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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Thursday March 03, 2005
04:22 PM

Linux desktop at work

[ #23482 ]

When is a Linux desktop PC not a desktop PC?

When it is a classified as a server....

Work has a very strict policy, all desktop system will be HP/Compaq PCs running Windows 2K or XP. New machine will always run Windows XP SP2, even if the application you need to do your job only runs on 2K or the original XP. Linux and Unix machines are not allowed for desktop systems under any circumstance.

To some extent I can see their point, IT know Windows quite will, they don't know much about Linux/Unix at all. They can't support or maintain a system that they don't understand.

My web servers are all on Linux boxes, and our business systems run on Unix kit. To work on these machines, which is what the company hired me to do, I have to struggle with a Windows desktop. Normally I use PuTTY running in full screen mode, and as I work mostly with text files xhtml, css and Perl I'm okay. To install DB/2 on Unix you really need to use X and the DB/2 admin GUI to get things done. Problem is that our DB/2 DBA can't get X to run on his XP/SP2 box, so today I built him a Linux "desktop server" which does run X, and he can connect to the DB/2 box and run the GUI on. He really wants a Solaris box as a workstation, but Hell will freeze before that happens...

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  • Basically it is a second copy of X running on the *nix server, but there are a variety of lightweight clients that you can use on other platforms. This may be simpler to set up than X on Windows (and should have fewer compatibility issues).

    This may be worth a shot.
    • VNC does work for many things, though it's not perfect. However for the DB/2 install you apparently need a Java enabled X Server, so VNC is not the best option. I don't know DB/2 so I have no idea if this is the case, but it's what the DBA said. He wants either a proper Unix workstation or a copy of Hummingbird eXceed that works (i.e. not on WinXP/SP2).

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
      • My copy of Hummingbird eXceed is working just fine on WinXP/SP2! Did it not work for him?


        • It was very unhappy, I have no idea why, I didn't do the install or see the problem. I know Cygwin/X on Win2K was okay for me, for the tasks I was using. I don't know the version of eXceed he had either, but he said it was the latest version, with all the patches. Apparently he needs some funky Java features that Cygwin/X can't deliver. I don't know anything about DB/2, but IBM did seem to be rather keen on Java at one time, so I'm sure DB/2 has lots of Java things in it.

          -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • Doesn't cygwin's xfree86 port work on SP2 then? I know it worked on TellytubbyOS when I was working with you.
    • We didn't try it, plus it doesn't support the fancy Java extensions that Hummingbird eXceed does. Basically SP2 seems to do things to the old XP TCP/IP stack, and various things don't work the same anymore, eXceed being only one of them.

      You would like the DB/2 DBA, he likes Unix and thinks Linux is a toy...

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."