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Using Windows and Linux on a LAN for a small business

By skclewis ·
Hello all. First let me lay some foundation for this discussion.
1. I am new to Linux and have installed and used the Mandrake distro with some success. But most of my computing experience has been in the Windows environment.
2. I am needing advice on a problem I am trying to solve. I am planning on retiring in a couple of years and opening a small business. The business will be an Internet cafe which may expand to including a gaming center.
3. Hopefully the advice may be of benefit to others facing a similar situation.

OK, so here is where I need the advice.

From what I have read here at TechRepublic and other IT websites/forums, Linux is a very cost effective system while providing excellent network stability and security. Compared to the cost of the Windows Server platform, Linux is definitely lower in cost. Since my start up budget for the Internet cafe will be limited, cost is a primary concern. However, most of the Internet cafe management software I have located will only run on Windows.

Can I have Linux act as the main server on the network and run a Windows application server to handle the cafe management software and other business related applications?

Can anyone direct me to some resources to help me out? I'd also like direction to any Linux applications/vendors for Internet management software as well as business management (i.e. accounting, CRM, etc.)

Thanks!

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Simple Answers

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Using Windows and Linux o ...

Can I have Linux act as the main server on the network and run a Windows application server to handle the cafe management software and other business related applications?

Yes but you'll need to have the full licensing and CAL/Terminal Services Licenses for the Windows Box so it will make the Linux Server superfluous.

You could try running the Windows applications on a Windows Emulator like Wine or Code Weavers products that act as Windows Emulators on Linux Platforms with some success depending on what it is being used.

Can anyone direct me to some resources to help me out? I'd also like direction to any Linux applications/vendors for Internet management software as well as business management (i.e. accounting, CRM, etc.)

Buy a Copy of Linux from one of the vendors and ask them what they have available in their Libraries that are not provided with the original Install CD/s or if they recommend some third Party Software for your requirements. I know that SUSE offers a great Service for their Customers and Mirvina used to have a massive Library of Software that you could download by becoming a member of their Linux Club.

Col

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it is possible

by Jaqui In reply to Using Windows and Linux o ...

Linux can be the main server for the cafe, using Samba you can create a false AD system for the windows workstations to connect to.

using wine or crosover office, you might be able to run the windows app for controlling the workstations. I have not seen a linux version of a time tracking app that would be usefull for such a business. There may be one, I just have not seen it.

a good place to start looking for something like this, is sourceforge.net
and freshmeat.net
the latter is just a database of software available, sourceforge is an online collaboration systm that has the actual source code for the software.

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YES you can

by Jaqui In reply to Using Windows and Linux o ...

I was just reminded, the Lakewood Regional Library in North Battleford Saskatchewan, Canada is using a mix of linux and windows for their community internet access service.
Fully controlled from the front desk of the Library, just as is done with an internet Cafe.

So they actually have the name of a fully functional software app that works with both operating systems.

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whats the name of that software

by lobodks In reply to YES you can

Can you tell me the name of that software please itll be very helpful, thanks

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I have

by Jaqui In reply to whats the name of that so ...

never contacted the Lakewood Regional Library in North Battleford Saskatchewan to ask.
I'm farther from them than you are.

since I'm 100% Linux, it's not important to me what it is.
[ hint, with Library name a google search gets the contact info. ask them yourself ]

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