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HP Lets User Take Linux for a Virtual Spin 39

Jane Walker writes to tell us TechTarget has an interesting article on HP's new TestDrive program. For many small business owners this new site could allow for the benefits of testing many different platforms without having to make the investment up front. From the article: "The program, called TestDrive, is accessed online via the TestDrive Web site. It allows free-of-charge access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Novell SuSE Linux and other open source operating systems like Debian, FreeBSD and OpenVMS. After registering with the site, each user is allowed 1 GB of space in which to work and is granted access to HP hardware housed at the HP Linux Expertise Center in Marlboro, Mass. Access to the system includes the use of 64-bit processors like Integrity, Alpha, and PA-RISC; and SMP x86 and Opteron ProLiant servers."
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HP Lets User Take Linux for a Virtual Spin

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  • New? (Score:4, Informative)

    by cbiffle ( 211614 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:51PM (#15021608)
    This isn't new per se; I used it several years ago (back when they were Compaq) to get to TRU-64, OpenVMS, and iPaq-based build machines for Linux.

    Other than that, it's still neat tech.
  • "new" program? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Yonder Way ( 603108 )
    HP has had this for years. This is like saying "Microsoft just released a new operating system called Windows XP".

    Thank you, /. editors. Job well done.
    • HP has had this for years. This is like saying "Microsoft just released a new operating system called Windows XP".

      No, it's more like calling Vista "new".

      Just the same, the review is worth reading if you are not familiar with the program or have any interest in free software use. This fact jumped out at me:

      That said, of the 300,000 unique TestDrive users, almost 60% have chosen Linux as their operating system for evaluating their business on Itanium hardware.

      I'll bet you didn't know that.

      This shows th

    • This has indeed been around for years, but it is an opportunity to point out an advantage of the program which I have benefitted from that may be of interest to other slashdotters: yes, it is an opportunity to get to know VMS, HP/UX, and Tru64 Unix (and a few Linux distros, but you have no excuse for not running those on your own hardware). Granted, given the current shift in direction of HP away from (non-Windows based) server tech it is probably not that valuable as career knowledge to familiarise yourse
    • Yeah. My testdrive account has already expired... and I didnt need it since I bought a PARISC workstation from ebay, its memory and disks and got it up and running. ... then I read about it on slashdot!
  • OpenVMS Open Source? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sydb ( 176695 )
    Don't think so. And like others have said, not news. I used Test Drive four months ago, and others have clearly used it a lot longer ago. Slashdot article quality control? Priceless. Nothing changes!
  • OpenVMS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pantero Blanco ( 792776 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @06:04PM (#15021707)
    "It allows free-of-charge access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Novell SuSE Linux and other open source operating systems like Debian, FreeBSD and OpenVMS."

    Last I checked, you could run OpenVMS for free under a hobbyist license, but it wasn't anywhere close to being open source. Did I miss something?
    • "It allows free-of-charge access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Novell SuSE Linux and other open source operating systems like Debian, FreeBSD and OpenVMS."

      Last I checked, you could run OpenVMS for free under a hobbyist license, but it wasn't anywhere close to being open source. Did I miss something?


      The only thing you missed is the strange brain fever that apparently effects the submitter and "editors."
  • Redundant? (Score:2, Troll)

    by Nimey ( 114278 )
    What's with all the -1, Redundant modding? A couple of those were good posts.
  • Test Drive (Score:4, Informative)

    by James Chamberlain ( 653054 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @06:40PM (#15021984) Homepage
    As the former sysadmin of the Test Drive Program, I can say pretty definitively that Test Drive has been around for years - since before Compaq bought Digital, I believe. It's nice to see it mentioned, since I know the folks in MRO work pretty hard to keep it going. My admittedly biased feeling on the subject is that Test Drive is a pretty good place where anyone can go to try out operating systems and software on HP hardware to which they might not otherwise have access. They also make sure there are compilers [hp.com] on each system, so you can try our own code on other platforms as well. You can also check out the definitive list of current systems in the program [hp.com].
    • Since they only allow telnet and ftp and no outbound connections, I don't guess there is any way to use X windows, is there?
      • I can't speak for them now since, as I said, I'm no longer there; but that was certainly the case when I was there. There was just too much risk of abuse to generally allow outbound connections of any sort. It's a pretty unique environment, from a security perspective. You have to consider the external network to be more trustworthy than the internal.
    • Pretty neat program even if it has been around for years. Great concept to allow a test drive of various OS's on HP hardware - before spending the money for the hardware. Also pretty cool to just try out operating systems that I wouldn't be able to play with otherwise. Way to go HP!.
  • Tests (Score:4, Funny)

    by Psithe ( 891219 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @06:42PM (#15021999)
    I remember a co-worker signing up for this a few years ago, but getting kicked out in a couple hours. Seems like they don't like you using it for testing Seti@home...
  • That's not an open source operating system.
  • I have to say that I've been pretty happy with HP lately – really nice to have a company supporting open source development efforts, you know? Right now I've got an HP box to develop an AMD64 port of my Linux distro – AMD64 3200+ with 512MB RAM, PCI Express, 80GB SATA disk – love the thing. Runs my system nicely, and dead silent too. Plus it was only $300 at an auction. Lucky me.

    (As far as printers are concerned, on the other hand, not exactly thrilled with some of the newer DeskJets – I tend to be an Epson guy myself, the DeskJets tend to break too easily. Although then again, I still have yet to have any problems whatsoever with one of the original DeskJets, which I still use even today, despite it being older than I am. Runs like a charm.)
  • I wonder if they installed John the Ripper?
  • by eric76 ( 679787 )
    Doesn't IBM have a similar program for some of their machines?
  • I used testdrive almost 10 years ago !!! was 97 I think
  • All in all this isn't really new is it? Just HP marketing with a 'its about Linux... come and lap it up children' theme going on.

    Like most of the people here, I've been using this servce for a good few years (since around 2000 when they were still Compaq) and nothing seems to have changed.
  • IBM AIX Test Drive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kolpackov ( 765411 )
    I wish IBM will get a clue and follow with a similar thing for AIX along with XL C/C++ suite. Those things are way to expensive (XL C/C++ for AIX is over $3K) for open source developers to test their code.

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