Looking for the best linux for use in businesses

OK Linux fans... here is you chance to convert a died in the wool Microsoft FOOL.

I have been working with MS stuff since the DOS days. I have several of my customers asking about LINUX, UNIX, FreeBSD, OPEN BSD.... Some are just asking, some are tired of the cost of MS products... I have one customer that spends over 20k per year on MS product licenses... and he wants to convert...

Personally I have about had a gut full of the MS BS... myself

Here is what I want to know... I am looking for the best SERVER software based on linux... and the best workstation software based on linux...

What would you suggest that would be easy for me(as a microsoft guy) to administer and easy for my customers to use...

I am also looking for information on OFFICE programs that will work with the suggested softwares.. and anti vurus softwares, firewalls, e-mail clients, definately a GUI for the work stations...that is easy to use...

I have two extra computers setting around my house and I plan on istalling the SERVER on one and the WS on the other...

Any way let me know what you think...

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

In a commercial environment I'd say RedHat Enterprise Linux or SuSE. Reliability, stability, and support for an extended period of time count in this case.

AFAIK, all mainstream Linuxen suitable for a commercial environment now come with OpenOffice, which is a suite of programs including a document, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing tool. Evolution is an excellent mail clinet and it'll be included also, as will Firefox and other web browsers.

Firewall functions are well served by IPtables and it is probably better than just about any windows firewall. For anti-virus I've had very good luck with ClamAV (open source), but there are also commercial products available.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial

Welcome to the Linux world.

I would recommend Mandriva Corporate Server 3.0, comes with 3 CDs, 1 manual, 1 year unlimited 24x7 support, 5 years maintenance & upgrade.

and Mandriva Corporate Desktop, comes with 3+1 CDs, 1 manual, 1 year unlimited 24x7 support, 5 years maintenance & upgrade.

With this, you get the software, all the easy to use and manage applications, and also supports. There is also an advanced Mandriva MNF2 firewall if the standard one is not enough for you.


I would suggest Fedora Core its an excellent distrobution to administrate and is easy to use for
your customers.

The office software you can use is OpenOffice it is almost identical to MS office and for the
mail server I would recommend Postfix, as it is very simple to setup.

The virus software I would recommend is clamav which is an open source virus scanner
and can be configured with Postfix to scan for viruses/worms and trojans etc.

The desktop I would suggest installing for your clients is KDE as it is very easy to use and
has a nice interface.

For the firewalls you can use IPTables which was also recommend by jlevie
Amazon Web Services

Are you thinking about creating an Amazon Web Services account for your business? Not sure where to start? In this course you’ll get an overview of the history of AWS and take a tour of their user interface.

Cyclops3590Sr Software EngineerCommented:
You can actually get a lot of distros for free.  However, if you want the enterprise versions (which are a lot better optimized for server usage) you will be paying.
I use Mandrake/Mandriva for most of my servers at work and at home.  I have had great luck with them.  However, I'm beginning to use FreeBSD as well.  If you look at uptime.netcraft.com and then look at the top uptime sites, you'll see the vast majority are FreeBSD.

However, since it looks like you are new to linux, I'd go with Mandriva or RedHat/Fedora or Suse.  They have quite a few user-friendly admin utilities for configuring practically everything.  However, if you want to get into the advanced stuff, you'll need to learn how to directly edit the config files (at least Mandriva's utiliies aren't very advanced).
Cyclops3590Sr Software EngineerCommented:
Should have read your entire post before I posted.

Ditto for office - go with OpenOffice.org 2.0 (Advanced features don't map well between OO.org and MS, but most will)
As for AV software, ClamAV is completely free and is one the very best out there. Can also tie into Samba, mail servers, etc.
Well, it depends on what kind of server you are talking about. I mean what kind of application you run on the server.
For web, email, DNS, DHCP or network server, Debian, FreeBSD (not Linux) can give you better reliability.
For commerical application compatibility, RedHat Enterprise Linux and SuSE are the most application developers first choice.
Specially, when you need to install commerical database such as Oracle, Sybase.
Mandriva is also catching up.

As my experience, office tool are seldem run on the server, it runs on the workstation or desktop.
For Linux desktop with easy configuration and administration, Ubuntu (Debian version of desktop) will be a good choice since it is target for the desktop.
All suggestions above are good... I would just add that there is another good option for folks in your position who are trying to introduce Linux Server features into a Windows environment. For that I use and recommend SME Linux from http://contribs.org

SME is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux but designed to support a network of MS Windows PC's. It is also designed for ease of administration. You do not need to be a Linux pro to use it.  All admin tasks  are performed through a web page. I use it as a domain/web/ftp/file/print/firewall/backup server and it's rock solid.

SME is under active development and there is a lively SME user community forum for support.

Good Luck and welcome to Linux!
Linux Distros

  Debian (most stable) (www.debian.org)
  Mandriva (more beginner friendly) - (www.mandriva.org)

Office Programs
  Open Office (openoffice.org)



  Depends on Windows Manager (KDE, GNOME, etc...)
  I prefer KDE desktop, and KMail with Kontact (similar to outlook)

Hardware Minimum Recomendations
Desktop (GUI installation)
  1152x864 resolution
  512 meg ram
  750Mhz processor

Server (non gui install) if GUI install, match the Desktop minimums above
  256 meg ram
  500Mhz processor

Yes it can work on slower machines, and does on a regular basis. It just gets a bit slow.

Good Luck

hawgpigAuthor Commented:
Thank you everyone for your help. I went with Redhat and I have just set up a workstation first. I figure since that is how I learned MS was to learn how to work my desktop then moved into the server realm.

Everyone had great information and I appreciate all the input.

Keep your eyes open for more questions. hopefully some of you will have MS experiance also.
because I will be asking questions like  "To do this in MS, I do this... How do I do the same in Linux."

Thanks again for all the input.....
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.