distro & gnome/kde suggestions for enterprise (windows network)
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distro & gnome/kde suggestions for enterprise (windows network)
I am interested in helping a Windows-centric company do a partial migration to linux. Recently the CEO told IT to "replace all pc's with macs." The head of accounting/finance informed the CEO of the cost of this move, and he choked and decided against the idea. But the point is, they are open to something new.
It is a small company, with a website, a corporate office, and a school. So there is an internet lounge, office workstations, macs for content creation (mostly web/print, including some video/audio resources distributed on cd/dvd and online).
Forgive me if this kind of question has been asked already, but what are the qualities of any given distribution that must be weighed in this context?
Perhaps the greatest one is "ease of use" which means which tools am I more familiar with, in that case I would lean towards Debian/Ubuntu.
I will begin with setting up a "case study" desktop workstation (or group of them if I am allowed) with either kde or gnome. If anyone has any experience locking down kde and gnome please comment on which experience was more satisfying and why. I have enjoyed both as a user, but as a beginning linux user I am hoping to understand which is more simple or even intuitive to administer.
As others have stated, depending on the software you're looking for, advice may change.
On the whole, however, when the network is set up, it won't really matter to the end users which distribution you set up. What matters most to the end users is the desktop environment. The applications are pretty much shared in KDE from one distro to another, and in Gnome from one distro to another. Even the menus and tools are similar (There are exceptions, such as SUSE, which completely changes KDE and Gnome's default layout). If you wish for multiple users to have admin rights then neglect what I just said.
The speed of the CPU and RAM are also big factors. I found Fedora 7 and OpenSUSE 10.2 for instance to absolutely crawl on two boxes of mine: An AMD Athlon K7 500MHz 384mb DDR RAM, and a P3 825MHz 160mb SDRAM. Gnome tended to run faster on these boxes as well, but KDE on the right distro runs fine on them.
On the administration side, however, there is a lot of difference. Since you will be controlling the package management, this will concern you much more than an end user with no root privileges.
As for myself, I found KDE much more intuitive coming from a windows background than Gnome. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to their respective DE, but KDE is much more windows-like in it's setup. I also found it easier to configure KDE's menu system than Gnome's.
Yes, I think kde will be fine. I am told Debian Sid will be more secure than Stable. Is there really a reason to attempt to stay on the "bleeding edge" with a distro? Otherwise stable it will be--with exceptions perhaps.
The network infrastructure is built around Everest-- a business operating system. Which requires windows for everything. I am told you can work on it from windows terminal services, though, so I don't have to stare at a windows desktop all day at least.
Possible applications for linux/unix:
-everywhere, of course
-internet access lounge (firefox+plugins & openoffice)
-network storage device ("T:\" drive on office systems, could use samba.)
Someone in the media department was amazed when I showed them md5sum could be used to verify file integrity. They found out CS3 was crashing on startup because of one corrupted font file. Fixing it requires moving all fonts to a temporary directory. Then they drag one over, try CS3, drag it back. Rinse, repeat until the crash is duplicated.
Man, mac users are such... mac users! I should find/write a script for that one. Tiger doesn't have verified copy (in Finder I suppose) so thats another idea.
For a production environment I would stick with Stable. Testing and unstable are for testing new packages, changes in the system and bleeding edge packages. Stable on the other hand is rock solid which is what you want in an environment in which you are supporting users. Testing and unstable are great for a PC at home or in the lab, but I wouldn't use them at work.
If you need some newer packages for your stable system look at [url=http://www.backports.org/dokuwiki/doku.php]Debian backports[url] rather than mixing the repositories on your production systems with testing or unstable packages and trying to maintain a mixed system.
Windows terminal services ? that's easy.. rdesktop straight from the Debian repositories. Works great for connecting to windows machines through terminal services from your Linux box.