6 Practical and Real-World Applications of Linux

If you use Linux on your desktop, you may have wondered if the operating system you’re using has any practical use. Fortunately, there are many real-world applications of Linux today. Here are some of them.

1. Web Server

The biggest real-world use of Linux is on servers, especially web servers. There are several reasons for Linux to dominate the web server market.

One reason is that Linux is too cheap to install. Back in the “dot-com” era of the 90s, many startups discovered Linux for this reason. The Unix system was popular for servers, but was very expensive and ran on specialized hardware.

You can easily download Linux for free and it runs on x86 processors, using the free Apache HTTP server. This means startups can buy a bunch of cheap PCs and use them as servers.

Today, most data centers and cloud service providers run special rack-mounted servers, backed by contracts from companies like Canonical or Red Hat. Data centers still find Linux more attractive than Windows because the licensing costs of open source software, even under contract, are much lower than that of proprietary operating systems like Windows.

Apache faces competition from Nginx, but it still has more Linux-based servers than Microsoft’s Windows servers by a decent margin. According to W3Techs, Linux servers dominate Windows with 37.7% compared to 20.2% of Windows as of May 2022.

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2. Supercomputers

Another practical application of Linux is in supercomputers. Linux is so ubiquitous on supercomputers that according to Top500, 100% of supercomputer installations today run some version of Linux.

The reasons for its adoption in supercomputing may be similar to the reasons for its adoption for other server applications. Linux is cheap and can run on standard x86 hardware. Scientists are also familiar with Unix. Researchers can build clusters of cheap computers to run complex calculations without having to rewrite their code.

Again, as with web servers, Linux supercomputers have scaled as Linux has been ported to other architectures like IBM’s POWER. This has allowed Linux to replace proprietary Unix systems in these research applications as in commercial data centers.

Among other things, supercomputers like IBM’s Summit have played a role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and are helping to track down variants. If you have received the vaccine, it means that Linux can save your life.

3. Single-board computer

While Linux powers supercomputers, it’s also perfect for simpler machines. The most famous Linux single-board computer is the Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi has become popular in children’s computer science education because it’s cheap enough for kids to own and experiment with. Parents don’t need to worry about kids damaging the family computer. The reason Linux was chosen is because of its open source nature and the ARM port already exists.


It’s also popular for small embedded computer projects, and there are plenty of uses for the Raspberry Pi that you can think of.

The reason for its popularity is that it is very easy to port Linux to different processor architectures. Linux first started on the Intel 80386, but it has since been ported to almost every CPU out there. This includes the ARM chip that powers the Raspberry Pi.

4. Replace old computer

The first version of Unix at Bell Labs ran on the digital PDP-7, and even then was considered underpowered. The tradition of reusing old computers continued as traditional Unix gave way to Linux distributions.

Linux distributions are great for using older computers when official support from Apple or Microsoft runs out and you can’t afford to upgrade or newer versions of the operating system don’t support your hardware. friend.


Minimalist distributions run well for this purpose. Google is releasing Chrome OS Flex, a special version of Chrome OS for regular PCs and Macs to use in place of their native operating systems.

If you have an old computer, don’t throw it away. Try ordering a Linux distribution instead. You may want to keep it as an extra computer or give it to someone who needs a PC. You will also help avoid wasting electrons this way.

5. Classic game play

If you enjoy classic gaming, you might be surprised to learn that Linux and open source are driving a revival of older games.

Open source emulators like MAME, Nestopia, and Stella let you play classic arcade and console games on platforms, including Linux.

Open source volunteers not only recognize the value of classic games, but also companies already using Linux and open source emulators as part of their commercial offerings. If you have the NES Classic, you actually have a Linux machine, according to Omg! Ubuntu. If you have a Raspberry Pi and have a DIY mindset, you can turn it into your own classic gaming console.


If you’re really handy, you can even build your own electronic cabinet, as shown in this video from The Geek Pub:

6. Backup and restore

Your computer works fine unless something goes wrong. And if you run into trouble, Linux is there to help you, too.

While you can use the operating system installation media to try to repair your system, there are Linux distributions like SystemRescue that can fix many common boot problems, from a corrupted partition table corrupted to forgotten administrator password.

If your hard drive or SSD fails, you can also copy any important files to an external drive. You don’t need to be a Linux user to use these tools. You can even reset your Windows password using SystemRescue. This is one reason you should consider using a bootable Linux distro on a spare USB stick because you never know when you might need it.

There are many practical applications for Linux today

Linux isn’t just a hacker’s toy, but it has plenty of real-world uses for work and play. From running web servers to playing classic games, if you can think of it, someone has used Linux to do it. But how did Linux become so popular? There are several technologies that make it easier for people to spread Linux around.


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4 cutting-edge technologies that helped spread Linux

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https://www.makeuseof.com/practical-applications-of-linux/ 6 Practical and Real-World Applications of Linux

Sarah Ridley

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