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Five Realities Of Linux

Believe it or not, SCO litigation isn't the biggest threat to Linux adoption in the enterprise. Misunderstandings and preconceived notions are the real enemy. Here are five realities of open source (in general) and Linux (in particular):

1. Open source is not Linux. Open source consists of thousands of software projects, including OSs other than Linux, such as FreeBSD and BeOS.

2. Usability is not a roadblock to Linux adoption. Some Linux distributions have usability problems, but whether you deploy a particular distribution is a choice you make when evaluating Linux. If usability is a primary requirement, look at Windows-friendly distributions like Lindows or Xandros.

3. Long-term maintenance is a problem, but it's not as big a problem as some people would like you to believe. Yes, different distributions might store resources in different places within the file system, making it a pain to switch OSs. Make certain there are sufficient install packages for the software you need to work on the file system your OS employs.

4. Long-term system maintenance can be difficult, particularly with vendor-distributed software updates, and especially for some smaller distributions. But Red Hat, Ximian and other vendors offer corporate-class solutions to this problem--not open-source solutions, but solutions built to support open source.

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