What's the difference between Cumulus Linux and Linux?


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Cumulus Linux is based on Debian Linux, and we try to make the experience as close as possible to Debian. The main different is that instead of running on a server we run on a switch. Switches are different from servers in that they are based around an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) instead of a CPU. Switches can transfer much more traffic than a server can (where as a server can generate more traffic than a switch can).

The switches still have on-board memory, RAM, CPU, etc (and the experience will look and feel like Debian would on a server) however instead of just one or two ethernet NICs, you will get between 32 and 52 line-rate ports (see www.cumulusnetworks.com/hcl to see all the hardware that can run Cumulus Linux from 7 different vendors). The performance for packet routing and switching will be equivalent to incumbent vendors (Cisco, Juniper, etc). This is done through the proprietary daemon switchd.

Other current differences which are all open source
Let me know if you need more info, very good question. The idea is to upstream any differences where we can because Cumulus Linux is Linux.

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