Friday, August 1, 2008

Making Linux Work for Business

You may find that certain employees rely heavily on specific Windows software for which there is no adequate Linux equivalent. In such cases, you have several choices, though none is ideal. One option is to configure desktops as dual-boot systems, which allows the user to select either Linux or Windows from a menu at startup. This isn’t very efficient, however, and it can also be problematic; for example, files created under Windows will be accessible from Linux, but not the other way around. Don’t be surprised if users lapse into old habits and spend most of their time in Windows.

A third solution is to use Wine, a Windows compatibility layer for Linux that allows many Windows applications to run as if they were native Linux software. Not every application works properly with Wine, however — you should consult the project’s application database to see if your software is compatible. A commercial version called CrossOver Linux, which offers additional installation and runtime support for selected applications, is also available.

Finally, a number of thin-client solutions, available from such vendors as Citrix and Sun Microsystems, allows Windows applications to run in terminal windows on Linux desktops. This method has the additional advantage of favoring lower-end hardware. Be aware, however, that most such solutions will require additional infrastructure investments to get up and running.

Krish image

No comments: