Linux is 30: How a student’s hobby became a key component in the business IT stack

Linux, the enabler

Just as Linux has matured through the years, so has the ecosystem it supports and nourishes.

“In 2012, when we first talked with investors, few believed that open source was credible in the long term, but now there are many high profile companies whose core products are open source, including HashiCorp, Confluent, MongoDB, and more,” shares Armon Dadgar, CTO, HashiCorp.

Having spent time in some of the very first open source companies, Percona’s Yonkovit remembers the time when Linux was shunned and looked at with suspicion by enterprise IT teams. 

“From there however, it has dominated the datacenter. A good chunk of the innovation and software we have seen over the last 20 years simply would not exist without Linux as an open operating system,” beams Yonkovit, adding that for the first open source trailblazers, “Linux was the big enabler.” 


(Image credit: Image Credit: Pixabay)

Giant shoulders

Tim Mackey, principal security strategist at the Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Centre believes that today’s highly scalable and resilient cloud enabled businesses are all powered by services that exist as a result of innovation in Linux or within the open source ecosystem enabled by Linux.

“While to some, Linux is a server based technology, the reality is Linux permeates our technology landscape to such a degree as to be ubiquitous in everything from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, through point of purchase devices and industrial systems,” says Mackey.

He credits the “strong underpinnings of Linux” for the recent innovations that have helped shape cloud computing, from hypervisors like Xen and KVM through Docker to Kubernetes.

As Linux celebrates its 30th birthday, it has metamorphosed into a juggernaut, which not only extends beyond a piece of software, but is something whose impact on the evolution of computing is hard to fully trace and comprehend.

Aniszczyk sums it up nicely.

“Linux taught many folks the importance and value of contributing to upstream and open source collaboration, that will truly be its lasting impact in the world.”

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.