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  • #2273027

    Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it


    by david mohring ·

    This post is in response to the various naysayers in these forums who say Linux on the business desktop is either not possible or not worth it.


    * The Forces

    Like many organizations around the world, the two former organizations that employed me suffered major blowouts in their IT budgets leading up to Y2K. As a result, the IT upgrades in 1998/1999 were expected to last five or six years after 2000. Windows 98SE was the latest stable platform available 1999. Keeping to budget and upgrading all the desktop *hardware* for Win2K and then XP would be difficult if not impossible.

    After careful deliberation, the management at the larger organization decided to use some of its existing tech savy IT staff to evaluate Linux on the desktop as a stop gap measure and as a replacement for some of the desktops during the next upgrade round.

    Neither organization operates in the IT industry and both prefer not to face direct scrutiny or suffer the hordes of Microsoft salesdroids who magically appear at the doorstep of any company publicizing Linux deployments. So both shall remain nameless for now.

    * The Effort

    Over the last four years I have deployed and supported almost ninety Linux desktops at my former employer. Not all of the desktops are running Linux, they still have around the same number of Win98 machines, half of which are scheduled for replacement with Linux ( either Xandros, Suse or a custom version of Fedora/Redhat ) in 2005/6. The other half will be upgraded to join the small number of current Win2K desktops and laptops.

    We started out with a combination of Redhat 6.2 and Ximian Gnome. This was limited to call center and data entry. Later we put StarOffice/Linux a number of desktops for people who do not deal with incoming and outgoing Microsoft Office document formats on a regular basis.

    It was a major effort. Two years ago, they could not have done it without serous expertise from the existing Unix administrators and knowledgeable folks such as myself. For example, it took myself around three weeks of hacking around with Redhat 8 to get it to the point where everything just worked and only the required functionality was exposed to the user.

    * The Steps

    First of all, on all PCs, Netscape ( and later Mozilla ) replaced Microsoft IE and Outlook, and since all the enterprise systems used web based interfaces, on Linux it looks very similar.

    They started deploying some of the desktops HD partitions using Norton Ghost. Later they just created a small rescue partition hosting customized Linux system, that once installed, performed the same task. The administrator can set the default in the grub configure file for the next reboot. A second VFAT partition is kept on Win98 and dual boot systems. This is not overwritten by default and provides a persistent local file system.

    Although they have chosen to deploy Linux using the traditional thick desktop/workstation model, they use a spare server that operates as an X11 application server. This is used on a regular basis by the helpdesk, IT support and a few Windows users that access both windows and remote X Linux. The rescue partition, that can be also network booted via PXE, is based on the Linux Terminal Server Project ( ). During an install or if a security violation is detected, the user of the desktop is booted into Linux thin client, and can access all their files though the Application server. Forensic examination, repairs and installs can take place in the background while the person uses the thin client.

    Some individuals like to download and install software, either in the local filesystem or home directories, and get annoyed when the installed software is erased or overwritten. Unauthorized software installs remain a major problem in terms of both security and licensing. For those users we offered a choice, either stop installing software or buy and provision their own laptop with a loan from the organization. The individual owns the laptop but can only access the internal network if they allow the IT department to inspect the laptop on a regular basis.

    We focused on getting the SAMBA services and NFS working correctly. Using pam the users have the same user name and password for each platform.

    Each users networked Linux home directory contains a subdirectory that holds the SAMBA’ed share of the users networked Windows desktop and “My Documents”. Any person can log in to either Linux or Windows and find their files with ease. In the same way, similar desktop icon/start menu entries and links to enterprise applications and directories on are on both Microsoft and Linux users desktop.

    We handled peoples transitions from Windows to Linux in small groups. In each department, we targeted the friendly tech savvy users, some who were surprisingly quick learners, and set them up first. It’s easier for people to turn to the tech savvy person at the next desk with questions than to call up the helpdesk. Once people were shown the Linux desktops in action, there was less resistance than expected. We never tried to force anyone to make the shift. Those who personally invested in complex scripted Microsoft Excel or Powerpoint documents remain free to run Microsoft Office and OpenOffice side by side on Win98se or Win2k. At least one of the scripting gurus has begun to build document scripting in OpenOffice, using Java.

    Users in transition could dual boot either Linux or Win98. Later, some users could access a remote Linux desktop from Win98/Win2k using a Windows based X11-server. If a person had a problem, they could just boot or switch back into a familiar environment, and preferably log the problem with the helpdesk.

    We deployed VNC on all platforms ( For Linux ). All the user had to do was to call in to the helpdesk and click on “ShowDesk/OK” to let the support person see/access their desktop. This can be a surprisingly effective teaching tool. The user can follow the actions required to fix a problem, in the context the user is working in.

    The transition from Microsoft Office98 to Staroffice/OpenOffice is difficult. At first we had to go though all the Office templates the targeted users needed and rewrote them for StarOffice. Before 1997, the organization relied on a few complex template macros in Microsoft Word 6. These were abandoned before 1998 because (a) the hassle required to upgrade them to each major release of Microsoft Office and (b) the number of macro virus the organization suffered despite keeping Norton Antivirus up to date twice a day. Instead of Macros and document embedded VB, a few documents are generated on the in house developed server in RTF format. Fortunately, with a little tweaking, these generated document were fully import compatible with Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.

    In terms of user education, for day to day usage, most people did not find it that difficult or frightening a change from Microsoft Office to StarOffice/OpenOffice. Those who regularly designed complex layouts or Visual Basic based scripting just stuck with Microsoft Office.

    The organization keeps Microsoft Office97/98 as the standard document formats, with StarOffice and now OpenOffice defaulting to saving in that format. A few internally used documents are now being stored in OpenOffice formats, as it is becoming the prefered format when the final document is shipped in Adobe PDF format.

    Each department has a couple of accessible Win2k machines that run Microsoft’s Office2k and IE alongside Openoffice and Firefox. These are multimedia capable systems and serve as staff Internet access, plugin device compatibility and document conversion. All of these have network limited access to the servers. A public share on the file server is used to copy content from the normal desktops. This public share is scanned each time a file is added, and dispite the Win2k desktop having up to date antivirus protection, the server side scan still pick up a few cases of spyware/malware/worms. A large Linux partition contains a checksummed bit copy of the NTFS partition. Booting Linux on these systems sets up a background script that overwrites the NTFS partition from either the local copy or the file server.

    The Payoffs

    Since switching to Netscape Navigator in 1998, the organization has not been subjected to the multitude of scripted vulnerabilities that plague IE and Outlook users.

    They have never suffered a successful incursion by any worm/virus/trojan malware on any of the Linux desktops. They run tripwire on the desktops and can perform remote inspections of processes. There is no need for any third party antivirus software on the Linux Desktops. They do use third party antivirus tools on the servers to scan the document directories and incoming and outgoing email.

    In comparison to Win98,Win2k and XP, keeping the Linux desktops up to date is a breeze. We maintain a read-only NFS’ed public directory that, after testing, we drop RPMs packages into. A cron job on each desktop inspects the directory for new files and then runs yum and updates the system. We stagger the start times to prevent overloading the network or file server. In most cases, the update takes place entirely transparent to the user.

    In terms of remote support, Linux Desktops blow Win9x to XP out of the water. Beside VNC users desktops, you can access the remote desktop though a ssh’ed command line, a web based interface (webmin), or use Xnest to access a separate instance of a desktop on the same machine. In all three of the latter cases, the access can be invisible to the user of the machine. The helpdesk can pass on the address to the support engineer who, with his laptop with VPN access, can track down problems literally anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

    Thick, slim or thin, Linux desktops are in. The organization is free to deploy future Linux desktops anyway they wish.

    There is no part of this deployment of Linux which is Linux vendor dependent. With a little effort it could be translated to another Linux vendor’s platform or even a community based distribution such as Debian.

    In my or the manager’s opinion, the result was well worth the combined effort of the IT management, support staff, and users.

    * That was the hard way

    The effort that we put into developing our own solutions with the Linux software of the day was a major undertaking. Today, we would not have to undertake anything close to that same effort.

    Xandros Desktop Management Server (xDMS)
    Xandros’ xDMS is a close to turnkey solution for small organizations. When combined with their desktop offerings it does all that a small organization needs for the majority of its users.

    Novell offers similar desktop management vary suitable for larger organizations
    You will find that organizations that currently deploy Novells directory services can very quickly deploy Linux along side.

    Both above vendors require per seat licensing, and can lock the enterprise in at the IT management level. But both also offer many of the same advantages of Linux on the desktop for a fraction of the effort and inside knowledge required.

    Is Linux in the desktop for everyone in the enterprise? Maybe not. But it’s a matter of when Linux will be ready, not if Linux will be ready.
    But does that mean your organization should not be investigate deploying Linux on the desktop where it makes sense now? No! Start investigating where deploying Linux makes sense.

    * Lastly

    Do not trust everything Microsoft and its supporters say about Linux. They selectively deceive and outright lie.,4149,1426514,00.asp

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3298460

      Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      gee, that’s a lot of typing.

      personally, I wouldn’t use the non community distros, as the community ones offer the same abilities.

      but I do agree with your comment.
      about the only area that I have found linux lacking is in 3D graphics applications.
      not something most companies or users are needing.
      and for companies to drop several thousand on a “professional” 3d app isn’t unusual, same price for windows or linux based apps, and often, exactly the same app from the same company.
      ( Softimage XSI, Maya. )
      it’s only the home, hobbyist 3d that is lacking in quality.

    • #3298447

      fine ..!!!

      by secure_lockdown9 ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      as i keep harping over and over again!!! —> if you like linux so much – feel free to come by and train and hand hold 300 non-computer savvy users on how to use it. i will pay you minimum wage for the job – you shouldn’t expect more than that – it’s not like it’s a level 2 or level 3 job.

      lets see how long you last. i am sure linus will love you for it.

      • #3298435

        Training Costs

        by cactus pete ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!

        Just curious – do your users get training anyway? If so, what is the per user budget for training?

        • #3298419


          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to Training Costs

          training does not come out of central IT budget. comes out of respective areas budgets. why should I not have enough money to upgrade a server just because joe blow user wants to learn photoshop better!!

          it’s not costs – thought as I stated before – you can’t realistically expect to get paid the same amount for showing a user how to print from openoffce as does a level 3 support tech. working on a major RAID array problem. it’s not the same level job.

          it all comes down to, “who wants to do the grunt work for little money?” i sure as hell don’t! do you? i bet mr. linux advocate also doesn’t want to either. he would much rather play around with gentoo then put up with 300 stupid user questions a day for a McDonalds burger flipper pay!

          you guys might want to put some thought and planning into your grand master linux conversion plan.

        • #3298317

          Could you describe some issues?

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to training

          Okay everyon eis talking about all these new issues that are ocmpletelty unique to a user havign a Suse9or linux) desktop as oppoed to a Winoze desktop.

          Now lets give you some slack and first of all and agree that NO user has ever called you with stupid hangs and issues due to MS security problems (virus, malware, adware etc.) that are below your ability as a higly paid MS server engineer/guru guy.

          Shoudl those same users have thier desktops switched to Suse with an XP interface, what specific problems do you forsee them calling you for every day? Again, given that you don’t already waste this time removing Windoze garbage form insecure workstations.

        • #3304827


          by house ·

          In reply to Could you describe some issues?


          1) A simple task like folder and file creation and management might be difficult to a user – as funny as it may sound.

          2) Some people won’t even try anything but IE. They are afraid. Imagine a full turnover?

          3) Familiarity with policies and permissions in NT based operating systems (learning curve).

          4) Location of common utilities.

          5) Terminology – they can hardly understand Windows.

          6) Once again… MS based appz and internal appz that have been years in development.

          7) Some people say that for every Microsoft application, there is a Linux counterpart. I don’t buy into that.

          The good side…

          1) We would all be paid a fortune in initial support influx.

          2) MS can suck it.

          3) Stability, security, and a nice GUI.

          * Keep in mind that we are talking about workstations here.


        • #3304821

          A few good points I must agree

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Issues

          1 and 2, sorry but I don’t think I’ve met able bodied employees that wouldn’t be able to figure that out, they would definitely be far too embarassed to ask me as opposed to a coworker.

          3, well, that would depend on the network and the rights changes, I haven’t had such user issues so far. Plus I have mixed server environments in two locations.

          4, too self explanatory in Suse, throw the windows GUI on it and they have o problem, again just from the swapouts I’ve done.

          5) I’ll give you that for th emost part but most shops with custom apps would retain those servers which in my experience have not been MS based to begin with. Usually custom Unix/Linux software created by the client’s own engineers. And many of them are already far ahead on the Linux curve than I.

          6, covered that.

          7, There are linux counterparts, many do not have the stabliity or are as robust as MS. Novell has basic MySQL, PHP etc. included with the NOS now though and is becoming more and more MS complaint all the time.

          8. oh there is no 8.
          Good side
          1) Salaried remote net admin, no extra dough, but no extra calls either (other than simple first week stuff)

          2) MS sucked it

          3) Stability, security and a nice GUI.

          *well it covered some server issues but yeah mostly workstations.

          I suppose it is dependant on the bitchability of users. Users here wouldn’t bother bitching, they seem to just quietly ask about issues and thank you when you help out. Maybe I put the fear of God into them or something but they always seem polite and courteous towards me and thier support.

          Perhaps it is because I work remotely, I am not a daily face in the office politics, I dunno, but it’s been a cakewalk on my end and I though Novell with Windoze desktops was a breeze!

          Especially when I came here or to Tech Q&A and read all the horror stories people were having, PATCHING ON WEEKENDS and working overtime to get thier MS servers running, damn I’d never had an unexpected ‘outage’ more than twice in four or five years I think!

          No thanks, I camp and burn about on the bikes on weekends and like to kayak in the evenings (well when it’s not ZERO degrees anyway!).

          I have spent too many years working my ass off for people and getting nothoing out of it before almost dying.

          Now it’s music and mayhem, \m/ ]:)

        • #3304819

          Re: 1 & 2 – and dumb users

          by house ·

          In reply to A few good points I must agree

          When there is an internal helpdesk in place, users do not hesitate to call for stupid crap.

          PS – Any wicked rapids out there?

          * spyware alert. This is a link for a stand up helpdesk comedy act. I thought you might enjoy this. Make sure your PC is protected from simple spyware (not maliscious).

          One of my favourite novelty sites for jokes. 🙂

        • #3304774

          i use Linux for a reason….

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to A few good points I must agree

          so i can see how plausable it is in deployement to users perhaps someday.

          i use the project mgtm and visio linux counter parts to MS Project and MS Visio.

          Sorry – but the MS products above are far FAR superior in functionality and quality than the opensource counterparts. if i deply this to my users who are used to using the MS products – i will be the lauging stock of the company.

      • #3298425


        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!


      • #3298399


        by jessie ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!

        Sec, can you get ANY more childish? Supporting end users on Linux isn’t a heck of a lot different than supporting end users on MS products… ‘cept there’s less rebooting to fix memory leaks involved cuz it’s a whole lot more stable product. As long as the GUI looks the same, the end users don’t care.

        • #3298365

          okay then…

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to ???

          maybe so.. but as i say..

          …be my guest and support them on linux.

          it’s just you, your minimum wage, your 500 users, and a phone. have fun.

          send me a postcard when you get to cuba.


          (btw – the rest of us “sane” IT people are trying to keep well away from doing S&*TTY level 1 user support calls and move into more advanced and higher paying level 2 & 3 territory.

          you on the other hand seem to be attracted to level 1. so go for it – make linus proud of you – brother!)

        • #3298360

          Seems to me…

          by jessie ·

          In reply to okay then…

          … the rest of you “sane” IT people are trying to improve your job security by relying on non-secure, highly hackable, unstable, costly OSes and their “compatible” programs. And if you’re wanting to move into those Level 2 and 3 positions, you’d better learn your Unix and Linux because there are a lot of server functions that are better utilised on a different OS platform.

          And I don’t care if Linus is proud of me or not and I’m NOT your brother (or sister as my sex may dictate) so there, NYAH!

        • #3298350

          i have no problem…

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to Seems to me…

          running linux, unix, and any of the BSD’s on the backend – meaning servers and service machines – services transparent to the user.

          but i am not about to push to re-invent the wheel and covert people that are very comfortable using a Windows OS and MS Office just because a bunch of guys think Linux is “cool”.

          the day my boss tells me, “i need to save some serious money or we are out of business – what can you do?”. then i will look at possilby deploying Opensource on the front end – meaning the desktops. But while they are willing to pay for the products they want to use – i will use all my knowledge, experience, and abilities to ensure that those products get deployed as efficiently, securely and correctly as possible in the workplace.

          we have 100’s of people who panic if you move the IE icon from the left hand side of the screen to the right – and you think switching them to linux is going to be “no problem”? are you fuggin’ kidding me? how long have you been working in this industry?

        • #3298345

          A little over 10 years…

          by jessie ·

          In reply to i have no problem…

          I was there when we went from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 (which was made to look like the MAC OS) and when my users found out how much more stable *it* was compared to 3.11, they were quite happy to make the switch… though some of them still wanted to have file manager and there was lots of hand holding at first, but far fewer problems with users changing every color on their desktop to black, networks that suddenly dropped, etc.

          Now, I’m certainly not saying that Linux is perfect for every installation, and I’m well aware that a LOT has to change in the U.S. IT industry before it becomes a truly viable option, but I have a bit more faith in my users’ intellect, they’re generally an intelligent bunch, fully capable of learning a new product, and I know that the Linux GUI can be made to look very much like the Windows GUI, which is all the users care about… that their stuff is in the same place and has the same functionality.

        • #3298325


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to A little over 10 years…

          “Now, I’m certainly not saying that Linux is perfect for every installation, and I’m well aware that a LOT has to change in the U.S. IT industry before it becomes a truly viable option”

          Linux die-hards dispute this whole statement……..That’s the issue. You appear to have a more ‘open’ understanding of the bigger picture here.

          Linux, as it stands now, does not have a home in the Enterprise for as many political reasons as there are Technical reasons.

          Your fortunate to have a ‘good’ user base, but I’ve seen whole floors mutiny because their backgrounds changed when that ‘thingamabob’ was installed.

          (I think) what secure was referring to was probably ‘political’ as much as technical trainning. Both are big productivity killers and can cost major money, not too mention give IT groups a bad name.

        • #3298290

          well said…

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to A little over 10 years…

          but I myself will wait a year or two before jumping into Linux territory on the desktops. RedHad WS/AS/ES is more my liking.

          Contrary to OZ Media’s post – I work on novell netware. many netware guys don’t believe that MS Win 2003 or AD is a superior product – more robust – but not superior – we just decided to migrate to MS because we don’t want to get burnt by Novell a 2nd (or is it 3rd time?)

          i also don’t believe in the M$ evil empire theory. Novell had the top NOS’s on the planet and they ran it into the ground thanks to bad business decisions – end of story. think twice before you commit to these goofs.

        • #3298316

          just because a bunch of guys think Linux is “cool”.

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to i have no problem…

          YEah that’s it, coders who think it’s cool/

          Well that rules me out, I suppose I would just be considered stupid or inexperienced. I HAVE rolled it out on desktops due to ROI and TCO being lower in those cases.

          Users didn’t call me all the time at all, in fact I took LESS user calls than with MS, thus giving me time to chop wood for this winter that hasn’t happened yet.

          What happened when you tried it?

        • #3304823

          I hear ya

          by house ·

          In reply to just because a bunch of guys think Linux is “cool”.

          A little off topic, but I did up about 6 cords for my father-in-law, and now the stupid snow is melting again??? 🙂

        • #3304762

          6 cords !

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to just because a bunch of guys think Linux is “cool”.

          How many bodies is he trying to incinerate?

          That will one BIG hot fire for a really long winter!

          I avg MAYBE 2 a year if I am home a lot.

          I usually only need to cut an extra 1 1/2 yr as it just sits and cures under the porch.

          We have pretty mild winters here though, compared to most of Canada, even the BC interior gets the minus 47’s with the windchill. no thanks!

        • #3304824

          Seems to me…

          by house ·

          In reply to Seems to me…

          …we are not talking about servers. Why does the last Linux argument always end with NOS? As much as we all love Linux, well maybe not all of us – I certainly do – end-users don’t care. They prefer MS. The support calls will be astronomical in a massive desktop turnover. The easiest things will be difficult to the user. How many people are going to call and ask you how to create a folder? Quite a few – as simple as it may sound to us… sibling. 🙂

          I want to keep the hair on my head. As much as I dislike MS, eventhough I still use XP and 2k without fault, I fear that I may just lose my mind if these monkeys are given a new toy. No thanks.

        • #3344939


          by dstjulien ·

          In reply to Seems to me…

          Hi House-

          Just wondered if you had tried installing and using something like SuSE 9.2 or the latest Fedora or others?
          My son-in-law, (he and his wife are currently living with us until they get settled) finally got tired of having to rebuild his computer every few months and asked me about installing SuSE 9.1. I use SuSE on my home computer and have it set up to dual boot with XP and he had seen me using it.
          I told him that I wanted to see, first hand, his experience at setting it up. Granted he is fairly computer literate, but not a geek. Without uninstalling windows (he wanted to save his data), he went ahead and opened the box and inserted the SuSE CD/DVD. I did not coach him other than nodding a couple of times. No problems with hardware being found and appropriate drivers installed.
          He had everything he wanted installed and up and running in less than an hour – including internet connectivity and email. It only took him about 10 minutes to configure his desktop to look and function like XP. He was merrily accessing and editing his Word, Excel and Powerpoint files on his windows drives within 30 minutes. Of course, he will be on a slight learning curve using Open Office which comes with most Linux distros but hasn’t seen anything that he can’t overcome quickly, yet.
          He stopped long enough to check for updates and found that it had already happened in the background.
          Firefox browser installed as part of the initial install as did Evolution (Email/PIM) and GAIM (Istant Messaging). He used Firefox to find and download comparable Linux programs used the YAST installer to help him install them. YAST let him know about some dependanceies that were required and wlaked him through those installs.
          So far, he hasn’t run into any major problems.
          I am ready to have my wife try on the Linux desktop and see what happens. She is barely computer literate and may need some coaching. I still want to experiment.
          I have a lot of friends that are experimenting with the Linux desktop who are in all parts of the computer literacy spectrum. The only complaint is a lack of easily intalled “games” like they are used to. Only one has given up on it. Almost all the others are really trying to stay there. NO viruses!
          Sad to say that the one who gave up is now getting the BSOD on his XP Home machine.
          If you haven’t tried it yourself or on a couple of “pilot project” users you might just be missng out on something good.

        • #3344928

          That’s in the home

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Hmmm

          Corporate environments offer up diferent ‘challenges’…..not the least of which can & will include the user.

          Remember that trainning is only of about a thousand variables, which will include ammong other things politics.

          User comfort is the most important thing to IT.
          Change for the sake of change doesn’t go far.

          If you think these discussions are say ‘interesting’ you should try explaining the Operating System differences to a room full of people who could care less.

          Taken a step further…….try getting a document clerk who works with MS Word for 8 HOURS A DAY to use something other tham MS Word.

        • #3344909

          Disagree with you dafe2 .

          by dstjulien ·

          In reply to Hmmm

          The numbers may be larger but the problems are the same. It is a matter of how you do it and the commitment of the entity. If the company is fully committed, it gets done and people learn what they need to. It can happen in a fairly smooth manner itf it is planned well and the committment exists.
          Novell is an excellent model and has a lot of info on its home page on how to do it. It took them a year to get everyone moved over. They were a total MS desktop software and OS shop until a year ago.

        • #3344798

          Your entitled & right to a degree

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Hmmm

          And your right to a degree…………but there’s nothing worse than politics….and no matter how much planning is done….Monday morning with a floor full of pissed off secretary’s does not a nice work week make 🙂

          Of course there are a thousand other issues too..entity commitement is certainly right up there but then you mix it it up with code compatibility…

          Anyway in some places it does work. But those secretary’s are still a scary bunch.

        • #3291730

          Excuse Me

          by jrice ·

          In reply to okay then…

          I noticed your from TO I am on the West Coast. Whats level 1 – 2 – 3 and why does each have higher pay or lower? I have been in this field for 14 years. Where I work I am it, not level 1 2 or 3 and pay is my pay. I look after everything including answering phones. Somedays I play with cool stuff Cisco Pix, Cisco Routers complex VLAN paths, other days I am on the phone helping people who don’t know where there start button is. Also I am a trainer and BTW where I live trainers are not paid min wage. The real question in this article is does Linux work in the corporate world and the answer is maybe. Check out the progress that Linux is making like Xandros ver 3 running native Windows Apps including IE 6. If You do have level 2 and level 3 positions where you work then you should become more aware that Linux is on the move and you should make an adjustment to your thinking and an effort to stay knowledgable.

        • #3291683

          An islander!

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Excuse Me

          Well living in PH I can agree that most jobs here are as you suggest and you are cheif cook and bottle washer, you need to be to stay employed here.

          When in Vancouver, most corporations used multpiple levels of support staff, with some larger organizations in the Bentall area having 50-100 IT staff.

        • #3298159

          thank you for the info

          by jrice ·

          In reply to An islander!

          I new what he was talking about it just that secure_lockdown seems to think that Linux is too good for Level 2 and Level 3 work. I was trying to remind him that not all of Canada is like that. If I understand right you should know being from Port Hardy and it would be rare to see large IT staffs except perhaps in the mills. I was also getting rather annoyed at his comments in general.

        • #3298158

          BANG ON

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to thank you for the info

          Yeah they annoy the hell out of me too, far too general and conclusive to be considered applicable.

      • #3298318

        I’d take it

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!

        If minimum wage was somewhat respectable in Ontario. It would definitely be a busy first week but that’s about it. I have had more than 300 users swapped over a weekend without knowing the change was taking place.

        By Friday they were all pretty happily clicking away and doing their jobs without a hitch, the main comment was how they had heard from a friend that Linux was a big change with a huge learning curve, yet they didn’t see this at all and were pleasantly surpised at just how similar the two were.

        I know you guys go on and on about typing commands and mounting drives ever day, but that’s not the issue in Suse, it is JUST like Windoze in fact you can download a free Windows GUI interface for it to even look the same.

        The problems I faced were the same user questions I faced with thier windows desktops, without all the hangs, reboots and spyware slowdowns to deal with.

      • #3304810

        Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!

        sure thing, as soon as all m$ system patchers get paid that.
        linux / unix/ irix/ freebsd system admins get paid more than m$ system admins do.
        you take that pay cut in the same ratio, then I’ll work for that wage.

      • #3304668


        by dingletec ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!

        Three years ago I installed Linux for about 8 users at work to test this very concern. I showed one user how to add and delete users, and that user has since fielded all questions from the other users. Once they were told what names corresponded to what type of program, they were very comfortable with Linux. Other than to ssh into the boxes to apt-get some upgrades, there have been zero problems.

        The users access company email in Kontact or Evolution, open/edit/create MS documents and spreadsheets in open office, do homework, play games, all with zero usability issues.

        There are a few programs for which there are no open source substitute, but your examples are pretty weak. Have you looked for a commercial substitute in Linux? Concerning MS Project, ACT, etc, there are MANY webbased applications you can install on a server to replace them, and therefore never have to deal with yet another workstation application.

        I have spent countless hours dealing with Viruses and other general Windows application and OS bugs/failures on our 100+ Windows workstations. And I am the network engineer, not the desktop support guy. He’s just as busy. The Linux workstations have been a very pleasant surprise. What started out as a test has remained indefinitely.

        Linux on the desktop is not only possible, it’s easy and less time consuming. This is not just my opinion, but the opinion of my management.

        • #3304570

          for now..

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to Ignorance

          linux is not plagued with same extent and volume of malware and/or other exploit attacks right now.

          though if it becomes more prevalent and a more appealing target – you will be dealing with same problems only on a different desktop OS.

        • #3299327

          That’s right,

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to for now..

          Security through obscurity (Or ignorance) is not exactly recognized as a best practice.

        • #3299134

          Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to That’s right,

          ok, since linux is a clone of unix, which is even older than windows, it has the security and stability benefits of an os that was designed from the ground up for networking and multitasking.

          windows doesn’t.
          windows has 20 odd years of development, yet it’s only recently that ms started getting a reliable fs type with permissions?
          linux only been around for about 15 years, yet it has 30+ years of security coding from unix to work with.

          unix is not an obscure os, why are there no more than 250 viruses a year for it?
          ( opposed to 250 a week for windows )
          easy, windows is full of security holes from microsoft’s bad coding habits.
          ( they don’t remove bad code, the leave it in and functioning, just add routines to try to cover the holes. )

          “Windows, a user interface program designed to make playing video games on your home computer easier and more entertaining” Bill Gates

          when that quote is no longer true, then ms will have gotten rid of vbscript and activex.
          both designed for video games.
          then windows will be designed for Professional use, not before.
          you want to be die hard windows, with a closed mind to options, look at what you are supporting, realise you are saying that you want your employers to continue using non professional quality applications, with concurrent security risks.
          you want the companie’s private data to be world accessabile.
          that is what your attitude says.

        • #3299123

          I’m familiar with the Linux Heritage

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          But Linux is NOT Unix & the point was that Linux (and Firefox) do not have the market share Microsoft does, therefore not an attractive target for the idiots out there that get off on finding & using exploits.

        • #3294135


          by sauerb01 ·

          In reply to Ignorance

          Eventually there will also be more security problems with Linux also. There is absolutely no way you can make a computer system completely secure and still maintain an ease of use atomosphere. The only way to keep systems secure is to lock them down tight. That may be possible for some enterprise environments but is nigh to impossible across the board. My computing experience goes back to the days of core memory, paper tape and punch cards. If someone wants to infect a computer with a virus, worm, spyware adware or what ever you want to call them they can find a way no matter what operating system or architecture that system has. As more of these individuals become familiar with Linux the more serious the attacks will be against it. It may be a surprise to the average person out there that there was a higher percentage of attacks against Linux over the last several years then there were against Windows. Since Linux is relatively unknown to the general public these attacks are not reported by the mainstream press because most people would not care and the ratings for these stories would be terrrible. If anything happens to something produced by Microsoft it is top rating material and will be reported. I work with Unix, Linux, Windows, Macs and several small proprietary systems. I am deluged on a weekly basis by all bulletins regarding all these systems and the various problems with each. They all have their good and bad points. When I take into account all aspects of supporting these various systems I would rather support the Windows environment right now. The learning curves and compatability issues I have to deal with on a daily basis with Linux makes it an expensive and time consuming solution. We are a distribution company and we need to maintain compatability and be able to interface with our customer base. I support all these environments based on the needs of our customers. In the next few years I’m sure things will swing one way or another. It has been my experience that nothing lasts more then about three years in the computer world before there is something else that becomes the buzz in the business world.

        • #3291856

          AHA! I new there where others!!

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Beware!!!

          I agree a hundred percent.

          Glad to know another remembers punch cards too..

          Hope your wearing your lead underwear….there are a lot of Linux Freaks here with SELECTIVE reading skills that will skip the part where you say Linux is ok in ‘small doses’ as well as most anything that even resembles a good, sound technical discussion.

        • #3291823


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to AHA! I new there where others!!

          I know that you are on the fence as for the pupose and proper applications of BOTH of these Os’s but I feel that there is some misconception regarding Linux lovers.

          I don’t think ANYONE would say that Linux won’t be hammered harder if it becomes more widely used. I think the main issue is that Linux IS mre stable out of the box even in it’s relatively young stages as a common desktop OS. MS was NEVER stable but costs a lot of money.

          The focus I see is that Linux will be targeted, but it isn’t expensive. Also, as it is open source, there are god knows HOW many developers out there who will offer fixes, updates and patche AS NEEDED. Instead of MS providing the odd patch when enough people bitch and complain. MS has a lot of trained engineers who work 247 on these issues, now imagine milions if not tens of millions of similarly devoted people whe will work 24/7 worldwide to keep it working properly.

          MS cannot top the amount of support Linux has already, yet alone if it was a common desktop OS.

          Sure open soure makes it easier for malicious coders to infect it,but it also makes it easier for even more people to fix it.

          As I said somewhere else here, MS seems to ignore severe security issues, for this reason people who have found these issues and notified MS are ignored and often end up writing an exploits to prove a point and get MS into taking action.

          MS would prefer to release an ANNUAL patch instead of paying engineers to constantly patch small issues THEY deem unimportant until widespread. I think this WAIT for security will be greatly reduced by Linux.

          I would say the same about MS if they allowed pubilc source code access too, the more people that work to fix it, the more secure it becomes. Gates is big, but he isn’t THAT big or big enough to keep up with the millions of people out to hammer his OS.

          The linux community has more positive developers than malicious coders, as it becomes more commonly used, these numbers will increase proportionately. Unlike MS that has far more people against it than able to fix it.

        • #3291787

          I actually agree with you for the most part

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Misconceptions

          Windows. Yes it cost money & the interface is DECEPTIVELY simple. That means any yahoo can install a working system. Out of the box it works…Securing it and tuning it requires work. Many don’t bother to invest the time and effort to secure it or tune it. XP SP2 (and) Windows 2003 Server is (for the most part) secure out of the box. Many people are now bitching about how much work is involved in ‘un-securing’ it because it ‘broke’ something.

          There are many Peers that offer up good technical & valid arguments about MS Operating system shortcomings – I’m not referring to them, I’m one of them.

          It’s also stable when implemented by the proper hands. ‘Unstable’ Windows installations are usually found on some put together ‘pc’ with the OS being installed by the local neighborhood ‘guru’ that thinks ring 0 is a stain on his collar and the OSI Model is an Australian Bimbo. These are the same people who’s only argument is eeewww don’t use windows…it sucks.

          Linux cost little or nothing, BUT requires work to setup. This costs a diferent kind of money. Probably more in labor & time than a Windows desktop. Yes, Linux will be attacked when it becomes more popular & patches will be supplied. Probably more ‘efficiently’ than Microsoft. I have to wonder about the quality. That remains to be seen.

          One thing I keep saying is that not every patch is critical…or even important. The risk needs to be reviewed. That’s done at each site. Viruses are the same, some are real threats most are just a nuissance. Same for spyware & adware.

          I may see 50 patch ‘recomendations’ but only let two go through to the servers & maybe 5 to workstations. Depends on risk from both views.

          Granted, I’ve already said in previous posts that I’ve only seen the negative results of Linux (As a Security Threat) and implementation risks HOWEVER in the same breath I re-iterate respect for those that have learned (and know) how to articulate a good technical discussion on it’s proper use and implementation. At this time.

          I believe BOTH Linux & Windows have an equal ammount of Nay sayers too….for the same reason actually —> Lack of any REAL product knowledge from the other side of the fence 🙂

        • #3291624

          not so

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          “Linux cost little or nothing, BUT requires work to setup. This costs a diferent kind of money. Probably more in labor & time than a Windows desktop.”

          That’s not really the case. Try installing SuSE some time. These days, out of the box, it’s every bit as easy as Windows, and is far more secure and stable.

        • #3291623


          by house ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          I’ve never actually ran an installation of Suse. I will check it out. One of the things that I suggest for all linux distros, is to hide the custom install from the eyes of users. The mariad of options might scare them away.

        • #3291612

          Apotheon – SuSE

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          I’ve never seen or worked with it……, thanks for mentioning that.

        • #3298176

          SuSE is great

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          I have been using it from around ver. 7.x. My older laptops run 8.x and my regular machines run 9.x.

          I just installed the new 9.2 on a Dell yesterday. Still an excellent distro!!! No problems what so ever with Dell’s newer hardware.


        • #3298173

          Novell Linux Desktop

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          Novell Linux Desktop download and info:
          Powered by SuSe

          Novell SuSE Professional desktop downloads and evals.

          Knock yourself out, but don’t show too many people, they may start changing certs and competeing for our jobs!

        • #3298087

          Thanks (All three of you)

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          Thanks for the feedback & the lead on SuSE….
          Of course we don’t allways agree…but, I value your comments.

          Oh yes….Oz……trust me on the ‘keeping it secret’ part. Even though it’s dressed up….it’s still just a Penguin to me 😉

        • #3298043

          Yeah it’s a pretty fancy tux this time

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          That Novell desktop is really the coolest thing for users. If MS’s had the same functionality, I would like it regardless of who writes or sells it.

        • #3298012

          yo – dafe2 – to try linux easy way..

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          if you are not sure and just want to look at linux, without putting any effort into installing it or ruining an exisiting pc setup config that you are happy with.

          – just d/l and burn
          – insert into PC cd-rom drive
          – boot from cd-rom and away you go

          it’s a very easy and fool proof way to test linux


        • #3298009

          So does Suse and Novell Deskop linux

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          They all pretty much offer a bootable ISO for Linux distros.

          That’s how I sold SuSe successfully, try this for four hours and then remove it and boot into your standard Windows desktop for the next four.

          Talk about a product selling itself!

        • #3297970

          Oz, it’s not about a bootable ISO – you dupe!

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          Knoppix does not requre to be installed. it’s a cd-rom based distro. no installation. you just boot it and you are in linux. they even have pre-set scripts with pretty icons on desktop to help you config. your NIC e.t.c..

          a benefit of it is – you don’t have to mess up you current machine to try out linux. great for playing around with.

        • #3297965

          Wrong term same thing

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          OK well it is downloaded as an ISO file but it is exactly the same as you described, in fact NO different at all.

          You throw the DISK in and boot, it runs Suse Linux right from disk without changing your existing Windows install. When you’ve played long enough (you can even write and modify your open office docs, surf web or whatever you choose) just reboot without the disc in the drive and it boots to your same old Windows version as if nothing changed.

          Is that not what you are referring to?

          Suse Linux Professional Version Live CD- Installation info

          So I suppose as it is an ISO image that you can burn to DVD (1.7GB) or CDROM, (700MB) that you place in the drive and BOOT straight into a SuSE Linux working environment, one could then surmise that it would be a bootable CD.

          Dupe? What’s the difference then?

        • #3297932

          to be perfectly clear

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          Oz is talking about the LiveCD version of SuSE, from SuSE. Yes, there is such a thing. There’s also a Mandrake LiveCD version (which, last I checked, requires the use of a USB “thumb drive”, which is a pretty lame requirement in my opinion) called something like MandrakeMove. The LiveCD Slackware is called SLAX. There are probably very nearly as many LiveCD distros as standard install-only distros, now. You can even get a LiveCD version of FreeBSD called FreeSBIE.

          The kings of LiveCD Linux are pretty much Knoppix and MEPIS. I have a definite preference for MEPIS, personally, over Knoppix, and not just because you can install MEPIS to the hard drive without having to do a web search for command line instructions to install it as you do with Knoppix (and even when you find a command, it may not be the right one for your version of Knoppix). In MEPIS, you just do the obvious, starting with clicking on the installation icon (a blue square with a big ol’ capital letter “i” in the middle of it). Other reasons include better appearance, better desktop setup, and so on. It also boasts better English-speaking community support, which is a plus for me.

          I really don’t use it for anything other than demo purposes, though, as Oz suggests for the LiveCD version of SuSE. MEPIS is fantastic for that.

        • #3301734

          That’s it

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          A real closer for sure.

          I always get it mixed up with Adobe GoLive and I was corrected rather quickly last time I guessed it was SuSE GoLive. Either way though I think it’s just great.

          The Novell desktop is pretty nice too, I prefer it for Novell Linux now, but only because I loved i-Folder when it was new too. As a remote worker most of the time, I found it really portable, even though I don’t use it much now.

        • #3301694

          i gotta try MEPIS

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          sounds like a neat distro. i will give it a shot today. 🙂

        • #3344891

          Whoa up there –

          by dstjulien ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          You really haven’t done a Linux install lately -have you?
          I watched my son-in-law, who is not a computer professional and below “geek” level as a user, do a complete SuSE linux 9.1 Pro install with all kinds of bells and whistles in less than an hour! This included creating his internet connection and setting up his email client.
          The real “gotchas” here are: 1- He has Never had ANY experience with Linux or UNIX; 2- He installed it on top of a broken XP install because he didn’t want to lose any of his data; 3- He didn’t have any major problems using Open Office on any of his Word, Excell or Powerpoint files; 4- He was quite amazed at how similar the windows interface was. He was able to access all his files in the XP drives with little problem and the system updated itself automatically. BTW: Programs that are installed through YAST, ALSO get updated along with the OS!
          The Ximian desktop will do the same only even more thouroughly.
          I am a Linux-for-the-desktop fan but I did not help him to do his install. I wanted to see what the experience was like for a Linux novice. Had a neighbor, older guy, user level computer literacy, who had a simlar experience.
          Maybe you need to hace another look. Things have a tendency to advance very quickly in the open source world.
          I would tend to agree with several other contributors – Linux is a different “plane of existence” the windows. More positive experiences.
          Your comments about security don’t really have the same weight either. One of the other contributors pointed out a couple of important things windows proponents tend to over look. The most important flaw is windows biggest feature – the apps are tied directly into the OS as is the browser and some of the flash – like Active-X. Sure- it makes for a great game platform but it is an open invitation to malicious outside attacks. That is like leaving all the doors and windows on your house open and advertising on the TV that its available for anyone to walk in. And that is on the desktop. If that desktop is in a MS network – double jeopardy with no way out!
          Bottom line – Yes – as Linux grows in use and popularity there will be an ncrease in secutiry breaches but it will never have the same amount of security problems that windows has. It is a fact based on archetecture.

        • #3344794

          Open doors and w**dows?

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I actually agree with you for the most part

          Thought TR might start editing that word soon.

          I use both so I can’t complain but I also kno whow to keep my system running,some of the time anyway.

          I wouldn’t say it is like open doors and w**dows but I like to refer to it as “locking the screen door and leaving the front door open.”

          Windows isn’t THAT easy for many to hack without any skills or a web search but pretty darn close.

          As for XD2 the older version of KDE in XD2 would boot slow and was a resource hog, it didn’t work too well with older Ximian I found. Now they they are utilizing KDE 3.3 and offering the download for older users it is WAY faster than it used to be.

        • #3346547

          Shameful FUD; not what I’ve seen

          by toth ·

          In reply to Beware!!!

          Shame on you for citing FUTURE problems in LINUX while even Microsoft contemplates making money on softwatre to shore up its many security FEATURES.

          (Almost like racketeering? Sell a product then sell the security fix while delaying the software patch. Anyone know of a good Ambulance Chaser?)

          As to the difficulty in learning Linux — this last December three non-Eng, non-Science, Liberal Arts majors all had/have major 0wnership issues. On the worst one the cracker was VNC watching me early on starting to scrub the box! For the short term while recovering user files off of the disk before reformat and install of a new patched OS the client booted Knoppix 3.6 without any support calls for the following week, though I had left a copy of _Moving to Linux_ for the interim.

          They now have a patched XP SP2, but they asked to PAY for a SuSE Professional 9.2 distro and have me install it for a dual boot machine so they can use LINUX for the Internet security.

          I do not say that Linux is perfect, but just like the staory of the two guys in the woods with a bear after them; the two guys know they only have to be faster than the other guy.

          Fortunately, Linux distros are positioned as alternatives to Microsoft’s Windows record and not Solaris.

      • #3346478

        Min wage? Not for me.

        by mmartine ·

        In reply to fine ..!!!

        I AM a trainer, and a good one, too. And I definitely make more than minimun wage. A lack of proper training on any system, closed or open, will waste nearly every IT dollar spent on upgrades or new projects. Many enterprise upgrades to newer MS servers/os/office are wasted because users never received any training. It really has nothing to do with whether the technology is closed or open.

        As enterprises integrate systems, training budgets can no longer be dis-integrated budgetary fifedoms. Training should automatically be a part of any IT upgrade or new project. HR and IT need to work together on this. Training should generally fall under HR anyway, so that the approach is enterprise-wide. Training shouldn’t be left to individual departments anymore, just like pre-integration departmental systems are no longer used.

    • #3298422


      by dafe2 ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it


      • #3317014

        re: Yawn

        by robdew ·

        In reply to *yawn*

        Do you swallow?


        • #3316838

          No, But your wife does or maybe it was your mommie..

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to re: Yawn

          anyway…she loved it.

          I’ve read some of your comments to others here ‘marcus’, your kind is not welcome – Nor is that fetish you seem to have with ‘the behind.’

        • #3294348


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to No, But your wife does or maybe it was your mommie..

          And tell the rat bag to take a bath before she leaves your house next time. She stunk up my back seat! Unless she stopped to make a buck on the way over, she did have her own smokes and own gas money for once.

          Now if I could only get her to go home!

    • #3298324

      NIcely said

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      I agree, I have installed Real VNC with SUSE desktops throughout all 4 company’s I have converted last year.

      I remote from home (used to have their central VoIP PBX at home), the user calls myextension on their phone, it rings at my home, I log into thier workstationa d walk them through the fix as I or they do it. Piece of cake, the user thought it was the coolest thing EVER! Push a button and get LIVE support on your desktop? Plus I had a tonne of time not needing to worry about the servers and could focus it on getting to know the folks that worked there, great for the social scene, ws invited to many parties, weddings, birthdays, retirements etc. All without leaving the house most of the time, 4 hour day with an afternoon kayak or maybe an afternoon at the pub, all while on the clock.

      • #3299317

        (Your) scene is not unique

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to NIcely said


        You’ve just described a properly Managed Microsoft Environment.

        However, I prefer TightVNC or Termserv, I skip the weddings and use a Cigarette Boat instead of the Kayak.

        Can’t agree on everything. No fun then. 🙂

        • #3299124

          Cigarette Boat

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to (Your) scene is not unique

          Youd be dead or in jail in about 15 minutes up here.

          They even make the float planes CRAWL around so as not to disturb the chorelines of the hevily protected smaller islands. Some require prior permission form the P&R board, then they will only allow 6 people on the island at a time, will go straight there and check it when you leave and before the nest 6 can go. You can’t even walk off the footpaths without getting a fine from a stray bootprint.

          They nixed the fast cat ferries, a big financial scam, as they were causing too much wash on the shores (in far more populated area) and disturbing the residents who already live by a massive car ferry crossing with multiple ferries back and forth all day.

          A Cigarette Boat would last 15 minutes, if a whale didn’t take it out first that is. Hit one of them and you’d know it! Well…you probably wouldn’t, after you came to. We let Washington have the power boat races in thier waters, we have the world famous annual bathtub race instead.

        • #3299121

          It’s the same here on the Bay….(of Fundy).

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Cigarette Boat

          We just run it on the river & a few lakes…

          One of the Cruise ships hit a whale this summer an that made the headlines for about a week.

          On the other hand, we’re a little more family oriented than Don Aronow & his crowd too. I don’t run it hard ennough (most times) to leave much more than a scrub brush wake anyway, it wastes to much Wine & Beer. I also snore louder than the exhaust system I had customized on it:-)

    • #3298315

      Nervous of Linux Support

      by jweaver ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      Ok call me crazy, but yes, my biggest fear in the past was whether or not if I went through the process of not only proving that Linux could be a better and cheaper way of cutting costs and still remain functional was proving if whoever we bought the product from would be there from now on. Now that Novell has gotten into the picture I will be looking deeper into it and possibly going to my Boss and his Boss and the Board Members with why I believe this would be a wise practical move. Can anyone give me a number of reasons of how and why I should stick my neck out for this change, and if so, could I depend on your support 24/7 365? Let me know, like I said, since Novell has now gotten heavy in the Big Show, hope now I can finally explain why Linux is the way we should take our Corporation.

      • #3298313

        You don’t need our support

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Nervous of Linux Support

        First of all the number shows the cost differences, and this will vary dependin gon your organization.

        As for 24/7/365 support it is always there as it is an open source product still and NOvell supports it too.

        The Novell knoeledgebase has always been top notch.

        Is the MS knowledgebase a suitable enough for all of your IT questions?

        How much free support will MS offer the company at 4AM if your weekend rollout doesn’t go too well? Novell offers free setup suport for Suse and will follow through with it, on the phone with an engineer.

        The issue you need to put forth to the boss is, how important does he deem HIS PERSONAL workstation files?

        Does he know HIS computer may be hacked or tracked without his prior consent, regardless of network security?

        Bottom line:
        They usually don’t care about user issues, startup costs or anything at that point, a C lever employee always deems HIS/HER work more important than the company itself.

        There is a MUCH lower chance of this with Linux though.


      • #3298305

        You answered your own question:

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to Nervous of Linux Support

        “if I went through the process of not only proving that Linux could be a better and cheaper way of cutting costs and still remain functional”

        “and still remain functional”

        I’ll assume by this statement all your Server Apps will run as they should and your speaking of NOVELL.

        If you can do that, then it just comes down to money…..and…..politics. Don’t forget the users, you don’t want to turn x ammount of users against you. They WILL make or break your implementation.

        As far as support, Microsoft & Novell are about the same. As far as the technology implementor check the references & make sure your comfortable.

        As far as cost savings, I’m an MS Implementor, and have issues with the way the numbers are thrown out there by BOTH sides……you know what they say about opinions.

      • #3298297

        few thoughts..

        by secure_lockdown9 ·

        In reply to Nervous of Linux Support

        first of all – don’t try to instigate a change without understanding the business your employer is in and where it’s going.

        converting network infrastructure vendors is a big deal and generally – a major commitment as well. the last thing you want to do is put these people on a path on which 5 years down the road they don’t want to be on. they will blame you for failures and fire you for it. it’s commonly known as a CLM – career limiting move!

        decisions like that are best left to CIO’s who work more closely with C-level company exec’s. they usually have a better view of the big picture from their vantage point.

        • #3298293

          CRM with the CIO and the CFO

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to few thoughts..

          Will prohibit the CLM. Exactly right.

      • #3304811


        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Nervous of Linux Support

        not only from the tech you deal with but from the distro itself, and the users.

        red hat:
        yellow dog:
        free bsd:

        the list could go on. the best part of linux / irix/ free bsd is the community support that comes free, and is 24/7/356.25. the users of any distribution are around the world so someone is always up and working using the same os.

        this isn’t even including things like ldp ( linux documentation project ) where every official doc for all linux apps are collected in one place.
        ( ) it doesn’t matter who wrote the open source app, or where you got it, they wil have the docs there in almost all cases. ( volunteer driven and it is hard to get documentation on several million apps collected, translated, and current in one place )

        • #3304770

          once again….

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to support…..

          our users use MS WinXP. Our user are well aware of the MS web site and the famous KB support. i think the MS KB is quite good, easy to read, easy to navigate, and very easy to understand.

          Do you think users bother to seach the MS KB’s for answers to their problems? nope – they automatically call level 1 tech support. and you can’t tell them “just search the MS site.” otherwise you are not doing your job and as the local on site “tech support/expert” –> it’s in your job scope to provide IT related support to staff that need it.

          now with that in mind – what are the odd’s users are going to bother reading linux HOWTOs???? please – be realistic before you post.

        • #3304576

          Speaking of…

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to once again….

          Your first two paragraphs contradict each other, making your third rather hilarious.

        • #3304568

          not really…

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to Speaking of…

          i can keep showing users every day where to get help on the MS site – they will still call level 1 support. it’s called, “not giving a flying f&*k!”. as long as there is someone they can call and get help – they will not bother to do it for themselves.

        • #3304560


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to not really…

          I think you have your context wrong – My interpretation of the previous postings was that they are looking not for end user support, but for product support for the techies.

        • #3299139

          Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to And…?

          that’s what I read in the question.

          after all, microsoft certified SALES executives aka mcse ( according to university networking proffessor I know )can’t be expected to know anything about a truly posix and ieee compliant os. ( since ms can’t seem to meet any standards not set by them )

        • #3317164


          by house ·

          In reply to And…?

          Sorry. Everytime I say the name of that organization, I get a chuckle. When it comes up in a conversation, usually the other person looks at me like I’m a moron. IEEE. hehe

          Just snapping the mood in these dim threads. 🙂

        • #3316907

          Throw your clients off

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to And…?

          This gets em everytime.

          Instead of saying IEEE or (‘eye-triple E’)
          Say AIYEEEEE!!! as if in some Asian martial arts movie. They usually step away carefully and leave you to it at that point.

          Oh I love shock value. If someone doesn’t know what to make of you, you win.

    • #3299271

      You should have called this ‘Upgrading XP to Linux”

      by peter_es_uk ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      IMHO Linux has so many advantages that there is no question about which operating system I prefer both for servers and for desktop use.

      Software today is developing much faster than many businesses need – I have clients who are still profitably using programs I wrote a decade ago. I hate having to scrap applications because a new version 0f windows is not backwards compatible or because a new version of office has broken something written in the previous release.

      • #3299135

        Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to You should have called this ‘Upgrading XP to Linux”

        is that something like..

        I was told to upgrade and I bought a mac?


        since a mac lover reviewed the ppc linux distros and said it runs his mac g5 better than osx does.

    • #3313928

      My limited experience

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      I am by no means a Linux guru. Not even close. But I decided to evaluate Linux for myself, after hearing about all the advatages. The only disatvatage I had heard of was th learning curve.

      So I stared with a laptop that I had been runnig Windows XP on just fine. Then I downloaded Linux from Red Hat. Here are the problems I encountered.

      1. The Linux distribution takes up about 4 times the disk space as XP.
      2. Linux took at least twice as long to load as XP.
      3. The machine that was powerful enough to run XP was not powerful enough to run the Linux GUI.
      4. XP was about 30 patches. This Linux distribution had over 260 patches.
      5. My wirelss adapter was not supported by Linux.

      I’m not convinced it is a better OS.

      • #3313849

        My input

        by choppit ·

        In reply to My limited experience

        1. The *full* RH install is much larger than Win XP. But then the full install includes 1000’s of applications, source code that XP doesn’t. You don’t have to install everything, that’s what the custom install option is for.

        2. Yes, in my experience RH does take longer to load than XP on the same box.

        3. I don’t know what spec your system is, but I run RH9/ Gnome on a Celeron 300Mhz 256MB box adequately.

        4. A *full* RH install has *many* more applications to patch.

        5. Wireless support is sketchy under Linux because most wireless card manufacturers are not *yet* writing drivers for Linux. There are a number of open source projects developing wireless drivers but chipset information is withheld by the chipset manufacturers.

        I’m also not convinced Linux is a better OS just as I’m not convinced that a Porsche Boxster is a better car than a Range Rover………

        • #3301620

          Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to My input

          for bluetooth enabled wireless.
          included with newer releases.

          bare bones, munimum install to match windows, comes in at under 500 megs. windows 1 gig.

          to add the options for multilanguage support ( server type thing for international user base ) and more apps for additional tools ( not sources ) 3 gigs.
          install absolutely everything, including untarred sources to hack on, 6 gigs.

          do you need to have the sources for everything installed? no
          every language? doubtful.
          every possible app? no. ( what are you going to do with 18 desktops, and 3 or more office suites.
          11 web browsers, 15 chat clients, 6 email clients, 6 news readers )

          though, since most people don’t rtfm they don’t realise what they are installing when they click everything.

        • #3318454

          Less than 500MB . . . ?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          Saying that an installation of Linux to match Windows out of the box is less than 500MB is somewhat pessimistic. I’ve done it in under 200MB (not counting swap space), and it was exceedingly easy to do (with Debian).

          I’ve set up Linux servers that were running at around 138MB on the hard drive (again, not counting swap space).

          Meanwhile, I have a Windows workstation here (which I almost never use) that has nothing “extra” installed on it but the metric arseload of necessary security tools for any Windows system I set up, a software design environment, and an office suite. I didn’t even include standard Windows goodies like Solitaire and Mine Sweeper. This machine is using about 2.5GB, not counting data files and swap space. God forbid I should want to install Command And Conquer on the thing.

        • #3346278

          Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          by choppit ·

          In reply to Less than 500MB . . . ?

          They write games for Windows? ;o)

        • #3346201

          Reply To: Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Less than 500MB . . . ?

          okay so it can actually be done with 100 megs or less, wasn’t trying to really freak windows only people out.
          ( 50 megs, dead minimum install, only console, no servers, other than nfs )

      • #3346226

        here we go

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to My limited experience

        1. You must have done the full install. In Linux, unlike Windows, “full install” is never what you want. A “full install” of a complete corporate distribution like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE, and so on, includes loads of stuff you’ll never use on the same computer at the same time. Imagine running a machine with a mail server, a web server, a database server, a fax server, a Windows domain server (yes, Linux can do that), a complete firewall and IDS solution, a print server, a router, a NAT server, a Telnet server, an FTP server, a metric arseload of games, and a complete desktop environment beyond the capabilities of everything Microsoft has ever developed [b]all on one machine[/b]. Why would you do such a thing? The answer is simple: you wouldn’t. Of course, any distribution that offers that “full install” capability (particularly if the full install is the default) is what I refer to as a “kitchen sink distribution”. That is to say, it installs everything, including the kitchen sink. If you made different choices with the Red Hat install, you could have easily gotten it in under half the hard drive space required for a bare-bones Windows install.

        2. Define “load”. With all that crap running from a full install, I wouldn’t be surprised. By the way, in case you didn’t get my point when I mentioned it in 1. above, I’ll tell you more clearly: The OS itself, even if you include the GUI environment in that, is actually very small. All the rest of what you would have to have installed to get four times the size of Windows is [b]extra software[/b]. Trying to blame hard drive size on poor OS design when the extra space used is for [b]optional[/b] software that Windows doesn’t provide is ridiculous.

        3. Nonsense. You probably just didn’t get the right video drivers. You can run basically any Linux GUI environment on an 8-bit video card if need be. Try that with Windows XP. I dare ya.

        4. There have been more than 30 patches released since XP hit the market. By the way . . . how old was that Red Hat distro you used? How many patches, for instance, do you think Windows 95 would have associated with it if Microsoft actually showed some responsibility about supporting its software? Also, of course, there’s the simple fact that what you’re referring to as OS patches is probably actually a collection of [b]absolutely free upgrades[/b] to [b]absolutely free software[/b] that does stuff that [b]Windows doesn’t even allow[/b].

        5. I find it hard to believe that your wireless network adapter isn’t supported. It may not automatically load drivers, but that’s more a matter of the wireless adapter not supporting Windows well enough for it to be included in the standard kernel modules. Besides, it may be that it was supported and you just didn’t know how to check properly. Did you try the lspci command to see what peripherals were recognized by the system? In any case, I have to ask again how old the Red Hat distro was that you were testing. To re-use my previous example comparison, if you tried loading Windows 95 on a system with a wireless network adapter, you could bet your gonads it wouldn’t be recognized hardware.

      • #3346205

        I wouldn’t be either

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to My limited experience

        if I had run into, or even heard of someone (other than yorself) having such issues I would think the same.

        As it is, alomst ANY linux distro will run a FULL set of desktop tools AND software from a single standard 750MB CDROM. YOu can run them as LIve distros off a disk and never even change your existing Windows install in fact, just boot from the CD and use it (most of it) as if it was installed.

        Apotheon was bang on I think , you have probably installed just about every compaitible pruduct WITH your Linux install. Unlike MS where a full install means you added Pinball, a full install of Linux IS a FULL install, in fact you can use that same FREE distro to build your entire network and it’s operating system.

        WHen was the last time you tried to run a MS desktop, Exchange server and AD from a desktop?

        With Linux you can. For the same price as the desktop OS, FREE.

        As for the learning curve you feared before, Newer versions of Linux has such a similar GUI environment, that curve is usually a few second as you realize it looks JUST like windows and works just as easily.

        Linux is NOT a handful, at one time it was a little harder, not anymore though. If you know Windows, even as a novice, you will have NO problems figuring out the new Linux distros.

    • #3313859

      My opinion… In a “net-shell”

      by house ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      Considering there are several threads that are dipping into the same topic, I’ve decided to post my answer over here as well.

      I don’t feel like rewriting or copying and pasting my post… I’ve already said enough about the topic.

      • #3313792


        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to My opinion… In a “net-shell”

        Good luck….tough crowd huh?

        • #3317163


          by house ·

          In reply to Heheh

          It reminds me of a Euchre game…

          I’ll lay down a King in the trump suit…

          They’ll lay down an Ace in an off suit…

          Claiming that their card is higher than mine, they failed to understand…

          a) what was lead

          b) what suit is trump

          c) the actual concept of the game

          d) they’ve got that suit in their hands, but don’t want to admit it 🙂

        • #3317142


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Analogy


        • #3316912

          or a game of poker with Mother Goose cards

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to LOL

          Four people bring decks of mother goose cards to a poker game and insist they should be used because they are used to the pictures and the plain old two red and two black suits with all those clubs and diamonds on them are just too much for the others to adjusct to.

          They insist that everyone uses moether goose cardsbecaus ethey are used to humpty not the 8 of diamonds and it is just too daunting a task to remeber the new patterns.

          Now you COULD use a deck of real cards and mother goose poker chips with them or you could use mother goose cards and a set of real poker chips.

          I think the real cards would make for a better game overall though.

        • #3294397

          The farmers daughter

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to or a game of poker with Mother Goose cards

          If the customer wants to play with mother goose you play with mother goose…especially if one of the players is the farmers daughter.

          We all know it’s the farmer that sets the standard & he’s (ultimately) the one that has to be happy……………not the dealers or even the players.

        • #3294351

          That wasn’t my point

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to The farmers daughter

          An IT employee is a person who should bring tools and knowledge to the organization, these tools and this knowledge has alwasy been respected in my experience. If I put a case together stating why something is better, they usually hear me out and either request more info or act on my suggestion.

          As for the farmers daughter f*** her! Once the farmer finds out she’s a cheap slut and doesn’t know what she’s talking about the farmer will listen to the farm hand he’s hired instead.

        • #3294338

          You missed mine too Oz

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to The farmers daughter

          My point was: We’ll be having the same argument ten years from now, the farmer will be more demanding & his daughter will be probably be caring for two lonely Penguins or cleaning dirty Windows.

          I’ll be retired, sitting on a beach sipping fine drinks and bitching about something or other anyway.

          As you suggested awhile back, this has all become just a bunch of useless drivle. 🙂

          PS – Marcus called, he’s still looking for his wife?

        • #3294283

          I was just playing

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to The farmers daughter

          Ahh, I was just playing with analogies no big deal.

          As for Marcus’ wife, tell him to wave a steak (or rattle a box of KD) out the trailer window, she’ll be home soon.

          GO HAVE SOME FUN! 😀

    • #3317107

      How many support staff?

      by m.r. ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      Nicely written post btw. I’m curious about the IT dept. You say about 180 total stations and then talk about a staff and help desk. Maybe you just meant help desk type questions but it sounds like you had plenty of staff to help make the conversion possible. Big step though, given it was done a few years ago. I’m less concerned with user break-in as I am with app compat. I’m also a little surprised about the non use of antivirus on the Linux boxes. I know most viri hit Windows but thier still out there. I do like the comment about there being several Linux “versions” and not having a central support source. Yes I’ve used Linux and yes it is more stable but it still seems odd to me that an open source?, patched by who?, supported by who?, what site should I get the patch from? and that nice Linux geek in Timbuktu that helped me get all this setup-can’t find him. Maybe someone else in the “community” will be kind again.

      Now before you Linux hair stands on end:
      I’m not loving Bill and hating Linus.
      I’m looking for clear answers to how this all works when I have 100’s of Linux boxes that won’t run a business app after a patch. I know it happens all the time to MS stations. Are any of you getting single source boxed Linux or is it all just grad a version and hope it’s the right one?

    • #3316916

      How many support staff?

      by m.r. ·

      In reply to Linux on the Desktop at work and worth it

      Nicely written post btw. I’m curious about the IT dept. You say about 180 total stations and then talk about a staff and help desk. Maybe you just meant help desk type questions but it sounds like you had plenty of staff to help make the conversion possible. Big step though, given it was done a few years ago. I’m less concerned with user break-in as I am with app compat. I’m also a little surprised about the non use of antivirus on the Linux boxes. I know most viri hit Windows but thier still out there. I do like the comment about there being several Linux “versions” and not having a central support source. Yes I’ve used Linux and yes it is more stable but it still seems odd to me that an open source?, patched by who?, supported by who?, what site should I get the patch from? and that nice Linux geek in Timbuktu that helped me get all this setup-can’t find him. Maybe someone else in the “community” will be kind again.

      Now before you Linux hair stands on end:
      I’m not loving Bill and hating Linus.
      I’m looking for clear answers to how this all works when I have 100’s of Linux boxes that won’t run a business app after a patch. I know it happens all the time to MS stations. Are any of you getting single source boxed Linux or is it all just grad a version and hope it’s the right one?

      • #3294326

        linux stuff

        by secure_lockdown9 ·

        In reply to How many support staff?

        re: viruses —> i run anti-virus on Linux. I run ClamAV. pretty good AV app.

        re: linux versions, i would stick to one distro if i was going to do it. you will have a more homogeneus network – will be easier to support.

        i have seen guys posting stuff about running windows apps on linux. i haven’t done it yet – but i have a feeling you are probably better off finding a linux comparable app that will do what the windows app did.

        • #3294293

          you’re right

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to linux stuff

          It’s better to just run a comparable application that runs on Linux, generally speaking. There are cases where you may not be able to, or may not want to, though. For such instances, there are a number of Windows-compatible sandboxes you can install on Linux to allow you to run Windows-platform applications. The two most popularly known, I would think, are WINE and CrossoverOffice (don’t let the “office” bit make you think it only works for office applications, especially since OpenOffice is in many ways better than MS Office).

          Win4Lin is another option along those lines that is rapidly gaining ground. VMWare actually allows you to run full installs of Linux and Windows on the same machine at the same time (no need to reboot to switch between them). Of course, I’ve heard it said that using VMWare introduces the stability of Windows to the Linux environment, so that may not be such a great plan. It would be better, I’d think, to do what I do: I have multiple workstations connected to a single set of keyboard, monitor, and pointing device (trackball, in my case) by way of a KVM switch.

          Regarding virus protection in Linux:
          There are a number of reasons that antivirus software is all but useless on Linux (or, for that matter, any Unix, though not all of the reasons that apply to Linux apply to all Unices). First and, perhaps, foremost is the fact that a virus has to have user permissions to do anything in Linux. This greatly reduces the ability of malware in general (not just viruses) to wreak havoc with your system, especially since unlike Windows XP a Linux system doesn’t neuter its users when they aren’t signed in under the root (administrator) account, though it provides better protection for the OS.

          The open source software development model allows for much faster fixing of exploits, as well. Any kind of malware, viruses included, requires some kind of vulnerability to exploit: because the turn-around time on software vulnerabilities in the open source world is often measured in mere hours, contrasted with the months that such things often take at Microsoft, this means that a lot of malware created to affect Linux will become obsolete almost as quickly as it is released into the wild. All you have to do is keep your software patches up to date, and virus activity will generally never even get to you before your computer is rendered immune by design, rather than simply protected by an extra resource-hungry application (or suite of applications).

          Another reason that viruses aren’t so much of a problem in Linux is the way the applications and the OS interact. For the most part, they don’t. In Windows, basically every application (whether created by Microsoft or not) interacts very closely with the rendering engine of Internet Explorer. This is because that rendering engine is also the basis of a lot of the GUI’s functionality, having been closely integrated with the OS several years ago. Viruses are essentially incapable of being spread from one computer to another without going through an application but, because applications on Windows are so intimately tied to integral parts of the OS, viruses are a huge problem for Windows. On Linux, the OS is a stand-alone thing unto itself. Applications sorta sit on top of it, rather than sinking roots deep in the OS. As a result, even if/when a virus got to an application on Linux, it would basically just sit there. It would have a very difficult time doing anything outside that application, and wouldn’t really be able to affect the system. All it could really do is affect files that the application in question modifies as a matter of normal operation and, in the case of communications software, send itself elsewhere.

          In this manner, then, the most devastating virus attack in Unix history (ages ago: Windows didn’t even exist at the time) didn’t even really do anything to the computers it found its way onto. All it did was replicate itself and send itself. The “damage” it did was by using up network bandwidth and hard drive space. This problem was corrected pretty much immediately, and there haven’t since that time been any more Unix viruses that have been able to have that sort of affect. Aside from demonstrating that a virus basically doesn’t affect Unix systems (including Linux), this also points to another interesting fact: While Windows virus problems are getting worse daily, the originally almost nonexistent Unix virus problems have been evaporating over time.

          I’m sure there are many other reasons that viruses don’t affect Linux the way they do Windows, but I’ll leave you with only one more:

          Because of all the difficulties above in getting a virus to actually do anything at all, and the fact that Linux systems are much less “loose” in their default security settings than Windows machines, people who write malware pretty much ignore Linux. It’s just too difficult a target to bother with, generally speaking. As a result, there simply aren’t any Unix viruses to worry about, and there is thus little reason to bother with antivirus software on Linux. ClamAV was written for Linux not to protect Linux, but to run on Linux mailservers so that mail could be cleaned out before being sent to Windows clients. I’m sure that if there’s ever a major Linux virus epidemic, ClamAV and/or its cousins will protect against such things, but there isn’t any such epidemic now, nor do I expect there will be.

          There’s an old running gag (about as old as the Windows virus problem) among Unix users. It involves sending an email to all your friends that says something like this:

          “This is the Unix virus. The Unix virus operates on the honor system. In order for this to work, you should send copies of this email to everyone in your contact list. Once that is done, delete a bunch of random files from your computer. When that’s done, go commiserate with Windows users.”

        • #3294076


          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to you’re right

          that’s a purdy good post there – buddy! 🙂

          i might have to steal/plagurize it and post it on my real site! 🙂

          but here’s what scares me…

          most of our security related problems pretty much stem from users security indifference when on the windows OS. no anti-virus, no anti-spyware, no firewall, no patching, no updating. natuarally, you get security breaches and problems.

          what will happen when these same users get duped by Linux vendors trying to make a buck – into making the switch from the Windows OS to a Linux OS because it’s “more secure”. so now you got millions and millions of Linux systems – with yet again – security indifferent users who don’t pay attention to patching, updating, firewalls e.t.c…

          EXCEPT – these Linux systems run so many other services and can do so much more than lets say Win98 or WinXP Home edition. What now?

          The stupid user will still be there if Linux picks up pace in the desktop market!

        • #3291750

          true, but . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to hah…!!!

          Linux is still a more secure fundamental OS design than Windows. It’s true that Linux could become more regularly compromised than it currently is, by virtue of an influx of moronic users, but it would be pretty hard pressed to ever approach the ubiquitous security nightmare that Windows provides with those same users on it.

          I can maintain a reasonably secure Windows system. Reasonably secure is as secure as Windows is capable of getting. Halfwits that are apathetic about security at best would probably render their Linux systems just shy of “reasonably” secure. Even default installs of Linux with zero security precautions take upwards of six months, generally, to get compromised in any way: a comparably unprotected Windows machine, left in default configuration (except that all current patches are downloaded), tends to only last a few hours before it gets compromised. Considering that much of the hell we have to put up with on the Internet, including spam, is supported by the prevalence of zombie Windows systems that have been compromised and turned into malware servers, I’m all for moving the morons to a more secure system: it’ll cut down on the amount of spam I have to set up filters to block.

          Something interesting just occurred to me: It looks like the speed with which Windows gets compromised in default configuration is equivalent to the speed with which Linux gets patched when a vulnerability is discovered. Meanwhile, the long time it takes Linux to get compromised if unprotected is roughly equivalent to the long time it often takes Microsoft to release a patch for a critical vulnerability.

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