July 14, 2024

What architecture does Linux run on?

2 min read

Linux is a highly versatile operating system that can run on a wide range of computer architectures. It was designed to be portable and adaptable, allowing it to support various hardware platforms. Some of the architectures that Linux can run on include:

x86 and x86-64 (Intel and AMD): Linux is commonly used on desktops, laptops, and servers running on x86 (32-bit) and x86-64 (64-bit) processors from Intel and AMD.

ARM: Linux is widely used on devices powered by ARM processors, such as smartphones, tablets, embedded systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

PowerPC: Linux supports the PowerPC architecture, used in some older Macintosh computers and certain embedded systems.

MIPS: Linux runs on the MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) architecture, which is used in some routers, networking equipment, and other embedded systems.

RISC-V: As an open-source architecture, RISC-V is gaining popularity, and Linux has been ported to run on RISC-V processors.

SPARC: Linux can run on SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) processors used in some older Sun Microsystems servers and workstations.

Alpha: Although less common today, Linux used to run on Alpha processors, which were manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

Itanium (IA-64): Linux has been ported to run on Itanium processors, although support for this architecture has diminished in recent years.

These are just some examples of the many architectures that Linux supports. The wide range of supported architectures is one of Linux’s strengths, enabling it to be used in various computing devices, from small embedded systems to powerful servers and supercomputers. The open-source nature of Linux has also facilitated community-driven efforts to port the operating system to new and emerging architectures.

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