Besides $$, what are the advantages of replacing Windows with Linux? Any disadvantages?

Tags:
Linux
Microsoft Windows
Migrating OS
Windows
Am looking for vendor-neutral resources to help me decide whether we should replace Windows with Linux. This request for help was originally submitted to the Research Assistant on WhatIs.com.

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I have not used Linux in any sort of business network environment. This opinion is based on my experience in using it at home, and working with a few other Linux explorers:

1. Make sure there are applications that will have the functionality you need. Generally there are programs that will do anything that can be done in Windows. Check the various Linux forums for sources for these.
check here:<a href=”http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/instructions.html”>http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/instructions.html</a> for one such office suite.

2. It will take a while for your users to adapt to the slightly different look and feel. There are many different front ends for Linux such as Gnome and KDE. More info <a href=”http://www.devx.com/opensource/Article/16969″>here</a>

3. You will probably want a few windows machines on your network to act as “can openers” for the odd file that can only be opened in a Windows application.

4. Join Linux forums, they are where most of your support will come from. here are a few, but there are MANY out there…
<a href=”http://www.linuxforums.org/”>http://www.linuxforums.org/</a>
<a href=”http://www.linuxquestions.org/”>http://www.linuxquestions.org/</a>
<a href=”http://www.linuxforum.com/forums/”>http://www.linuxforum.com/forums/</a>

5. when shopping for hardware such as printers and scanners, make sure there are Linux drivers, most have Linux drivers available, but some do not have that info right out in the open. Again check the forums for support. There are sites like this <a href=”http://www.linux-drivers.org/”>http://www.linux-drivers.org/</a> to help you along in this area.

6. Having at least on person on your staff who is a Linux-Fanatic (check for the Tux penguin tattoo over their heart…) will be a great help.

Good Luck

I would just add that sometimes technical support is an issue in Linux environments. Depending on what flavour of Linux you are running, you may not be able to just pick up the phone and call someone for help.

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  • carlosdl
    It would be useful to know if you are thinking about migrating client machines and/or servers and what type of applications are currently running on your windows machines. Users usually find harder to get used to this OS changes than IT people. You need to ensure that enough techincal support will exist for you servers if you migrate them to Linux.
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  • Denny Cherry
    While Linux is less expensive or free to install, however the sysadmin salary costs for Linux admins is usually higher than for Windows admins. I've found when putting Linux on servers the costs end up being much higher in the long run. Especially during the migration while you are trying to find qualified support personal.
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