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My boss is afraid of Linux - How to break through the fear

By faradhi ·
My company is a Microsoft shop. We are pretty much forced into Microsoft because all the CPA software we use requires Microsoft. This has prevented any move to Linux at the server or desktop level.

That said, I have recently had the opportunity to provide some solutions through Linux. I have a user who wants to blog internally. I also needed a new system inventory system for 60 pc's. Rather that spending money on a new server and software, I decided to install LFS and build the system from the ground up. I used Wordpress for the blogging (Had no choice the user likes wordpress) and OCS Inventory NG for the system inventory.

Once I built the system, my boss turns around and says he is not comfortable with using Linux. I have not had time to ask him why. However, the two biggest benefits would be:
1)No software licensing costs. I thought that would cinch it. We save a couple thousand a year on Belarc.
2)With LFS, the OS overhead is so low we do not have to purchase server class hardware. I used a desktop that has a Pentium 4 2.6 GHz Processor with 1 GB memory and 60 GB harddrive. Since this is not a mission critical applications, I felt it was unnecessary to purchase a server. Besides, we are looking to virtualize some if not all our systems and planned to move this machine to a virtualized environment when that occurs.

Now I understand the reluctance to put in production something that "only I know". However, I documented everything carefully, I have the version of LFS with all the documentation needed to recreate my work if ever needed. I documented what packages I installed and their verisons. Saved all the Tarballs with the documetation on how to install. I have documented all the special configurations along with the configuration files. When I get backups running I will document those as well. So anyone that can follow ABC instructions can reproduce my work.

I also understand that this adds another skill set to look for if and when I leave.

I fear this might become a greater issue as we move into virtualization with VMware which is Linux based.

I guess what I am asking is what more can I do to set my bosses fears aside?

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by sgt_shultz In reply to My boss is afraid of Linu ...

well, you really do need to talk to the boss.
my 2 cents: you can't do much more than documenting the heck out of it, which you have done. you could maybe train somebody else real quick and that might help assuage the boss's fears. but i think it might be non-rational fear and you might have to take another tack. Boss wants it on windows? so add it up for her, maybe that will change her mind.

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Ask him

by Tig2 In reply to My boss is afraid of Linu ...

I have been a Linux advocate for some time. Partner? Not so much. Through some VERY careful conversation, he is beginning to get past his fear and use Open Source tools- for now, on his Windows desktop.

By taking the problem on in small, easily digestible stages, he is coming to understand the value proposition of a Linux system.

I wouldn't say that I am anti-Microsoft, just that I am pro-Open Source where it makes sense. The question isn't one of "which is better?" but rather "which serves my needs better?" Your cost analysis should include points like avoidance and the value of the documentation.

And he doesn't have to look far to find fully qualified people with Linux in their skill set. I came to Linux because I like command line Unix and can get something remarkably close while still using a GUI when I need to.

Finally, the old model of being a particular kind of shop- Microsoft, IBM, whatever- is slowly fading away. There is an awareness of the need to be agnostic in your architecture so that you retain flexibility. Another selling point, perhaps.

Good Luck!

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