[olug] How's Running a Linux Desktop at Work?

Carl Lundstedt clundst at unlserve.unl.edu
Tue Aug 1 16:03:47 UTC 2006

I'll respond, but I work at the University of Nebraska, in the research
computing facility.  That makes my job tightly bound to Linux.  All our
research clusters and fileservers run one flavor of Linux or the other.

>  Q) If you have multiple machines which is the primary?
Not sure I understand.  All my workstations are Linux based.  The own I
own runs SuSE 10.0 (soon to be upgraded to 10.1), my other machine runs
Fedora Core 5.  Both these machines are Dual Athlon MP 2200 w/2Gig ram.
I also have a 12 inch Powerbook as my laptop.  The Mac apps are cool so
I haven't been tempted to switch it to linux.  My computer at home dual

>  Q) Are you actually allowed to run Linux on your desktop or are you running "under the radar"?
Allowed.  Almost a necessity. 
When I was a grad student I switched from DEC Unix (oh Gawd is that a
bad Unix implementation) to a Pent75 running Linux.  My adviser was very
>  Q) Did you install Linux or did come that way from your tech group?
>  Q) Are you encouraged, allowed or just tolerated?
>  Q) How many people have you been able to convert?
None. Everyone uses linux except my boss who runs only Mac OS X (Tiger)
on his 17 inch powerbook.  
I've given some students open source disks that run on windows (Firefox,
OpenOffice etc) in the hopes they'd come back for more.

>  Q) What are you running?
Workstations:  SuSE 10.0, Fedora 5
My learning test cluster runs Scientific Linux 3 and my ITB Grid cluster
runs SLC3.
Our Production cluster runs mostly Scientific Linux 3 with some
smattering of CentOS, mostly on the Fileservers.

>  Q) What has been the biggest challenge in going to Linux?
None, although the support for multimedia seems to be drying up.
Adobe's buy out of Macromedia has put the kibash on Flash which is used
more and more with only video sites.

>  Q) Thing that most suprises people about your desktop?
My students were always surprised by the excellent look of my desktop
and the integrated virtual desktops.  (What are you running there? Is
that a Mac?  Wow, that's cool!)  

OpenOffice never ceases to impress.

A friend of mine that works in the Physics Department was super
impressed by Linux's ability to act as a game server.  Under windows his
machine would dog running a single 16 player server.  Under Linux the
same machine would run two 32 player servers and never miss a beat.  I
was never able to convert him since he runs a great deal of in house VB
code and Origin (which I *think* runs under Linux, but we, that is the
physics department, do not have Linux licences).

Carl Lundstedt
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Ferguson 106
(402) 472-6014

More information about the OLUG mailing list