US Navy buys 260 Apple Xserves to run Yellow Dog Linux

“Apple Computer has scored its biggest ever sale of Xserve servers – thanks to Linux. Terra Soft Solutions has announced that Lockheed Martin will buy 260 Xserve servers running its Yellow Dog Linux, with the eventual destination being the US Navy’s submarines. On board clusters of the Apple rack server will be used for real-time image processing… The deal is worth $1.9 million in hardware alone, Terra Soft founder Kai Staats told us today,” Andrew Orlowski reports for The Register.

Orlowski reports, “‘We’re the only Apple reseller on the planet with a license to install a non-Apple operating system,’ says Staats.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article: “Xserve chosen by US Navy on basis of low power consumption and high price/performance ratio”


  1. Yellow Dog is pretty good, I used to use it on an old iMac. It’s a decent Linux distribution, which should be more than adequate for image analysis tasks.
    Most (western military) imagery is manipulated and worked on, on Unix systems. This is a nice score for Apple. Hopefully they get more of these types of sales in the future.
    Terra Soft must be mighty happy……..

  2. Is this a major shift for US Navy purchases? I thought they only used Windows NT products. From the footage I saw on television Windows and Dell hardware seems to be the usual combination of the military’s computer systems as well. In any case, it is good to see that Apple products are used in such important places as submarines. Next stop: space.

  3. I work on Navy Acoustic Software for surface ships and submarines. Most mission critical task are strictly Unix based. With the Linux certification by the U.S. Govt’ yesterday, more linux based solutions will be the norm. The Navy does not like M$ in any mission critical system.

    I don’t know what they use for normal office tasks.

  4. um… aren’t XServes supposed to be loud?? and aren’t submarines supposed to be quiet?

    can someone please explain the logic of sticking noisy computers on a silent vessel?!

  5. The US Navy has a 7 year/ 8 billion dollar contract with EDS called NMCI (Navy/Marine Corps. Intranet). Nearly all personnel are using Dell desktops, notebooks, or thin clients. All are running Win2K. Most servers are also Win2K. All other vendors are being phased out.

    Some users are exempt, depending on their job function.

  6. Didn’t a divide by zero error on NT 4 bring an Aegis to a complete and total STOP and necessitate it being towed back to port a few years back? Or did I dream that?

  7. re Aegis ship stopper , the navy’s mag “Proceedings” I think the title was did a write up on the event .. my impression was a major risk to vessel and crew occurred and that lives
    in a different situation most certainly would have been lost
    the question is “will you bet your life on windows” ?

  8. Zack, yes the divide by zero was the app programmers fault, but the crashing app was able to bring down the system, that caused instability in the ship wide network and crashed the rest of the systems. In a *nix variant the app would have crashed, but that would have been it.

  9. I really wish NT lusers would get over themselves and their MS Windows is everything and the ONLY thing anybody will buy or use. For real applciations and important tasks Linux and other systems crush Microsoft every which way. Problem is all to may IT lackies are Microsoft lemmings and only find out way to late that Windows OS is the biggest, buggiest and most compromised OS every built – that includes W Xp (NT 5.1) and Windows 2003 …

  10. Who the hell decided to spend my tax dollars on a friggin’ MAC?!

    Oh my God, this country is doomed! Installing toys in nuclear submarines – this is what it has come to now. How about using battle-tested server hardware for this demanding, mission-critical installation?

    Idiots installing MACS into the military now. This will be bad.

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