1.5 Reliability

GNU/Linux is a very stable operating system and system crashes are virtually unknown. GNU/Linux, like Unix before it, is designed to be a multi-user, shared system. Simply because one user of the system runs an application that crashes, other users of the same system should not be affected. Also, most GNU/Linux applications have been in open development for many years with many developers working on and looking over the code. Bugs of course are not unknown, but they are usually quickly fixed within GNU/Linux, leading to a very reliable system.

A source-code analysis of the MySQL database, for example, conducted in January 2005, revealed only a few bugs in this open source database which drives many web sites, compared with the number found in commercial code. The analysis was conducted by testing company Coverity. Their analysis found an average of one bug in every 4,000 lines of code–this is at least four times better than is typical with the commercial software they review.

A study of 5.7 million lines of code from the GNU/Linux kernel found 985 bugs. The closed source industry average would have suggested over 5000 bugs be found in this much source code.

CDNet report on a 10 month study where WindowsNT crashed every 6 weeks, where as GNU/Linux never crashed. The Windows IIS server has typical downtime twice that of Apache. My internet web service provide offers money back guarantees for web hosting on their GNU/Linux servers, but do not do so for their Windows based servers!

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