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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

Higher operating costs wiht linux
any experiences

 4:34 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)


I was just reading PC World Norway and this aguys said that Linux doesnt necessarily mean free. altough the os itself is. with the other applciations and systems security issues etc etc, the cost could even at times be higher than windowsa platforms (i think i read somewhere a company i cant remember stated it was cheaper to stay with windows).

im pretty new to linux and was wondering if there are anyone out there who could shed some light onto this issue. preferably ppl working with linux. experinces and incidents and decisions...



 5:22 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are costs with Linux, nobody ever said there wasn't.

The "free" is as in "free speech".

In the UK Microsoft have just been repremanded for their advert saying Linux cost 10x more or some such nonsense.

The comparison was between hardware and not software - therefore deemed "misleading", not what I'd call it ;)

The whole total Cost of Ownership thing was Microsoft's attempt to stall Open Source Software and destroy competition - it actually brought attention to Open Source instead.

Currently they are having more success with "Are you sure it's legal?" ploy. (er... yes I am sure it's legal)

IMHO Linux isn't as "user friendly" to set-up, but it's not rocket science either. Once up and running you can practically forget about it - it just runs, a fraction of the downtime I had with MS Win.

When my system goes down it costs me money - on that alone Linux costs me less.



 5:46 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

> IMHO Linux isn't as "user friendly" to set-up,
> but it's not rocket science either.

The cost to maintain is probably the biggest factor. Where is your experience and expertise lie? If it is with Linux, it is a no-brainer to run Linux. But if you only know Windows, then you have to spend time educate yourself or hire someone to maintain it for you.


 8:02 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

makes sense sun818,

so i guess the transition phase from win to linux would bring the cost up,

but i was thinking more in terms of comapring up and running windows and linux systems or networks. take for instance a LAN, would it be cheaper to actually use linux? i have a feeling it is, but then again, im not really in the field, so im sure im overseeing alot of issues here.


 8:04 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

about the hardware, does moving to linux really lead to costs in the hardware area?


 10:20 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

The cost could potentially since drivers for Windows are more readily available than Linux. So, your hardware options are more limited which gives you a competitive disadvantage when making hardware purchases. Vendors will also charge more for products that can be used in multiple environments.


 11:24 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the TCO is highly dependant upon the enviornment and intended use:

I work in a smaller company and am a home user of linux - I have a good deal of working knowlege on the configuration of boxes running apache, mysql, qmail, djbdns, and such. In the areas that these programs run I can have a box running a great deal faster then the MS counterpart service would take to configure, and furthermore after the configuration it runs quickly and consistantly. Given that I am the only one in my place of employment that deals with these type things, there is a lower TCO to host these services via linux in this context.

In areas where there is mitigation of new users or unknown services - such as, for instance, putting all my users on linux boxes - I think that microsofts assertion that TCO is higher with linux might pan out for some months and then stabalize. The same could be said (in a smaller context) when switching a user from office 2000 to office 2003. Any software change is going to be accompanied by resources in aquiring the software and training users on it, but very few would assert that outlook 2003 has a higher TCO then previous editions.

As far as (server/desktop) hardware upgrades are concerned to me today this is almost a non-issue. Get a knoppix disk and boot into it - if your soundcard and modem function then you are good to go. A few years ago you may have speant $50 on a seriel modem and another $50 on a soundblaster, a year or two before that you might of have lacked usb devices, but today hardware support has progressed to the point that compiling lists of what does not work saves time over tracking that which does.


 3:34 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)


what abt the asian countries that are now making a move into linux, whther they used windows before or new it investments. what are the practical reality behind this decicison?

some shcools here in norway have moved into linux, but the goverment is suing ms software to deal with certain exmaminations etc. etc, so that this one school is bound to be afffected by next year.


 6:58 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's basicly all FUD. M$ has lots of money.
Some people will say any thing for money.


 7:08 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I run linux and MS server OS's and neither of them ever go down. People alwasy think of MS OS's as a whole and not individualy. Yes the desktop OS's have problems. Just set up your server right to begin with and don't mess with it. Don't use it as a desktop. Don't install personal apps or anything that can be done elsewhere on it. Even when I ran NT4 servers I never had any problems. If you mess too much with any OS you will have problems. If you set up MS server OS's right you will have just as little down time as linux.


 1:08 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just in case:
TCO = Total Cost of Ownership


 9:46 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks, tought it was total cost of operation or something...:)


 6:34 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

> The cost could potentially since drivers for Windows are more readily available than Linux.

If manufacturer-supported-drivers is what was being referred to, then i couldn't agree more. the truth is that linux runs on a much wider variety of hardware and supports many more devices and host systems than microsoft could even dream of supporting windows on.

the decision also is based off of different focal points. if security and speed are your number one priority, than linux is the definite winner. windows is not the most stable operating system in the world. they mask their flaws by bloating the OS. for instance - if server 2003 crashes, it is required that you give a reason as to why, instead of microsoft not working to make sure the crash didn't happen to begin with. if ease of setup and deployment is your main focus, then microsoft gets my nod hands down. security breaches and slower speed is a huge hit financially in most circumstances moreso than going to your local borders or barnes and noble and buying 3 linux books, downloading a distribution like slackware, and spending 2 weeks learning the system before you deploy it.


 6:41 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

> the truth is that linux runs on a much wider
> variety of hardware and supports many more
> devices and host systems than microsoft



 8:02 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

> the truth is that linux runs on a much wider
> variety of hardware and supports many more
> devices and host systems than microsoft


X86 (pentium compatible) is one architecture, a popular one because it was cheap at introduction and even cheaper once it caught on, but again it is one architecture.

Linux compatibility extends well above and beyond X86 to just about every chip one could name that has been produced in the recent past. It powers your tivo, many cell phones, and other small type devices, it can run on you mac or sun box.

Additionally this compatibility is often better then that of microsoft for supported "fringe type" devices - transmetas chip line and opterons come to mind, because both run only by appropriatly emulating x86 functionality (though betas exist for the opteron in 64 bit mode) though I am sure their are others.

Basically - if you want a recent, run of the mill pentium class chip then windows will generally provide better compatability. If you would like a tiny laptop with 8 hours battery life running an effecion, or would prefer a enterprise type server, or want the beauty of a mac, then windows is not an option


 8:14 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

thank you nalin. i don't have much more explaining to do. there is also another area though beyond processor architectures though as well. specialized server hardware such as different high-performance devices from sgi and other hardware vendors is another area not quite as impoertant to this discussion but that is another section linux excels in.


 8:30 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

nalin - I see what you're saying. My comment was specifically directed at the desktop computer market - less with embedded system or server end hardware.


 7:22 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

sun818 - let me clear something up that i may have confused everyone about. just because the drivers aren't officially supported doesn't mean that the companies aren't the ones writing or provding technical information for the open source programmers that do write them. for instance, in the linux kernel source, under the Emu10k1.h header file...

* Copyright (c) by Jaroslav Kysela <perex@suse.cz>,
* Creative Labs, Inc.
* Definitions for EMU10K1 (SB Live!) chips

also, if you look under the linux kernel changelog regularly, you will find many hardware vendors' servers listed for email addresses. intel, sgi, ibm, and many many more.

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