“One day, while the boss was away, I shoved a spare hard-drive into my computer and installed Ubuntu 5.04. I managed to work for a month and a half before the Boss noticed I was using Linux – and that was only because he happened to glance at my screen. Half a year later, I am still using Ubuntu (now version 5.10) at work and I am more productive than ever.”
Ubuntu on the Business Desktop
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2005-11-17 9:16 pmAnonymous
you’re getting confused with kubuntu.
why don’t you just put a sock in it, you kde fanboy!
…for awhile for working remotely. It served its purpose and performance, while not snappy, was good. This on a dual 2.0 ghz athlon. MSI motherboard, sound blaster card, nvidia fx 5200.
I could tunnel into our network with openvpn, I could VNC into my box at work if I needed too… I could use our exchange server with the latest version (at that time) of Evolution and I had SMB access where I needed it (altho’ it seemed flaky at times and works better with Mac OS X) for our file servers and also could use our CVS servers. I am a developer so what more could I possibly need?? For editors I went between the plain old Gnome editor and sometimes Eclipse.
Linux-based OS’s are pretty solid. I gave my PC to my mom when I moved and use my mac only now. I really am considering building a new PC because I miss BeOS and Linux. I would also love to try out PC-BSD!
2005-11-17 9:18 pmLazarus
“I would also love to try out PC-BSD!”
I’d wait a bit before trying PC-BSD… See my earlier comment on it:
2005-11-17 9:30 pmTuishimi
Heh. Yeah, saw that post originally. You are right of course. But by the time I build a new PC it would be at RC4.
“The fonts are so smooth I want to spread them all over my body. It’s like butter on the eyeballs, it is.”
No, fonts on Ubuntu are the worst thing I saw, ever. Hinting on msttcorefonts (Arial, Verdana rtc.) sucks, so does subpixel rendering. I wonder how did they managed to brake it, it works flawlessly on Debian!
2005-11-17 11:10 pmarchiesteel
The fonts on my Kubuntu laptop are gorgeous, and look identical to those on my Mandriva laptop. So there might have been an issue with the Ubuntu install you saw.
2005-11-18 9:55 amAnonymous
It’s a Breezy Badger I’m using at the moment. Have a look at ubuntuforums, the threads on crappy fonts are countless.
2005-11-18 12:22 pmluser
Yeah, have a look at ubuntuforums: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=20976
Fonts don’t look bad in Ubuntu, MS fonts do because patent encumbered code is disabled in freetype: http://freetype.sourceforge.net/patents.html
2005-11-18 10:31 amtheine
I wonder how did they managed to brake it, it works flawlessly on Debian!
I wonder how did you manage to break it…
2005-11-18 5:17 pmAnonymous
I didn’t. It came broken off the box.
Give GenieOS (http://genieos.toluenterprises.com) a try. Installs a Debian Gnome or Kde desktop that’s compatible with Debian repositories. It’s based on Stable (Sarge), but a quick apt-get dist-upgrade can easily fix that.
I’d love to work where he does. His boss seems like a moron. He’s not too bright either; He lists his chip, mother board, etc. and says “or something like that”. What a rube…
I’ve tried RedHat, Debian, SuSe, and Mandrake. They’re all flakey. If you’re a nut for the command line, and like compiling great. But for the everyday consumer, who goes to Best Buy to make their major PC purchases and ask the “Geek Squad” for help, Linux will never take hold. My Father In-Law is in his early 60’s. I can’t imagine saying, “Oh no problem Dad, to get that to run just recompile your kernel, and a chmod on the rpms’s…
Linux is fun, but will never really be ready for primetime…better luck next time…
2005-11-17 10:00 pmAnonymous
I find your statements very funny. I have my 84 year old motherinlaw and 2 of my daughters all using MEPIS Lite and none of them have any problems what so ever. And I don’t have to remove unwanted spyware,malware etc from any of them. BTW my mother-in-law gets about 200 emails daily.
Linux is every bit as useable as Windows and safer.
2005-11-17 11:29 pmarchiesteel
I can’t imagine saying, “Oh no problem Dad, to get that to run just recompile your kernel, and a chmod on the rpms’s..
Why would he need to recompile his kernel? This is completely unnecesseray in 99% of cases.
The second part of your comment shows how little you actually about Linux (and makes your claims of having tried the distros you list dubious), as there is not situation that would require anyone to “run a chmod on the rpms…”
Enough with the FUD already.
2005-11-17 11:46 pmAnonymous
These days one can say that kernel recompile is unnecessary 100% of cases — unless you’re a system administrator who wants to add some obscure (or exotic) hardware to your corporate server!
2005-11-17 11:40 pmAnonymous
The problem is that you’re looking at the ‘Big Guns’ distros. This is also a reason why MS Windows is the ‘obvious’ choice. Unfortunately, Redhat, SuSE, bare-bones Debian and Mandrake (more or less) are not aimed at ultra-newbies (to linux) such as fathers-in-law etc.
Take a look at Xandros, Linspire or the free ones PCLinuxOS, K(ubuntu) and you would find them close to the desktop linux dream that we all dream of.
2005-11-18 5:30 amma_d
Mandriva is probably the best newb distro out there. Not only does it have a nice set of graphical configuration tools, and ultra-friendly installer, and a lot of software on disc; but it scales as one learns because you can do things manually on it and it’s even encouraged. You can try the latest software if you like, they ship RPM’s to do it.
Ubuntu is nice for newbs. Mandriva is nice. Linspire is nice for newbs who want to be a newb for life. XandrOS is nice for people who need something for work with VPN’s and all that.
His problem is that he’s living in 2000 or 1999.
2005-11-18 9:55 pmAnonymous
Oh, give me a break.
99.9% of Windows uses would be lost if they had to reinstall WIndows from scratch, and would more than likely have lots more trouble than someone installing one of the newer User distros like Ubuntu… assuming, of course, that the hardware is reasonably recent (say, less than 3 years old).
He had to secretly go in enable new services on his company’s email server just for his own personal use. That’s a pretty lame move to pull.
2005-11-18 11:29 amAnonymous
Installing your own OS while the boss i away, and modifying the configuration of an Exchange server without telling anyone is totally unacceptable.
The author of the article doesn´t belong in an enterprise IT environment.
2005-11-18 1:23 pmAnonymous
What’s more unacceptable is that he had to be sneaky about using Linux in his environment.
“2560×2048 …across two …17″ LCD monitors”
Ah, that would be 4 monitors then. I’ve never seen that yet. And not sure there is a video card to support it. I’ve seen 3 by 20″ — mighty impressive (but I’d settle for a single $950 Dell 2405 flat screen.)
[…he must have meant 2560×1024]
Any of you tried this?
2005-11-18 9:23 amrm6990
Tried to. Cosmopod was down for well over a week, I finally uninstalled NX from my Windows box. I feel I don’t really need a service like Cosmopod, no point really.
But this time, it’s the other way around. 🙂 We sneaked a XP computer into our IT room (just Linux, people working here are coders/sysadmins) to play FIFA and ISS. 😛
2005-11-18 8:46 amAnonymous
You’re getting modded up. Do a rough draft and see who likes it. You may be on to something if you find the right target audience for your work.
I have Ubuntu on my laptop. Compare it with Suse 10.0 Prof, it is worthless piece of software OS.
Debian is pretty good if you use it as it is and it is now easy to install as well. I do not see why I would use Ubuntu or Kubuntu. It has no feature like YAST(One of best I have ever seen even more extensive than Windows XP tools )
So Please put stop to these shitty Ubuntu stories
2005-11-18 10:53 amtheine
It has no feature like YAST (One of best I have ever seen even more extensive than Windows XP tools)
As everybody knows, YAST is a big steaming pile of shit.
Edited 2005-11-17 23:20
My take on this is not that Linux is great, but that your boss is useless – he cannot control the computing environment, let alone the actions of his staff.
Edited 2005-11-17 23:21
I find I work better and quicker using Linux and all others at work think I’m mad. I do get work done quicker, especially as I’m administering and developing on Linux boxes. If you know some basic admin skills it’s not too hard to access Novell or Windows networks.
Shame this doesn’t help with most people who aren’t network admins (or are linux-literate), as if they have a problem with a desktop the average tech support in a business wouldn’t be able to help. I know in my university there’s no hope of support (you want to run it, you work out the problems!).
The author says, “I don’t have time to fiddle, all I care is whether or not it can do what I want, right now.” And that’s exactly what needs to happen for the Ubuntu distro and GNU/Linux to succeed on the desktop. But then he goes about telling how he had to fiddle with it to make it do what he needed it to do. What am I missing here?
2005-11-18 5:44 amjoelito_pr
Tell me how easy is to install windows on a brand new PC with only the install disc for the os.
Download and install each driver that you need to use(if you’re lucky and the Windows Box installed your internet hardware out of the box)
Fetch the applications you need to “secure” your windows Install
Then try to fetch the Web for free(beer, speech, whatever) applications that you can use to start doing something productive.
I’m sure it sould take at least three hours on broadband(and a fast rig) if you know where to find the stuff you’ll need.
Note, unless i’m using some specialized hardware it takes me about 20 minutes to get ubuntu up and running
Edited 2005-11-18 05:48
2005-11-18 3:10 pmmorglum666
If you look at it from a users perspective (not a IT geek), basically he says you’ll get less functionality, you’ll have to modify server side settings, your email won’t work correctly, you get to use a worse database application…
When you go to use the web (firefox), the only near IE equivalent, you have to use a beta version or your CPU spins up to 100% and your computer gets sluggish.
I would say that its admirable that he got everything working for him, but he certainly made no case at all that this is a “business desktop”.
When users look at new operating systems or applications, the equation is simple..
“DOES THIS MAKE WORKING EASIER OR HARDER”?
That’s it folks.
Having said that, on a side note, KDE 3.5 is beautiful. I just downloaded a livecd and I was very impressed.
– Microsoft Fanboy
kerberos pam samba windbind this is something that linux needs a graphical tool for. this guy said it took him 2 hours, im still learning it 1month later. i know there is a way for you to login to gdm via use@EXAMPLE.LOCAL, just cant get it on debian. Centos has kerb pam winbind and samba tools, it asks for the certificates from somewhere but iv no idea where to find those in win2k3. a lesson well learned about pam was to back up the configs before locking yourself out of your system. i hate active directory, but its addictive to get linux working with it.
2005-11-18 9:12 amAnonymous
Have you added the remote system using xhost?
2005-11-18 4:22 pm
It’s a pity he chose Ubuntu which isn’t a very polished distribution. SUSE 10 would have been a closer comparison, not least because of the tools in YaST designed to make fitting into a network easy – Samba, firewall, mail, authentication, etc. I don’t how SUSE tweak their fonts, but they seem to manage anti-aliasing non-native fonts a lot better than the Ubuntu/Debian methods. The MS TT fonts display too poorly here on Debian to be usable but they look full and rich on OpenSUSE 10. Anyone know the reason?
There are quite a lot of little warnings in this article, too. Evolution was less than stellar. Open Office 2 works well but only if your needs are decidedly simple and you don’t need MS Access-type stuff. Some of the configuration he had to set up would have floored anyone who was not familiar with Linux and a bit of a techie.
So from the sound of it Linux is nearly there but still needs quite a lot of scrubbing and polishing before it’s really OK for Joe User as distinct from those who already know what they’re doing. Anyway, it’s good to see the challenge laid out: for distros, this appears to mean less posturing and BS, more elbow grease on getting what they already have to work better, and more effort to remember that Joe User isn’t going to know what things like Samba or IMAP are, let alone how to use them.
Some people don’t realize what exactly the Active Directory environment encompasses. While I use Debian at home for my desktop system and I’ve “integrated” linux into Windows environments before, I wouldn’t want to manage a network of 100+ user workstations running linux. I have yet to find anything for linux that is quite like group policies in active directory for centralized management of settings. I’m sure you could cobble up something that copies configurations from a centralized server on a cronjob, but I find it so much easier to lock down a network of untrusted users in an Active Directory environment. There are tons of other reasons, but unless you want to do a lot of work with shotty scripts and extra headache, you would be hard pressed to setup an enterprise level network of user workstations running linux.
2005-11-18 1:27 pmAnonymous
Heh. We have hundreds of Linux workstations in an enterprise environment and manage them quite nicely =]
But yes I do agree that in order to manage windows, you need windows
2005-11-18 1:45 pmcwdrake
As a Windows administrator, and somewhat of a newbie to Linux, I was wondering if there is anything available to centrally manage Linux desktops that would allow an organization to enforce standard desktop configurations, ensure consistent application versions across all desktops? With Windows, we can do this with Active Directory and Group Policy, and use SMS for more advanced tasks. Is there anything like that yet for Linux? I am not trolling, but am genuinely curious because of how prevelant Linux is becoming.
2005-11-18 2:25 pmjziegler
Technically, it would be do-able (e.g. your own repository for packages – same with a on-site SUS server for Windows, which only serves patches you have approved ; ssh access to each box, limited to one user + a ssh multiplexer). If there’s an out of the box solution, I don’t know. I think Novell were up to something.
2005-11-18 2:47 pmzombie process
It’s insanity to spend man-hours admining boxes that are essentially kiosks at this point anyhow. Even if the boxen are completely locked down, re-imaging them regularly is a huge waste of IT resources, which are a commodity fewer and fewer companies want to invest $$$ in at this point.
2005-11-18 5:20 pmintangible
The Xandros Desktop Management server looks even nicer/more powerful than SMS, SUS, and WUS.
I think Novell has an equivalent/better “Zenworks”.
For setting and locking desktop settings though, there’s nothing completely there yet, though some people are making progress: http://www.gnome.org/projects/sabayon/
And for integrating with windows networks, http://sadms.sf.net
2005-11-18 2:40 pmRugmonster
Do you lock your users down? How do you manage standardization of settings with your browsers and other programs? I’m not being argumenative. I’m really interested in how this can be done in a Linux environment. My first admin job was working at an ISP running Linux servers, but never managed end-user workstations running anything other than Windows.
2005-11-18 3:52 pmSphinx
You are seeking a tier of control for your environment.
2005-11-18 10:00 pmAnonymous
You can apply Group Policies and Mandatory Profiles with Samba just as easily as with Active Directory.
Since it Warty was an RC. I have some Ubuntu boxes set up so that any Domain user can use their NT account to login and I have Thunderbird working with our ol’school Exchange 5.5 server with everything working except calendaring.
We are finally going AD so I cant wait to start messing Linux / AD integration in that arena.
The thing that sets Ubuntu / Debian apart from other distros is apt. I can apt-get almost any package I need for integration and be reasonably assured that it will work. I mean its already a pain in the @ss tweaking configs to get it right with out having to worry about dependency issues!
About a year ago I tried the same thing. I installed Ubuntu 4.10 on a spare box and tried to make it usable. It took a lot of tinkering and I could never make it work correctly. For example, I never got printing to work (over Active Directory) and it was pretty painful to set up network shares. I finally gave up and tried out Xandros version 2. What a difference! I had my network shares mounted in minutes and printing was set up just as quickly. Although I actually prefer the Gnome desktop to KDE, the difference isn’t big enough (to me) to worry about. It was great.
Within a couple of weeks, I had switch my main desktop to Xandros 2 Open Circulation Edition and spent maybe 20 minutes a week using Windows (you know, those rarely used proprietary programs) which I now had on a spare box. After a couple of months, I told my boss what I was doing and that I was probably in violation of the Xandros OCE license (since it’s for non-commercial use). He agreed that was bad, got me some petty cash, and I went out and purchased Xandros 3 Deluxe which I’ve been using for the last 8 months or so.
For me, Xandros “just works” and was well worth the $90 price tag.
Something clunky that is reallllllly slow, with a version of firefox that keeps dropping dead every ten minutes and locks up loading openoffice is hardly more productive.
Well that is the experience I am having with ubuntu 5.10 on my laptop (Toshiba M50) which works perfectly with Windows 2003 Server…