Started my adventure into Ubuntu 11.10 as a desktop replacement.

Now, this is a daunting task to say the least, and even more so at my place of work.  Most of the problem will lie in the fact that we use Microsoft services in on our back-end that I am required to have some part in managing or maintaining. The machine that I will be using is my work laptop.  I will set it up to Dual-Boot between Windows 7 and Ubuntu, and have allocated a 100gb partition for Ubuntu.

Specs:  Lenovo Thinkpad T510 with 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD.
Operating System: Ubuntu 11.10 w/Unity

I have identified the following needs, and asked my local Linux User Group for some suggestions:

  1. Connectivity to Exchange 2007, so I can use email, contact, calendars, meeting scheduling, etc.
    1. I have found a couple options, Evolution w/ Exchange MAPI add on, which seem very buggy.  IMAP which is not really acceptable, or using actual Outlook itself through Crossover.
  2. Connectivity to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 OCS.
    1. Looks like empathy is supposed to do this with a SIPE plugin, but I have installed it, and it’s not connecting.  I do have the sipe plugin working on my windows box through pidgin however, so I know it’s possible.
  3. SecureCRT or something like it for SSH/SFTP connectivity.  Needs to have a nice directory tree where I can sort our 300-400 servers into folders for easy use.
    1. Installed SecureCRT from Vandyke on Ubuntu, but it locks up parts of X when run, so maybe it’s not ideal.
  4. RDP Client like RoyalTS, where I can sort our 100 or so windows servers into groups, and each RDP session is contained within the window so I don’t wind up with 20 windows open (too hard to manage)
  5. Office, word processing, spreadsheet. Libre office seems quite nice, so I think I’m all set here.
  6. Visio and Project 😦
  7. VMWare Virtual Infrastructure Client.
  8. NetAPP Storage Manager
  9. Windows Domain tools (ADUC, DNS, DHCP, DFS, GPMC, Exchange Management Console)
    1.  (ugh. probably have to be in a VM of some type, looking for recommendations.  I like Oracle’s Virtual Box, but haven’t looked for a Linux version)
  10. Connectivity for Cisco VPN on ASA.
    1. Standard IPSEC VPN tools will probably work, but I haven’t looked for any.
  11. Good LDAP Manager.
    1. Is there Apache Directory Studio for linux?
  12. Cisco IP Communicator (soft-phone) – probably not. 😦
  13. A nice multi-time-zone clock that stays on the desktop.  I use Qlock on windows, and it’s perfect.
  14. A nice on-desktop task reminder list.  I use ‘rainlendar’ on windows, which I just found, and is awesome!
I think that’s about it.  Some of this stuff just isn’t possible on linux for licensing or other stupid reasons. So I think I will have to run a VM of some type, so suggestions on that front would be awesome.  How far has WINE come ?  Ideally I would like to not have to boot up a huge secondary OS if I don’t have to.

About mglaske

Systems Engineer for Limelight Networks
This entry was posted in Linux as Desktop OS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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