In association with heise online

10 October 2008, 10:33

Wikipedia goes all Ubuntu

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The Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation behind Wikipedia, is reported to be switching to an all-Ubuntu Linux based infrastructure. Previously, Wikimedia ran its four hundred servers on a mix of Ubuntu, Red Hat and Fedora Linux distributions, but in order to simplify the administration of the servers which power Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikinews and others, it decided to move to a single operating system and selected Ubuntu.

The switch over process has been underway since 2006, according to Brion Vibber, CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation, when the caching proxy servers moved to Ubuntu. The process is nearing completion now, with the main application servers switching to Ubuntu as part of the normal maintenance schedule. The servers handle around ten million page views per month, with traffic peaking at times at 50,000 HTTP requests per second.

The move is seen by some as a big win for Ubuntu's server edition, which is, like the popular Ubuntu desktop, available for free. There is no premium or enterprise, commercial version of Ubuntu; All features of the Linux distribution are available in the free version. Some analysts believe that this difference is the driving force behind the change at Wikipedia.


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