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Linux Played a Vital Role In Discovery of Higgs Boson 299

An anonymous reader writes "Scientific Linux and Ubuntu had a vital role in the discovery of the new boson at CERN. Linux systems are used every day in their analysis, together with hosts of open software, such as ROOT. Linux plays a major role in the running of their networks of computers (in the grid etc.) and it is used for the intensive work in their calculations."
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Linux Played a Vital Role In Discovery of Higgs Boson

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  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @03:35PM (#40555753)

    "OS X is Unix which is all Linux is pretending to be"

    Huh? That may have been true a decade ago.

    Have a look at [] and you'll see that Linux overtook and topped Unix between 2002 and 2005.

    OSX today? Not of any significant relevance for the last few years.

  • by Nexion ( 1064 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @04:17PM (#40556365)

    That's why 83.8% of the top 500 supercomputers all run OSX!!!

    Oh wait... I must be a bit colorblind... that's actually Linux. Hmmm... is OSX even on this thing?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2012 @04:28PM (#40556563)

    Because I'm part of the CMS experiment and our whole analysis stack is based on ROOT, and entirely built at CERN.

  • Re:Fanboys... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @05:05PM (#40557095)

    > On the computational side, BSD, Windows, Aix, Irix, Solaris could have all done exactly the same thing.
    In theory yes, in practice, no. As a former astrophysicist we used to use Linux and Solaris for our computing despite the fact that most of the non-computing competent people used Windows on their desktops. The reason we used Linux is that it is a vastly superior development environment than Windows (Visual Studio was not useful for our purposes) and is also vastly superior (that is, easier and more open to us) for hardware integration than Windows. We also were producing and analyzing huge amounts of data, so were using 64-bit Linux while Windows users were still figuring out how to get their 16-bit legacy apps working on their 32-bit systems.

    We also wanted uptimes of months whereas with Windows of the time you crossed your fingers that you'd go a day without some kind of fault happening. I'm sure fellow scientists at CERN developed a lot of software themselves and also found Linux far better for this purpose. That is why techie people prefer Linux over Windows - for practical reasons rather than 'religion' as you suppose. The reason you fail to understand this is probably because you are not trying to develop software for 'big data' problems. That's ok, please just understand that this colors your personal view with an inaccurate picture. Best to keep quiet about stuff you know nothing about.

  • by Stax ( 13864 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @05:26PM (#40557327) Journal

    No, but really. OSX is Unix.

  • Re:Kitchen staff (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @05:39PM (#40557471)
    Obligatory clip: []
  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @05:53PM (#40557675)

    Apple did not play any role in the discovery of the Higgs because it is too busy launching new patent troll lawsuits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2012 @06:16PM (#40557923)

    [AC, as of some mod points spent]

    ROOT, Data Analysis Framework []

  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @08:41PM (#40559053) Homepage

    Others have commented on just how widespread Linux really is these days, but that overlooks another reason why this is not news: CERN has been active in the Linux community since the '90s! I remember running into CERN scientists over here to talk about their use of Linux at Linuxworld around '98 or so. Back then, they were basically rolling their own in-house distro, but I'm not surprised to hear they're using Scientific Linux now. Five'll getcha ten that they've had a hand in the development of Scientific Linux. Indeed, if you go to [] you'll see, right at the top of the page: "SL is a Linux Release put together by Fermilab, CERN, and various other labs and universities..." So, they're using the Linux they helped develop! Boy, there's some shocking news!

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!