Well it's Christmas day and I had heard lots about the Ubuntu desktop operating system from Oscon 2007 in Portland which I attended back in July. With some downtime (very little) during the holidays, I figured it would be an interesting exercise to see if the move to a complete use of a Linux based desktop was possible. The goal of this exercise of course, was to see if I could replicate the majority of my daily desktop application utlitles to a linux desktop. With an older Dell Latitude D610 notebook, 1GB of RAM, 80 Gig Hard Drive and Ubuntu 7.10 x86, I set out on the quest to see if it was possible to have a Linux based desktop that I COULD use on a regular basis.
The following is a list of applications and setting I had set out to try and replicate on to my Ubuntu Laptop vs their Windows Equivalents.
|Programs to Replicate to Ubuntu||Windows XP, Vista 32bit||Ubuntu 7.10 32bit|
|1||VPN Client (We use Cisco)||Cisco VPN Client||Cisco VPN Client 4.8.00.0490|
|3||CD/DVD Burning Software||Nero||K3B|
|4||CMS and CMF||DotNetNuke 4.7, Sharepoint 2007||Joomla, Drupal|
|5||Database Server||SQL Server 2005||MySQL 5|
|6||Development Environment||Visual Studio 2005, 2008||Zend Studio (PHP)|
|7||DOS 16-Bit programs||Run Programs in 16-bit Mode||(Still Investigating, Wine)|
|8||Email Client||Outlook 2003, 2007||Mozilla Thunderbird|
|9||Graphics and Photo Editing||Adobe Photoshop||GIMP|
|10||IM Client||Trillian, Msn||Pidgin|
|11||Itunes||Itunes||(NONE – BLAME APPLE)|
|12||Mail Server||Exchange 2003, 2007, Google Apps Premier Edition||Sendmail, Google Apps Premier Edition|
|13||Multiple Desktops across Multiple Screens||Right Click Properties||xandr command|
|14||Network Sniffer||Ethereal (32bit Only)||(Investigating but I have used TCPDump)|
|15||Programming Languages and Platforms||C#, VB, VB.NET, WCF, .NET 2.0, 3.0 3.5||PHP 5.0|
|16||Reading PDF's||Adobe Acrobat Reader||KPDF or Default PDF Reader|
|17||Software IP Phone||Xten Eyebeam, Cisco IP Communicator (Skinny)||Ekiga Softphone|
|18||Skype||Skype Client for Windows||Skype Client for Linux|
|19||Spreadheet||Excel 2003, 2007||Openoffice Spreadsheet|
|20||SSH Client (For Remote Access)||Secure CRT 5.1||Default Terminal Console|
|21||Terminal Server Client||Windows Remote Desktop Client||Terminal Server Client (tsclient)|
|22||Version Control||VSS, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2005, 2008||(Investigating CVS and Baazar)|
|23||Video Player||Windows Media||Built in Movie Player|
|24||Virtualization||VMWare Server, Microsoft Virtual Server||(Investigating VMWare, Xen and KVS)|
|25||Web Browser||Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2||Firefox 2, Firefox 3 Beta 3|
|26||Web Development||ASP.NET 2.0||PHP 5.0|
|27||Web Server||IIS 6.0, 7.0||Apache|
|28||Word Processor||Word 2003, 2007||Openoffice Docs|
I know the task ahead of me would be long and arduous since learning all the ins and outs of Ubuntu would be like learning how to use windows 95 when it first came out. I couldn't help but feel excited since I am a big advocate of Open Source and Linux.
I will keep updating my progress as things go along!
February 17th 2008
Well I am pleased to report that I have sucessfully replicated all of my Windows Tasks (even vnc and remote desktop) over to Ubuntu. The last tricky part was the Cisco VPN Piece which I was able to figure. That being said, I feel this is a major milestone because I can truly see the beginning of an alternative to Windows.
The exciting part of having Ubuntu work well as a replacement to Windows is that it opens up a lot of opportunities to replace some of our Windows 2000 machines. Now I just have to see if we can run some DOS Based Applications, aside from that, I do all my PHP development now on my Ubuntu machine.
Next up, adding Ubuntu Machines to Active Directory and investigating the LDAP services and alternatives.