Linux Corporate Users
Linux for the Corporate Users
By Amarjyoti Krishnan
In last couple of years Linux has established itself very well in the server market.However, when it comes to desktops most people still prefer other operating systems over linux. This article talks about the various advantages of linux as a desktop and specifically talks about Linux as a desktop for developers and system administrators. Unlike other advocacy articles, no stress would be given to the fact that linux is free. Neither does this article try to bash other operating systems such as M$ Windoze. All operating systems have their benefits and we must appreciate the developers who have developed an entire OS. It is not a very easy task to develop an OS. All developers have the right to ask for money for the work they do. They also have the right to keep the code with them.
Lesser resource usage. With the costs of hardware going cheaper by the day this is one feature not many individuals are bothered about. It common practice to change a computer every 10-12 months. In corporates where the number of boxes are large, this can become a considerable overhead. Each extra month with the same box means more savings. In our organization for example we were able to increase the average life of a computer from 9-10 months to 14-18 months.
How does linux help in increasing the life of a computer? Most operating systems bring out a major update every 2 years. And linux is no exception. And with each new update comes in a lot of new features and unfortunately a higher bloat value. This bloat makes the new Operating system slower on the present hardware, leading to a hardware upgrade. With Linux too, all major distros update regularly and make the operating system more bloated. However, this is where one of the biggest benefits of open source comes in. We have access to the code. For a desktop, recompiling the kernel, X-windows and the desktop environment (KDE, Gnome) can do wonders. One can recompile the code for the specific processor, video card etc. This optimizes the OS to run on the specific hardware. This also, allows us to remove support for all hardware which we do not have. It reduces the bloat to a large extent. If Windows was free code it would have had the same advantage. Unfortunately it does not have that benefit so we would have to continue to run Windows which supports hardware that we do not have. Most operating systems work from 80386 onwards. This means that they do not take the specific advantages of the newer processors because they have to make the system backward compatible. Thus a newer hardware just means 386 instructions executed at a faster speed. When we compile a program specifically for a processor it uses most of the instructions of the processor which make it faster. For example, the newer processors come with instructions for multimedia apps etc. (MMX). This considerably increases the processing speeds of multimedia apps.