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Old 04-04-2002, 05:46 PM   #1
TravisB
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Location: Richmond, VA
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Question Linux at work, converting 30 users


My employer has decided to give linux a try as a replacement for windows. We have about 30 users with old computers. They are mostly PII's running 95 with 3 - 6 gig hard drives, and some laptops as well. I have been playing with RH and Mandrake for a couple months. I tried Debian but could not get it to install correctly. I am still a linux newbie and the only one with linux experience here. What do you think would be the best distro for us to go with for:
1. user friendly - ease of use for windows users
2. can run on these old pc's at least as fast as 95 does
3. security
4. kde, gnome, etc. - which one is more reliable, not a memory hog, but still very easy transition from windows
4. and anything else I might be leaving out.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
 
Old 04-04-2002, 09:31 PM   #2
hanzerik
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If they are old computers, that are not very fast, I would have to say slackware. It May be harder for a person new to linux to install, but has all the features you asked for. It isnt as bloated as some distros are getting, and runs decent on slow machines using Gnome and Sawfish. Secure. Once setup correctlly and with a little help from a person somewhat knowledgable in linux, your users shouldnt have that hard of a time using it for word proccessing, browsing, and such. You can install only what you need in slackware to save room on those small drives. (Small, lol I'm running RH72 on a 3gigger 86% full, I really need to make some room on my 40gig. But why mess up a great running system)

Tell use what your users do day to day on the win95 machines, that may help decide which distro would fit your needs.
 
Old 04-04-2002, 09:33 PM   #3
trickykid
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1. Well mandrake is probably the newbie friendly distro. easy to maintain and setup. You can customize the install which leads to part of your question 2 and 4, to limit what is loaded and running to prevent resource hogging.

2. See #1

3. Security, any distro will do fine, its up to you and how you setup the install and configuring afterwards for a good secure box.

4. Neither KDE or Gnome. Want a fast small stable desktop, go with Blackbox, XFce or maybe WindowMaker.. XFce might be good for business, easy to configure and use for non-linux users to customize their own desktops.

hope this helps out..

-trickykid
 
Old 04-05-2002, 05:30 AM   #4
TravisB
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Thanks for your suggestions. I would say most of our users only need web access and office programs. We currently use Citrix to distribute most of our apps. I have tried Star Office 5.2 and it seems a little slow. I do like how you can save your files as MS formats though, something I have not seen available in K office which appears to run a lot faster.
I will give Blackbox and XFce a try today. I do not really like windowmaker, it is just too bare. Please let me know if there are any more suggestions.
 
Old 04-05-2002, 06:40 AM   #5
hanzerik
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Citrix has a linux client.
http://www.citrix.com/download/bin/download.asp
 
Old 04-05-2002, 02:06 PM   #6
esteeven
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Wink

Careful how you sell the whole package to the end users. I've just made a massive mistake and lost a little battle for Linux. I installed Mandrake 7.3 on an old W95 PC used for WP and email. I did it because of complaints about the speed of W95. I'm a newbie (though I have SuSE 7.3 running like a dream at home and on my work laptop) and I know I must have made some setup mistakes - but the three users of this PC rebelled. They wouldn't see that KDE was enough like W95. They wanted more and more from Abiword - e.g. "sometimes I want to insert a table - will Abi do it?" KWord seemed too complicated to them (!) and nobody seemed prepared to learn basics. They managed to open multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) copies of everything they used because they couldn't understand the concept of single click and then wait for the old PC to do its stuff. I closed down about 25 of Abiword yesterday and 15 of KMail. Help! These people are not stupid in any way. This is all my fault - I should have sold the whole thing better. I work in a two site 25 PC environment and my dream of saying adios to W95 and W98 has just been slowed down. Just be certain that when you change over on each PC, the end user is going to be able to do ebrything they want to do on day one!! It's a pain - but no matter how much support you have from the top, the users that demand your support will wear you down if they can't do what they want. This sounds like a PROPHET OF DOOM rant - it's not. I'm fully behind Linux after only 4 months as a user. I know it can do whatever we want it to do. I also know that it can do whatever a Windows user wants it to do. I'm going to have to consider my next move carefully - and design a basic differences course (paper based) so that my future adventures are not curtailed by user fear. Good luck - but tread carefully!
PS I sneaked SuSE 7.3 on to a server today. Switch over is next week.
 
Old 04-05-2002, 03:05 PM   #7
TravisB
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hanzerik: I use the citrix client for linux on my work pc. I think what we would do is setup Star office and everything else on the citrix server and let all users do most of their work that way. Whenever we need to update software, we only do it once!

esteeven: That is one thing I am worried about. If you do not make it simple enough to learn in less than 3 minutes, they will hate it and me for making their work harder to do.

trickykid: I really like Blackbox, it flies on these old computers we have here. It is not as user friendly as kde or gnome, but I like it. One thing, is there a file explorer like konqueror or nautilus?
 
Old 04-05-2002, 09:06 PM   #8
dalee
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if you don't want to use konq or Nautalis, I recommend midnight commander. It is much like windoze explorer.

dalee
 
Old 04-06-2002, 05:18 AM   #9
TravisB
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Does blackbox come with something like midnight commander already built in? I tried looking around in it but could not find anything. I have not tried midnight commander yet, but what are some other alternatives? Thanks.
 
Old 04-06-2002, 06:20 AM   #10
finegan
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Quote:
Originally posted by TravisB
esteeven: That is one thing I am worried about. If you do not make it simple enough to learn in less than 3 minutes, they will hate it and me for making their work harder to do.
The double edge of that is also that they're only going to be seeing the things that are missing that make it harder. The things that make it easier, i.e. the lack of BSODs and crashing apps.

I don't envy this kind of task, especially if your users are like most of those that I know, and fancy themselves as computer savy just because they can transfer files accross a windows LAN. Honestly you might want to go with the slow and easy transition of using all of the KDE themes and SOffice aspects that make everything look just like windows, sort of ease the poor buggers through the culture shock.

Also, esteeven, dude, KDE control panel, mouse behavior, change it to double-click, single is just the default. Remember, one of the nice things that comes with the KDE chunkiness is that you can change just about every aspect of its behavior.

Luck,

Finegan
 
  


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