Eye on Oracle

Apr 3 2007   8:06AM GMT

Oracle on Linux: Users speak out

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Last week I asked you readers out there what you think about the future of Linux — will desktop Linux ever achieve the dream of world domination? What about Oracle on Linux? Last year, IOUG president Ari Kaplan predicted that Linux would be the top operating system for Oracle DBMS deployments in 2007. Did this prediction come true, or is Linux’s big year still, and always, next year?

Some loyal Linux users (and some skeptics) wrote in to respond. Here’s what they had to say. . . .

I’m an IT consultant at BBR E-commerce and Retail in Chile, and so far we are about 60 people, of which 47 use Linux in our workstations, not to mention our servers which are Linux powered, even at home I am using Cent OS 4.4, and even my kid brother (he’s 9 years old) got used to it, it’s got a nice friendly desktop and a very powerful console for people like me.
 
So in short, I say Linux is starting to take over.

- Carlos E.

Linux will definitely become number 1, its movement is slow but steady.

- Nilesh B.

Of course Linux will rule the world one day. Also, I consider Linux not a dream but ‘our’ dream, therefore I’m sure it will become the number one.

- Mario B.

I’m a committed Linux server man. Desktop? Don’t make me laugh. I’ve been trying to get an off-the-shelf webcam configured on a reasonably new HP laptop running Debian (kernel 2.6). No chance. Not supported. OpenSource community have dropped support (or so it seems). Nothing compiles right. Errors all over. Works like a dream on XP. Skype loads up nice but won’t see my webcam (Logitec Quickcam).
 
End users have enough to put up with from MS (including half a dozen variants of Vista!…er, which one?) without having to perform complex kernel patches, compilations and variants of desktop  managers. Er which of the dozens of “distributions” should I use? Which Window manager? Which Kernel? Nobody has any answers. It’s a nightmare for the end user unless it’s all done for them.
 
We need STANDARDIZATION not a free-for-all. How are the hardware manufacturers supposed to keep up with all the differences between distributions?
 
Want to look at the web for support? Go on, have a go. Unless you’re a propeller head you’ve got no chance.

- Neil B.

From my experiences over the years supporting financial, banking, and mortgage industry customer bases, Linux itself as an enterprise platform still does not meet the “political in-crowd” requirements to take its rightful place as a viable and cost efficient alternate platform to a commercial OS.

Any time efforts stemming from Open Source technology evolve into viable work products, business analysts seem to short sight the value and overstate the obvious regarding Open Source technology:  that some people aren’t always in it for the money.

- Dave A.

I had similar fantasies with Unix back in the early 80′s while in Sunnyvale. We took ourselves too seriously as developers because we thought we could “change the world” with our irresistible code changes to the Unix library. :-)  Such is the folly of youth. The “egalitarianism” of Linux goes counter to capitalism. Without real funding there is no order, but “developmental anarchy” where companies will be held hostage to the “brilliance of strangers” to bring new innovations and code bug fixes. Microsoft (a.k.a. the BIG Satan) :-)) is very successful because its developers have a good chance at becoming millionaires.

- Rashad M.

Anybody else care to chime in?

UPDATE:

Hi Elisa,

I’m a Consultant in Australia and have obvserved the following:

Linux is extremely popular for servers in small to medium sites and in larger sites for non mission critical systems. It has moved heavilly into network based services as a platform of choice, mail, file servers, web servers, etc. It is seen as cheap, manageable and reasonably reliable. Rule the world, I doubt it, but a major player, definitely.

Linux on the desktop is playing catchup and not gaining any ground in my opinion. Many organisations have looked into, a number I work with have pilots running at this time and the results are uniformly negative. Project teams are chronically facing “how do we fix this problem” questions and management looks at their cost proposals and sees no cost-benefit or even work value benefit in switching from Windows. All they see is a slippery ride. I’ve been involved in a couple of these now and remain very disappointed.

So, Will Linux ever rule the World? Well, what do you mean by World?

- Andrew M.

 UPDATE 2:

Unfortunately for Linux, Windows is a moving target. How much is spent and how many people work on Windows? What was the development budget on Vista? How much for KDE? Linux will never catch up – except among hard-core IT folk.

- Mike F.

Thanks,
Elisa

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