What are the right questions to ask?

Steve smorrey at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 13:59:51 MST 2008

The person in charge of IT there is pretty technically proficient.
We were planning to test all the windows apps in wine first, but even
if they didn't work in Linux, they could keep the XP desktops and just
migrate the mail/file/print server.

The big question is... Do they have anything running that they depend
on, that they aren't taking into consideration.
Thats pretty much my only worry with it.

Linux isn't uber anymore folks.  My 10 year old niece runs it
exclusively on her laptop.  Her mother is the "sys-admin" for their
home.  Neither of these people are really "computer people".  My 70
something year old mother runs her Neuros OSD and even upgraded her
own firmware the other night, she called me and let me know... I'm so
impressed :)
My wife (who owns a Mac incidently), recommended to her girlfriend
that she ditch windows and install Linux.

Obviously I'm not going to recommend they roll their own distro, but I
agree with the sentiments of going with Ubuntu for this company
migration thing.  I also agree that it should require a step back, a
big deep breath and a full re-assesment of what they are using it for.

I'm planning to recommend they remove mail serving from within the
office at all, and send it some place safe, lest the server grow legs
and walk off, or catch fire and they lose all there data, effectively
putting them out of business.

And a few minutes ago I even just found a tutorial on using gutsy as
replacement for a Windows Server 2003 Primary Domain Controller.

Anyways these are my thoughts.
Any rebuttals?


On Jan 17, 2008 1:29 PM, Hans Fugal <hans at fugal.net> wrote:
> 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
> /*
> PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
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> Don't fear the penguin.
> */

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