Dell to upgrade its Ubuntu OS

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On our last post we discussed operating system security and how Linux is much better at handling user permissions and its complexities. Well Dell also thinks that Ubuntu/Linux is more safe to use than Windows for regular home user and business users alike.

This page http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/ubuntu?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anavml shows you what you can and can’t do with Ubuntu and it also gives you a comparison between Windows and Ubuntu. Looking at the comparison it looks like your average home user can use Ubuntu with no problems. So why aren’t more of you using the system.

Lets see we can think of several reasons:

  • Windows Specific software requirements
  • Don’t know about Ubuntu
  • PC accessories incompatibilities such as web cams, microphones, scanners, wireless routers or digital cameras
  • PC hardware not supported

All of these reasons are invalid with the exception of two. Unless you require Windows specific software then you have an excuse not to switch over or use it in a virtualized environment such as VMWare (http://www.vmware.com/) or Virtual Box (http://www.virtualbox.org/).

With Ubuntu you can use your PC accessories as they have drivers available for them in fact on most of those items we mentioned above you can just plug them in and they work. Unless the item has just been released within the past 48hrs then we say you might have an issue due to the fact that the developers have not had a chance to implement the driver into the operating system or is a very obscure product. But we say is pretty safe to say that your accessories will work say about 80% of the time out of the box.

As far as PC hardware is concern Ubuntu works with most market hardware in fact the darn thing works on a MAC and that is truly an accomplishment; try installing Windows on a MAC hardware and your in for a world of hurt as Windows drivers are not available for MAC hardware components.

Now we think is pretty safe to say that the reason as to why most people don’t try Ubuntu besides the Windows only software requirement is because they don’t know about it. Well if this is the case head on over to the Ubuntu web site (http://www.ubuntu.com) and see what it has to offer. We think that if Dell which is the third largest PC manufacturer in world offers it then it means that is pretty good. Looking at those Dell comparison it makes no sense for home or even business users to spend a ton of money on software for Windows when they can get the operating system and its 20,000 plus catalog of software for free right from the OS it self. This means no need to run out and get and install cd/dvd or download software from some obscure site. We have been using it for a couple of years now and we recommend it to our clients all the time as it is safer and more reliable than Windows.

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How to administer Ubuntu/Linux servers through your web browser

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In the IT world it is very common to see IT administrators mange Windows servers. Most of these IT administrators either went to school where they were only taught how to setup networks using only Microsoft technology or only dealt with Windows servers and nothing else. We too at some point only dealt with Windows servers and yes we struggled with the reboots and the patches that sometimes brought them down. So we put ourselves through all these headaches simply because we did not want to deal with command line terminals or poor Linux/Unix point and click interfaces.

Well we got news for all those IT administrators who are still hanging on to their Windows servers just because of their GUIs. Yes we IT administrators now have the option to choose between Windows or Linux servers without the need to worry about the terminal/command line.

Most Linux servers give you the options to install a GUI or simply stick to the command line. While most hardcore Linux administrators will tell you that a server should not use a GUI and that the command line is the best way to go not only because of security reasons but also because you can get things done faster. And to some extend they are 100% correct but if you are a novice in Linux land and are trying to get your feet wet then why punish yourselves.

So instead of actually installing a complete desktop layer like Gnome(http://www.gnome.org/) or KDE(http://www.kde.org/) you could instead install Webmin(http://www.webmin.com/) which allows you to completely control and configure your servers. Webmin runs as a web application on a secure port and with a self signed security certificate so all of the information being transmitted is encrypted. It is also extremely easy to setup/install and once this is done you can use it to update your servers right from your web browser.

What can I do with Webmin?

  • Configure your server
  • Install/Update Server
  • Install and Update software
  • Manage Firewalls
  • Manage Email Servers
  • Manage SSH Servers/Connections
  • Manage Database servers(a variety to choose from)
  • Manage Network interfaces and connections
  • Manage Web Servers and Websites
  • Manage Hard disks and volume shares
  • Manage system backups
  • Manage Users/Groups/Directory/File permissions
  • Much more…

Don’t take our word for it take it for a spin http://webmin-demo.virtualmin.com/.

Now Windows administrators have zero excuse to not use Linux in their server rooms. We also recommend Ubuntu(http://www.ubuntu.com/) for Linux novice whom maybe reluctant to take the plunge trust me you will not regret it.