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*nix Thread, Has anyone gone completly linux in Technical; ...
  1. #16
    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Come on guys if you think about it really students arenít going to be using Linux in a small/medium or large business as itís just not practical, nearly all commercial software out there requires windows.

    Iím not saying Linux is no good because Iím not, I use Linux here at the school and at home for firewalls and phone systems but in reality Linux is not the most user friendly piece of software and I agree with the posts above if you have a problem you have to search the internet for hours hoping you find someone with the same problem itís just not practical. Students should learn all different os's but seen as the whole world almost uses windows then that is what they should learn. windows is just great for beginners itís so user friendly and the problems with services packs and updates are not an issue if you are careful as to using other os's in schools I have no problem we use windows, Mac os x and Linux on our network (Linux for one of our firewalls)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Many of the Linux distros I'd consider for school desktops change version every six months. That's twice a year.
    Then you choose a long-term support edition (eg 8.04, supported for 5 years) and you upgrade as and when you're ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    having tried to do something as simple as installing Zimbra on the wrong version number of Ubuntu server I can't help but think what a nightmare support could become when the new distro breaks something vital, simply by renaming a package.
    I think there is less chance of problems if you install Zimbra on the correct and officially-support version of Ubuntu (eg. the LTS versions). The LTS versions are supported for a reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    I'll happily use it for non-vital servers, in fact I prefer it, or even for certain vital systems such as proxy or e-mail, but I'm not so confident that users would be happy with it.
    Back-end stuff is fine. It will run and run and run and the end users will generally be unaware of it unless you make it known. Proxy, email, file serving, backup, web hosting, dns/dhcp, printing - all ideal services to run on Linux and even BSD.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    One of the commercial Linux distros would reassure me a little more, but on the other hand then you're paying for it so the whole benefit of it being free vanishes.
    Being free in cost is just one advantage of Linux. Don't forget the free and open nature of Linux. There's no vendor lock-in, there are no CALs, its incredibly stable, secure by default and many better features than the MS efforts.



    Quote Originally Posted by eejit View Post
    Microsoft licenses for schools are more than fair in my opinion. I'd even say underpriced - especially for the server stuff.
    If you consider what Linux and BSD is possible of doing, I think the MS licensing cost is rather expensive for what it is.
    Last edited by webman; 16th May 2008 at 10:44 AM.

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    I think there is less chance of problems if you install Zimbra on the correct and officially-support version of Ubuntu (eg. the LTS versions). The LTS versions are supported for a reason.
    The correct and officially supported version of Ubuntu is 6.06. I've got it working quite happily there now.

    The problem with installing on 8.04, as I tried, was to do with a package. Specifically it was because of the package libgmp3 being repackaged as libgmp3c2. The installer failed to recognise this, and after spending three hours searching and trying various fixes I eventually gave up. This kind of highlights my major issue with Linux.

    Again though, I love the Linux philosophy, and the system itself. I have it running my home fileserver, as well as on my desktop and laptop. But that's because when they break down I have the luxury of trying to find a fix at my leisure, as well as having time to sit and play around with things to try and make something work. When I'm at work and something breaks, if I can't fix it with my own knowledge I need a central respository where I can be almost certain that there's a fix, and failing that I can use one of my TechNet subscription tickets if I absolutely have to.

    I know that there are wikis and similar for Linux but I've often found that they lack the solutions I'm looking for, or at least that the solutions to problems can be very hard to find.

    Back-end stuff is fine. It will run and run and run and the end users will generally be unaware of it unless you make it known. Proxy, email, file serving, backup, web hosting, dns/dhcp, printing - all ideal services to run on Linux and even BSD.
    Which is why I'm planning to put quite a few of our services onto Linux servers. Possibly not the proxy yet, but for E-mail I'm trying to talk them into going with Zimbra over Exchange, and my print server will definitely be a Linux system.

    Being free in cost is just one advantage of Linux. Don't forget the free and open nature of Linux. There's no vendor lock-in, there are no CALs, its incredibly stable, secure by default and many better features than the MS efforts.
    And a lot of followers are evangelical. I suppose its just my natural rebellion against being preached to that makes me sceptical of some aspects of Linux.

    Now, if someone can find me some sort of knowledgebase, or anything else, that gives me a fix for the Zimbra on Ubuntu 8.04 issue (just as an example), and can honestly say that they found it within an hour of searching, I'll quite happily take back my doubts about the support provided.

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    Sims - yeah a web based solution would be good, no more bloatware sims client. Dream on ..

    Linux solution.. mmm that would be nice would have to intro it slowly just on the server at the moment. In fact as I built the whole network from scratch I have to take some blame for the M$ shop I have now lol

    M$ license prices for schools/lea are cheap(ish) too much of a way to brainwash staff/students so I doubt theyd miss out on that one! ie. Windows server CALS are £3, Office 2007 is £23 per client. Still adds up though!
    Last edited by blacksheep; 16th May 2008 at 10:46 PM.

  5. #20

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattstevenson2005 View Post
    Come on guys if you think about it really students arenít going to be using Linux in a small/medium or large business as itís just not practical, nearly all commercial software out there requires windows.
    I already covered this earlier. We should be teaching transferrable skills, not a single set of programs. And, microsoft slowly but surely losing market share in the desktop market. Last I heard, Apple had about 7% of the market and Linux was about 5%. Why should we teach people things that are going to change over coming years? By the time kids who enter our school here have finished normal school, the world of computing will have changed again, and having taught them how to use office 2003 will have been pointless. Teaching the concepts won't have that problem.

    Anyway, most people who go through schools will not end up in clerical jobs.

  6. #21


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    Schoolforge has a list of case studies for linux schools:
    Case Studies - Schoolforge-UK

    I'm wouldn't recommend an instant migration, it should be staged.

    On the application front: many educational resource providers are starting to make VLE resources that are generally OS independent.
    IMO the biggest obstacle is exam boards ( and SIMS/ Crapita), but most courses such as ECDL can be replaced with GSCE equivalent like the ingots:
    What are the Ingots? | International Grades - Open Technologies
    Terminal servers are good for planning migrations.

    WRT support, this is linux's greatest advantage. Support from canonical/Redhat is included. With MS you pay for the product, then you pay again for support. Unlike MS, linux support also included the applications.

  7. #22

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Now, if someone can find me some sort of knowledgebase, or anything else, that gives me a fix for the Zimbra on Ubuntu 8.04 issue (just as an example), and can honestly say that they found it within an hour of searching, I'll quite happily take back my doubts about the support provided.
    Took all of 8 seconds. Googled 'zimbra ubuntu 8.04' and clicked the top result.

    Bug 23154 - Ubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I already covered this earlier. We should be teaching transferrable skills, not a single set of programs. And, microsoft slowly but surely losing market share in the desktop market. Last I heard, Apple had about 7% of the market and Linux was about 5%. Why should we teach people things that are going to change over coming years? By the time kids who enter our school here have finished normal school, the world of computing will have changed again, and having taught them how to use office 2003 will have been pointless. Teaching the concepts won't have that problem.

    Anyway, most people who go through schools will not end up in clerical jobs.
    Lets be honest though, by the time they finish school in a few years time most likely the application concepts themselves will have changed. Personally I think the very focus of the IT curriculum is flawed. It shouldn't be about applications, but much more of a focus on fundamentals such as networking, system architecture, interface design and so on. Technical support would be a nice one to add in as well. These are the things that people who want to focus on IT will actually need.

    As to learning to write a good document, that's English's job. Presentation? Art or graphical design, or any subject really. Excel spreadsheets? Maths. Why should IT have to carry the weight for these subjects while its own topics are ignored?

  9. #24

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Lets be honest though, by the time they finish school in a few years time most likely the application concepts themselves will have changed. Personally I think the very focus of the IT curriculum is flawed. It shouldn't be about applications, but much more of a focus on fundamentals such as networking, system architecture, interface design and so on. Technical support would be a nice one to add in as well. These are the things that people who want to focus on IT will actually need.

    As to learning to write a good document, that's English's job. Presentation? Art or graphical design, or any subject really. Excel spreadsheets? Maths. Why should IT have to carry the weight for these subjects while its own topics are ignored?
    ICT is not Computing. We teach people the basics of using computers, not designing things for use on them. And the concepts with word processing, spreadsheets etc... haven't changed in the last several decades, so we can make the assumption that they aren't going to radically change in the next decade. What has changed is the software that is used. MS Office wasn't even the top program for spreadsheets way back when - lotus 123 had more users.

    Learning to write is English's job, but teaching how to use the tools to do this isn't. Same with spreadsheets and maths/science.

    IT is all about information, not about the technology it runs on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Took all of 8 seconds. Googled 'zimbra ubuntu 8.04' and clicked the top result.

    Bug 23154 - Ubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron
    So just to confirm, what I need to do is download the source, apply the diff file, and build the source?

    And I take back some of my concerns about the support issues with Linux, the rest rely on this solution actually working.

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    It would be interesting to see comparison prices for various courses, such as Zimbra versus Exchange etc.

    Has anyone completed a linux-oriented course?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    ICT is not Computing. We teach people the basics of using computers, not designing things for use on them. And the concepts with word processing, spreadsheets etc... haven't changed in the last several decades, so we can make the assumption that they aren't going to radically change in the next decade. What has changed is the software that is used. MS Office wasn't even the top program for spreadsheets way back when - lotus 123 had more users.
    ICT - Information Communication Technology, yes?

    Computing would be processing data and learning to manipulate it. In DT people are learning, essentially, to design and build things. The purpose of DT is not to teach someone to use a drill, it is to teach them how to put a chair together.

    So why exactly is ICT expected to teach them how to use something which is unrelated to the actual technology? If its going to be about manipulating data, that's computing. If its going to be about the technology then stick with the name ICT and actually teach them about the technology.

    As to the concepts of word processing not having changed in several decades, they've only been around for that long. Even with the argument about the first true word processing software giving dates between about 1976 and 1984 word processing isn't that old.

    Even ignoring that the concept of how to present information has changed massively. Word processors now include such wonderful things as macros, can have scripting, images, animations, pretty much whatever you want. Go back a couple of decades and what you've got is none of that. So yes, concepts do change and so does the way we present information.

    Learning to write is English's job, but teaching how to use the tools to do this isn't. Same with spreadsheets and maths/science.
    In that case surely teaching students how to use a data gathering source should be ICTs job. So should teaching someone how to use a calculator, its a computer after all, and a tool, obviously it isn't math's job to teach a student how to use it.

    IT is all about information, not about the technology it runs on.
    Then its computing, and not IT.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Ouch. It might take longer, but I think I prefer the self-taught approach. Shame there's no training budget for me...

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    So just to confirm, what I need to do is download the source, apply the diff file, and build the source?

    And I take back some of my concerns about the support issues with Linux, the rest rely on this solution actually working.
    Yes, or wait patiently for Zimbra 5.5 which is slated to support Ubuntu 8.04. As you can see here:

    Zimbra Product Portal



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