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*nix Thread, Has anybody ported entirely from Windows? in Technical; Has anybody been in a Windows environment and made the move to entirely using a Linux variant? I'm curious to ...
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    Has anybody ported entirely from Windows?

    Has anybody been in a Windows environment and made the move to entirely using a Linux variant? I'm curious to hear what kind of undertaking it was, and what kind of issues arose besides the obvious differences of interface changes and Libre Office instead of MS Office, etc.

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    well xp to 7 was a pain in the arse! but also backend what about group policy? backups? AD type of thing? its do-able but is it worth it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by irsprint84 View Post
    well xp to 7 was a pain in the arse! but also backend what about group policy? backups? AD type of thing? its do-able but is it worth it?
    Well, of course it depends who you ask. If you ask me, it's an absolute "yes". But that's just because I believe in the philosophy behind open source software and I've nothing but extreme success with many open source applications. Not to mention cost savings and whatnot.

    The thing is, I think it'd be easier to "flip" most businesses than to flip school districts. Schools tend to latch onto a certain set of applications and curriculum and never let it go, making it politically harder to switch than it should be.

    And THAT'S why I was curious if anybody has dropped the bomb and converted a district... Technically, it'll work. Politically... that's the question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaSauders View Post
    Well, of course it depends who you ask. If you ask me, it's an absolute "yes". But that's just because I believe in the philosophy behind open source software and I've nothing but extreme success with many open source applications. Not to mention cost savings and whatnot.

    The thing is, I think it'd be easier to "flip" most businesses than to flip school districts. Schools tend to latch onto a certain set of applications and curriculum and never let it go, making it politically harder to switch than it should be.

    And THAT'S why I was curious if anybody has dropped the bomb and converted a district... Technically, it'll work. Politically... that's the question.
    Sometimes you have to bite your tongue its not always what you think is best its will it improve students work. Not sure if its on here but think someone called 'linuxgurl' or 'linuxgirl' has done it

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    Quote Originally Posted by irsprint84 View Post
    Sometimes you have to bite your tongue its not always what you think is best its will it improve students work. Not sure if its on here but think someone called 'linuxgurl' or 'linuxgirl' has done it
    Absolutely. While I am a Linux fan, if Windows does the job, we'll use it. If Mac does the job, we'll use it. After all, it's about their education - not my ego. That said, I have a pocket of Linux systems that are actually running as thin clients, so I'm testing out two birds with one stone here.

    I just had a conversation with some teachers about it and the opinion was overwelmingly positive, with one teacher even saying "I think this should be the platform across the board." Oh, okay. Wow. That's powerful.

    That said, it still has to do the job at hand. And so far, it has... very well. But in these days with the economy tanking (at least in the US) and with all time highs of educational budget cuts, it really puts into perspective for a lot of business managers and technology managers of districts "How can we do the same job, yet pay less?"

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    This site may help a little

    Open Source Schools

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    Quote Originally Posted by irsprint84 View Post
    Sometimes you have to bite your tongue its not always what you think is best its will it improve students work. Not sure if its on here but think someone called 'linuxgurl' or 'linuxgirl' has done it
    I bleive you are referring to Linuxgirlie who is involved with a project called Karoshi. You can find their site here: Linux Schools Project and it offers an easy way to deploy Linux in schools. It can't hurt to give it a try!!

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    I know of a school with a complete Linux backend apart from Windows server for sims but as for clients they are still an xp shop. But complete samba domain apart from that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaSauders View Post
    Has anybody been in a Windows environment and made the move to entirely using a Linux variant?
    It's pointless simply using Linux as a free version of Windows and constantly trying to replicate Windows' features and software ecosystem. The whole point of having an alternative OS is that it works in an alternative (and, hopefully, better) way. We probably forget that, outside of schools, Windows on a desktop PC isn't really the dominant form of computing interface that people use every day - mobile phones, games consoles and Mac-based computers combined probably easily outnumber Windows PCs. All those computers work and people find them useable, therefore all the user interface conventions they use must be valid and useable.

    I'd go about migrating a Windows network by moving to a Linux distribution that ran a web browser and RDesktop, so anything that couldn't be done via a web browser could be done via a Remote Desktop Services server until you can get around to installing/buying/writing web-based software to replace all of your current Windows-based software. That's do-able, but it'll probably take a couple of years as yet. Until you have everything web-based you'll need to keep a Windows Domain Controller, but as soon as the last bit of Windows software has gone you can ditch that and use LDAP for authentication services.

    The whole Libre-Office-vs-MS-Office thing is pointless - the actual competition is currently between the makers of various web-based office suites (mainly Microsoft and Google).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    The whole Libre-Office-vs-MS-Office thing is pointless - the actual competition is currently between the makers of various web-based office suites (mainly Microsoft and Google).
    Perhaps in your world, we still like to be able to do things when out rubbish internet is down.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 1st May 2011 at 04:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Perhaps in your world, we still like to be able to do things when out rubbish internet is down.
    Oh, I agree - don't hand over your data to Microsoft or Google, keep your web-based word processor and spreadsheet in-house and, importantly, local to your network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Oh, I agree - don't hand over your data to Microsoft or Google, keep your web-based word processor and spreadsheet in-house and, importantly, local to your network.
    Good call, you can easily have both. If going for a MS solution, Office 2010 on the Winows boxes and Office Web Apps installed on a server with Sharepoint Fundimentals (or whatever its called) on it which gives you the whole Office live thing in house and the ability to open it up to the outside too.

    I am certain that other good options exist also. I do like the idea of having both though as some things just plain work better as a local app rather than even a local web app.

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    A school that I used to work at ran the LTSP on student desktops and is was very successful. Our primary opposition was from staff who said that they were too busy to learn something new. This was nonsense, as very few staff used the Linux thin clients and when we launched a program to change all teacher laptops from XP to Apple iBooks, all staff wanted to be first on the list.

    To get around compatibility issues, we allowed X over SSH access so you could run the desktop at home on any PC via putty or similar. Not many students did this. We also gave all students a customised version of The Open CD with Windows ports of the same software as ran on the desktops. If the students used this, then we could guarantee 100% compatibility with documents bought in from home. If they didn't, then we would convert them using external sites such as Zamzar - Free online file conversion but this was at our discretion, and if it didn't work, we would send the student on their way with a copy of the aforementioned CD.

    Our biggest problem was reading CDs written with Nero; students would bring in work on unfinalised CDs, which Linux doesn't like. Sometimes we would send them on their way or more usually, I would finalise the disk.

    The school ran the LTSP for about 7 years in total. I think they have now converted entirely to Apple MACs, but this happened after I moved on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shenley View Post
    The school ran the LTSP for about 7 years in total. I think they have now converted entirely to Apple MACs, but this happened after I moved on.
    Man... somebody must have gotten a fat budget to move from something as affordable and lean as an LTSP setup to MAC systems... youch!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    It's pointless simply using Linux as a free version of Windows and constantly trying to replicate Windows' features and software ecosystem. The whole point of having an alternative OS is that it works in an alternative (and, hopefully, better) way. We probably forget that, outside of schools, Windows on a desktop PC isn't really the dominant form of computing interface that people use every day - mobile phones, games consoles and Mac-based computers combined probably easily outnumber Windows PCs. All those computers work and people find them useable, therefore all the user interface conventions they use must be valid and useable.

    I'd go about migrating a Windows network by moving to a Linux distribution that ran a web browser and RDesktop, so anything that couldn't be done via a web browser could be done via a Remote Desktop Services server until you can get around to installing/buying/writing web-based software to replace all of your current Windows-based software. That's do-able, but it'll probably take a couple of years as yet. Until you have everything web-based you'll need to keep a Windows Domain Controller, but as soon as the last bit of Windows software has gone you can ditch that and use LDAP for authentication services.

    The whole Libre-Office-vs-MS-Office thing is pointless - the actual competition is currently between the makers of various web-based office suites (mainly Microsoft and Google).
    I agree with you entirely. I'm not looking at Linux to replicate Windows. Why would I want to do that? What I'm aiming to do is provide a desktop interface to the end user that can get the job done. Linux can do that. Easily.

    About the Libre vs MS Office thing, I agree there too. Web based Office apps like Google Docs are terrific, but still limited in functionality. Our students get pretty crafty with some of their assignments, and sometimes the web based version just. doesn't. cut. it. I think offering Google Docs and Libre Office, as we're aiming to do, is a solid 1+2 punch. That way you can offer a natively installed office suite that works great, and you also have the convenience of the online suite. There ARE students out there with computers, yet no internet, so handing off an .exe to them for Libre Office to take home and install is very significant. That way they can utilize software at home that we're using in house.

    I think the future is going to be very exciting. I see absolutely huge potential with open source/free software in education.

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