Linux in the commercial world

Linux in the commercial world

This page is a gathering of many reviews of Linux as an operating system. If you have resources that you would like to add, comment on or are out of date please drop me a line.

Last modified: Wed Nov 26 13:29:34 EST

K Desktop makes Linux a looker (PC Week)

Currently in beta test, KDE is thoroughly modern in its approach to
the internetworked world. Properly written K desktop applications use
an I/O library that makes network resources transparent. Thus they can
get data from the local file system, an FTP server or any other device
that can be described by a URL.

Tired of NT? Put on your Red Hat (InfoWorld)

There's no question that Red Hat is a complete Internet server in a
box. I like the fact that the CD comes with all of the TCP/IP services
that you could possibly want in a Web or intranet server, including
the Apache Web server, a mail server, a news server, a domain name
server, a gopher server, and others. The release also includes
development tools such as Perl and C/C++ to facilitate application
development. With 5.0, Red Hat now includes a freeware SQL database

Linux comes in from the cold (Australian Consolidated Press)

Have you ever needed to set up a router or print server with the
minimum cost and hassle? Have you needed a high-end system to run as a
Web server, news server, firewall and nameserver all at the same time?
Linux can do all this for you, for almost no cost, and it can do it on
an old 486 if need be.

An OS for the People (LAN Times)

When proponents of Linux or BSD tout their systems, they usually point
to its performance as an OS for World Wide Web hosting. Yet a growing
number of business users have found that free or inexpensive OSes can
be robust and secure alternatives not only to other Unix OSes but also
to Microsoft Windows NT or Novell Inc. NetWare.

Unix Web Servers: Unhyped But Not Forgotten (Internet Week)

Like the Linux operating system, this Web server grew from the
tradition of free software on the Internet. It began as improvements
to the original server created by the National Center for
Supercomputer Applications and matured into an independent
product. Without exception, Apache is the most advanced Web server
available, with the largest number of users and software developers
supporting it. It is distributed via the Internet with binary versions
for 11 Unix platforms and also comes standard with most GNU/ Linux

NT vs UNIX (Net Design Technology, Inc)

Submitted by Tom Schaefer

Take a look at some of the enhancements that have been added to Unix
that make it a much better server than NT! Are you familiar with Samba
and Netatalk ?  These are free enhancements you can save your company
thousands of dollars with. Samba turns your Unix server into a Windows
Networking Compatible server by adding SMB support to your Unix
host. (All major Unixes are supported).

Small Office - Home Office: White Paper (Net Design Technology, Inc)

Submitted by Tom Schaefer

You can go with a commercial Network Operating System, "NOS", such as
Windows NT or Netware, however, a computer running the freeware Unix,
Linux, makes an excellent workgroup server, at a tenth of the cost of
a Windows NT Server or Netware file server.  The configuration is no
more difficult to master than an NT Server or Netware.

Applix Words for Linux: Simple as pie (Harvard Computer Review)

...there are two great features of Applix Words that aren't found in
these other mainstream word processors. These aspects aren't actually
inherent to the program itself. Rather, they are aspects of the
environment Applixware runs in. The first is stability. Not once in my
testing did the program crash. Even if I did find a way to make it
crash, I am sure that at worse I'd have to logout and log back in
again, since it runs on Linux; I highly doubt it could ever totally
crash the machine. Second is that it in theory can be used
remotely. Provided you are running Applixware on a Linux machine
hooked up to the Internet, you should then be able to use it from any
other X-windows capable machine on the Internet.

Breathing New Life Into Old SPARCs (UNIX Review)

Linux is becoming popular, even in business environments. According to
statistics collected by Red Hat, there were between three million and
five million active Linux users at the end of 1996. Of those users,
52% had not used a UNIX operating system before.

Nashville's Internet Traffic Success (Government Technology)

Submitted by

Linux is Metro Government's operating system of choice for both
CityNet and Internet servers. It is a freeware UNIX work-alike that is
both robust and efficient. Alfaqih observed, "It's a really solid
operating system. You can't beat it."

Linux performed well as a UNIX replacement on a Pentium-class machine
equipped with 64MB of RAM. Replacing UNIX with Linux on the same
machine provided an accurate apples-to-apples comparison. "We first
implemented our SMTP on a Data General machine running UNIX," said
Alfaqih. "I really don't see any difference in delivery between the
operating systems."

The Best of 1996: Redhat Linux 4.0 (InfoWorld)

Linux has traditionally enjoyed a great deal of popularity outside of
the corporate environment. But as establishing an Internet presence
becomes significant for businesses, Linux -- already embraced by
several Internet service providers -- becomes a natural choice. Red
Hat brings together a winning combination of software such as the
Metro/X windows accelerator, a multiprocessor-ready kernel, true
plug-and-play autodetection, and the best features one might expect
from this implementation of Unix.

Gaming with Linux? (GameCenter)

Crack dot Com will become the first company to agree to make Linux
games. Linux is a Unix variant, mostly available as a cheaper
alternative to Unix, a popular operation system for
workstations. Linux is most often used for commercial, academic, and
development purposes.  However, there's a big audience for Linux;
according to Red Hat, there are approximately five million Linux users

3.3 Hot News Item #3: IEEE says future is Linux & NT (Original link not available)

The workstation market in traditional UNIX-on-proprietary-hardware
continues to expand, at a respectable 10 percent per year. But the
Linux-and-Windows-NT-on-Intel-box-workstation market is growing
exponentially. Figures on Linux are difficult to get, but its 1997
sales are likely to be about 500,000, equal to half the sales of all
proprietary UNIX systems for workstations. For its part, Microsoft
predicts that in 1997 it will sell 1 million Windows NT Server
workstations, which is equal to the predicted number of proprietary
UNIX-based workstation sales.

Unix-like Linux OS has garnered good reputation and fed fans (Government Computer News)

"Fed users say the freeware is as stable as Unix, beats Windows for
multitasking and is easy to maintain" ... "[John 'Maddog'] Hall said
the Postal Service plans to use Linux for optical character
recognition, because the savings from buying 5,000 Linux licenses
rather than commercial operating system licenses will make up for any
Linux customization they have to do. "

McAfee expands security business (CNET)

WebWall is based on Linux, a public domain version of the Unix
operating system, but with a modified kernel to examine individual
packet's origin. WebWall, based on technology developed to scan for
Internet viruses, also has proxy-level capabilities.

June 1997 - Linux (ZD Net UK)

If you didn't know better, then you could easily be forgiven for
thinking that Windows is the only operating system that's worth
running these days. However, there's one alternative that's gone from
half a million users last year to four million this year. It's at the
heart of many of the Web sites that you visit every day, it runs on
more platforms and talks more networking protocols than Bill's had
laptops, and what's more--it's available for absolutely nothing. Linux
is big news.

Linux: POSIX for Free (Datamation)

Evan Schaffer of Revolutionary Software credits Linux for creating a
resurgence for his company in the low-end UNIX DBMS market. He says his
customers use Linux with the /rdb DBMS as a front end to large Oracle or
Sybase back ends. In addition, Linux is especially hot for building World
Wide Web servers. "Linux is the most solid piece of software we've ever
seen," says Schaffer. "The only thing comparable is Sun's latest version
of the Solaris operating system. Other UNIX systems are difficult to
install; they do weird things; they crash. But Linux works. It runs.
We've been running it since before the 1.0 release and have never had any
Internet Servers -- OS Holy Wars (Internet Week)
In our performance tests, Linux soundly licked all its opponents, including BSD
and NT, which cost hundreds of dollars more. What's more, the system scales
beautifully, from 153 connections and 646 kilobytes of throughput with 100 users
connected, to 230 connections per second and 996 kilobytes of throughput with
300 virtual users connected.
Add to this hippie idealism the fact that, for the most part, Linux is a rock-solid
system that supports a wide range of hardware and outperforms most other
systems, and you have the formula for a formidable server outside or within
corporate halls.
Corel readies NCs, updates application suites (Infoworld)

Also see:

Corel Computer Corp Revleas the Corel Video Network Computer? (Corel)

Submitted by Stefane Fermigier
Corel Computer, the network computer subsidiary of Corel, is looking to
make communications even easier by bundling cameras and video software
with its NCs. 

The NCs feature the StrongARM chip, run at 233 MHz, have 32MB of RAM,
and have SoundBlaster support and Ethernet ports. The NC uses Linux
as its OS. 

Corel Computer currently has in development a Corel Video Compression
Cam, which feeds compressed video to a parallel port, and then transmits
it across IP networks. The camera also can deliver higher-quality NTSC
video. The company is considering a video server product. 
Linux can provide a cost-effective way to salvage all tose aging 486s (NC World)
Enter Linux. Linux has almost all the features of a Network Computer right
out of a box. The Linux graphical interface is based on X, so it is an
ideal X terminal. It has native support for Java applications and applets
(JDK 1.1.1 is now available for Linux; most Linux distributions ship with
JDK 1.0.2). Linux runs Netscape Navigator or Communicator, both of which
are Java-enabled. There are a plethora of Linux applications available.
(For the purpose of using Linux to create a pseudo-Network Computer,
you'll only need a few of the standard applications that come with most
Linux distributions.) And you can run Insignia Solutions Inc.'s Keoke
client under Java in order to turn your Linux workstation into a thin
client that runs Windows (virtual NT) applications.
Linux in a Gray Flannel Suit (BYTE Magazine)
It's powerful. It's open. It's free. That's why this Unix is entering
corporate IS.
It was as an Internet server that Linux first showed its reliability. For
most people setting up Internet servers, Unix is the preferred platform. 
More than half of all Web servers run Unix, and 10 percent of them run
Linux, according to Harald T. Alvestrand, creator of the Linux Counter.
Linux's Web popularity is due in part to the Web and FTP servers that come
standard with it. In addition, Linux offers some built-in firewall and
proxy capabilities.
Southwest Airlines runs myriad OSes. It implemented a statistical analysis
system based on Linux. Meanwhile, Design Science Labs, a Berea, Ohio-based
Linux consulting firm, runs every aspect of its business -- from customer
databases to accounting to its Web server -- on Linux.
Sixt Rent-a-Car (Munich) uses Linux to run 230 machines throughout
Germany. When asked about the German tendency to buy purely by brand name,
MIS manager Horst Effenberger replied, "We wanted something that provides
the best value for our money, which was accomplished by implementing
Plugging in the Linux Box (BYTE Magazine)
A few months back, analysis of the keywords used to search The BYTE Site
revealed that Linux ranked fifth. Clearly, a lot of visitors knew something
I didn't, and I resolved to find out what. 

Today, a P150-based Dell running the Caldera distribution of Linux is an
increasingly important pillar of The BYTE Site. All our conferences run
there; INND supports newsreaders, and Apache provides an alternate
Web-based view
Power of Cooperation (BYTE Magazine)
Linux isn't a bare-bones Unix clone. There is plenty of meat. In the process
of getting all the facilities of Linux configured, I discovered
that it has TCPD configured into its inetd.conf file. This is a nice feature
that allows you to control incoming TCP access to your host. It
was comforting to know that it was there. 
On looking back at the start of this project, I find that I am now wearing
the proverbial egg on my face. I'm not just favorably impressed
with Fintronic's Linux system; I pulled out my credit card and ordered a
Fintronic system for my personal use. 
CALDERA: Ray Noorda's final swipe at Microsoft (Red Herring)
However, the nascent Net appliance and kiosk industry has yet to
standardize on a single operating system, and with Java there is no
impediment to multiple OSs.  Because Caldera is able to operate without
R&D costs, it will be impossible for others to compete on price. Up in
Redmond, that's got to smart.
The Greatest OS That (N)ever Was (Wired Magazine)
Linux's installed base may not be on the level of the 100 million-plus
users of Windows, or even the 50 million-plus in the Apple Macintosh
sector, but Linux has made its mark in just half the time. Linux is freely
distributable - one CD-ROM can be passed on hundreds of times - so it's
particularly popular in countries just getting wired:  South Africa, Cuba,
Mexico, Slovenia, Croatia, Russia, India, Pakistan, Nicaragua, the
Philippines, Bolivia. And technologically, Linux eclipses all the other
brands of Unix. "Linux is far and away the most vital part of the Unix
market," says Tim O'Reilly, founder of tech book publisher O'Reilly &
Associates. Even Dennis Ritchie, one of the two fathers of the original
Unix, calls Linux "commendable." 
Linux may give reasons to remove Win95, NT from your desktop system (InfoWorld)
In fact, I've never seen anything grow as quickly as Linux. After all
the hype that Windows 95 and Windows NT received over the years, these
two systems continue to disappoint while Linux has been catching up
and surpassing the best features of both, and without fanfare.
Linux operating system Cheap, powerful Red Hat Linux 4.0 has no Web-connection limits (Infoworld)
A low price and easy installation make Red Hat the ideal alternative
for those who are put off by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT Workstation
license agreement (which prevents you from using Windows NT
Workstation as an inexpensive Web server). Red Hat's processor
scalability and multiplatform support -- Alpha and Sparc versions are
available -- make the argument for Linux all the more compelling.

Christopher Blizzard