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Why Linux?

Why Linux?

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We can't use freeware because there's no support for it.

TRANSLATION: We won't be able to blame the vendor when we have problems.

ALTERNATE TRANSLATION: We never do anything we haven't done before.

-- IS Survivalist Andy Stritof

Important news:

  • Linux is a Product of the Year Award (http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayTC.pl?97poy.supp.htm) for Best Technical Support (InfoWorld)

General Info

    Linux is an operating system that was initially created as a hobby by a young student, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Linus had an interest in Minix, a small UNIX system, and decided to develop a system that exceeded the Minix standards. He began his work in 1991 when he released version 0.02 and worked steadily until 1994 when version 1.0 of the Linux Kernel was released. The current full-featured version is 2.0, and development continues with several updates that are available for public use.

    Linux is developed under the GNU General Public License (http://www.linux.org/info/gnu.html) and its source code is freely available to everyone. This however, doesn't mean that Linux and it's assorted distributions (http://www.linux.org/dist/index.html) are free -- companies and developers may charge money for it as long as the source code remains available. Linux may be used for a wide variety of purposes including networking, software development, and as an end-user platform. Linux is often considered an excellent, low-cost alternative to other more expensive operating systems.

    Due to the very nature of Linux's functionality and availability, it has become quite popular worldwide and a vast number of software programmers have taken Linux's source code and adapted it to meet their individual needs. At this time, there are dozens of ongoing projects (http://www.linux.org/projects/index.html) for porting Linux to various hardware configurations and purposes.

    Linux has an official mascot, the Linux Penguin (http://www.linux.org/info/logos.html), which was selected by Linus Torvalds to represent the image he associates (http://www.linux.org/info/penguin.html) with the operating system he created.

    Although many variations of the word Linux exist, it is most often pronounced with a short " i " and with the first syllable stressed, as in LIH-nucks.

Commercial Linux - See your competitors use Linux for bussiness!

  • Advantages of Freely Redistributable Software for Business (http://www.cyber.com.au/misc/frsbiz/#Advantages)
  • Commercial Linux (http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/Commercial-HOWTO.html)- This document contains a listing of commercial software and applications which are offered for Linux.
    • Linux for the Commercial Market? (http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/Commercial-HOWTO-5.html) - People keep asking me ``When is Linux going to be ready for the commercial market''. I guess the first thing to discuss is what is meant by "commercial" in this context.
  • Linux Consultants (http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/Consultants-HOWTO.html)- This document contains a listing of companies providing commercial Linux related support. If you want to find a Linux consultant or consulting firm in your area, this listing will probably be of help for you.
  • Linux Vendors (http://www.linux.org/vendors/index.html) - (list of ~40)
  • List of references to commercial sites that make use of Linux to support their day-to-day business (http://www.m-tech.ab.ca/linux-biz/)function. It's intended to be useful if you would like to find out more about how Linux is being used in commercial and other ``production'' (i.e., not at home, not just for fun) environments.

Linux Projects:

  • The whole list (http://www.linux.org/projects/index.html)
  • The Linux Advocacy Project (http://www.10mb.com/linux/)- The purpose of this project is to encourage developers of commercial software, such as Netscape, Informix, and the many IP enabled packages out there, to ensure they are GNU compliant and include a Linux port in their standard distribution.
  • Linux Hardware Compatibility Project (http://www.technonet.com/~bobby/index.html)- LHCP) The objective of this project is to convince hardware vendors to write Linux drivers for their products.
  • Linux Router Project (http://www.psychosis.com/linux-router/)- New Use Linux as router, that runs from one 1.44 floppy and loads the system into RAM.
  • The Wine Project (http://www.linpro.no/wine/) - Documentation of the Wine emulator that allows MS Windows applications to run on ix86 Unix Systems, including Linux.

Need to convince you company to use Linux?

  • Advocacy of Freely Redistributable Software (http://www.cyber.com.au/misc/frsbiz/#Advocacy)
  • Throwing Windows off the desktop is too risky, but you can preserve some OS choice (http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayNew.pl?/lewis/980216rl.htm)
  • "How do I convince my boss that Linux is an excellent operating system for business uses?" (http://www.linuxresources.com/bus.html)
  • Looking for someone with Linux experience? Looking for some place to use your Linux experience? (http://www.linuxresources.com/employ.html)
  • Linuxmanship (http://electriclichen.com/people/dmarti/linuxmanship.html)- World domination in 1998? It's a big job, but we can dominate the world one user and one box at a time. Here are some of my notes on advocating Linux face-to-face.
  • Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter (http://electriclichen.com/linux/srom.html)- This operating system quality and approval metric is based on a periodic Alta Vista search for each of the 4 products above directly followed by the word "sucks" or the word "rules."

Linux Events:

(Installation Parties , Comdex, Annual Linux Expo, ,Linux-Kongress ', USENIX and etc )

  • Upcoming Events (http://www.linux.org/events/index.html)


  • Debian Linux Sponsors in Japan (http://www.jp.debian.org/sponsor.html). - HappySize Inc. (http://www.happysize.co.jp/) TOKYO INTERNET (http://www.TokyoNet.AD.JP/) and LASER5 (http://www.cdrom.co.jp/)- are the sponsor of the Debian GNU/Linux project
  • Atlanta Linux Showcase Sponsors (http://www.ale.org/showcase/1997/vendor/sponsors.html) - was meeting where most of the people who use Linux as a viable business platform/tool...
    • Digital (http://www.digital.com/): Projection equipment, and Alpha Workstations.
    • Genie Travel Services (http://www.genietravel.com:1080/conf/als97/): Travel agency.
    • MindSpring (http://www.mindspring.com/): Web hosting service.
    • Nextel (http://www.nextel.com/): Mobile communications.
  • Linux Lab Project's (http://www.llp.fu-berlin.de/sponsors.phtml) Sponsors : ComputerBoards and HP

Why not Win95/NT?

  • Case Study: Migration Migraines (http://www.prninfo.com/aberdeen.html) -
  • The impact of the migration completed to date on the call centerís IS budget and management has been profound ó a one-third decrease in performance accompanied by a fifty-percent increase in management costs. This does not include production time lost because of workstation freezes, transmission drops, or the constant re-booting needed to keep the server operational.

Other related pages (with more covering)

  • LINUX BUSINESS APPLICATIONS (http://www.m-tech.ab.ca/linux-biz/)- This page contains a list of references to commercial sites that make use of Linux to support their day-to-day business function. It's intended to be useful if you would like to find out more about how Linux is being used in commercial and other production (i.e., not at home, not just for fun) environments.
  • LinuxB Linux for Business (http://www.netnomics.com/linux/en/)
    • Several reasons why businesses should use Linux
    • Examples of businesses using Linux (big list)
    • Links
  • Freely Redistributable Software in Business (http://www.cyber.com.au/misc/frsbiz/)
    • Advantages of Freely Redistributable Software for Business
    • Advocacy of Freely Redistributable Software
    • Online Support and Resources
    • Business Products
    • Commercial Systems and Software Support
    • Open Source
    • Advantages for For Hardware Resellers and IT Consultants
    • For Students Developing Business IT Projects
  • Linux Enterprise Computing (http://linas.org/linux/) - This page attempts to survey Linux in a corporate, commercial enterprise setting. This is a necessarily huge topic, and so at best, I've touched on a few idiosyncratic, eclectic topics, based on real-life experiences and concerns of managing a company powered by Linux. These interests include system and network management, databases, high-availability & fault-tolerance, clustering and SMP support, project management tools, as well as wish-lists of desired features.
  • Linux Business Solutions Project (http://linas.org/linux/web-project.html) - This is a new project whose goal is to provide more coherent, comprehensive documentation on how Linux can be used to solve common business problems.

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