Linux In The Real World: Linux Serving IKEA

IKEA has discovered that Linux is a low-cost solution for its TCP/IP networking needs. Anders Östling tells us the story.

Today, system size has increased to well over 700 IP hosts due to the fact that new LANs with networked NT servers and Windows PCs are popping up every day of the week. How have CYGNUS and his partner (yes, it's a he) coped with this? Until today, there has been no problem worth mentioning (aside from a total power outage which killed both systems). Oh yes: one big problem is to make people not used to Unix use RCS and vi to manage our DNS files.

Another problem with Linux is that it's too cheap. I'm serious, since many people still put an equal sign between Cheap/Free and Bad/Dangerous. In the case of Linux (and XFree86) this has proven to be pure nonsense.

There are some companies here in Sweden offering support for Linux. I think that this will help to make Linux more socially acceptable; if you find somebody who is willing to accept a check from you, then you can always shout and yell at him if there are unsolved problems. Personally, I prefer to have direct contact with the programmers and designers.

A year later, that system is still running Linux 1.0 and UUCP. There have been a few problems, all caused by the other UUCP partner (I won't mention any brands), but all-in-all, everybody was happy. So happy, in fact, that a few of our techies have also tried Linux out on their own PCs. Some, like me, have kept Linux for good.

Anders Östling is a die-hard VMS fan who, after spending 10 years in the Digital farm, has gotten more and more into Unix and networking. When not doing what he's paid for—managing computers and networks—he likes to cuddle with his kids, computers, pets and wife (in no particular order...). He lives in the countryside outside Helsingborg in an old miner's village called Gunnarstorp. Don't miss it when you are in Sweden! If you have any questions or comments (general or DNS), he can be reached at


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