Bill Gates Ejected From International Space Station
Hello again ATS!
Yes, yes, there is a bit of pun to my thread title. Bill Gates was not actually jettisoned into the vacuum of space by irate astronauts ( Still... one
can dream I suppose ) - but his creation, his baby, his mark on this world most certainly was...
Henceforth, the critical systems on the I.S.S will run on Linux products and not the creations of Microsoft.
The United Space Alliance, which manages the computers aboard the International
Space Station in association with NASA, has announced that the Windows XP computers aboard the ISS have been switched to Linux. “We migrated key
functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable.”
A Techworld article
adds a few
more tidbits of information.
The contractor that manages computers for the International Space Station (ISS) has announced that the orbiting project is now running Debian
Linux on its laptop fleet having successfully jettisoned Windows XP.
Although the move has been planned for some time, the announcement from six weeks ago was so low-key that few noticed the momentus event until it was
picked up from the United Space Alliance’s website this week...
The PCs in question are the International Space Station’s ‘OpsLAN’ laptop network used by crew for everything from collecting imagery to running
day-to-day functions such as tracking position...
“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable – one that would give us
in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust or adapt...
discusses how the non-profit Linux Foundation
involved in the training of the Astronauts.
It also mentions a cool easter egg that I will get to shortly...
The I.S.S is now in line with NASA ground operations, SpaceX, and CERN's Large Hadron Collider for their choice of stable operating computing
This might have something to do with a 2008 incident in which a Russian Cosmonaut brought along a stowaway with him to the I.S.S – namely the
computer virus called W32.Gammina.AG
. Indications are that this was not a deliberate act of war
and the virus only seeks to steal video game login information – so aside from infecting numerous computers on the I.S.S no harm was done. However,
since the I.S.S is reported to have no Internet connection ( not sure I am buying that.... ) - updating ones McAfee or Avast isn't possible.
In space... No one can hear you asking for tech support...
This is not at all surprising – as this one day old article from
Linux code is the 'benchmark of quality,' study concludes
Fans of free and open source software (FOSS) may recall a report from Coverity last year that found open source code typically has fewer defects per
thousand lines of code than proprietary software code does...
According to this year's results, open source projects with between 500,000 and 1,000,000 lines of code had an average 'defect density' of just .44,
whereas proprietary code scored at .98 for such projects. Defect density refers to the number of defects per 1000 lines of software code...
“Since the original Coverity Scan report in 2008, scanned versions of Linux have consistently achieved a defect density of less than 1.0, and
versions scanned in 2011 and 2012 demonstrated a defect density below .7,” the company explained.
Whereas Coverity scanned more than 6.8 million lines of Linux code in 2011 and found a defect density of .62, the 2012 report included a scan of more
than 7.4 million lines of Linux code and found a defect density of .66.
Most recently, Coverity scanned 7.6 million lines of code in Linux 3.8 and found a defect density of just .59.
I tried to find some defect density numbers for Windows 8 but so far have only found
this page of really, really confusing math
The particular flavor of Linux chosen for the laptops on the I.S.S is Debian 6
– affectionately known as Debian
by users. This is a very popular and highly supported Linux flavor that serves as the basis for several of the most popular varieties of
Linux, including both Ubuntu and Mint – arguably the two most well known. My own computer currently dual boots two unique Debian based
Other systems on the I.S.S run other flavors of Linux, such as Red Hat
, a commercial ( for cost ) version – and
, an open source ( not for cost ) flavor developed by
To quote the article from my first source, a member of United Space Alliance has said:
As far as we know, after this transition, there won’t be a single computer aboard the ISS that runs Windows.
So there you have it ATS. When a young computer hacker and software engineer was coding a UNIX clone that he actually wanted to call FREAX
with the absolute intent and belief that he wanted his creation to be free to all – who could have guessed that his quest would eventually lead to
having an asteroid named after him
and his creation helping humanity to pioneer the hostile
environment of space!?!
Some background on Mr Linus Torvalds
edit on 5/11/13 by Hefficide because: typo
edit on 5/11/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)