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Businesses Software Linux

Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Linux Telecommuting Tools? 212

Posted by timothy
from the skype-works dept.
First time accepted submitter rodrix79 writes "Hi all. I am trying to move from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu, but maybe to Mint). The problem is I telecommute full time and I am having a hard time trying to find the right tools to keep communication flowing with my clients (which are mostly on Windows / Mac). Any good recommendations from Linux telecommuters?"
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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Linux Telecommuting Tools?

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  • by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nospam.jawtheshark.com> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:03PM (#39589233) Homepage Journal
    Can you be more specific? Like telling us what doensn't work? All major chat protocols work, email works, browsers work, OpenVPN works (others may work too). There are good terminal services clients. So, apart from the "I can't have Microsoft Office", what -pray tell us- doens't work.
  • Re:Skype (Score:3, Informative)

    by systematical (1394991) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:05PM (#39589257) Homepage
    Skype runs on Ubuntu and not through wine. They actually have a .deb package for it and probably for other distributions as well. For other things though, yeah you might have to stick with windows or at least run a VM.
  • Re:Skype (Score:5, Informative)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nospam.jawtheshark.com> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:05PM (#39589259) Homepage Journal
    Skype works just fine on Linux. I use it daily, yes, even for voice and video.
  • Re:Skype (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:06PM (#39589273) Homepage

    "Sorry, but for business things you really do have to use Skype."

    Where? Everywhere I look I see businesses using Cisco, Tandberg and Polycom video conferencing and that means real H323 protocols and software. Of which there is NOTHING for linux.

    The good thing is a old Tandberg Edge95 or Polycom SD unit is dirt cheap on ebay.

  • Re:Skype (Score:4, Informative)

    by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:10PM (#39589313)
    Codeweavers' Crossover (http://www.codeweavers.com) product is a beefed up Wine and they allow a 2 week trial. Very reasonably priced.

    You can install Windows software and run it without having to have a VM or a Windows license. It works great for a lot of Windows apps they don't specifically list on their website but they also list apps they have tested and know specifically will run.

    I use it for a number of Windows applications where I don't have to boot up to a now very old version of XP on an old hard drive. I just installed the apps in "bottles" under Linux and then just run them whenever I want to.
  • by dejanc (1528235) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:10PM (#39589321)
    In my case, telecommuting requires some readily available tools, such as openvpn or git/svn. For my softphone needs, I use Ekiga. For instant messaging, there is Pidgin. For screen sharing, I had excellent experience with Teamviewer. For email, anything from Thunderbird to Mutt. But really, I never had any particular issues regarding communication on Linux. Linux may be lacking in other categories of software, but it really shines in communication department.
  • Re:Usual rule (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:17PM (#39589427)
    Welcome to NuSlashdot. Where the most highly ranked post is as always a complete non answer. The OP asked a very specific question. He doesn't need you lecturing him on his workflow. And to all the jackasses that modded you up, you are the reason Slashdot sucks circa 2012.
  • Re:Skype (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shikaku (1129753) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:17PM (#39589431)

    So SIP isn't supported on Linux? Really? I'm sure Ekiga works as well as loads of others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SIP_software#Free_and_open_source_license_2 [wikipedia.org]

  • VirtualBox + Windows (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc AT carpanet DOT net> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:20PM (#39589469) Homepage

    Even if its not your primary means.... and believe me, I am a hardcore linux guy whose used linux on his desktop, even while working at VERY windows centric shops that didn't entirely approve. The key is to have windows available, either as a machine you can RDP or as a VM (preferable).

    95% of things, you can find a fine Linux based alternative.... but every once in a while someone is gonna send you a non-xml visio or maybe you have to talk to an exchange server (I never had luck with the linux tools.... even when I got them to work).

    As I type this, my work laptop is, in fact, setting up a windows VM for this purpose. At my previous job, we had both desktops and laptops, so i just did nearly everything on my laptop, which ran Ubuntu, and would just rdp control my desktop for reading email and filling out timesheets (which required IE)

    Personally, I would love to ditch windows completely...but I need it for steam anyway (my only non-work use for windows), and while I don't mind spending half a day getting a new free software alternative running... few people have the patients to wait for me to do it on their time.... so, I have windows for those times, and just take everything I have to do in windows as something to add to my "upgrade to linux" punch list.

  • Re:Skype (Score:4, Informative)

    by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witnessNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:22PM (#39589515) Homepage Journal

    And using Skype on Linux is a problem because.... ?

    It's unsupported, well out of date, and very problematic.

    I often try to chat with people via Skype; only to get one or two chats through and then have it stop sending/receiving chats. I'm still supposedly on-line; but it's not working.

    And its functionally broken when trying to find the microphone under Linux; so voice calls are nearly impossible - they work sometimes, but most of the time they don't. I gave up on it.

    Interestingly, this lack of support and updates started about the time Microsoft started its acquisition of the company, vowing to keep Linux support active - that support has basically been "here's a beta version that 2+ years old, use it if you like".

    Is there anything else Skype is good for?

  • Easy fix... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:41PM (#39589785) Homepage Journal
    Well, a couple of things.

    Who in this day in age (and I'm talking about someone on slashdot that asks a question about telecommuting)....cannot afford more than one computer?

    Have one for linux..have one for windows.

    Hell, what about running VMs? Have windows running on your linux box.....hell, get a mac, and run linux and windows on vms...and have the best of all 3x worlds.

  • Re:Skype (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:44PM (#39589853) Homepage

    What loads of others are you thinking of? Just because it supports SIP does not mean it supports Video calls over SIP.

    I've been down this road a lot, the company I work for is a Tandberg/Cisco VC dealer and we constantly are being asked about Linux clients. I have yet to find ONE that supports all of the functions. Like sending Pan/Tilt/Zoom to the far end camera. Ekiga works for simple static calls, at least an older version did. I have not tried it in the past year as surplus gear on ebay delivers a better conference experience.

  • Re:Skype (Score:4, Informative)

    by dokc (1562391) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @03:12PM (#39590271) Journal

    Because it creashes occasionally, leaving it in a state where it looks like it's working but it is actually offline.

    Well, that's what it does to me. YMMV.

    My Skype crashes occationally under Windows too.

  • Re:Skype (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:37PM (#39593529)

    When did you last use Skype in Linux? About a year ago I had the issue you mention but now it runs fine for me (Ubuntu 11.10 x64). I'm using the version that's in the repositories - perhaps the Ubuntu team tweaked it? I've never had the ball beaten mickey mouse issues you mention below though.

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