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Old 05-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
kinenkaya
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Enterprise Desktop recommendations


Question: Which "Enterprise Linux" Desktop is most preferred for running primarily in a Windows environment? I do realize how subjective the question is. I'm looking for opinions based on professional exposure to Linux workstations in a production environment.

Background: I've been using Debian (and Debian-family) Linux distributions since the late 90s. About 6 months ago I started using Linux as my primary desktop at work(Debian), since I'm allowed complete freedom in my job to my OS/Application selection so long as I can collaborate with Windows users(and applications) seamlessly.

I have a beefy desktop with a ton of available resources. I currently have Windows 7 running as a Virtual Box VM guest on one of my displays to ensure my operational compliance.

The reason why I'm bringing up the question is because even though I've used Linux as my personal primary OS for more than a decade I'm employed as a Windows administrator(necessary evil; there is a huge lack of linux jobs in my region). After a new round of (Microsoft) certifications I'm intending on choosing an Enterprise Linux to certify in, mostly as a way to expand my horizons but also because it will allow me to choose a vendor to support when the firm requests an alternative(or make up my mind for me).
 
Old 05-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
Kustom42
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RHEL(Red Hat Enterprise Linux) is by far the best choice for enterprise/production environments. Others will say suse and other flavors will work but RHEL has the enterprise level support and is pretty industry standard. The RHCSA cert is a great way to get yourself into the Red Hat administration family.
 
Old 05-07-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
kinenkaya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kustom42 View Post
RHEL(Red Hat Enterprise Linux) is by far the best choice for enterprise/production environments. Others will say suse and other flavors will work but RHEL has the enterprise level support and is pretty industry standard. The RHCSA cert is a great way to get yourself into the Red Hat administration family.
I'm a little confused by RHEL's versioning. According to https://www.redhat.com/apps/store/desktop/ the difference between Desktop and Workstation is "a standalone development environment". Digging further http://www.redhat.com/products/enter...p/compare.html it appears there are memory limitations in Desktop (5) and there isn't actually a product listed called "Workstation" for version 6. Could someone lend clarity to this? The memory limitation leads me to the conclusion I'd be getting Workstation...?

Last edited by kinenkaya; 05-07-2012 at 02:50 PM. Reason: more details + spelling/grammar
 
Old 05-07-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
Kustom42
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Those are subscription parameters set in the OS, the OS can support unlimited amount but depending upon the subscription you choose you will have certain limits put in place. I would contact their sales dept at http://www.redhat.com/contact/sales.html and ask for a demo. They can go into more depth on the differences between the versions/subscriptions.

---------- Post added 05-07-12 at 01:28 PM ----------

If you want a free alternative with no limits you can use CentOS.
 
Old 05-07-2012, 10:37 PM   #5
kinenkaya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kustom42 View Post
Those are subscription parameters set in the OS, the OS can support unlimited amount but depending upon the subscription you choose you will have certain limits put in place. I would contact their sales dept at http://www.redhat.com/contact/sales.html and ask for a demo. They can go into more depth on the differences between the versions/subscriptions.

---------- Post added 05-07-12 at 01:28 PM ----------

If you want a free alternative with no limits you can use CentOS.
I've had very limited exposure to CentOS. Perhaps I'll go that route. Thanks!
 
Old 05-07-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
snowpine
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If you like Debian Squeeze then you will probably also like CentOS 6. I am a fan of both and would have a hard time choosing just one.
 
Old 05-08-2012, 04:45 AM   #7
Knightron
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I think the biggest difference between Debian and CentOS is that Debian only needs the official repositories, but if you desire any media program in CentOS, you will usually need to add a third party repo; and this requires a little more monitoring than you'd have to do with Debian.
Other differences are what would most likely be already known by someone who's been using Linux as long as you. CentOS also has better support for newer hardware in my experience.
 
Old 05-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kustom42 View Post
RHEL(Red Hat Enterprise Linux) is by far the best choice for enterprise/production environments. Others will say suse and other flavors will work but RHEL has the enterprise level support and is pretty industry standard. The RHCSA cert is a great way to get yourself into the Red Hat administration family.
At least at one point, Red Hat seemed to have given up on the desktop, so I'd be interested in a link where they summarise their new position. Obviously, RH and derivatives are still a valid recommendation for a server, but if you want to integrate with primarily windows users (and therefore a primarily windows network, presumably with horrors like Active Directory), I'd put SLED ahead.

If the objective is to go with the flavour that has more presence in the sever space, and primarily in the US, for longer term career development reasons, then it would be RH (...and derivatives...) first, and I think that I might take Scientific.
 
Old 05-08-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
kinenkaya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
but if you want to integrate with primarily windows users (and therefore a primarily windows network, presumably with horrors like Active Directory), I'd put SLED ahead.
My experience with Red-Hat is from many years ago and I had been spoiled (rotten) by apt. I've only ever tried openSUSE(of the SUSE tribe) and I had a difficult time making some (basic) things work out of the box. AD integration might be an interesting project. I do see they offer AD integration in their setup. I'm assuming it's just a mixture of winbind/pam/ldap preconfigured with a gui setup utility?

Do SLED and RHEL have similar version aging?

Perhaps I'll have to try them all. lol. I was thinking there would be a more firm technical reason or 10 out there for using one over another. Not trying to start a fight, but I always assumed one of the "Enterprise" Linuxes was on top/better/etc.

EDIT: Should clarify that I've installed SLED 11 in Hyper-V to verify that the integration tools functioned; didnt use it otherwise.

Last edited by kinenkaya; 05-08-2012 at 06:16 PM. Reason: details...
 
Old 05-18-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
anomie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinenkaya
Question: Which "Enterprise Linux" Desktop is most preferred for running primarily in a Windows environment? I do realize how subjective the question is. I'm looking for opinions based on professional exposure to Linux workstations in a production environment.
In your shoes, I'd use an Ubuntu LTS. Five-year lifecycle, as of 12.04.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
chrism01
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Quote:
Do SLED and RHEL have similar version aging?
Not sure what you mean by that... In RHEL/Centos/SL, you can definitely update within major versions eg
Code:
yum update
on eg 5.0 will automatically take you up to latest 5.x (5.9 atm) and handle dependencies automatically.
To go to a newer major version eg 5.x to 6.x, you would have to do a backup+clean install.
HTH
PS see www.linuxtopia.org for complete manuals for various distros, inc RHEL based ones.
 
Old 05-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
destroyira
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In RHEL u cant update anything without RHN subscription, so i think it's not by any means desktop linux. But if u want very stable system and dont need very fresh and new packages, take Centos. Or use fedora distro it has everything what RHEL will have in v7 i supose (but i dont think that Fedora can be count as stable distro )
 
Old 05-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #13
chrism01
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Hmm, wanted to edit my post, but no Edit button anymore .. anyway, latest RHEL/Centos etc is 5.8
 
Old 06-04-2012, 03:30 PM   #14
kinenkaya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomie View Post
In your shoes, I'd use an Ubuntu LTS. Five-year lifecycle, as of 12.04.
I'm running 12.04 LTS right now. Perhaps it's nice. Perhaps I'm picky. I don't like seeing a system with daily updates. It flies in the face of stability to have software constantly changing on a system that should remain unchanged (or changed less, yes?).

I noticed that CentOS rolled out and felt really stable for the couple weeks I had it running. I did have some issues with 3 monitor setup but previous experiences helped me through it without too much trouble. As it turns out CentOS is the only free licensed version of "Enterprise Linux" that our co-located vendors carry and has full 'support' for the M$ virtualization platform. Getting a vibe from the LQ community helps a lot. I'm always looking for some good ammunition for workstations because our Linux servers aren't going away and our M$ Gallows admins need the extra training. Sometimes the logic of a thing comes through constant exposure.

I appreciate all of your comments on this topic. You've all been helpful!
 
Old 06-04-2012, 11:05 PM   #15
anomie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinenkaya
I'm running 12.04 LTS right now. Perhaps it's nice. Perhaps I'm picky. I don't like seeing a system with daily updates. It flies in the face of stability to have software constantly changing on a system that should remain unchanged (or changed less, yes?).
I see your point. Check out the "Release Plan Details" section at the URL I pointed to, and see if it puts your mind at ease. There appears to be a sane level of change management for LTS, and I suspect the volume of updates will decrease as it gets further along in its lifecycle.
 
  


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