A few people have commented upon the growing number of Linux articles appearing here. Some have just been curious, some have been a bit puzzled, and at least one was apparently quite angry about my supposed "abandonment" of SCO.
Well, I certainly haven't abandoned SCO. If you look through the What's New? pages, you'll see that I really am still doing a lot of SCO specific articles, and I promise you that there are many more still hiding behind my fingertips. SCO is still very important to me, my customer base is almost exclusively SCO, and I plan to keep my SCO skills current, including both OSR5 and Unixware 7. I am not abandoning SCO.
But the fact is that Linux cannot be ignored. Yes, there's a lot of hype out there, and most of what you read about Linux sweeping aside SCO and Sun needs to be flavored with huge helpings of salt. Some of the Linux proponents are simply religious fanatics who have found the One True Operating System and feel compelled to bring their Truth to your attention, and much of their claims won't stand up to honest examination. Nonetheless, there is reality and substance behind this: Linux is real, Linux is stable, Linux has a lot to offer.
It's not all roses, of course, and there are very few places where I'd recommend replacing a running SCO system with Linux. Linux still has its share of warts and wrinkles, and while application and driver support is increasing daily, changing to Linux is not a casual effort. You may save the cost of buying SCO software, but spend more than that in consultant's fees or your own time to work out all the problems. There also is the very real concern that Linux vendors like Red Hat may not be able to make a commercial success out of a Gnu Public License product, and that alone would make me leery of basing important servers on Linux.
But I definitely would install Linux for auxiliary functions: web servers, ftp servers, mail servers and the like. The price is right, and SCO could (and should!) learn a lot by seeing what's already setup and configured right out of the box. Frankly, it is quite impressive. Linux is also, of course, a wonderful development platform, and a great desktop for true Power Users. And it gets better with every release, and the releases come a lot faster that commercial Unices ever do.
So, you will continue to see more and more Linux related material here. Don't get upset, don't cancel your subscription to the Notification List;(3 or 4 people do everytime I write Linux articles!) there still will be plenty of SCO. But don't be surprised to see a Linux section in the Skills Test eventually.
I do have concerns about Linux. I think it is possible that Linux could severely hurt SCO and other Unix vendors, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. It isn't at all clear that the GPL model can survive in the marketplace, and I especially wonder what would happen if Linus himself were not available to steer the kernel development.
But whatever happens, Linux cannot be ignored. If it is going to kill SCO, there's darn little I can do to stop it. If it is going to wither and die itself, I can't stop that, either. I sometimes worry that both things might happen: Linux driving all commercial vendors into oblivion, and then dying itself, thus leaving Microsoft uncontested. I sure hope that doesn't happen.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2011-05-02 Tony Lawrence