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I work in an environment that has a fairly large Linux desktop fleet however previous jobs rarely had Linux as an option and if they did, it was limited to a few sysadmins.

Now that desktop Linux has gained a little more popularity, what is preventing you from deploying it in your environment?

Is it:

  • Software (lack thereof, incompatibility)
  • User comfort
  • Support tools (lack thereof or lack of knowledge in supporting Linux)
  • Licensing agreement lock in (hands are tied because you've agreed to a multi-year deal with another OS vendor)
  • Some combination of all of the above?
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A discussion of desktop linux ... openreasoning.com/2009/06/… –  tomjedrz Jun 9 '09 at 21:49

33 Answers 33

I'd say the main problem with moving to Linux desktops for us would be the need to find more expertise for support. We've got a decent desktop support staff here, and good Windows system administrators on the server side. To move to Linux desktops we would have to spend quite a bit on training for all of our support staff, and then more training for our end users.

Some problems that Linux users run into are quick fixes, but would stop work cold with someone who has less experience. You can never tell what a user is going to do.

The other problem is software compatibility. We run several systems that need a desktop fat client to administer, and the client only runs on Windows. VMWare is the biggest culprit right now, but we also have an ancient Windows-only help desk application, as well as heavy reliance on Visio.

The real question is not if Linux is ready for the desktop, it is if the desktop is ready for Linux. In most cases, the answer is no.

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Active Directory.

We actually do have buy in to run Linux as long as we can integrate with Active Directory for user accounts and authentication. This is proving to be very difficult to implement.

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Lack of graphic drivers is a big show stopper for many people, especially when dealing with dual monitors.

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What are you talking about? nVidia, ATI and Intel drivers all support multiple screens. –  niXar Jun 7 '09 at 2:44
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These comments aren't helpful. First, nVidia has binary-only kernel modules as drivers, that leave your system no longer supported by any vendor. If you must use a kernel that is not supported by nVidia, you are stuck. Configuring something like multihead, unless everything goes perfectly, requires an intimate knowledge of X configuration. You're in BIG trouble if two conflicting binary-only drivers require you to use different kernels. "Hmm, do I want to use my wireless card today or my graphics card". Does any other manufacturer have drivers that work with acceptable performance? –  carlito Jun 7 '09 at 23:38
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That's all poppycock; while the non-free-ness of nVidia drivers is a PITA, they at least support a vast range of kernels, and you just need to recompile them to get them to work. Fedora's akmod does that automagically with Rpmfusion's packages. –  niXar Jun 15 '09 at 6:09

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