Since the BSA’s active crackdown on illegally acquired software a.k.a pirated software last year, I’ve heard of only two activities by most small and medium sized companies — either they buy licensed Microsoft products or switch to Linux as an alternative. Our company of 16 heavilly networked, internet pounding computers chose the latter.
I thought that P500k+ worth of software ain’t worth it — with the little income that most small web development companies take home today, that amount certainly isn’t easy to let go. The quest for the best Linux distro that fits our needs started early last year. We tried a lot of them — Xandros is a cool replica of MS Windows. We’ve tried Mandrake in the past — we didn’t like it. So Mandriva didn’t cross our mind. Then, comes Kubuntu – the KDE version of Ubuntu Linux. We loved it the first time I tested it on a PIII machine.
Kubuntu certainly does most of our computing jobs in the office. Almost anything that our former lover, MS Windows, offers has an equivalent free software from the linux community. Take a look at this:
- Browser — built in Firefox (IE for Windows)
- Mail client — Thunderbird (Outlook for Windows)
- Instant messenger client — Gaim (much like the Trillian for Windows)
- Office Suite — OpenOffice.org2 (MS Office for Windows)
- Graphics — The Gimp (although, admittedly, Adobe Photoshop for Windows is more mature)
- Text editor (for programming) — Kate (we were using UltraEdit for Windows before)
All the basics are there! We successfully deployed Kubuntu across our network mid-2005. We’ve been using it since then and we couldn’t be more happier. I feel that the network is more secured, easily upgradable (Kubuntu releases new versions every 6 months) and dynamic.
On the other hand, this isn’t always the case for other companies. I’ve tried implementing Kubuntu to a client of ours with about 20 workstations. Before they even sign up, they realized that they can’t work on it for lack of Linux ports for their accounting and bank software.
Anyone here successfully implemented any Linux distros across their networks? Your story can be an encouragement to other companies who think that Linux is a dangerously unexplored territory.