leenix's blog

Why is Linux (and FOSS) better than Windows?

Obviously, this could start (and has started) plenty of religious flame wars over the years. This is not my intention. I am wondering what points I can use, specifically, as arguments to make a case for FOSS, specifically Linux, in a business setting. If I were hired as the IT director of a small company, and was asked to build an IT infrastructure, my inclination would be to begin building with Linux and FOSS, but when my boss came to me and asked me why I chose those technologies, honestly I would have very few concrete reasons.  Here is what I have so far:

  1. I agree with the philosophy behind FOSS
  2. There are a plethora of plugins developed to help extend our infrastructure for our current (and future) needs
  3. If we find that a piece of software we downloaded (or purchased) is broken, or doesn't do what we need it to do, we have the source code and (hopefully) the resources to fix/change it.
  4. Not only are there several (competing) options for paid support, there are a ton of free message boards, mailing lists and IRC chanels to get assistance from, making our virtual knowledge bank HUGE
  5. Total cost of ownership is going to be a fraction of that of closed source products.
  6. When needed, we can find closed source software to do what we need when we can't find a FOSS solution.

That's where I am at.

And the Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth...

I don't want to sound like a great philosopher, or to get too far away from the topic of making Linux work for everyone. But I want to just share an observation. Anyway, tonight I sat down and read some and watched Revolution OS , The Code Linux and The History of Hacking. The thing that glares out at me from these films is the absolute irony of the computer industry. The people who have made most of the REAL strides in the computer development, are not really welcome in the business end of the industry. They become known as 'hackers' or 'hippie geeks'. Because the most important thing to these great software and hardware hackers is pushing the envelope of what computers can do, and not what next product to develop to try and 'innovate a new market share', they become known as 'freaks'. Without people like Wozniak, Draper, Torvalds, Stallman, Raymond and Felsenstein, computers would STILL be monstrous machines costing millions of dollars and really only feasible for huge corporations.

Is Linux Dying?

I'm not looking to start a flame here. I am simply concerned. I was reading this article and I began to wonder about the future of Linux. Con Kolivas has been a fixture in Linux desktop development for a few years now and there are things he talks about that are going on within the community that seriously put it at risk. First, the Linux community relies on its community. Without it, Linux is just some Finnish guys home coding project. The community I know, the local LUGS, are fantastic. Sure there is some ego, but some of these guys have nothing else in their lives. The forums are much better in the last few years. When I first tried Linux (Redhat 5.1) I was really put off by the elitism in the forums. There were guys that were in the forums to answer questions and if you asked too simple a question, you got flamed. Lately it has become better and you only get mildly charred when you ask a stupid question.

Flawless Fawn

I installed the beta about a month ago, and it has many MAJOR additions from Edgy. First, the wireless install on my laptop went off without a hitch. I did the Fiesty install , then, using an ethernet connection i opened synaptic and chose the bcm43xx-fwcutter program. During the intall a window popped up asking me if I wanted to download and install the driver for my card. I said yeas and it did.... flawless!I set up the RDC and have been RDCing into my Vista box at work to do any Windows programming I need to do. It works without a hitch. I have installeed the ntfs-3g driver to read and write to my external hard drive. I just used synaptic... again no problems.So far, the only problem i've had is getting the Cisco VPN client installed. I gave up on it and installed vpnc from synaptic once i get the particulars, we'll see if that works just as flawlessly.I'd like to change the name of fiesty fawn to Flawless Fawn! ;0)Well, Back at it!!

Ubuntu, Veritas Backup Exec and you...

I've been meaning to post this for about a month now and am just finally finding the time. I had such a time getting this installed that I thought someone migh benefit from my searches.I needed to get our linux servers (running Ubuntu 6.06) into our nightly backups. We had them doing manual copies of certain things to a windows machine and backing up that, but obviously, that's not optimal. The problem is, the backup software we were using (Veritas BackupExec 10) is only supported on Suze and RedHat, so their technical support couldn't help me.Here is a step by step of what needs to be done:

  • #change the port Webmin listens on (because ralus uses 10000) to port 10101
  • nano /etc/webmin/miniserv.conf
  • #create a beoper group and make root a member
  • groupadd beoper
  • adduser root beoper
  • #mount the cdrom:
  • mount /dev/cdrom /cdrom
  • #copy all the installation files to a "ralus" dir in home
  • cp /cdrom/RALUS/linux/pkgs/linux/* ~/ralus/
  • #install rpms:
  • ~/ralus/VRTSralus-10.00.5484-0.i368.rpm
  • ~/ralus/VRTSvxmsa-4.2.1-211.i368.rpm
  • #install the c++ library neede by ralus
  • apt-get install libstdc++2.10-glibc2.2
  • #extract files from the tar archive:
  • tar -xvf ~/ralus/ralus.tar
  • #copy the initialization file:
  • cp ~/ralus/VRTSralus.init /etc/init.d/
  • # make it executable:
  • chmod a+x /etc/init.d/VRTSralus.init
  • # start the remote agent
  • /etc/init.d/VRTSralus.init start
  • # to get packages online
  • http://ubuntu.cs.mtsu.edu/packages/misc/
  • get vrtsralus && vrtsvxmsa

Here are two links I found EXTREMELY helpful

Ubuntu I is here!

I have had Ubuntu installed for about 3 months now and I am LOVING it! I have used debian in the past and have enjoyed it. Ubuntu has taken my favorite distro to the next level.Thanks guys (and gals)!LeeNIX