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For a long time Windows has been the standard, a sort of status quo, in the world of computers. Those days may just be on the way out. As budgets get tighter and more security threats loom, an increasing number of companies are looking for an alternative that is low in cost and that is able to give the system administrators the control and flexibility that they need to manage security threats in real time. Their search is leading them straight to Linux.
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Linux has long been a favorite operating system of system administrators. This is not only because it comes in many different types, or flavors, but also because Linux is fully customizable. Since nothing stops a skilled programmer from viewing the kernel source code, any changes can be made both quickly and legally. Not to mention that it is much easier to write an app for a Linux system. Need some more reasons to choose Linux? Well, how about:
- It is free. Most flavors of Linux can be downloaded and installed without having to pay a dime for the privlidge. Oh, and so is most of the software that runs on it, including web browsers and office suites.
- It does not tie you into set file formats. Windows is very strict about using only their native files. Linux can be customized to provide you with compatibility for any number of formats.
- It provides a full range or features for newer systems, but can easily be scaled down for older hardware. Ideal for a mixed age system.
- Support is free. With active online user communities you can get help for a just about any issue. You will never again have to pay for a call to tech support.
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Who Has Already Made the Change?
You may be surprised to find out just who has made the switch over to Linux based systems.
The London Stock Exchange
This transition has been well publicized in the media. After they experienced a glitch that took their systems down, the deal was sealed. They are moving their systems to Linux. The changeover will likely be a long term project.
The City of Munich Germany
The city council of Munich Germany has already begun migrating its systems over to SuSE Linux. This will be a move involving 14,000 individual desktop and laptop personal computers as well as the cities servers.
Brazil's Ministry for Cities
Brazil has been running its official offices on Linux since 2005. The reason was purely economic. At a charge of about $120 million a year in fees paid to Microsoft, it is no shock that any budget-minded nation would make the switch.
The French National Assembly
In 2006, the Deputies elected to the French National Assembly made their way over to Linux. The system has been in place for a few years, and they are in no rush to switch back.
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Now that you know who is making changes, and why, you may want to consider a migration of your own systems.
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How Would I Migrate to Linux?
If you are ready to give a Linux flavor a try these steps can help you migrate:
- Take some time to do the research. You need to choose the right flavor for your needs. You also need to be sure that it will work with your hardware.
- Back up any files that you need, like documents, music and video. You will lose them in the re-install.
- Find the site for your flavor. Download the operating system, and burn the disk image.
- Install the operating system.
- Install any secondary programs that you need, like Open Office. (Most newer distro's will come with Open Office already, but if you have an older one you may need to install.)
- Put your files back.