Art Alexion on 3 Mar 2008 10:31:40 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] One True OS

Some thoughts

1. Brian's idea is a great one.  Depending on the wording of the license terms 
(per machine or per user) you may also save on licensing fees.  We are doing 
this with Adobe Acrobat which is really pricey per machine.

2. I installed kvm/qemu this weekend on kubuntu gutsy so that I could use 
Turbo Tax under XP.  Worked great, and very easy.  I last tried VMWare server 
3 years ago (iirc) and this is a huge improvement in speed, ease of use and 
configuration.  I haven't tried VMWare for a while, but I'd recommend kvm 
over it based on my experience yesterday.

3. Be careful with Ubuntu LTS.  Dapper is quite old.  Very little was 
backported to it.  Hardy, now in alpha or beta, is supposed to replace it.  
It won't be enterprise stable for a while.  Ubuntu should call it LTSS (for 
long term security support) as upstream bug fixes are not generally 

4. Unless you are using Access, data server links in spreadsheets, or require 
Excel 2007 compatibility, there is no reason to continue to pay for MS Office 
licenses.  OOO Writer has better Word 2007 support than Word 2003, and Calc 
has excellent Excel <= 2003 support.

5. The only stability advantage to using a VM for windows is that you could 
store a default XP VM image on an 8 GB memory stick and replace the machine 
in the time it takes to delete the corrupted VM and replace it with the one 
on the stick.

On Monday 03 March 2008 12:14:50 Brian Stempin wrote:
> The reason that you would see increased reliability (if any at all) is not
> because you're running Windows on Linux via VMWare.  It's because you'd be
> creating a consistent platform.  Ie, you only have to manage and protect
> one platform (image, get it) from virii, etc etc.  Since
> you're already a MS centric shop, (get ready for blasphemy) I'd recommend
> creating a Terminal Server with Windows Server 2000 or 2003.  By doing
> this, you get the following benefits:
> 1.  No matter what OS people are running, they can always RDP into this one
> machine and access the software that they need.
> 2.  I've gotten really REALLY poor performance through VMWare player and
> server on decent (non-server class) hardware.  I see doing something of
> that sort being more of a headache than it's worth.
> 3.  You can use local group policies on the on Terminal Server to better
> protect it from users, malware, etc etc.
> I wouldn't recommend using Ubuntu to run VMs unless you plan on eventually
> migrating your servers (and probably clients since you mentioned MS Office)
> to a Linux based solution.  Ubuntu + VMWare player/server, in my opinion,
> is not a good long term solution.  Too much overhead, not enough
> performance.
> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 11:53 AM, Greg Helledy <> wrote:
> > I work in a small (15 employees) firm that's dependent on MS
> > Windows/Office.  We do not have a full-time IT person--the guy who does
> > our PC support is a programmer and has his own work to do.  We are on XP
> > and don't use domains.
> >
> > Recently we've had a lot of windows-related issues, some related to
> > viruses and some not.  This has caused the programmer a lot of stress
> > and the company some inconvenience.
> >
> > I have played around with VMware player a tiny bit (I have a Debian Etch
> > image here on my work PC) and it occurred to me that if we could run MS
> > Office on XP in a VMware image, with a linux host OS we might be able to
> > increase reliability.  I would probably pick the LTS Kubuntu
> > distribution for ease of support.
> >
> > My questions are:
> > *Would we be able to get away with the free VMware player if the VMware
> > tools are installed?
> > *Can things be configured in such a way that sharing files between
> > computers works as it does now, so that the controller and payroll
> > person can pass excel files back and forth?
> > *Are there any other things that are going to be significant obstacles
> > to office work that I'm not thinking of?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Greg
> > --------------------------
> >
> >
> >
> > * From: JP Vossen <>
> >
> > My very small scale solution to all of this is to run W2KPro in VMware
> > server under Ubuntu.  This works great since I get awesome and complete
> > cross-platform remote control (VMware fat console), hardware
> > independence for the picky Windows side (it's a VM), Linux power and
> > stability for the base platform (Ubuntu LTS), Windows "bare metal
> > restore" backups (i.e., copy the VM dir!:), and Windows "upgrade"
> > back-out protection (a VM snapshot).  I can't stress enough how happy I
> > am with this solution, but I only use it for a very small number of
> > nodes thus far (4) and I doubt it's scalable though I really haven't
> > given that much thought.
> >
> >
> > [...]
> > Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 15:40:53 -0500
> >
> >  > The need to do too many frequent upgrades has been one of my biggest
> >  > beefs with desktop Linux in commercial environments. Even with Ubuntu
> >  > - you really need to upgrade every 6 months, ...
> >
> > That's what Ubuntu LTS releases are for.  While 3 years is a bit less
> > than the recent MS major release cycle <snicker>, it seems pretty good
> > to me.

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