Red Hat Powers the Future of Supercomputing with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Red Hat Enterprise Linux to serve as the foundation for El Capitan, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s first exascale supercomputer


Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the operating system platform for El Capitan, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) first exascale supercomputer. Projected to be the world’s most powerful supercomputer, El Capitan is located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As the catalyst for El Capitan’s software stack, Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a crucial linkage in preparing for cloud-enabled supercomputers with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) components. At the same time, the platform easily integrates with LLNL’s existing technology environment, providing a simplified administration and user experience that spans from traditional systems to El Capitan’s next-generation infrastructure.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux combines an open source solution with testing and software assurance that is essential for mission-critical, large-scale computing. We’re excited to extend our existing partnership to include El Capitan.

Bronis de Supinski

Chief Technology Officer of Livermore Computing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

When fully deployed in mid- to late 2024, El Capitan is expected to boast a processing power of over two (double precision) exaflops per second and will be used by all three NNSA Tri-Labs (LLNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory) to help address the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear stockpile. The supercomputer and its unclassified companion system, Tuolumne, will also support research in areas that include climate science, computational biology, material discovery, high energy-density physics, material modeling and more.

LLNL has a long-standing history with Red Hat, having used Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the backbone of many of its systems, 11 of which rank on the Top 500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. LLNL also employs Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the default operating system for several smaller supercomputers within its restricted and collaboration networks, like Tuolumne and RZAdams, to help establish a standard operating environment across the bulk of the lab’s systems.

Harmony between RHEL and LLNL is mission-critical, as high-performance computing (HPC) strategies must be aligned with the overwhelming prevalence of cloud-based systems. This especially applies to software environments, as sustainability and accessibility are vital to the functioning of these HPCs.

By standardizing on the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, LLNL is able to enhance operational efficiency and flexibility, which are pivotal characteristics for the teams that oversee the day-to-day management and maintenance of supercomputing environments. This joint history between LLNL and Red Hat helped drive even greater collaboration around supercomputing evolution, including developing best practices for connecting HPC schedulers and cloud orchestrators to align with the continued growth of cloud technologies.

Red Hat Summit

Join the Red Hat Summit keynotes to hear the latest from Red Hat executives, customers and partners:

Supporting Quotes

Gunnar Hellekson, vice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat

“The collaboration between Red Hat and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory exemplifies the indispensable nature of a trusted, consistent and comprehensive Linux platform like Red Hat Enterprise Linux for some of our nation’s most essential research. We’re proud to continue our 20+ year relationship with LLNL by extending the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform to what is expected to soon be the world’s fastest exascale supercomputer.”

Bronis de Supinski, chief technology officer of Livermore Computing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

“Red Hat Enterprise Linux combines an open source solution with testing and software assurance that is essential for mission-critical, large-scale computing. We’re excited to extend our existing partnership to include El Capitan.”

Additional Resources

Connect with Red Hat

  • Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.

  • Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on the company’s current assumptions regarding future business and financial performance. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Any forward-looking statement in this press release speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Except as required by law, the company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.


    Red Hat and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries.