From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Glimpse of Ubuntu Desktops in the Financial World

I worked from Chicago today, meeting up with my buddy Kees and doing my daily hacking from a Caribou Coffee shop with free WiFi on the river and at the foot of the Willis Tower (previously known as the Sears Tower).

Earlier this year, I had the great privilege to visit the Weta Digital Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, where their Ubuntu-based cluster of 35,000 nodes renders blockbuster movies, including Avatar and King Kong.

And today I visited another place, as absolutely amazing as Weta Digital, in terms of what they're doing with Ubuntu... After our work was done, Kees took me to meet one of his friends, a programmer and sys-admin at a financial firm near the Chicago Board of Trade (now merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange).

These guys easily have 35,000 square inches of LCD monitors running Ubuntu desktops, displaying in real time thousands of graphs, metrics, monitors, and statuses. Hundreds of multi-head desktops running 8.04 to 10.04, attached to 17" to 42" Samsung LCDs, Ubuntu logos everywhere I turned!

There is no doubt that across both Server and Desktop, Ubuntu is proving itself in enterprise environments. Linux is here, there, everywhere, and Ubuntu is a very important player, helping make that happen. I take great pride in what we're achieving together!

p.s. Some readers have followed my hiking and travel adventures to Scotland (both times), New Zealand, and others. Many of these adventures have little (if anything) to do with Linux or Ubuntu, so I've moved all of my travel to a different blog,, which is not syndicated on You are welcome to follow my travel stories there. If you do, you have a lot of catching-up to do! ;-)