What are the platforms that Linux is being used frequently on besides x86?

I know that x86 dominates. But, what are other platforms that some people also use Linux for?

Are there links for statistics about this?

  • 2
    I don't have statistics, but I'd assume Linux is used frequently on ARM (specially given that most Android phones use ARM CPUs).
    – Renan
    Apr 6, 2014 at 4:03
  • 2
    popcon.debian.org might be useful. Not representative of all of Linux, but...
    – derobert
    Apr 6, 2014 at 4:49
  • What is frequently? relative (as a percentage of the kernels run on that platform) or absolute (also including the abundance/number of those system themselves)? Relatively I would reckon that ARM might be more linux-dominated then x86. Can you specify? Apr 6, 2014 at 9:56

6 Answers 6


ARM is huge for linux. Aside from the Rasberry Pi and other hobbyist ARM SoC you have every Android phone and tablet and many of the Chromebooks running Linux on ARM. I couldn't find any hard numbers on total devices in use, but total android activations number somewhere north of 1 billion. The Chromebooks are Amazon's best selling laptops, though not all of those are ARM based, and I'm not sure what the breakdown of sales are. Needless to say, ARM is one of Linux bigger architectures as far users go.

  • compared to x86, do you think ARM is more linux-kernel dominated platform? Apr 6, 2014 at 9:56
  • Considering Windows still consistently takes up 80-90% of all laptops/desktops, very possibly. Then again, iPhones might still be more popular than Android & iPad is dominating tablets. (Apple doesn't use Linux, but another derivative of UNIX.)
    – trysis
    Apr 6, 2014 at 17:36
  • 3
    @trysis worldwide Android devices are more numerous than iOS devices. Samsung alone has more market share than Apple in smartphones, and they are not the only manufacturer of Android devices. Android also has more marketshare than Apple in tablets.
    – casey
    Apr 6, 2014 at 18:13
  • @trysis Don't forget all the servers that run Linux, the vast majority of which are on x86.
    – Bob
    Apr 6, 2014 at 20:04
  • I'd say after ARM, probably MIPS is the next most prevalent architecture Linux is installed upon due to DD-WRT.
    – LawrenceC
    Apr 6, 2014 at 20:11

There's a partial list of platforms in the Linux Kernel FAQ, under the platforms section titled: What Platforms Does Linux Support?.


Ports are currently available for:

  • Compaq Alpha AXP
  • Sun SPARC and UltraSPARC
  • Motorola 68000
  • PowerPC
  • PowerPC64
  • ARM
  • Hitachi SuperH
  • IBM zSeries and S/390
  • MIPS
  • Intel IA-64
  • AMD x86-64
  • CRIS



I am surprised no-one else found this, but there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the architectures supported by Linux. There are too many to list here, but I will list the Linux architectures officially supported by Debian, since this is a good indication of what is commonly used:

  • i386: x86 architecture designed for Intel/AMD 32-bit PCs. Also compatible with but not recommended on Intel/AMD 64-bit PCs
  • amd64: x86-64 architecture designed for AMD/Intel 64-bit PCs
  • armel: little-endian ARM architecture (Instruction set ARMv4) on RiscPC and various embedded systems (EABI)
  • ia64: Intel Itanium (IA-64) architecture
  • mips, mipsel: MIPS architecture (big-endian and little-endian)
  • powerpc: PowerPC architecture
  • s390: IBM ESA/390 architecture and z/Architecture
  • sparc: Sun SPARC architecture on sun4u/v systems
  • armhf: ARM (Instruction set ARMv7) hard-float architecture requiring hardware with a floating-point unit (FPU)
  • s390x: IBM ESA/390 architecture and z/Architecture with 64-bit userland
  • Debian is a good server OS, so this list is biased towards heavier-duty machines. Many embedded platforms support Linux as custom or embedded-specific distributions. Apr 7, 2014 at 6:41
  • @Potatoswatter, true, but remember that Raspbian is based on Debian. You also get emDebian too.
    – Graeme
    Apr 7, 2014 at 10:42

Supported platforms:

Alpha, ARC, ARM, AVR32, Blackfin, C6x, ETRAX CRIS, FR-V, H8/300, Hexagon, Itanium, M32R, m68k, META, Microblaze, MIPS, MN103, OpenRISC, PA-RISC, PowerPC, s390, S+core, SuperH, SPARC, TILE64, Unicore32, x86, Xtensa

More information can be found here:


One of the Linux successes is it rumbling on IBM Z Series (their mainframes).

  • 1
    That's pretty much the opposite of frequent, though.
    – nobody
    Apr 6, 2014 at 17:21
  • Depends on what you mean by "frequent". If you're talking about number of processors it would be smaller; if you're talking about number of users it may be huge.
    – keshlam
    Apr 6, 2014 at 20:42
  • Frequently installed, maybe not (but they do still sell these and there are good arguments for them). Frequently used as in a database query is serviced, absolutely. Apr 7, 2014 at 6:44

Maybe off topic, but some quite good statistics can be obtained from the RC5-72 project and similar of distributed.net.

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