11 Years of Linux at IBM

Last year, Dan Frye gave a keynote about how IBM got involved in Linux and how IBM changed and changed Linux. The process started in 1998 and by 2004/5 Linux was ready for anything. That was the time period my usage went from using GNU/Linux on random PCs in my classroom to using it on servers and whole laboratories. GNU/Linux was ready for anything in education.

Some key elements of Dan Frye’s keynote is that while IBM got involved because of software on servers and a systems approach to selling IBM’s hardware, is that their customers made the demand for GNU/Linux on the enterprise desktop. He also mentioned repeatedly lessons learned like implanting developers in the FLOSS community rather than doing everything in house. IBM contributed a lot to scheduling, scalability, and file-systems without throwing out large chunks of code. They learned to be patient and to join collaborative efforts of developers from whatever businesses or organizations interested in the same thing. Amen. Working together and sharing is different from how IBM used to work but they found it is more effective to share. They even learned to accept the result of the community’s work even if their contributions were rejected because the community often produced better results.

That is mirrored in my own learning. I went from the desktop to whole systems of desktops to the server and found GNU/Linux worked for me. IBM went from the server all the way to systems of desktops. They now use GNU/Linux everywhere in IBM and they no longer bother to count instances. There are just too many. Every facet of IBM involves GNU/Linux now.

Here is that presentation:

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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