Sunday, September 2, 2007

Vista, no thanks

In early August we received new laptops at work, some very nice dual core Dell Latitudes with a couple gigs of RAM. Now I can finally have JDeveloper and SQLDeveloper open at the same time. I have forgone installing Microsoft Office and instead am rolling with OpenOffice 2.2, no regrets. Still a Thunderbird fan, what's Outlook? The main Microsoft software I rely on is the OS, Windows XP.

In a year we are supposed to upgrade to Vista and MS Office 2007. Based on what I've seen of Vista so far I think that will be the time to move to Linux. Many in IT where I work have moved to MacOS and while I admire the BSD-like OS under the covers, I'd just be trading one corporate vendor for another. In addition, most of the software that I need to run in order to do my job is either not available on the Mac or is in beta. There is not one tool I use that requires MacOS. There are quite a few tools I use that are available for both Windows and Linux. For those cases where a Linux version is not available I can use Wine or an XP guest OS in VMWare Server.

So I have one year to decide what distro to run. I've been running Ubuntu on my home laptop for about the last 8 months. It's a nice distribution, very easy to setup and use. It has given me a great appreciation for the Debian packaging system. I have it narrowed down to either a Debian or Redhat distribution. Redhat would be a good choice because it'll likely replace our Sun Solaris boxes in the near future. I've been working with CentOS in a VMWare image for a little while and found I really like both the workstation and server installs. As for a Debian distro I think I would go with plain old Debian. While Ubuntu does have a large user base, I need very few of the features that are Ubuntu specific. I dislike some the configuration changes I've seen lately in Ubuntu (i.e., their choice of replacing the inittab with event.d). I want my Linux system to be as standard as possible if I go with Debian and I think Ubuntu is starting to stray away from Debian a little too much and I don't want to end up running a distro that forks from Debian.

I think the main decision will depend heavily on package management, I know Debian's apt-get is excellent. For now I need to continue playing with CentOS to see how Yum stacks up.

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