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A List of Linux Migration Stories? 68

Posted by Cliff
from the an-army-of-penguins dept.
borfast asks: "From time to time, I read about schools, cities, states or countries that decided to switch their operating systems to Linux for a number of reasons. The latest was the city of Munich. I'm currently preparing a presentation to do on local schools about Free Software and its advantages (and disadvantages) in government and education, and I'd like to show some examples of what I'll be saying to those folks. Not that I consider myself an authority on the subject but you know the saying, 'In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king'. Anyway, I have been collecting all the stories (both positive and negative) I find but I'd really appreciate it if the Slashdot crowd could give me a hand, here. Due credit will be given and the presentation will be posted online under a Free license. So, what Linux migration nightmares or cotton-candy dreams do you know about, and do you know any site that collects these stories?"
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A List of Linux Migration Stories?

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  • I saw March of the Penguins, does that count?
  • google (Score:3, Informative)

    by rbochan (827946) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @03:22PM (#16677295) Homepage
    Or any other search engine:
    AutoZone
    Burlington Coat Factory
    Cisco/Linksys
    City of Vienna information services
    Daimer/Chrysler
    Disney
    Ernie Ball Guitars
    Google
    IBM
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Merrill Lynch
    Mexico City municipal government
    Pixar Animation
    Papa John's Pizza
    Raymour & Flanigan Furniture
    Riverdale High School, Portland, Oregon
    St. Mary's School, Rockledge, Florida
    University of Oslo
    US Air Force

    You might not get all the details, but it might send you in the right direction.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's like if my buddy comes to me and asks why his circuit is picking up noise and I hand him a stack of textbooks. "Your answer is in there."

      Borfast is looking for some intelligence. If he just wanted a list, he could indeed just google. If we want to help him, a little editorial comment on our part is necessary. If someone is looking for strawberries we could honestly tell him that there are strawberries in all directions. It would be the truth. Of course if he walks north he won't find any strawber
    • by Poppler (822173)
      Ernie Ball Guitars
      Actually, Ernie Ball is primarily a guitar string manufacturer. They do sell the Musicman line of guitars, but their main business is strings.
      As someone who uses their products, I'm glad to hear they're using Free Software.
    • http://www.stmarys-school.org/smsk12linux_howandwh y.htm [stmarys-school.org]
      http://www.mlinux.org/ [mlinux.org]

      Hung out with these guys for a while. They were big on Debian a while back.
    • by sufehmi (134793)
      Here's one : http://oss-corporate.usefulz.com [usefulz.com]

      Disclaimer: It's mine. Here there are a lot of companies wishing to move from their current IT infrastructure to a more open one, but they're scared. A lot of them said if there are others who have done so, it'll make the case easier to be presented in the board of director meetings. So I created it. Hope it does help some people out there.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @03:26PM (#16677403)
    As the snow begins to melt and the first buds of spring begin to swell, the Linux, thin and gaunt from a winter's starvation, begins to seek out others of its own kind, gathering at the swiftly thawing ponds and lakes. Soon, great flocks of Linux will begin their long migration south to their summer breeding grounds. Many will not make it, too exhausted from their journey to continue, or falling victim to the many predators who dog their steps on their long flight...
  • by lewp (95638) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @03:27PM (#16677439) Journal
    Okay, so this one time I was typing a report for school, and my computer was like "beeeeep beep beep beeeep beepbeep beeep" and then my report was gone. Then I switched to Linux and smoked some reefer.

    I'm sure many other people have similar stories.
  • and ever since I don't need to password protect anything, nobody but me can use the computer now.
  • by dch24 (904899) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @03:30PM (#16677497) Journal
    My experience has been interesting. My university's college of engineering has a full-time staff of three, serving multiple labs in multiple buildings (so the infrastructure is non-trivial). They hire part-time and full-time students, train them, and rely on them for a lot of the work they need done. Because of the great leadership, the engineering network (entirely linux-powered on the backend, with all types of machines from supercomputers to workstations to desktops of every flavor) has an incredible track record, and they have been able to deal with almost every problem in a very professional way.

    The CS department is exactly the opposite. There is one full-time staff administrator, who hires students to work for him. He is ornery and unhelpful. The network is down a lot. The machines are only updated infrequently, accounts get destroyed on a regular basis, the works. The same setup (linux backend, linux, windows, and mac clients) but administered entirely differently.

    I guess my experience has been that if you are going to migrate, you need people who know how to do it. Linux might get a bad name, but it's really the people behind the migration.
    • Good to hear the tradition of grumpy, unhelpful *nix administrators is continuing and being passed along to a new generation of CS professionals.
  • by Klaidas (981300) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @03:37PM (#16677695)
    1. Go to a linux forum
    2. Enter search "Windows"
    3. Look at a list with "Bye bye Weendoz!!!! roflmayonaise i migrated!!!"
    4. Find some "LOL WTF LEENOOKS zuck!!! I'm back to my win!!! lol!!!" in bettween the entries on line 3
    5. ???
    6. Presentation!
  • 50 stories (Score:3, Informative)

    by dagnabit (89294) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @03:43PM (#16677857) Homepage
  • the one-eyed man is a cyclope."
  • The only list on Earth shorter than the Big Book of Swiss Military Victories.
  • When linux works out of the box, it's great, but if anything goes wrong, or you need to tweak, the documentation and cross-distro compatability (important when building from source, or even getting prepackaged apps), can be a royal pain.

    I switched to FreeBSD, but it's issues (less commercial software, less supported hardware), are easier for me to handle than those of Linux (overall less comprehensive and user friendly documentation).

    In the end, get your devs to try both, and compare them to your experience
    • Personally, I don't find the support from a megalo-corporation like Microsoft that comprehensive. I consider myself a Windows Power-User, and I still put much of that knowledge to practice at work; however, I didn't get this way by reading Help files.

      The options for Joe Computer-User are not vast:

      He can try to wade his way through the contents of Microsoft's included manuals and help files. The problem here being that even if he knows what the problem is, and what questions he needs answers to; the solution
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      The same is true of any OS, especially windows...
      If it works out of the box, it's easy enough... But as soon as something breaks, the error messages are useless, debugging information is useless, the registry is hardly what i'd call intuitive or easy to use, and the closed source nature of it makes it much harder for even the most skilled people to debug and fix your problems.

      Not to mention the fact that commandline is much easier to debug remotely. cut+paste the error into google and when it gives you answ
      • Funny thing is, I know several people who are almost tech-idiots who actually hack their own registries...

        It's not as friendly for certain types of people, but the heirachical nature, plus regedit can actually be very useful. As well as keeping a lot of things in "one" place (even if that "one" place is scattered all over their computer)

        Also, I've not had the troubles installing applications on Windows that I have had installing them on Linux. I want an application not-out-of-the-box on Windows, I open it's
        • Also, I've not had the troubles installing applications on Windows that I have had installing them on Linux.

          One killer feature that is missing from the Linux distributions I use regularly (RHEL 2/3, FC4/5) is a software deployment mechanism. Group policies plus Windows Installer (MSI) packages really make my life easier, even when I'm just supporting my family. I am aware of tools like cfengine, and I am certain I could script yum commands out via SSH, but I'm forced to admit that Microsoft's interfac

        • by Bert64 (520050)
          I've had the opposite experience...
          Most programs install cleanly, but having to manually locate the installer, and usually click through multiple pages of license agreements, other bullshit and ads before you can download it is incredibly annoying.
          For those few apps which dont install correctly, the error messages are useless for diagnosing why it didn't install and you often have to give up and accept not having the app.
          Package managers on the other hand, debian's apt is usually problem free (although you
          • I've actually had better luck with emerge than with apt-get, which I find to be odd. Maybe I've had a higher error rate with Emerge, but the system is one I foudn easier to fix problems in, so I spent as much "fixing" time with 10 emerge errors as I would with one apt-get error. That's an important factor too...
            • by Bert64 (520050)
              Yes, i found that too... Emerge is far more transparent as to it's process for installing packages, and all the scripts are plain text files and easily read/modified, as is the package database.
  • Take a look through POS vendor's sites. Most Non-Microsoft POS platforms run on Linux.

    * Wincor/Nixdorf
    * IBM
    * SAP/Triversity
    * Micros
    * BananaPOS

    There are more..

    Novell even has a Point of Service-specific Distribution, NLPOS..

    You might have to get creative - not all individuals' success stories are public, but vendors are happy to tout their successes with a list of clients that successfully use their product. Add them to your list!
  • This past week, I've attempted to install Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Ubuntu 6.10 onto my system to do a little work at home.

    Nvidia + Wide Screen LCD flat panel can be cumbersome, tweaking modelines, xorg.conf files, ugh! It's enough to drive one sane! And the fact that currently 6.10 (at least for a number of people) loads to a black screen of death, and CTRL-ALT-F1 to F6 didn't bring up a viewable console making it that much more of a pain.

    I finally got another distro installed, downloaded the latest nvidia dri

    • by Bert64 (520050)
      I have a 1600x1024 widescreen LCD...
      X picked it up automatically by reading the supported resolutions from the display itself. It also worked out the physical dimensions of the screen and set the DPI appropriately, so the fonts are fully readable and the same physical size as on any other screen.
      • I have the slightly unused res of 1366x768 on my Sony TX2 laptop; I had to use the 855resolution hack, but it wasn't hard, and SuSE10.1 even has a config file specifically to make it possible.

        In this case, there was no failure of the technology, only a weakness of documentation and lack of a trivial control panel for the hack.

        In contrast, I've spent lots of time fiddling with nvidia drivers on windows trying to get a tv-out card to work perfectly with my ordinary CRT television before it worked well.

    • I would say that until the installation is streamlined to where you don't have [snip] bang head against wall or threaten the system with a baseball bat, the average "user" is going to be lost, frustrated

      I think Windows users experience this a fair bit as well. Especially related to hardware. I do a lot of "PC Repair" in my spare time for people via word-of-mouth. Until these people can understand, figure out, and problem-solve Windows issues, I think they will be lost in Linux. However, Linux has a lot

  • I can relate my own anecdotal experiences.

    First, the good points of Windows when compared to Linux. Setting up peripherals is still a PITA in Linux. Peripherals in Linux have gotten much easier in recent years thanks to SANE, HPLIP, Gutenprint, CUPS, gphoto2, ALSA, improvements in the 2.6 kernel and in udev. Having to mount CDs and USB memory sticks was also extremely annnoying in Linux. Linux distros vary considerably on how they handle removable media-- Ubuntu is pretty good at it, while Slackware a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr. Hankey (95668)
      FWIW, I've been using Linux for well over a decade and it's come quite a long way. I worked my way through the entire Slackware distribution from the ground up while I was a college student. When I started, it was a bit of a difficult task to get anything working. You needed to build your CD-ROM interface's driver (typically your sound card) into your kernel in order to use it. If you had a Sound Blaster 16 you might even get it the sound card itself to work. Recompiling/upgrading the system libraries and b
      • I've been using Linux since kernel version 1.3. The main trouble I have with GNOME and KDE is they are such resource hogs, and I like to get by with ancient hardware. If you have 64M or less RAM, Knoppix can't run KDE unless you let it create a swap file. I use Slackware with light weight window managers. Lately, I've been trying out jwm (used in Puppy Linux), and xfe for a file manager. I would like to trade out xfe for something lighter. I've had better luck with xpdf than with ggv. ggv chokes on a

  • Skolelinux is up and running in 200 schools the world wide. It's a network (server plus thin client) solution, Webmin for remote, simplified config.
  • After a quick glance over the comments here does anyone else get the feeling "Ask Slashdot" isn't really working? I'd think that there were quite a few migration stories out there, at least from local governments trying to save money (http://www.novell.com/success/jefferson.html [novell.com]) or just Googling linux success story...

    I'm not getting a warm and fuzzy about possibly starting a business based on this (an idea I was toying with)...
  • Migration (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slo_chewie (863404)
    I work for one of the companies mentioned in one of the earlier replies. I'd be willing to answer some questions you may have. In our case we have never looked back or regretted the migration to Linux. We were given a 6 month deadline to migrate and have been running smooth for nearly 6 years now without MS.
  • Whoops ; Here are the examples I meant to include in my previous post.

    Venezuela[1], Brazil[2], Extremadura and other regions of Spain[3], New Zealand[6], Bulgaria & Madeconia[4], and China[5], India. Development is often a worldwide effort, much like academic research.

    For example, while I have only done a little FLOSS development, I've never met any of my collaborators in person.
    Thailand Cities: Vienna, Munich, Geneva, Bergen[7]. Peru, Paris:almost.

    [1] http://linuxtoday.com/news_story. [linuxtoday.com]

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