Open Source for Schools

Why Linux and open source matters for small businesses and schools Hans Knobloch, Philadelphia Information technology Examiner

This blog was shared with me last night and I think the points made for using open source (linux) are right on target. The general public may or may not choose to accept this but business use of open source products continues to rise. Especially in this economic climate. (the reason this blog was started!) A quick Google search will reveal that there is an open source tool for just about any business need. This means freedom from initial software purchase, recurring license fees, etc.

Rockin’ on without Microsoft David Becker, Staff Writer, CNET News

This post is from 2003 and shows that even six years ago it was possible to convert to open source and continue as a successful business. It is easier today.
Linux is no longer relegated to the dark recesses of IT Geekdom. Major hardware vendors sell desktops and laptops pre-loaded with various distributions of Linux. A non-technical co-worker recently bought a mini-notebook loaded with Linux “because it was cheaper” and learned how to use it.
As virtualization projects grow in the SMB and education markets, there is often a natural progression towards open source related tools. Advanced configuration and troubleshooting of VMware ESX or Citrix XenServer hosts requires understanding and use of SSH and linux-based file systems.

Quoted from the blog post:

” Here are some facts about free and open source software and Linux:

  • A typical Linux and free open source software equipped PC will cost up to 60 – 70% less to operate over a typical three year write off time.
  • A typical PC hardware suited for Linux does not need to be as expensive as a typical Windows or Mac OS X PC. Linux requires much less resources. As a result, Linux PCs have an extended average lifetime.
  • Linux with typically installed quality programs, used for graphics, office, music, and Internet, are freely available as downloads from the Internet.
  • Linux versions, like Ubuntu, come with a host of no charge business software.
  • Pre-configured Linux versions, like the Ubuntu derivate Edubuntu, come with a host of no charge educational software, including teacher and student administration programs.
  • Linux installations can be upgraded and maintained without additional costs – ever.
  • Linux is much more stable and usually safer than its proprietary alternatives.
  • Linux is much less virus endangered than Windows or Apple OS X.
  • Linux is easy to learn and behaves in many ways just like Windows or Mac OS X.
  • Company specific software solutions are available where needed from commercial vendors.
  • Vendor supplied or vendor independent support programs are available if the need for professional support arises.
  • Hundreds of Linux end user and administrator forums on the Internet provide cost free support, configuration and installation how-to information, and help desk services.
  • Linux, with its open source character, is ideally suited to teach students the working of a modern computing system, better then any of its proprietary competitors. “

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