Linux in Government: Linux Desktop Reviews, Part 1 - Xandros Business Edition
Xandros has many things going for it, including stability and a dedicated development team. Originally called the Corel Desktop, it's a Debian-based Linux distribution and continues to evolve as a stable and well thought out Linux distribution. As with many Linux distributions, the company provides a freely downloadable version.
You also may consider the Xandros desktop to be suitable for use by people wanting a modern and trouble-free Linux system. Xandros uses KDE as its windowing environment instead of GNOME. Fortunately, applications such as Evolution and the GNOME infrastructure are available as updates to the system, as are traditional GTK applications, such as FireFox and The GIMP.
If an organization feels comfortable managing its desktops without help from the vendor, then Xandros has a lot of merit. Unfortunately, the company lacks many features that enterprise users require. For example, enterprise customers want answers to questions such as:
What kind of support organization does Xandros have related to users? If you run into a problem, can you contact someone for help? How, over the phone or by e-mail?
How big is Xandros' support organization? Does the company out-source its support?
Does Xandros have a professional services organization? If someone wants to buy a large number of desktops, how would Xandros handle a big order?
Xandros offers documentation for the user. How about technical documentation, is there anything for the administrator?
What kind of solution-provider ecosystem exists? Does Xandros have resellers? How robust is that reseller organization?
What is Xandros's server strategy? Does the company y provide back office functionality and identity management?
What tools exist for rolling out and managing the desktops?
Does the company offer on-site training?
How can administrators and help-desk people learn to provide desk-side support in their own companies? Does curriculum exist?
These questions need answers. Government users may love the off-the-shelf Windows functionality provided by Xandros. If an organization has to provide its own support and administration, however, perhaps the organization equally is prepared to add Windows functionality itself.
Tom Adelstein lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Yvonne, and works as a Linux and open-source software consultant with Hiser+Adelstein, headquartered in New York City. He's the co-author of the book Exploring the JDS Linux Desktop and author of an upcoming book on Linux system administration, to be published by O'Reilly and Associates. Tom has been writing articles and books about Linux since early 1999.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide