Anybody work for a company that uses Linux? (in Off-topic)

RedWolf June 16 2007 1:51 PM EDT

If so, why Linux instead of Windows? I need to know for an IT course I'm taking ;-)

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] June 16 2007 1:59 PM EDT


-No defrags.
-Customizable in an infinity of ways.
-Excellent when used on servers.

From the top of my head.

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] June 16 2007 2:10 PM EDT

Also: While Windows prides itself in thinking every user is super comp stupid, Linux gives you mountains more control over itself, from the little I have seen of it so far and depending on the build, of course.

I mean, I can understand some people are not comfortable with computers and all, but when I buy freaking XP ''PRO'' or XP ''Enterprise'', I just expect the OS to know I am not the average user.

''I know how to put on a firewall....gosh.''

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 16 2007 3:47 PM EDT

Are you talking about using Linux as a desktop OS?

bartjan June 16 2007 3:56 PM EDT

I have been using Debian GNU/Linux exclusively for the past (lost count) 5 years or so; not only on servers, but also on desktops and even wireless routers.

Why? Stability, Security and friendlier System requirements in itself are already big bonuses, but not having to suffer from Microsoft's business ethics and standards compliance.
To amuse yourself, go ahead and read Microsoft's proposed Office Open XML ISO standard. Yes, all 6000+ pages. When you're done reading, you can be proud in knowing that you are very likely the only one that managed to complete this laborious task, but you should also have spotted a long list of inconsistencies (with itself and with other, accepted standards) and you should realize that Microsoft is not pushing this "standard" in order to enable interoperability with other products, but only to trap their customers into buying yet another version of their Office product they don't need, except for being able to read these documents.
I could give you more examples, but I probably should stop right now ;)

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] June 16 2007 4:01 PM EDT

How could I forget the proprietary (software/file system/file extension
etc...) crap Microsoft is more and more content to advertise and praise?

xDanELx June 16 2007 8:28 PM EDT

Although a lot of Linux package have made it so that it is easier to install, it is the "infy customization" that will cause people to shy away from it. I myself am an experienced computer user and have been exposed to different OSes and even have the Fedora package on my laptop. But seeing all the installation settings required and all the setup needed after installation makes it a bit difficult for most. I'm even having difficulties myself as I don't want to use it for just word processing or surfing.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 16 2007 8:38 PM EDT

try ubuntu Dan, it makes a windows install look frighteningly complicated, still has some customization issues, but even that is largely being taken care of by cute friendly widgets and control panels....

Relic June 17 2007 1:10 AM EDT

I love posts like this, where the linux zealots come out and play and bash microsoft and praise linux based systems and servers.

Do you even realize what microsoft has done to revolutionize the world? It brought home computing into just that, the home. Savvy users on the net, i.e. programmers, and it professionals are so disconnected with the average user it is frightening that they are in large part designing systems for the average user.

I have worked with Windows Servers, and Linux servers (mainly Redhat and Debian). Security is only an issue when you have an inept IT professional setting up and/or maintaining the system in question. A properly setup Linux Server runs certain code bases very well, is secure, and can have great uptime and reliability. A properly setup Windows Server can yield the same results.

At a previous job I worked at we ran a single MSSQL 2000 instance on a quad xeon proc server with 16 gig of ram and during peak hours of business we have a transaction throughput of 70k sql transactions per second on the box, and these were not isolated to non-indexed inserts either, they were the full CRUD spectrum. While at another we pushed roughly 50k transactions per second on a redhat linux server running oracle 10g, so if properly coded, architected and maintained it is really just preference.

Some will argue that linux based systems are cheaper because of licensing, that is a farce imo, in most scenarios the licensing cost is negligible compared with more payroll resources to make up for building in house solutions. Google is a prime example, they used to run a ton of desktops machines, until from a personnel standpoint it became almost unmanageable, they have since shifted into buying more singularly robust servers, thus lowering their overhead from a payroll perspective.

All in all, as I said, it really is preference and really looking at what is best for the given company. There is no one solution in the realm of software and/or computing needs. Unless you are Steve Jobs and are a whee bit biased. =)

QBsutekh137 June 17 2007 2:35 AM EDT

So if it's just a matter of use and preference, why are you calling the Linux folks, "zealots" and the MS folks "revolutionaries", Glory?

Sometimes bias is glaringly obvious, based on language alone.

Relic June 17 2007 9:49 AM EDT

Are you disagreeing with me Sut? Do you not agree with my point of what microsoft has done in the computing world? There are major technology advancements in both the linux and microsoft world. I used the words zealots to bring up the point that there was no objectivity in their responses, they were simply saying Linux is better period. A conclusions I obviously do not share in all instances. Let me rephrase, Linux _can_ be better, but so _can_ Microsoft solutions, it really depends on the case.

AdminJonathan June 17 2007 1:21 PM EDT

We have a lot of linux servers.

At our scale license costs aren't something to sneeze at, more so when you have to add the kind of extra software you need to admin Windows boxes at that scale. Out of the box there is nothing that lets you deploy a new version of your code (or of Apache or IIS, for that matter) to 100 or 1000 Windows machines at once.

Glory doth protest too much methinks. Funny how the only studies showing overall IT savings on MS software are funded by MS. :)

Relic June 17 2007 2:52 PM EDT

"Out of the box there is nothing that lets you deploy a new version of your code (or of Apache or IIS, for that matter) to 100 or 1000 Windows machines at once."

As far as you know right? There are plenty of solutions that allow this, again it comes down to code architecture, tier architecture and IT infrastructure. Anytime absolute claims are made, I lose respect for whoever makes the statement.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 17 2007 3:33 PM EDT

We get it Glory, you drank the M$ Kool-aid and liked it...

QBsutekh137 June 17 2007 4:02 PM EDT

I am neither disagreeing or agreeing with you, Glory.

I am analyzing your language and noting the discrepancy between starting off calling Linux fans "zealots" and MS revolutionary, and then finishing with " really is preference..." Both (all) camps have zealots, revolutionaries, apathetics, agnostics, and ignorants. Linux has 'em, MS has 'em. If you think it is personal preference, then just stick to that and discuss. I see no reason to lessen Linux by calling its followers "zealots", and I see no reason to laud MS (they got paid handsomely for their "revolution".)

For the record, I dislike any corporation that uses its size to only think of itself and its shareholders, even if it may be from some sort of "noblesse oblige" perspective (I firmly believe MS thinks they are driving the bus and so therefore have no problem handling the bus any way they wish, legal or not). That dislike includes MS, Disney, uber-conglomerates, certain utility companies, etc. etc. Then again, that's capitalism. If yoou aren't cheating, you aren't trying to win.

At work, we use MS products, and MS Visual Foxpro is my main tool (and has been, happily, for about 10 years). I am fine with that, and it hasn't technically been my choice anyway. Unless I want to try to rewrite 600,000 lines of code onto a whole new server, network, and client environment, I'm somewhat stuck. So, my personal preferences don't enter into this case.

Sorry for the detour. Basically, I agree with Glory stating it is a lot about preference, and would add it is also about legacy systems, in-house expertise, and size. Licensing costs and more philosophical things like proprietary lock-in vs. more potential configuration freedom come into play for some, but not for other.

QBsutekh137 June 17 2007 4:17 PM EDT

To summarize and get back on track, I would say the two biggest things Linux offers (but that many folks simply do not need or care about) is configurability and the ability to avoid proprietary lock-in. Yes, most large Linux solutions are going to involve lock-in of some kind (vendor support, application base, etc.), but Windows lock-in is of a more profound nature. The operating system, database layer, application tools, and server tools are all created and integrated by MS. This can yield some impressive usability. Sure, you could put MySQL, python, and Apache on a Windows 2003 server, but why would you do that when MS's tools all work so well together and are optimized together? You wouldn't, unless you wanted to avoid that across-the-board lock in. Because once you are locked in, that's it. You can't just swap out SQL Server for MySQL, or replace IIS with Apache without some headaches (especially if you have glued it all together using something like .NET). The tight integration means that trying to remove a chunk of it is harder than it would be for something that simply tries to use standards to make all the pieces and parts work together (such as Linux and its myriad distributions).

Glory, yes, I do believe deployment tools and configuration wizards exist for Windows, but the shame is that such layers NEED to exist. MS uses complicated configuration mechanisms -- mechanisms that are proprietary, binary, and often incurring license fees. Linux, on the other hand, uses simplye text files for most everything. Copying the /etc folder from one machine to another can get you halfway to a universal deployment process, and it doesn't take much more to get the other half (usually just a text editor). There are no registries to deal with, no Active Directory stores to replicate, no SQL Server licenses that you are forced to purchase and host in order for certain enterprise functions to roll. When you play the MS game, you have to play it virtually 100% to leverage the integration and ease of use MS touts (that's the way they like it -- cohesive product suites and enterprise licensing equals $$$).
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