[svlug] Recommended distribution for a small business?

Chris Miller lordsauronthegreat at gmail.com
Wed Jan 31 18:00:43 PST 2007

On 1/31/07, Joel Seidman <joel_seidman at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Clyde Jones <slash5toaster at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Everyone,
> >  I am building a couple of boxes for a small business and they are
> > very open to the idea of having linux as their desktop.
> >   I was planning on using Ubuntu, as it is getting rave reviews for
> > ease of use.
> > Is there a distro aimed at small businesses?
> >   I need some planner software, faxing, maybe some accounting software
> > and I don't know what else.
> Ubuntu is very good. I have a friend who works for a small S/W development company where most of
> the employees use it. I haven't heard about any complaints.
> But (just playing devil's advocate here), even though their s/w products are Linux-hosted, and the
> management is very much Linux friendly...
> they have at least one Windows computer, on which they do accounting (and maybe other stuff). Why?
> They use Quickbooks, which apparently is some kind of quasi standard for small business
> accounting. My friend used it at the last three offices she worked at. It is part of accounting
> curricula in schools. (I've heard there is Linux-based accounting software, but not apparently of
> the stature of Quickbooks.)
> They also had some issues with OO compatibility with Excel and Word. They need to process those
> files occasionally when interfacing with vendors and/or customers.
> It would be real interesting to know if there are examples of business offices that completely cut
> the MS cord and are thriving. It would be great if all the employees were enthusiasts willing to
> deal with problems, but the reality is many employees could care less, and want to minimize
> learning of new technology to do their jobs.
> BTW, no one brought up the issue of remote management, especially for software installations and
> maintenance. With just two computers it's no big deal. But as (if?) the business grows to dozens
> and hundreds of workstations, you don't want to be doing this one at a time. I don't know what
> tools Ubuntu includes to support this, but it might be a question to ask.

Take a look at Edubuntu.  I know it's not a business-targeted
platform, however, what it does (remote network boot to a central
server) is what I think you're looking for.  Then with the
virtualization tech due in kernel 2.6.20, things could get extremely

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