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  • #2257565

    Which Linux is the best for business?


    by jasonhiner ·

    A new TechRepublic poll asks, “Which Linux distribution do think is best suited for business use?

    Red Hat/Fedora

    What do you think and why?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3277039

      which one?

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      the three best for business use are:
      Debian, Slakware, Gentoo.
      the rest are crap for business use.
      Ubuntu, set the security to a FLAWED model destroying the Debian security certification in the process.
      SuSe, a completely non standards compliant rip off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is also non standards compliant.
      Red Hat’s Fedor is the HOME version, using that in a business is like using windows xp home as corporate desktop, pure stupidity.

      I would pick Debian for ease of install, but I would pick Slak or Gentoo for the realistic dependancies in the packages.
      [ Debian says that all optional addon components to KDE are required to install KDE. GNOME, the default for Debian, is a macos clone gui, and is just as bloated as windows, macos and KDE are ]

      • #2532655


        by r1scfactor ·

        In reply to which one?

        While your preference is your own, and the end result –
        could- be true of which system is best, several of the
        arguments for that are flawed many times over.

        1) SuSE is standards based

        2) RedHat is standards based

        3) Many standards come from RedHat, which is one factor
        why other distributions support RPM, the RedHat Package

        4) SuSE is one of the top NON-BSD distributions out there,
        as far as security is concerned.

        5) RedHat Enterprise Linux is one of the top distributions
        as far as security. It does however, have its issues
        configuring, such as running dual network cards and
        wanting to run dual gateway settings. Since RedHat 9, the
        systems seem to ignore the second interface’s settings for
        gateway IP’s.

        6) Fedora Core is not the HOME version of anything. It is
        the community branch of RedHat. After RedHat 9, the
        distribution was split between Fedora Core and RHEL.
        Fedora does, however, include bleeding edge releases –
        some of which are not tested as well as those making it
        into an Enterprise edition. These installations are however,
        documented as unstable or untested and are optional.
        Much of the software in RHEL came from the Fedora Core
        project, after extensive testing. RHEL GETS ITS SOFTWARE
        FROM FEDORA!

        7) Gnome is a Mac OS clone GUI? Have you ever used a
        mac? From your statement, you’ve not even SEEN a mac.
        I’ve used Mac and Linux for more than 10 years, including
        Debian and it’s NEVER looked like Mac OS (OS or OS X).

        8) Dependencies will always exist. KDE programs depend
        on KDE. Gnome apps depend on Gnome. Windows
        software depends on you running Windows. Mac software
        depends on you using a Mac. JAVA software depends on
        you running JAVA. Chatter about “Optional addons to KDE
        are required to install KDE” is nonsense. While the addons
        may require KDE, KDE does not require addons.

        9) If you’re running a server, most professionals in the
        industry don’t install anything more than what is needed –
        which includes NOT installing a GUI.

        10) Each system shines for its own reasons.

        Now for my 2 cents on picking a distro…

        First, let’s identify 2 major breeds. Those that are based
        on BSD and those that are not.

        Traditionally, BSD is a bit more hardened on the kernel
        level than the Linux kernel, but such structure impedes
        the top performance speeds as compared to a Linux
        kernel. Point being, an optimized Linux kernel will run
        faster than an optimized BSD kernel on the exact same
        hardware. How much faster is a matter of need and use.
        For some, kernel security outranks pure speed.

        Don’t get me wrong, the Linux kernel can and has been
        made very secure. Also note that a less secure kernel does
        not automatically = a less secure system. Kernel wrappers
        are just one of many methods to compensate for and
        possibly even rival the security of a BSD based system.

        Debian is traditionally based on BSD. Mac OS X is also
        based on BSD, with a MACH kernel. RedHat is based on
        the Linux kernel. Currently, it is unrealistic to expect the
        ability to just drop in the alternate kernel into the
        remainder of another distribution – for example, Mac OS X
        cannot just use a Linux kernel and RedHat cannot just use
        a BSD kernel. Such hooks or branches could be a benefit,
        but the extra hooks, assuming references to the other
        kernel hooks aren’t removed, also introduces new avenues
        for possible exploit.

        As a CEH, I have no allegiance to a single distribution.
        Most distributions CAN be MADE or TWEAKED into a
        stable, secure environment. Some distributions are
        however, less secure than others, using the default
        installation. Again, if security is your focus, you’ll want to
        defer to someone knowledgable or spend time learning
        how to secure your systems before using it as something
        mission critical.

        Ubuntu is aimed at making Linux very easy for the end
        user. Its out of the box setup can be closely compared to
        a Windows XP installation out of the box, excluding the
        Windows specific adware, spyware, and virii.

        Let it be said, that NO SYSTEM can or will always be 100%
        safe or 100% perfect. Exploits exist for everything.
        Everything secure will also be probed for exploit until
        someone manages to break it.

        For those of you who are serious about using Linux, you
        are encouraged to try several distros. The ease of setting
        up (installing, not the configuring part) should NOT affect
        the appropriateness of the resulting systems performance.
        The difficulties configuring, after installation can however,
        be a realistic deterrent. And lastly, Linux is not Windows
        or Mac OS / Mac OS X. If those are what you really want,
        then you should use them instead.

        • #2532646

          Well said

          by duane ·

          In reply to Inaccuracies

          And you weren’t too hard on the opinionated, though totally biased, idiot.

        • #2534303


          by jared19 ·

          In reply to Well said

          well said indeed… the “pure stupidity” lies in the content and attitude of his own post… Fedora Core is equally capable of anything XP Professional or Home can do and more!… to say that it is equivalent to XP Home Edidtion…

        • #2534234

          Well written

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Inaccuracies

          Thank You for that post.

        • #2541619

          Which Linux?

          by paul ·

          In reply to Inaccuracies

          Very nice reply. I am using Fedora Core for workgroup servers and desktop machines in three groups where commercial Windows Apps aren’t needed and users are primarily spending most of their time working with in-house applications. I believe that for us the total cost of ownership including training and administration costs is unusually low. Since some of the users had only previously used Windows with MS Office, they were intent on showing me that they had to have Windows which forced me to provide an extra amount of help desk activity during the transition to Open Office. Since most of their time spent is using web based applications which interface with MySQL, that hasn’t changed.

          We are Internet Connected and haven’t had any security issues other than continual anti-spam battles. For me, the configurable firewall software and SMTP options mean a lot for my ability to customize.

          As the company grows and we buy applications, we’ll likely get RHEL or SuSe from Novell for the support options.

          I like the connection between user contributions in Fedora being tested and developed then winding up in RHEL. The user contribution model of Linux keeps the costs down.

      • #3006023

        Bull Shit

        by mangauda ·

        In reply to which one?

        This man is a holy crap, and whatever he had written over here is also a holy pure crap like him….
        I’ve been using Fedora, Ubuntu, centOS, openSUSE for the last 6-7 years..Thay all are simply great, perhaps I haven’t found a single professional who use slackware, debian, or whatever…..

        Don’t listen to his crap…

    • #3277025

      I prefer SuSE for business and home.

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      I completely disagree with Jaqui on this post. First, why I like SuSE for business.

      1) Novell is doing a great job keeping up with required patches for all of the software that they offer in their distribution. Also, patches are extremely easy to install.

      2) When applications have distribution specific installation kits they always have Red Hat and Suse. Typically application developers are offering their generic installation kit, a kit for Red Hat, and a kit for SuSE.

      3) SuSE is very popular, as is Red Hat. That helps to give me confidence that Novell will not simply abandon this product any time soon. Business managers like to know that the distribution provider is a respectable corporation and that they have a commitment to continuing support of their products. I think that SuSE fits that requirement.

      4) The fact that SuSE does not follow the standard Linux model is theoretically problematic and is irritating in principle. However, SuSE users really don’t experience many problems due to the SuSE nonstandard architecture. Mostly you can experience problems compiling applications. However, again, the applications that you want to use in business are very likely available throught a SuSE specific RPM (such as Open Office dot org) or a generic Linux RPM or tar file that will work fine (such as Firefox). So the nonstandardness of SuSE is not a problem. It’s a philosophical irritation but nothing worse.

      5) I can’t forget about YaST. The implementation isn’t quite as good as the idea behind it, but it does act as a front end to RPM for resolving software dependencies, and it does have a good front end for finding and configuring hardware. I’ve already expressed my admiration for the subcomponent of YaST that does the software patch work. This component is called you, (YaST online update). And it generally speeds up some system administration tasks like starting or stopping services such as DHCPd, SSHd, named, routed, hwscand, or whatever you want to start or stop. Some of its components are nothing more than a call to vi to edit a specific file. It’s got room for improvement but it is already a useful system administration tool. I haven’t looked at the SuSE v10.1 yet so YaST may be even better than I am describing here.

      6) SuSE firewall is installed, configured, and running by default. Admittedly the default configuration is more complicated than it needs to be. Changing the SuSE firewall settings still leaves you with overly complicated rules. Turning SuSE firewall off and running your own iptables script is easy if you want to do that, so, no harm done. If you don’t know iptables then the SuSE firewall is okay. If you do know iptables then using your own settings is easy.

      As far as SuSE being a rip off of Red Hat, I don’t really know the history of how the original SuSE developers in Germany got started. I don’t really care. The criticism is specious. It sounds good when you first hear it but when you think about it you can see that it is a nonstarter. What if the original SuSE developers did copy Red Hat? So what? The SuSE developers, pre-Novell, put a LOT of original work into the distribution. It was a high quality distribution before Novell bought it. Since Novell purchased the distribution it has only gotten better.

      7) Generally speaking SuSE requires less man hours of support than some of the more no-frills distributions like Slackware. That’s because Novell puts a lot of time into finding, researching, and testing patches before they make software updates. They do a great job making sure that patching one thing doesn’t break something else. That takes a lot of work off of my shoulders. (Admittedly, Debian and Gentoo also do a good job in this respect with the software in their portage trees).

      Now as far as Jaqui recommending Gentoo, you have to be kidding Jaqui. Gentoo is insane with nonstandardness. I keep a Gentoo machine running MythTV as a hobby. It’s fun. However when I do a total system rebuild it can take over seven hours to compile the source code. I don’t have that much installed beyond the MythTV and basic KDE core and FVWM2. Seven hours to recompile a somewhat lean system. That’s not good in a business environment. System down time is a hot button issue with business managers, even on nights and weekends in some places.

      Slackware. Same as Gentoo times ten. Gentoo and Slackware are good for students. They require too much baby sitting for a business environment. In this case baby sitting means a combination of man hours researching new patches, getting and compiling those same patches, testing for problems created by the patches, researching and fixing said problems, and similar activities that hobbyists love but that business system support people don’t have time to deal with.

      Debian? I know that HP just started to support Debian on its machines and that’s fine. However my experience with the APT software and its add ons, like Synaptic, irritated me. I just don’t much like it. Personal taste. Debian does a great job of ensuring that the software in a given portage tree works together. I used Debian for about a year. The quality is excellent. It’s just not my cup-of-tea.

      • #3166755

        no problems with Suse’s non standard layout?

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to I prefer SuSE for business and home.

        try using a standard partition structure, that has /opt as part of the / and only one gig of space. everything Suse installs in there from the Distro Media should be in the /usr tree
        [ complete screwup that makes Suse 100% un usable by itself ]
        default runlevel, they copied red hat, and ignore the command line only setting.

        default bootloader, with no other option available grub, huge issue, I use lilo and will not use grub, it’s the worst.
        [ debian fais on this also, it fails when you pick lilo, can’t install it.

        if Gentoo and Slak are not standards compliant, then it’s the fault of the person building them, since the build from source distros are 100% in the control of the person installing.

        The use of either KDE or GNOME as default gui is a major fault for any distro, since both are nothng but bloatware.
        [ I use enlightenment myself ]

        • #2534248

          Wrong, again…

          by techniquephreak ·

          In reply to no problems with Suse’s non standard layout?

          Looking at your gripe on partition structures, I’m understanding why so many other people on thie forum ignore you. You really don’t know what you’re talking about. Have you even used SUSE?

          Maybe you just didn’t pay attention when you during your install, but SUSE does offer several bootloaders to choose from, including Lilo. I prefer Grub. IMHO it’s easier to config for dual-boots…

          You can easily choose not to install the “bloat” that you get by default with KDE and Gnome, but that’s the freedom of Linux! You can choose to use Enlightenment if you want to! Even though the title so obviously does not apply to you. 😉

        • #3006020

          What the hell

          by mangauda ·

          In reply to no problems with Suse’s non standard layout?

          Is this man really a CEO, CFO, blah blah blah (He has written that, that’s why)…My God, people like you are killers of the spirit of open source…
          Have you ever installed openSUSE by paying clear attention? Duff, it provides the simplest ever GUI for Linux installation, and what the hell about the crap talk of partitioning……
          If I was Techrepublic’s Site Manager, I would have already removed all this non-sense idiot posts of yours…..

          Seriously, mind me.
          And,one more thing, don’t you try to use any distro of Linux, that’ll again surely make you to post such stupidity here..

          openSUSE, centOS, Fedora and UBUNTU are the BEST..

      • #2517606

        Compliance? (My scheduled opportunity to show my ignorance.)

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to I prefer SuSE for business and home.

        Compliant with what? If SUSE is all I use, what am I concerned with it being compliant with? Is this a practical, real-world issue?

        Why should I care if it’s a Red Hat copy? Isn’t the kernel in most current distros the same version?

    • #3277020

      You have to go where there is support

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      Red Hat and SuSe have excellent support. Having tried OpenSuSe 10, I can say I quite like the direction SuSe is going. Both companies provide excellent support and feedback mechanism and ensure hardware compatibility and the like as you migrate.

      However, if you are going to be pragmatic about just the distro, I have to agree with Jaqui on Gentoo or Slackware.

      • #3199680

        Redhat erm support

        by aj-ubuntu-user ·

        In reply to You have to go where there is support

        We had a recent dealing with redhat and it took four weeks before we gave redhat the answer to the problem we paid them to fix. At the moment Ubuntu is very nice and very supportable phone/forum , I do how ever think that Debian should have been listed aswell as ubuntu.

        • #2517517

          They must have gone down hill

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Redhat erm support

          I haven’t directly dealt with Red Hat support for about 3 years now, so it is possible that it isn’t top notch anymore.

      • #2532674

        I have

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to You have to go where there is support

        used gentoo at home for 2 years now, and all I can say is the hell if I am going to install/support 45 workstaions at work. It would literaly take me weeks to do the installs. Alot of out hardware is 800Mhz machines with 256mb ram, and not even the same machine type to ,make cloning a viable option. Dont get me wrong, I am a fanatical gentoo user, but I don’t think I would want to attempt to keep it going at work. I have had to many portage packages “broken” on an emerge only to find out it was the package, not my system. I hate working on red hat systems, but the package integrity is there, the support is there, and the longevity is there.

    • #3166757

      What colour is plaid? this is the same type of question

      by deadly ernest ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      Which is best for business will depend upon what you want to use it for. If you are talking about for desk top use, then I would plunk for SimplyMEPIS 6, this is built on Debian Sarge and also allows the use of Ubuntu packages. It has the same two level access as most desktop software User / Administrator (i.e. Root). I recently did a comparison evaluation for use as desktop software of several Linux versions and posted a summary in another thread. I found many of the latest user level versions, did NOT give you the sort of full control Root access that you would need in the business environment MEPIS does.

      I particularly liked the fact that the load DVD automatically senses the hardware and loads what is needed be it 32 bit or 64 bit system. Most of the others require you to load from different sets of discs. The default disc first loads a Live version so you can try it.

    • #3166744

      This depends on the Business

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      For Big Business I would do exactly what IBM is doing Supplying SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise both have excellent backup service and great support.

      For smaller business this depends on the particular business needs and from their needs I would chose accordingly.

      There never has been a [b]One Size Fits All Needs[/b] and there never will be so you go with what does the job best for the individual customer needs and here it’s the Paid For copies of Linux that tend to come out on top if only for their Backup Service that is available.

      However if you are looking purely at performance I would have to agree with Jaqui and go with one of the Distro’s that he’s recommended.


      • #2517640

        Pick based on Requirements

        by swdswan ·

        In reply to This depends on the Business

        I agree with HAL9000. Every business needs to shop around and select for their business environment and requirements.

        We reviewed 8 different versions of Linux in 2000/2001. This winter we revisited our top 3 picks. For our application, Red Hat required drivers not readliy available and on-going support. We never did get comfortable with SUSE as pre-sales information was weak. When Novell shook hands with Microsoft that ended our review. We were working with Corel when they shook ands with Microsoft and killed a very promising distibution.

        Our distro is Mandriva. It installs easily. Performance is excellent. Drivers for other distros can be readily rebuilt for it, making support and application development simpler. Lessons learned on Mandriva freeware translate directly to commercial versions.

        David Swan

    • #3219335


      by aj-ubuntu-user ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      Because of the Long term support of Dapper (6.06) and the distro’s forum and IRC channel are the best support I have seen for any O/S in recent years (incl. windows).

      • #2532780

        Not in MOST business settings

        by freebird54 ·

        In reply to Ubuntu

        I use Ubuntu at home, and am very impressesed with it in that environment – but there are a few issues in many business settings that mitigate against it.

        The first thing is that it is a little TOO comprehensive out the box (off the install) – as it can do nearly everything a home user could want. However, do you NEED your employees ripping DVD’s on company time? More to the point, Firefox is deeply embedded as a rendering engine – and not all businesses want their employees on the net at all. The security model default is not sufficient either – though it can easily be changed to a more normal usage.

        My vote would be Debian – for solidity, reasonable amount of standardization, and minimal work getting packages on and working for you without dependency hell 🙂

        Suse and Red Hat have their place as far as support goes – and if Jaqui comes with it (to make it work) then gentoo is good too!

    • #3219330

      Depends on where you are in the learning curve

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      If you are the bottom looking at a big slope. I started with Mandrake 9.0. (Now Mandriva).
      I had a lamp server up and running inside a week with no linux background and with NIC driver problem thrown in.

      A more experienced colleague swore by slackware, but I never got round to trying that myself.

    • #2517631

      I’m surprised that no one else has mentioned this…

      by smallbiz-techwiz ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      or maybe I just missed it somewhere, but business needs dictate which applications you must use. Likewise, the applications you must use dictate the operating system you must run them on (what versions are supported). No one in a serious business role installs their favorite operating system and then says, “Now, what can I use this for?”.

    • #2517616

      It kind of depends

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      The Red Hat support structure is top notch. If you are supporting multiple servers and need strong vendor support, I highly recommend Red Hat.

      However, the desktop is another matter. I’m not a huge fan of Fedora and Ubuntu’s security model is broken. So, I’m not sure what linux desktop to choose.

      • #2517526

        Yep, it kind of depends on whether Linux works at all

        by consultinator ·

        In reply to It kind of depends

        First off, all my hardware in my small corporation runs *XP Home*, so I guess it is fine for the “corporate desktop”; second, Linux couldn’t do what I needed it to do, neither could XP Pro.

        The single most critical thing I need to do is connect to a remote server via the Cisco VPN. Past experience is that XP Pro had a problem running the VPN Client. (it probably works now; don’t know, don’t care.)

        Recently, I had a go at using Ubuntu to see if I could get all the pieces to work and move away from Windows. Sure, the basic install went great and all basic functionality was there for browser, email and office documents. The problem was that even after following numerous how-to guides and trying out both the Cisco Linux VPN Client and open-source clients, I could not get connected using the VPN. Sorry folks, I would love to get away from OS lock-in, but when a mission-critical piece of software will not work after many hours of research and attempts, that is a show-stopper! BTW the Windows Cisco VPN Client installs and runs with a few mouse clicks–three minutes, tops!

        In the end, the main issue for me is: Can I get stuff done without wasting a bunch of time.

        • #2517515

          Talk to Cisco about that

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Yep, it kind of depends on whether Linux works at all

          They need to support their VPN software. If it didn’t work in XP Pro, they should be told. If it didn’t work in Ubuntu, they should be told.

          How do they know there is a problem if nobody tells them?

        • #2532700

          XP Home?

          by dumbterminal ·

          In reply to Yep, it kind of depends on whether Linux works at all

          You must not have a domain then.I’m not bashing MS, just pointing out that XP Home may work for your situation, but there are other things that keep it from being useful as a corporate desktop.

        • #2532664

          I can

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Yep, it kind of depends on whether Linux works at all

          testify that Cisco’c VPN client does work on OSX, Win XP Pro, and linux (gentoo 2.6.18 kernel glibc 2.2). the linux install was a bit tichy until I “back dated” a few packages to perform the build. The Cisco tech was quite helpful.

    • #2532802

      SuSe and Ubuntu

      by hugh10 ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      Redhat SuSe and Ubuntu so far are reliable
      enough for daily use, this emaail was sent
      using open SuSe 10.2 … Hugh…

    • #2532732

      Management Tools?

      by chemikalguy ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      I would have to ask a question in response to your question. That being, “Which distro has effective, functional management tools?”

      I ask because I’m a Windows Sys Admin, and run Active Directory, Group Policy, etc., and would need something similar to run on my network as well. I know that Mandriva has their server, as well as their corporate desktop, but I don’t know the details of what’s included in either of these.


      • #2532585

        I have asked this question before

        by wdewey ·

        In reply to Management Tools?

        Red Hat is supposed to have a management system (I keep meaning to look into it and Novell has a full set of management tools (purchased separately from the server licensing last time I checked). Group policy is usually the show stopper. The Linux Community, from what I have seen, barely knows what group policy is. SUSE is the best bet for group policy support that I have seen. I believe they offer limited group policy for Linux and I think they are planning to scale this up in the future.

        (Edited to add…)
        Looked into Red Hat Directory Server. It doesn’t look like it handles Group Policy, but you can check it out for your self because they have a version in the Fedora project.


      • #2534229

        Management Tools

        by swdswan ·

        In reply to Management Tools?

        Mandriva has two management tools. The built-in tool is their own “wizard system”. The last couple of releases have been very slick. That said, I don’t like relying on someone else’s wizard if I can’t see what changes are being made. I am a huge fan on Webmin. This is a set of perl scripts from from you browser. Mandriva includes a version of Webmin customized for that distro. The combination has been very effective. On the occasions where Webmin has not worked, (and there were not many of those) it was necessary to get into the manual pages and edit configurations file by file.

        You can find Webmin at

    • #2532688

      Maturity of Linux.

      by kendalle ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      About 3 years ago the thought of the Linux desktop came to mind as Novell was going through a transformation and our company was a Novell shop. Back then the install wasn?t very clean and there weren?t a lot of applications that enabled one to completely break from Windows. Up until a month ago I never looked again at Linux after those first half-hearted attempts. Now, I?m running Suse 10.2 and am surprised to find how seamless it is and that I really am able to break away from the Windows desktop. The network install was brutal in comparison with BSD, which I?ve done numerous times without effort. Suse requires you having much more information ready and available versus BSD and you have to really be able to understand and translate software paths depending on the site you download from (i.e. wasn?t easy). The big issue for me continues to be Open Office as I?m not able to switch between it and Microsoft without having something formatted incorrectly.

    • #2532679


      by techevar ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      I don?t understand how anyone can consider a hobby distro?s for businesses? Ubuntu , gentoo, etc. Will these distro?s be around in say five years? Even so, can you pick up the phone and get hardware support for a Qlogics driver? NO!

      For an enterprise business you can?t go wrong with SuSe Enterprise or Redhat Enterprise.
      These companies both provide excellent support. I know Novell will support their enterprise versions for seven years! When it comes to running Linux in a business environment support is critical! When a production system is down you don?t have to the time to google, post entires in a forum etc. You need to pick up the phone and get help immediately!

    • #2532678

      CentOS if you want to go free

      by bertrand.nepveu ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      It’s based on the fedora architecture but it’s targeted for those high load/high reliable servers.

      I installed CentOS for my server and it’s great! I’m used to FC5, so the learning curve is very low…


      • #2532649

        I agree about CentOS

        by jdudeck ·

        In reply to CentOS if you want to go free

        Although our organization (non profit) doesn’t use Linux other than on a couple of web servers, I have evaluated numerous distros both desktop and server. CentOS is 99.9% pure Red Hat Enterprise Linux (the .1% is the update service). It is extremely robust and has good hardware support. On the desktop things look good and just work. I’ve tried FreeBSD, Gentoo, Xandros, White Box, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Server, Slackware, Mepis, and various subspecies, and I have always come back to CentOS when I need to get real work done.

        • #2534304

          Ever try ParSix Linux?

          by gill ·

          In reply to I agree about CentOS

          I think version 8.0 or so is the latest. It was recommended to me.

          But alas, my learning will be high as I’m only in the “Consider anything other than MicroShaft” stage.


    • #2532666

      Hurry up and wait… Linux?

      by gill ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      Okay, from reading the posts here I gather:

      1. Some versions are a Biatch to gen.
      2. Some have support (good…and bad).
      3. Some run apps, but not all.
      4. Every response indicates nothing for small businesses. (save one that mentions the caveat – depends on needs)

      I say, the question is still perfectly unanswered.

      I’m fervently looking to extract my 9 seat small business LAN from the MS – Open Architecture OS Bullcarp!

      I do not want systems that someone can get into from outside. With 9 seats, I can walk across the hall. Give me a closed OS that cannot be tampered with from “Mervin at the helpdesk on 9th floor” via Remote Desktop.

      Every solution does not fit every need. MS (and apparently every offering of Linux) is trying to compete for “The Ultimate Open Architecture OS Award”.

      Yes, I’m full of it. But think back… no, further than that… When CGA monitors existed and an SX machine ran at 20Mhz. You maybe had a modem installed for $240.00 and you:

      A. NEVER had a virus.
      B. NEVER had to wipe & re-gen an OS.
      C. Could reach a BBS or FTP server if you knew a few commands.
      D. Could NOT watch a video someone posted without downloading it – or you couldn’t play Mahjong for free on Yahoo! Games. {Yeah, that’s productive}

      My point here is this:

      EVERYONE is chasing the “End-all Be-all Open & Remotely Manageable OS” so that when Alice can’t find her printer; someone doesn’t have to visit her pc to fix it.

      Duh,… A HUGE segment of the market is being overlooked… the small businesses that UTTERLY do not need that OS.


      I. Fire idiot Alice for deleting the printer and hire someone more tech-savvy.
      II. Find the “plain Jane” OS that the user cannot delete such stuff on; remote access cannot change certain parts of the OS (i.e. Windows Registry); and neither can the “USER” user.
      III. Take a vacation and know that you won’t get that IT call at 4:38 pm. on your second day into it.


      {Okay, do not bore me with the posts about todays pcs being so much more powerful & need to do more stuff; the APPLICATIONS do *that*. Think back for yourself; you KNOW a simple OS that can run today’s apps (web excluded) with LAN connectivity for a small environment is the perfect solution. Once you reconcile yourself to that… expand the numbers of users and you run into the enterprise issues where today’s Open OS may WELL be necessary. That is not what my discussion is about; it is about the small shop no longer having any option. If you find it, email me. Otherwise, I’ll hurry up and wait – while I continue researching Linux and any other offerings. But please Hurry… 😉 }

      • #2532652


        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Hurry up and wait… Linux?

        you move to any linux, it would be good to see if your hardware is supported. Mostly I am thinking about printers. If your printer doesnt “just work” then getting a driver installed can be a headache.
        Next: Any of the “standard” linux distributions will let you install a very striped down OS. by default, a regualr user has about the same level of OS conrtol as a “regular” Windows user. So installing an os with just an office package, no multimedia, no Im client, even no web browser, is completely possible. Decide if you want/need/want to pay for enterprise support then go from there.

      • #2532577

        Closed OS

        by wdewey ·

        In reply to Hurry up and wait… Linux?

        Your question was answered. Gentoo. You install only what you want installed.


      • #2534244

        Selecting an OS

        by swdswan ·

        In reply to Hurry up and wait… Linux?

        Some of the advice you have been given is right on the money. You MUST know how compatible your hardware is, before you try the install. What I recommend to is to download a copy of the FREE version of the distribution that you like best from the information you have. Next, take a non-critical computer and try and install the distribution. You will not have blown up anything critical and you can “see for yourself” what various people are crowing about. We run Mandriva. It does not get a lot of advertising in North America as it originates in Europe (France). I have been working with it for 6 years. For my money it has the easiest install process, great compatibility with other distros and is doing a 1st class job for our firm. One of the reasons I use it is to provide a robust backend for Windows users and clients who are mired in the MS world. I love replacing Windows servers with this product. If you want more info I am happy to talk to you and take our discussion off-line.

        • #2533977

          Don’t suppose a Mandriva HCL exists?

          by gill ·

          In reply to Selecting an OS

          Thanks. That sounded like the way a good consultant should respond. 😉 We (I) have been the only degree’d person in this company for 20 yrs. (I have 2 sheepskins, 1 in I.S.) I have steered clear of the client/server world for 2 reasons:

          1. Long ago, an accounting system went down and EVERYONE was screwed because they all looked at the same app that blew up.

          2. We’ve always been a small shop (< 10 seats). However, we may need to look more toward realigning our topology to provide centralized email, virus protection, etc. I'm still researching Linux. Any reading you might suggest would be greatly appreciated.

        • #2533454

          Yup it does

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Don’t suppose a Mandriva HCL exists?

          haven’t used it for a while but

        • #2533403


          by gill ·

          In reply to Yup it does

          ATTABOY! 🙂

        • #2533400

          Reading on Linux

          by swdswan ·

          In reply to Don’t suppose a Mandriva HCL exists?


          I come from the other side of the tracks. No Degee. Started in user groups, worked my way into cstomer service and ulimatey NW Engineering. Got where I am because of an ability to repair other peoples disasters.

          Reading on Linux. To be blunt most of the reading has been crap. I don’t mean low quality I mean a waste of time. Few good technical writers have tried to document or write manuals for Linux. Some material that is well written is too generic to be very useful. I have NO Linux reference books on my shelf that I recommend.

          Worse, most documentation written in North America ignores Mandriva because it was “Not Built Here” …

          I always put the bad news before the good news, and that was the bad news.

          I have been ruuning the free version of Mandriva for 6 years. I have run SUSE and Red Hat on various conracts and job sites. Both have a lot to offer.

          You said you were looking at consolidating mail and security services. As you read this I am upgrading my home server from Free Version to Power Plus (Cost around 190 USD) because it combines the easy to use bits I love, with commercial secuity and anti-virus tools. Best of all worlds at a great price. My home server will pass anyone’s security inspection.

          Monday I will establish the VPN to the Head Office which runs Mandriva Corporate Server 4. Again commercial quality tools at a great price. Why not stick to Red Hat or SUSE? I need the development tools in Mandriva for a project.

          In other words Mandriva meets our business requirements.

          Download the Free version of Mandriva and give it a test drive on a non-critical system. Make sure you install all of the “Drak” wizards. Take a hard look at the “Samba” support for Windows environmets. You should be able to migrate mail and security servics to a Linux server without exciting users by changing their desktops.

          One final comment: In 2001 my company was working with Corel when Microsft bough a piece of them. The Linux program was destroyed. Corel Word Perferfect had already won awards for their Linux Office Suite. The OS was an easy conversion from windows.

          Although my networking background is Novell based, I will NOT purchase an OS from a company making deals with Microsoft. Experience has taught me that Microsoft will reshape both the company and the software.

      • #2534228

        I tryed SuSE and it solved my problems

        by stefan ·

        In reply to Hurry up and wait… Linux?

        I have been running a collage networ as well as an smallbuisness network on SuSE Linux Enterprice Sever with mixed client OS for few years. I’ve really not found any need to try other distros, SuSE works fine. They have only gotten beter throug the years and instead of active directory in MS you can buy Novell directory versin thah integrates into SLES for added contol. And Novell enterprice Desktop is brilliant the Novell Office (tweaked verion of Open Office) even runs VB macros etc. and probably the two together are in the latest versions about as easy to install and maintain as Microsoft OSes. Only easyer to figure out the logic in things. You rarely need to do install stuff that isn’t either in the distro or available for it, and patches and updates are as easy as in Windows .

    • #2534246

      SUSE and CentOS

      by techniquephreak ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      SUSE has been very good to me. I’ve worked with Fedora, Mandriva, Mepis, Knoppix, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and the list goes on… SUSE just works for me. I don’t think there is really a right or wrong answer here, as I’ve never found a dsitro I couldn’t get to work for me.. but I generally prefer SUSE.

      I usually use CentOS (the non-branded version of RH) on servers though.

      • #2534009

        On the server

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to SUSE and CentOS

        end NuOnce BlueQuartz and CentOS combo is very sweet. A 15 min install, free download, based on open source, and has a nice web console to config the server.

    • #2541538

      It’s a toolbox

      by roger99a ·

      In reply to Which Linux is the best for business?

      There are many distributions designed for specific purposes. You should just pick the one that best does the job you need done. Where I work we have FreeBSD, CentOS, Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu all doing different jobs.

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