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Linux Business IT

Canonical Chases Deal to Ship Ubuntu Server OS 151

Kurtz'sKompund writes "Canonical, the company that supports Ubuntu Linux, is trying to work out a deal with hardware vendors such as Dell to make Ubuntu available pre-installed on servers. 'Canonical, despite obviously supporting such a deal, had little to do with Dell's decision. Dell said it was merited by customer demand. Likewise, the decision of whether Ubuntu Server will ship pre-installed will be determined the same way.'"
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Canonical Chases Deal to Ship Ubuntu Server OS

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  • But is it supported? (Score:2, Informative)

    by dedazo ( 737510 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @05:35PM (#20932811) Journal
    As in *actually* supported? Otherwise I'd just get plain Debian stable or CentOS [centos.org], which is a downstream version of RHEL that works great.

    I don't know if Ubuntu might ever match RHEL, but it's possible that Canonical might end up being RedHat's main competitor. Right now AFAIK that would be Novell and their server business is not doing amazingly well.

  • by radeex ( 1126305 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @05:57PM (#20933063)
    1. Actually, Canonical offers professional support services for servers and desktops. http://canonical.com/support [canonical.com]

    2. My impression is that the "gaps" referred to in the article are mostly about certification from third parties like Oracle.
  • by radeex ( 1126305 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:03PM (#20933127)
    I already mentioned this in response to another post, but yes, it's really really supported. http://canonical.com/support [canonical.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:03PM (#20933143)
    The wiki article on Canonical says that it has 90+ employees. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_Ltd [wikipedia.org] Mark Shuttleworth himself is rich but not remarkably so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Shuttleworth [wikipedia.org]

    Given that other Linux distros have more employees backing them, it is pretty impressive that Ubuntu has made the progress it has. Given all of the above, I am led to the conclusion that Mark Shuttleworth is indeed a very smart guy. In that light, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the servers ship and sell well.
  • by outZider ( 165286 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:11PM (#20933239) Homepage
    As a user of Ubuntu Server on a 60+ machine deployment for $work, Canonical is seriously going to have to take the server distro up a notch before this could possibly work. The server distro, in stark contrast to Desktop, is a horribly hacked together mess that gives off the impression that it isn't really studied much at all. While Desktop shows the best and brightest of Linux integration, the server distro is just as barebones as the alternative distro, and manages to screw things up in terms of out of box experience.

    Am I looking for a UI? No. I want a few basic things.

    1: A proper, usable deployment system. debian-installer is good for the basics, but it's a pain in the behind to set up, and doesn't support scripting a RAID/mdadm install, or LVM. This "sucks". Take a look at Redhat or CentOS for a little inspiration.
    2: A boot screen that doesn't look like vomited output. Why does the login prompt appear before services have finished loading? I support being able to use the machine before services have stopped. I do not need "Starting PostgreSQL" appearing as I'm entering my login credentials locally.
    3: A server kernel that always installs. Why does the installer give me the generic kernel when I'm installing the server distro? Why do I have to manually install the server kernel on boot up, and then remove the generic kernel?
    4: Easily add services. You get 'LAMP server' or 'DNS server' or nothing. I had to create a custom installer just to have openssh-server install by default on first load, without apache or MySQL, or other crap floating around in there as well.

    It sounds whiny, I know, but we really like the debian-style package management system with the modern services Ubuntu provides. It's great for that purpose. As a real server distro, though, long way to go yet.

    I hope this lights that fire under Canonical to pay some attention to Server.
  • Re:Pre-installed OS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hercynium ( 237328 ) <Hercynium AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:33PM (#20933505) Homepage Journal
    Well, while I tend to go thru the same exact process on every server I deal with, I can see *one* big advantage - Reputation.

    The typical PHB has by now recognized RHEL as *the* Linux for servers. Thru good marketing, development, support, and business, RedHat has become the de-facto standard for Linux in the enterprise server market.

    Case in point - Not ONE of the enterprise apps I work with is supported on anything BUT RHEL, (or in one case SuSE) HOWEVER, I've tested many of them in the lab with Debian and Ubuntu and found that all work very well... but there's a snowball's chance in hell that management would let me use Debian or Ubuntu. RedHat's reputation as Linux for serious business is entrenched in their minds, and entrenched in the market.

    I have a lot of respect and appreciation for RedHat's offerings. I prefer Debian, and in the corporate world, Ubuntu is the only Debian derivitave that has a chance of becoming a contender.

    Being a default offering on Dell servers is a golden opportunity to start building the reputation they need. PHBs will see the Ubuntu option on Dell's web-site and after about a thousand times they may begin to wonder if it's something worth investigating. :)

    If Canonical produces a systems-management/data-center platform that can compete with offerings available for RedHat, I believe that sysadmins, enterprise software vendors, and even managers will start to take notice. If Ubuntu can garner reputation as an alternative to RHEL, we may start seeing not just hardware support but also software support.

    Granted, this is all just a wild dream for me, but let me tell you - if someday Oracle announces support for Ubuntu, it could be a dream come true!
  • by Zonk (troll) ( 1026140 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:55PM (#20933727)

    Even with imaging WinXP, you'll need the drivers. You'll have to find the drivers. Somewhere. And build your image with them.
    They're all right here [driverpacks.net].
  • Re:!ElLobo? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:13PM (#20934433)
    Look out for a user named 'ellobo'. He likes trolling Linux related stories, he calls Linux 'Linuzzz'. Do an in-page search for 'linuzzz' and you'll see him. :)
  • by ragefan ( 267937 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:19PM (#20935423)

    If it comes with an install CD with all of the necessary drivers included ... awesome!

    Actually something I liked from the Compaq SmartStart. You would start your installation with the Compaq CD, tell it which OS, it would create a small drivers partition and manage the installation process setting up the hardware drivers.

    If you order a Dell PowerEdge Server (X950 series) without an OS, the server comes pre-loaded with this functionality. Or you can wipe the RAID setup and re-configure it boot off the CD and perform this. It supports Windows, and several favors of Linux (RHEL, SuSE), and possibly some Unix (IIRC). In fact, the pre-install program actually uses Linux to do this.

  • Re:Why Ubuntu? (Score:4, Informative)

    by oatworm ( 969674 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:21PM (#20935431) Homepage
    Just installed Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Server on a box. Let's see what's running...

    Netstat -an shows no open ports.
    The root account is disabled.
    Ps -ef shows some kernel modules, some gtty instances, and that's it.
    Oh, did I mention I don't have an X console or anything?

    Am I missing something? Last I tried CentOS (an older version, mind you), root was not only enabled, it was what you logged in as initially. When I installed Debian Sarge a few years ago for a class I was taking, the first thing we had to do after the initial install was shut down a couple of services so only SSH was running (FTP was one of them, if I remember correctly) - with Ubuntu Server, I'm going to have to turn SSH on, along with anything else I want on. That said, Ubuntu Server does make some interesting choices - for example, single user mode has network support. That's a little strange. Other than that, though, no complaints. Granted, SELinux isn't on, but that's fine by me - I didn't turn it on, and maybe I'd like to use something else. At least Ubuntu isn't trying to make that decision for me. Seeing as there's no way for anyone to access my box remotely at the moment anyways, I can make that decision on my own time.

    Anybody care to elaborate on this?
  • by gambolt ( 1146363 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:51PM (#20935577)
    This thread [ubuntu.com] is from the ubuntu developers discussion list. The topic is the pros and cons of disabling fdisk checks on ext3 partitions at boot because they take too long.

    One frequently repeated argument is "people don't have to wait on windows, why should they on linux?"

    Millions of XP machines are running just fine without this check. Do
    you think any desktop user will try to understand why this check is
    needed? Would you accept your car needing a 20min self-check before
    you can drive, especially if you're late? Would you even care why this
    check is needed if you see that some other car doesn't do this check
    or has a more efficient checking method?

    Seriously, the solution that Ubuntu has chosen is just an ugly hack
    because nobody wanted to implement automatic checks in the background,
    but there are quite a few people (as you can also see in the bug
    reports) who don't like this situation. In any serious company that
    cares about its users and the user experience the solution would be
    very simple: Either it's implemented correctly or not at all.

    I still am convinced that fsck is _not_ the right tool for the purpose.
    Ext3 already has a journal that should (hopefully) avoid file system
    corruption due power failures. What is the point in running fsck
    periodically? If it's to check for disk errors, then badblocks is the
    right tool and it can run read-only on a mounted filesystem. Moreover,
    if the point is to check periodically, then we could check a small
    amount of blocks at a time,using low disk priority like search daemons
    (should) do, or even check random blocks.

    Finally, I want to point out to those that say fsck defends your data: I
    have a desktop machine which hosts an internal service, so it's
    continuously up. I once rebooted, disk was damaged, and I couldn't no
    longer boot or recover data (I had a backup, in any case, but it's not
    so typical with desktop users). However, it had an uptime of months. If
    I had an online check (e.g. read-only fsck, or smart, or badblocks) I
    would have discovered the problem before, and would have been able to
    recover some data. I know this by long experience, so don't tell me it's
    not likely.

    The degree of ignorance shown about basic things is staggering.
  • by Kennon ( 683628 ) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @12:35AM (#20936221) Homepage

    Right now AFAIK that would be Novell and their server business is not doing amazingly well.

    Actually if it weren't for the massive boat anchor known as Netware pulling their numbers down Novell would be having a pretty amazing year. Their Linux business is doing very well.

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