It’s all about freedom. What does it take to improve your service to the Kingdom? What can I do to remove unnecessary limitations?
I am by no means a Linux evangelist. Some people are better off running Windows, and I try to keep my skills current for that. Some people need something else, and I try to explore the alternatives just enough to keep track of what works, what can be made to work, and what is probably not worth the trouble. Still, I only know what I know, and I’m really not interested in just every little project out there. The ones which matter most are the ones which don’t become a distraction by consuming too much time and effort. Folks who need another hobby don’t need my help.
Most of you already know the easiest Linux to use is Ubuntu. There are plenty which are as easy to install, but none so far offer the same long-term support as the LTS releases of Ubuntu, which is part of the definition of “easy” in their minds. Without LTS, it’s just a hobby unless you intend to become a serious technician. I’ve poked around Red Hat 6.0 the last couple of weeks, preparing for the release of CentOS 6, which is derived from it. I found CentOS 5 just manageable enough to write a migration guide for Windows refugees. I’m pretty sure I can’t do that for 6.
The primary issue is the difficult install. Most ordinary home or small office users don’t have time to learn the various incantations to get RHEL/CentOS 6 to boot on some machines. Lots of folks are complaining about it. If it’s that difficult, it’s too difficult. That’s not a slam on the RedHat way of doing things; it didn’t stop me installing it. But that is too much to ask for someone who has no need for my background in Linux and other OSes. Such people happen to be all of my clients, and I’m pretty sure it will be true of all my future clients. Nor do the folks who produce this stuff feel insulted, since Red Hat and CentOS remain committed to the enterprise technicians, not ordinary users.
So while RHEL 6.0 is one of the best Linux distros I’ve ever tested, I can’t recommend it to my clients without a lot of training. It’s too easy to get something almost as good with Ubuntu without that training. Sometime in the near future I’ll be writing a migration guide for those clients whom I cannot for some reason do a hands-on installation of Ubuntu.