itwbennett writes "Linux has become a dominant player in finance thanks to its ability to pass messages very quickly, said Linux kernel contributor Christoph Lameter. 'The trading shops saw that the lowest-latency solutions would only be possible with Linux,' Lameter said. 'The older Unixes couldn't move as fast as Linux did.' One key attribute was the TCP/IP stack, the configuration of which determines how fast a message can be passed between two systems. Linux also offers financial firms the ability to modify the source code to further speed performance. 'It depends on how daring the exchange is,' he said, noting that NASDAQ uses a modified version of the Gentoo Linux distribution. Lameter will discuss how Linux became widely adopted by financial exchanges at the LinuxCon conference in Vancouver this week."