Linux in 2019 - What can we expect?

Linux in 2019 – What can we expect?

Kernel 5.0, growing dominance in AI and IoT, and more

Linux is master of the back-end. Every year the operating system becomes faster, more flexible and safer. Let us look forward to some of the highlights that we can expect in the coming year.

Perhaps 2019 is the Year Linux is finally recognized as the powerhouse in the IT world it has become. Linux plays key roles in cloud technology, IoT, supercomputing and artificial intelligence, and with a wide range of conferences and releases on the horizon, we are faced with an exciting year. Let’s take a look ahead.

Behind the scenes: Linux

Most people now use Linux without even noticing. It is used on the smartphone, when you google or stream videos, when you use facebook, tweet, or use GPS devices. Even smart cars and smart household appliances utilize Linux. As a consumer this is unnoticable. But the enormous role of Linux indicates how critical the software has become.

Most IoT and embedded devices – those small devices with limited functionality – run a form of Linux and it does not look like this is going to change. On the contrary, you are seeing more devices that rely on open source to control them.


Linux in the cloud

According to the Cloud Industry Forum, companies spend more on cloud for the first time than on internal infrastructure. The cloud takes over the role that datacenters used to play and it is mainly Linux that gives this transition so many advantages. Even in Microsoft Azure, Linux is the most popular operating system. In its Voice of the Enterprise study, 451 Research predicts that the majority of IT will run off-premises in 2019. That translates into a lot of Linux usage.

Gartner’s analysts believe that eighty percent of internally developed software is now cloud-based or cloud-native. Cloud-native software is built specifically to run in the cloud and delivers the scalability and improved performance that is required as competitive pressure grows. The Linux Foundation is an important force in the cloud native community.

Simon Evans, CTO of cloud developer Amido adds: “It is especially fascinating how fast open source projects, including from Google and Apache, are being embraced as managed software from major cloud vendors. These proven and open technologies are rapidly replacing the pioneers in the cloud Projects such as Kubernetes, Apache Kafka and Apache Spark are often available ‘as a service’ for large cloud deliveries and that is undoubtedly a good thing for the world. This convergence is the key to avoid vendor lock-in, while companies are still able to focus on their digital USP, it is an enabler of a multicloud strategy.”


Formation of data mining

The arrival of the data lake – large collections of data in a rough format without transformation or loss – changes the way we analyze and solve problems. Data lakes provide a way to deal with the enormous growth of unstructured data, critical for the big data-views that we are going to tackle in 2019. This is increasingly becoming a company-wide data access strategy for many organizations and you can bet your snorkels that Linux is swimming around in these lakes.


Linux and supercomputers

Almost all Supercomputers run Linux and the number one this year, Summit of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The entire top 500 of the world’s fastest supercomputers now uses Linux and the operating system has been dominant in HPC for years. That will not change in 2019.


Linux and AI

Business models will kick back in 2019 with the smart use of AI. According to Evans, this will be mainstream the coming year, because a number of trends are now coming together. He describes “AI-driven companies” as a trend that will grow in the coming years. Given the role that Linux plays on I-hardare (HPC systems) and data lakes, this is also an area where Linux will be dominant.


Important Linux releases in 2019

There is important new software that not only delivers new features, but also improves performance and security. Releases that you can look forward to in 2019 include:

  • Linux Kernel 5.0 must be published in 2019 according to Linus Tovalds. We still have to wait and see if the changes are big enough. 4.20 is now ready for testing.
  • Debian 10 (Buster), probably in the first half of the year, with a lot of improvements in the background, such as support for encrypted SMB3 shares that are mounted as CIFS / SMB.
  • Ubuntu 19.04 is expected in April and if the kernel is finished, it should immediately come up with Linux Kernel 5.0. There is Android integration with GSConnect, and perhaps browser Chromium and game client Steam as snap apps.
  • Fedora 30 should end in late April or early May.



The number of Linux conferences worldwide is overwhelming, so we focus on conferences within Europe in this tip of the iceberg. Large events around Linux are also organized in the US and Asia. Especially the Linux Foundation is responsible for some high-profile events.

In 2019 we expect in our regions:

  • 8 – 11 January, ONAP DDF + OPNFV Plugfest, Nozay (France)
  • 20 – 23 May, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Barcelona (Spain)
  • 8 – 10 September, Linux Plumbers Conference, Lisbon (Portugal)
  • September 10, Kernel Maintainer Summit, Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 11 – 12 September, Cloud Foundry Summit Europe, The Hague (Netherlands)
  • 23 – 25 September, Open Networking Summit, Antwerp (Belgium)
  • 28 – 30 October, Open Source Summit, Lyon (France)
  • 28 – 30 October, Embedded Linux Summit, Lyon (France)
  • October 31 – November 1, Linux Security Summit, Lyon (France)

We are looking forward to an interesting year.

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