Computers aboard the International Space Station are to be switched from Windows XP to the Linux operating system in an attempt to improve stability and reliability.
Dozens of laptops on the ISS's 'opsLAN' network - which provides the ship's crew with vital capabilities for day-to-day operations, from telling the astronauts where they are to interfacing with onboard cameras - will be switched, removing Windows entirely from the ISS.
“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable – one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust or adapt, we could," said Keith Chuvala of the United Space Alliance, which runs opsLAN for NASA.
I am quite surprised of the move to an open source OS. Yes Linux is famous as stable and reliable system but being the open source, it means the code is available, is it safe? What do you think of the switch?
Already have an account? Login
Login to the community
No account yet? Create an account
Enter your username or e-mail address. We'll send you an e-mail with instructions to reset your password.
They're not 'dumping' Windows for Linux, they are only replacing some of the laptops with a Debian version instead of a Windows version.
article (read the update)
However as to my understanding the replacement of a few machines is much worse than to dump all at once because even replacing only one laptop that is connected to ISS intranet could rise security concerns.
If you can clear the source code of any issues, then it would be far more superior to their current Windows setup as they can determine the actual contents, which they cannot do with Windows. If they wish to build their own custom environment then with Linux they are able to do so as they have access to the source code which they can manipulate.
It does not say they are running a fully updated version of Linux... I think it a safe bet they are not updating the systems with every patch that comes out: they will be using only a well tested and stable release.
I am more surprised that they still have so much reliance on Windows XP.