Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Desktop Linux for small business

Filed under
Linux

Is your business ready to take the open source plunge? We test five leading desktop Linux distributions and come up with one winner.

As desktop Linux becomes ever more professional, and with Microsoft still a year away from shipping its new Vista version of Windows, could now be the time to go open-source on the desktop? Of course, circumstances will vary from company to company, but if you're ready to make the move, there's a good crop of Linux distributions ready to accommodate your needs.

We set ourselves the task of installing and configuring various desktop and notebook systems with five of the leading Linux distributions: Mandriva Linux 2006, Novell Linux Desktop 9, Red Hat Desktop 4, SUSE Linux 10 and Ubuntu Linux 5.1. We then attempted to implement some basic business tools for each distro: connect an email client to Microsoft's Exchange server; print on a networked printer; and set up instant messaging.

For each Linux distribution, we noted the smoothness of the install process, the abundance and integration of application software, and the depth of the support offering. Along the way, we got a feel for each distro's stability, and how it would feel to do real work with it.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Google beefs Linux up kernel defenses in Android

Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system. Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system. Read more

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more

Proprietary and Microsoft Software

Pithos 1.2

  • New Version of Linux Pandora Client ‘Pithos’ Released
    A new release of open-source Linux Pandora client Pithos is now available for download.
  • Pithos 1.2 Improves The Open-Source/Linux Pandora Desktop Experience
    Chances are if you've ever dealt with Pandora music streaming from the Linux desktop you've encountered Pithos as the main open-source solution that works out quite well. Released today was Pithos 1.2 and it ships with numerous enhancements for this GPLv3-licensed Pandora desktop client. Pithos 1.2 adds a number of new keyboard shortcuts for the main window, initial support for translations, an explicit content filter option, reduced CPU usage with Ubuntu's default theme, redesigned dialogs and other UI elements, and more.