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Linux Operating System Market Size, Share & Covid-19 Impact Analysis, By Distribution (Virtual Machines, Servers and Desktops), By End-use (Commercial/Enterprise and Individual), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103037



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The global linux operating system market size stood at USD 3.89 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 15.64 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 19.2% during the forecast period.

The linux operating system (OS) market growth is primarily driven by growing internet penetration rate and the rising number of data centers and servers worldwide. Increasing demand for advanced data centers is considered one of the key factors for the growth of the market. Also, organizations in healthcare, manufacturing, IT & telecom, and others are focused on replacing existing servers and equipment with advanced Linux based servers. This shift assists organizations to leverage features of this OS such as advanced security measures, data storing capacity, reliability, and system speed. With the rise in the number of servers and data centers, the market growth of these systems is expected to boost during the forecast period. According to a report by the Washington State Department of Commerce. Gov, there are around 8.6 billion of enterprise data centers globally.

Also, the increasing number of startups offering Linux OS and services, and the growing adoption of virtual machines is expected to boost the market size.

Major companies are focused on adopting various business strategies such as mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, product launches, and other to robust market growth. For instance, in July 2019 – IBM Corporation acquired Red Hat, Inc. The acquisition was completed with the aim of offering advanced hybrid multi-cloud platform based on Linux and Kubernetes.

An Infographic Representation of Linux Operating System Market

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COVID –19 Impact on Linux Operating System

The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the worldwide economy in every industry. Considering various initial indicators from the first quarter of 2020, a minor decline can be observed in overall demand for Linux OS across servers and virtual machines. Also, due to COVID 19, various business strategies and projected investment situations and others are on hold owing to lack of operability. The stance for the market size in the second half of the year 2020 and afar, remains uncertain.

Nevertheless, the overall operating system market is predicted to rise with considerable CAGR during the period. The growth in the Linux OS market is owing to the rising demand for cloud-based advanced and secure this OS across the healthcare and IT & telecom industry. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it has posed an exceptional challenge for both backend technologies and frontend applications. However, the opensource operating system is playing a vibrant role in efforts to mitigate COVID-19’s spread. Many opensource projects are supporting healthcare providers, software developers, scientists, and innovators cross many countries to alleviate some of the hardships associated with this ongoing pandemic. Embedded Linux has been used in thermal imaging devices such as Raspberry Pi-based FluSense and Kogniz’ Health Cam device to check the temperature, detect cough, and analyze the data to monitor the coronavirus symptoms. In this tough time, one of the Linux-based software and service provider, SUSE, has been offering free services like support and maintenance for its opensource operating system and container technologies to medical device manufacturers to speed up the process. The SUSE clients in research firms, pharmaceutical, and national laboratories across the world are using Linux-based supercomputers to fight against COVID-19.

Further, with the rising investment in terms of business strategies such as product launch, business expansion, mergers, acquisition, and other, the market growth is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR during the forecast period.


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Advent of Hybrid Cloud Technology Aid to Increase the Demand for Linux OS

Prominent players in the market such as IBM Corporation, CloudLinux, Inc., and others, are focused on developing hybrid cloud models in OS for linux. The adoption of this operating system based on -cloud platforms would assist users with features such as enhanced server stability, security, and density. Cloud-based OS for linux is mainly developed for shared hosting users. This advanced cloud-based OS helps isolate each user into a separate “Lightweight Virtualized Environment” (LVE). This offers users secure partitions, allocation, and restricts server resources, such as memory devices, central processing unit (CPU), connections. Cloud-based Linux OS also helps to secure the users' websites and its database, from unstable scripts and unwanted cyber-attacks.

Owing to this, the adoption of cloud is a growing trend in the market. Also, this operating system based on cloud offers a wide range of features including enhanced utilization of server up to 80%, increase stability and density, complete control of the server, operate and manage data and applications, among others. The increasing adoption of cloud platforms will aid the growth of the market in the near future.

Major players in the market are focused on adopting strategic mergers and collaborations to expand their business geographically. For instance, in March 2020, in Australia and NewZealand, Red Hat, Inc., completed a partnership with Ingram Micro and Tech Data. This partnership assists in offering advanced multi-hybrid cloud solutions for Linux OS. Also, the partnership would help to develop numerous business growth opportunities for APAC and North America.


Increasing Adoption of Linux OS among Servers and Embedded Systems will Aid Growth

Linux is the most secure and reliable operating system that is primarily deployed in desktop, servers, embedded systems, and virtual machines. Mostly, Linux is offered under an open-source license, the user can customize the operating system, by changing the graphical user interface (GUI). Also, the user can develop his own Linux distribution (Distro) in the market. This has resulted in a number of different distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch Linux, Kubuntu among others present in the market. Being a high-speed, cost-effective, and efficient operating system, Linux has been the first choice for web servers. As per hostingtribunal.com, in 2019, 96.3% of the top 1 billion servers ran on Linux. For instance, Facebook runs its servers on Linux owing to its supremacy to keep stability even with excessive information. Moreover, Linux is gaining popularity in commercial embedded applications like supercomputing and clustering, medical imaging, and communication applications.

By the end of 2017, Linux dominated the top 500 most powerful supercomputers across the world. Moreover, the android system used for smartphones and tablets is built on the Linux kernel and is considered to have the largest installed base. Thus, due to flexible and open-source nature, Linux is a highly preferred operating system for servers and embedded systems, and is expected to show incredible potential for various innovative implementations in the coming years.


Intense Competition from Windows and Limited Adoption of Linux OS is Hampering the Market Growth

Although Linux owns several features such as enhanced security, reliability, and flexibility, in consumer markets, it  a comparatively low market share, owing to high penetration and adoption of Windows OS among enterprises and consumers. Linux-based end-point devices are considered complex against the threat, since these Operating systems are limited to specific functionality. The Linux is less user friendly, whereas, Windows GUI is simple and easy to use. Moreover, before switching to Linux, its essential that the hardware that is installed in the computer and it comprises of pre-installed drivers for Linux, as limited hardware manufacturers offer drivers for Linux as compared to Windows. Furthermore, as compared to Windows, Linux is tough to use and requires a broad base of knowledge about computing. This is challenging for beginners as they have to learn many different processes and functions.


By Distribution Analysis

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Rising Demand for Advanced Gaming Hardware and Accessories to Drive Market

Based on the type of distribution, the market is segmented into virtual machines, desktop, and server. Among all the segments, the server is expected to dominate the market share  during the forecast period. Also, most of the revenue through Linux systems is mostly generated owing to the sale of OS across servers and virtual machines. Server based on Linux OS offers a wide range of benefits such as advanced security models, pre and post-customizations, high storage facility and others, to organizations. Key companies such as Red Hat, Inc., Oracle Corporation, and others are focused on offering this operating system for servers and virtual machines. For instance, in December 2019, Oracle Corporation launched Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1.0. Oracle’s VM VirtualBox is cross-platform and is available on open-source software. The virtual machine offers a wide range of virtualization for computing solutions.

Furthermore, the desktop segment is expected to exhibit a decent CAGR during the forecast period. The market growth is manly attributable to the rising demand for OS in desktop across the commercial sector, where security is the main concern. Large enterprises invest and deploy Linux OS to secure their business against hyper cyber attacks. With the growth of advanced security models in this OS, the desktop segment is expected to rise during the forecast period.

By End-use Analysis

Rising Popularity of Online Gaming Software and Content Enabled with Coud Technologies to Drive the Market

Based on the end-user, the market is divided into commercial/enterprise and individual. Among all these segments, commercial/enterprise is expected to lead the market by capturing the maximum market share during the forecast period. The growth is driven by the rising demand for cloud-based OS among the commercial/enterprise users. To leverage advanced security solutions, wide storage capacity, enhanced graphical interface, and other features, commercial/enterprise are focused on investing to deploy Linux OS based on the cloud. With the rise in demand for cloud-based OS, market growth in this segment is expected to boost during the forecast period.

Key companies are focusing on investment in the development of projects and products based on this OS for the commercial sector. For instance, in August 2019 – Microsoft Corporation has invested around USD 500,000 annual membership fee to support the Linux Foundation’s open-source projects and initiatives.

Furthermore, the individual segments is expected to grow with a gradual CAGR during the forecast period. The growth in these segments is attributable to the ease of availability of Linus OS for desktop. Linux OS is considered as one of the most secure, reliable, user-friendly, and flexible operating systems for desktop.

Key companies such as Ubuntu Server and CentOS are focused on offering advanced Linux operating system for desktop that are available as open source products. Companies such as SUSE Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are providing this OS, based on license and service & support features with some associated price.


North America Linux Operating System Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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The global linux operating system market is divided into five regions, including North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.

Among all the regions, North America is expected to capture the largest market share during the forecast period. North America generated a revenue of USD 1.40 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing cloud investment is considered as one of the key factors contributing to the North America market growth. Prominent cloud computing platforms, such as Amazon's AWS, are Linux-based, placing Linux in a firm position for potential development as further cloud computing investment rises. IDC forecasts that by the end of 2022, around 60% of infrastructure investment will be for the public or private cloud, relative to 46% in 2017. This provides tremendous growth opportunities for Linux service vendors and will ultimately extend the reach of Linux-based operating systems on the desktop.

Europe is projected to grow at a considerable CAGR during the estimated period. The region made a notable revenue in 2018. The growth in the region is mainly attributable to the proliferation of the internet of things (IoT) in countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and others. This market in Europe would benefit from dominant IoT system growth. A recent study conducted by Gartner estimated that there were 2.2 billion connected devices in the year 2017 in Europe, with an estimated growth to 6.4 billion by the end of 2020. Also, in Europe, currently there are around 135,889 companies including SMEs and large enterprises using Linux OS in their business unit.

The market in Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Countries such as South Korea, China, India, and others would contribute to the highest CAGR across the region. The growth of the market in this region is due to the presence of a large number of data centers in countries such as South Korea, China, and Japan. Currently there are more than 400 data centers in APAC countries, including 79 in China, 47 in Japan, 19 in South Korea, 100 in India, 26 in Singapore, and many others. With the rise in the number of the data center based on Linux OS, market size in APAC is expected to boost during the forecast period.

Internet penetration rates in regions such as Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are in the emerging phase. Also, the growing investment in the IT & telecom industry, the rising number of a regional startup providing Linux OS, as well as online website, would be emerging market drivers for the market size. This would moderate market growth in the region.


Key Players giants such as IBM Corporaqtion, SUSE Software Solutions GmbH, and Others are focusing on strategic mergers and acquisitions

IBM Corporation’s major operations consist of five segments including global technology services, cloud & cognitive software, business services, financing, and systems. The system segment comprises four business areas cloud & servers, storage, software, and services. IBM operating systems provide security-rich, high-performance enterprise operating systems.

The company offers enterprise platform IBM Z and LinuxONE OS which can be applicable for transactions, integrating data, and insights. The power system offers Linux operating system to provide reliable, secure, and high performing workload across all servers. The company offers single and multi-frame systems for hybrid cloud infrastructure. The company offers technical support services for Linux products such as how-to, installation, usage, compatibility, and troubleshooting. It also provides open-source software support for enterprise-class. T

The company is a major distribution partner of Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical (Ubuntu) for Linux on IBM and LinuxONE.


  • Amazon Web Services, Inc. (US)

  • Arch Linux

  • Canonical Ltd. (United Kingdom)

  • ClearCenter (US)

  • Debian (US)

  • Elementary, Inc. (US)

  • Slackware Linux Project(US)

  • IBM Corporation (Red Hat, Inc.) (US)

  • Zorin Group (Ireland)

  • MontaVista Software, LLC (US)

  • Oracle Corporation (US)

  • Plesk International GmbH (SolvasVM) (Switzerland)

  • SUSE Group (Germany)


  • In July 2021 – Prometeo is a project developed by the Linux Foundation in partnership with IBM Corporation to help expedite the development and implementation of firefighter safety technology throughout the world. The new Firefighter Safety Open Source Project has been released with upgraded hardware and software to improve collaboration with key ecosystem partners.

  • In June 2021 – OpenSUSE Linux operating system provider launched leap 15.3 SUSE Linux Enterprise using in-built binary packages. OpenSUSE Leap 15 offers a variety of other updates which support LinuxONE and IBM Z s390x systems.

  • June 2021 – Google has funded a project to improve Linux security as part of the Linux operating system. The Linux kernel programming language has been hired to create software that might improve internet and smartphone security.

  • In July 2020 – Nokia launched new Linux-based automation and operations toolkit and network operating system for developers. This Linux-based operating system allows data center and cloud technology builders to scale up and adapt operations.


The market report overview major leading regions across the world to provide an enhanced understanding of the user. Also, the report offers detailed insights into the latest industry trends and examines technologies that are being deployed at a rapid pace at the global level. The report additionally highlights the growth-stimulating factors and restraints, assisting the reader to gain in-depth knowledge about the market.





Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period

  2016– 2018


  Value (USD billion)


By Distribution

  • Virtual Machines

  • Servers

  • Desktops

By  End-use

  • Commercial/Enterprise

  • Individual

By Region

  • North America (US and Canada)

  • Europe ( Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific ( China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Singapore and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 3.89 billion in 2019.

Fortune Business Insights says that the market is expected to reach USD 15.64 billion in 2027.

Growth of 19.2%% CAGR will be observed in the market during the forecast period (2020-2027)

Within the distribution segment, the servers is expected to lead during the forecast period.

Growing preference of Linux OS for servers and embedded systems is likely to accelerate the growth of the market

Canonical Ltd., ClearOS, Debian and IBM Corporation (Red Hat, Inc.) are the top companies in the market.

The commercial/enterprise segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period

The revenue of the market in North America in 2019 was USD 1.40 billion

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Linux Operating System Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • Jun, 2020
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  • 2016-2018
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