A blog for the enterprise open source community
Linux – easier to run by the releaseJay Lyman, May 13, 2008 @ 8:45 pm ET
We’ve seen recently how fast Linux is moving and how many changes and updates are quickly and constantly being made. One of the biggest advancements across a variety of Linux distributions has been the growing variety and ease of ways to run Linux, including on, alongside or inside Windows.
One example is Red Hat’s just-released Fedora 9, which features the latest in KDE, OpenJDK and Firefox, but also comes with a new non-destructive live USB with persistence. This means Fedora 9 Live images may be added to a USB key via Linux or Windows without having to remove data, repartition or reformat the key. It also means users, including Windows folks, can try Fedora, download and store data and add or remove software as with any Fedora system. This is not only a convenience that may win Fedora more followers, it is also testament to how far desktop Linux deployment has come.
Part of increased desktop ease has also been coming from Ubuntu, which continues to polish Linux presentation. In its latest version, Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, the system features the Wubi installer for Windows. This allows users to install or uninstall Ubuntu the same as any other Windows application (though you don’t have to pay for it). Ubuntu distributor Canonical describes this as a test drive with Linux ‘in a simple a safe way.’ Comforting words and further evidence that Linux gets easier over time.
LiveCDs have long been a part of the Linux movement. They are typically a good way to demonstrate Linux and show users, for free, that Linux doesn’t have to be a technical minefield or command line nightmare. In its bid to make its Solaris and OpenSolaris system more like Linux, Sun released the open source OpenSolaris in binary form for free and made the OS available on a LiveCD. It’s interesting to see how the LiveCD has become practically a requisite of an open source OS.
These developments continue to broaden the options to run Linux and other open source operating systems, and should broaden the audience for them. It will also be interesting to see their impact on proprietary operating systems that are far more limited in where, when and how they can run.
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