s at odds with the usual expectations of a software licence. Linux is Open Source software, and part of the Open Source philosophy is to encourage software to be freely used and shared. There is no licence cost.
  2. Security. Linux has an excellent record of security. That’s part of the reason why the corporations listed earlier use Linux. Contrary to intuition, the Open Source nature of Linux increases security. More visibility of the source code means more eyes to identify potentially insecure code, including the provision of “back doors” that bypass security measures.
  3. Resilience. When was the last time you found Google wasn’t working? When was the last time Amazon was down?
  4. Scalable. Linux scales from the individual (phone, laptop) to global (Facebook, Google).
  5. No vendor tie-in. There is no central “Linux plc” or “Linux inc”. There are multiple, compatible providers of Linux software and services.
  6. Flexible. Linux meets many requirements out of the box, but in extreme cases you have the option to hire a programmer to make custom changes for your situation.

Why Tiger Computing?

  • We’ve been building and supporting Linux solutions for high tech businesses since 2002.
  • We specialise in Linux solutions for high-tech industries such as chip design companies like Ericsson, leading BioScience companies including eTherapeutics plc and Oxford Gene Technology, and health providers such as the NHS.
  • We work only with Linux. We work with it all day, every day. We know what makes it tick and how to get the best from it.

The Linux Survival Guide

If you’re running Linux in your business, download and read a free copy of our Linux Survival Guide.


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