Thoughts on Linux

So, I’ve been dual-booting a variety of different distro’s over the past several years and for some reason, I continue to come back to using Ubuntu Linux. I have been using it since “Warty-Warthog” and switched to variant’s of Ubuntu like Mint.

Each time however, I kept coming back to Ubuntu. It wasn’t just the experience that the OS delivers differently than other distro’s. I think it was because of the familiarity, the very large and active user-base that it has. So, this time I used it to try to replace my Windows 8.1 desktop to do my job.  My real-life job is a Cloud Infrastructure Engineer with a focus in Microsoft’s technologies.

I was able to do all of my job functions except 2 major pieces.

1. Lync – the company I work for uses Lync as it’s primary meeting tool, remote desktop support tool and VOIP client.  I found a program called “Wync” (Here: http://fisil.com/linuxlync.html) which did an “okay” job. First off, it’s closed source, so the free version only has a 2 minute call period before it drops you. Didn’t get a chance to test out the online meeting portion because of a lot of troubles I had making calls. It seemed hit or miss with our partner-hosted Lync/Exchange setup. At $50.00 a year, I was at a serious loss to make that a replacement. Others suggested messing with Pidgin to get that to talk to our Lync/Exchange setup however that failed completely.

2. Remote Desktop Gateway support. There is practically none, zip-zero nada. I tried Chrome Apps, Remmina, and the Terminal RDP. I was able to get it to work with our Server 2008R2 RD Gateway, however our Server 2012R2 Gateway was a major fail. That and the fact that it was completely CLI for each connection without a user-friendly GUI was a huge turn-off.

Ultimately, once those two items are improved upon I’ll be able to actually use Linux to replace my Windows machines. I’m even content with loosing the ability to play a large amount of my Windows games, in order to switch to Linux. Wine does some serious wonders and I am so happy to see publishers actually spending serious thought on the Linux gaming community. I love what open-source represents and the power of the *nix underneath. The values that it stands for are very appealing to those like myself that believe in a free-internet and free-information.

Last statement about Ubuntu 14.04, Wow. Just Wow. I love this version far more than I have any other version in the past. The smoothness of the OS and the improvements continue to impress myself with the fact that it’s free.  Keep it going! As soon as I can switch and not NEED to look back, rest assured. I will.

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