What are the right questions to ask?

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Thu Jan 17 13:29:56 MST 2008


On Thu, 17 Jan 2008 at 13:11 -0700, Shane Hathaway wrote:
> Jonathan Duncan wrote:
> > Of the distros that I have used I have been most impressed with  
> > Gentoo.  I worked at Novell for a couple of years so I got to work  
> > with SuSE and enjoyed that one also.  A couple good questions that  
> > need to be asked are:  Will there be a dedicated Linux admin on site?  
> > and, What flavor does that Linux admin like best.  Linux is Linux,  
> > just like ice cream is ice cream.  The different flavors just suit  
> > different tastes.
> 
> While Gentoo has many benefits, the Gentoo community has no channel for
> pure security updates.  The glsa-check tool helps you discover holes in
> your system, but frequently, patching the hole requires pulling in many
> updates unrelated to the security hole and "fixing" things that were not
> broken.  Therefore, keeping Gentoo systems secure requires more frequent
> attention from a competent administrator.
> 
> Distributions like Debian, Ubuntu, and Centos, OTOH, provide a channel
> for pure security updates and are thus much more appropriate for
> creating low-maintenance systems.  The downside of these distributions
> is that most of the software is versioned together, and it's often
> difficult to upgrade a package without upgrading to a whole new version
> of the distribution.

... which rarely needs to be done in a situation where a pure security
channel is important. 

*If* the windows apps can be made to run in linux (test it first, and
consider Crossover Office), then I think your friend is in good shape.
*However* converting will not be a walk in the park. No doubt you
(the OP) are going to be the go-to guy which is fine, but don't
understimate the size of the job (you may want to request compensation)
and, if you don't feel up to the task then recommend hiring a pro
sysadmin consultant to come in and do the conversion (after which maybe
you are in a situation to maintain). I'm trying to say, your friendship
and your friend's business (and opinion of linux) will all be best
served by someone really on the ball doing this conversion. Maybe that's
you, maybe it's not (you're the only one to answer that—maybe you have
the skills but not the time, for example).

Incidentally I recommend Ubuntu for the desktops too, hands down. I'd go
with Debian on any servers (i.e. mail server), but Ubuntu could do the
job fine too if you want to stick with one distro all around.

-- 
Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net
 
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach



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