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*nix Thread, Failing to see a good use for Linux. Something I'm missing? in Technical; First things first let me apologise for a really noobish open-ended question (the type of question that I usually hate). ...
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    Failing to see a good use for Linux. Something I'm missing?

    First things first let me apologise for a really noobish open-ended question (the type of question that I usually hate).

    In all honesty I only know the absolute basics of Linux. I understand that almost everything is done through the terminal/SSH, that it much more stable then Windows but less GUI friendly, and that installing Samba kind of bridges the gap between Windows and Linux protocols etc.

    I really like the idea of delving into Linux more but aside from a much more reliable DNS, DHCP, Web server and FTP server I am really struggling to see how it could benefit an IT setup.

    I suppose my end question is.. what do YOU use Linux for/how does it benefit your IT setup?

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    markwilfan's Avatar
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    We use it on most of our webservers. CentOS just rocks! :end:

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    webman's Avatar
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    Linux is freely-available, and unless you want a support contract, you can download and install it on as many machines as you want at no cost. It's already ahead of Windows and Mac OS in terms of initial outlay.

    aside from a much more reliable DNS, DHCP, Web server and FTP server I am really struggling to see how it could benefit an IT setup.
    You just mentioned a lot of its strengths there, but additionally, a properly-configured server can be more secure than a comparable Windows box, and is likely to give you much less hassle in terms of updates and maintenance.

    Some software just runs better on *nix systems than it does on Windows - such as some of the services you mentioned above.

    System requirements are usually lower and more tolerant than Windows. For example, you could easily put old machines to good use, or you won't need to spend as much on new hardware.

    You could also cluster servers together, or run network RAID, if you wanted to create a super-computer or enhance the reliability of a server cluster.


    There are probably some other benefits that I've just plain forgotten, but hopefully the above is good for starters...

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    mdench's Avatar
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    we use it for the following

    - smoothwall (based on centos)
    - virtual cluster (cloudstack on ubuntu)
    - disk to disk backup (backuppc on ubuntu)
    - dhcp
    - webservers x 3 in failover (apache on ubuntu)
    - phone system
    - CCTV (zoneminder on ubuntu)
    - file servers

    it just works soo much better than windows

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    We run it in various embedded and server roles such as securus, our staff proxy, our digital signage server, and our staff sign in terminals.

    I got a bit fed up with it on the desktop. To many issues weren't getting fixed, whilst the bits i liked they kept on changing - I really liked KDE 2/3, until they 'fixed' it in version 4. I've still got a bug report open about a wifi adapter that hasn't been fixed in over 5 years.

    One of the big benefits to me when I was a student was that it was free, and there were lots of good development tools on it. Now i get paid, I can afford windows, and there are much better tools on windows than 10 years ago.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squip View Post
    what do YOU use Linux for/how does it benefit your IT setup?
    You can run Linux virtual machines in paravirtualised mode, where the VM knows it is running as a VM and can be run more efficiently. My home system currently gives each VM 512 MB of RAM and seems to run fine, and that's with a domain controller, file server, remote access desktop server, etc. I've not had a chance to compare paravirtualised Xen VMs with Windows VMs running under a system that can share identical sections of RAM between VMs (I think VMWare can do this), and I see that Windows Server 2012 now actually defaults to a GUI-less install, so your average Windows Server VM should start taking less resources.

    The software RAID facilities under Linux are excellent - you can swap disks around and reinstall the whole OS withour loosing your RAID array, LVM and mdadm are good, powerful tools. Performance can be an issue, especially when it comes to larger arrays of newer, larger harddrives - FreeBSD's support for ZFS is an improvement on Linux. Linux's supoport for block-level deduplication and snapshots is rather poor at the moment, too - LVM snapshots get slower the more of them you do, and all the deduplicating filesystems I've seen have been experimental FUSE-based systems, not ready for actual use.

    With the new Samba 4, you can have a domain controler and not have to pay for CALs for each Windows workstation you join to your domain. My Samba DC has worked very well so far, I'll be doing more things with it in the near future.

    Also with Samba, you can add triggers to a Samba file share to execute code on file updates / creation / deletion / etc. It seems to be easier to do this for Samaba shares than on Windows ones, or maybe it's just that Linux is better documented in this regard.

    If you write an application of some kind that you wish to distribute as a self-contained server (or even sell as part of a server package), you don't have to worry about licensing or messing around with serial numbers and so forth. You can simply write your server-based application and distribute it as a VM image or however you wish.

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    free780's Avatar
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    Zentyal is good to learn things. It has a web gui.

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    Linux runs our windows servers !!- it does top end virtualization for next to no money ( we pay for support ).

    We also use it to share files with Windows servers (faster, cheaper, better supported and more options than you get with windows)

    We use Linux on desktops and laptops: easy to centrally deploy, manage and maintain.

    We use Linux for server management, network management.
    Is there anything Linux doesn't do?

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    rich_tech's Avatar
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    I would say try it out for yourself really, its better you get an idea for it by having a go

    OS distros are a good place to start with the "popular" ones being listed here - DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.

    I would recommend trying Ubuntu/Fedora/Centos

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We use it for:

    Web servers
    Reverse Proxying
    Asterisk/FreePBX Phone system
    Server monitoring (nagios/cacti)
    Mysql Database hosting

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    We use it for:

    Web servers
    Imaging via FOG
    Squid proxy
    Virtualisation (ESXi)
    Was used for Xibo but we moved that to IIS to remove a physical server
    Email hosting

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    It's great for running open-source products on the LAMP stack - more stable and less resource hungry than Windows for web platforms. Also lots of good firewall appliances such as Smoothwall and pfSense

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    One use not mentioned above (that I noticed!) that I'm about to start trialling is using older hardware to provide "internet terminals". Got BrowserLinux running on a Dell GX60 with 512MB RAM and it all starts up MUCH faster than the XP image that it originally used. Just need to see if it will actually be used.

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Home
    -------
    Daily Laptops. ( Ubuntu )
    Music Media Server ( VortexBox )
    File Server ( SLES )
    TV PVR ( MYTHBuntu )
    Web Servers(s) ( IPSconfig on Ubuntu )

    Work
    -------
    Web server(s) ( ISP Config 3 )
    Helpdesk Server ( SLES LAmp Stack )
    Mail relay ( spam/malware ) on ClearOS
    Securus ( Runs on Ubuntu IIRC )
    IPTV ( Onelan )
    Digital Signage ( OneLan )
    Telephony (CISCO Call Manager)
    Virtual Hypervisors ( Citrix , ESX )
    CCTV ( Zone Minder on SLES )
    Captive Portals for BYOD ( pFsense )
    ISCSI stoarage Server ( Open Filer )

    probably more.....

    Rob

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    P.S... been using Linux since 1996.

    Implemented Squid Proxy in school in 1999 when a dual 64Kb ISDN line was not enough

    Rob

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