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Which Linux is the best for business?

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
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?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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Management Tools?

by chemikalguy In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

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.


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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.


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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

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Maturity of Linux.

by kendalle In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

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.

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by techevar In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

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!

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CentOS if you want to go free

by bertrand.nepveu In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

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...


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I agree about CentOS

by jdudeck In reply to CentOS if you want to go ...

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.

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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.


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Hurry up and wait... Linux?

by Gill In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

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... ;-) }

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by Dumphrey In reply to Hurry up and wait... Linu ...

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.

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