Linux Office Deployment

Hello reader,

New businesses often grapple with office design only after they start doing business on a larger scale. In this article I’ll show a quick and comprehensive deployment solution for small to medium sized businesses who have an immediate need for a functional office.

A small business might only have an office featuring 1-5 computers, a medium sized business in this example might consist of 5-20.

Business types and software needs

Undoubtably there are as many possible software needs as there are businesses so we’ll focus on the general topography and leave the specific “extras” to your IT department.

At a minimum with one computer handling all of your business needs you’ll want tons of extra memory and storage space. Aside from the typical email programs and accounting software you’ll probably want to consider either Multiseat Linux configurations, or arranging your systems to handle many users at different security levels.

As the number of computers increase you’ll be able to devote each to more specified tasks using the various tools available to the Linux system you are on. For example if one machine is primarily devoted to app development, and another is primarily devoted to graphics and design, both can share the loads of office software and email programs with ease as they are light enough systems.

Many businesses are focused on security and there are no shortage of tools available for Linux. Between intrusion detection systems like suricata, snort, and samhain or the built in user checking tools for determining who was on the machine last. (Just to name a few.)

Compatibility and related software concerns

If your business primarily uses another operating system like Windows, you can still enjoy the use of many of the Linux tools that are available for Windows. Or you can even have machines that run both operating systems either in a dual boot configuration or in a virtual environment. Though having dedicated machines offers many advantages over this setup, if you are limited to just a few computers Linux and Windows don’t interfere with one another at all when set up together correctly.

Organization prior to deployment

Knowing the roles of each user and what software will best suit their tasks is the real key to setting up the office. An administrator will most likely benefit from a simpler setup like Libre-Office, Thunderbird-Mail, GNU-Cash, and Skype. A developer will want Eclipse, Codeblocks, possibly Blender, and a half dozen key libraries related to the software they develop. Meanwhile your web service will rely on any number of graphics software advantages like Gimp, Inkscape, or something similar as well as FTP programs and html editors in many cases. I can say with certainty that all of the above mentioned is running on just one of my machines at any time with no sign of bloat or slowdown.

In fact on the Linux side of this machine I am only using 11 Gb of space and have every software mentioned above and quite a bit more beyond. On the Windows side I have a few other development environments and simply use whichever side the job calls for at the time.

If I were arranging an office for 20 machines my lists would be broken down by user tasks and the software needed for each.

  1. Office admin:email-office documents-samba-ftp
  2. Manager:accounting-email-officedocs-skype-ssh
  3. Sales:insightly-skype-email-gimp-etc
  4. Marketing:audacity-kdenlive-vokoscreen-cheese-ftp
  5. ETC

You can easily arrange the installations around the urgency of the tasks. It is entirely possible to deploy an office of 20+ machines in just a few hours with the right installation media. The cost of doing so with Linux is generally free though there are distributions worth purchasing as well if you have highly specialized needs.

I would guess that maybe 80% of what a business might need is available for free on Linux one way or another so it definitely is worth consideration for your business.

Training staff to use Linux

An afternoon on Linux makes a nice training session. It’s very easy to use provided you have some familiarity with computers. If you are used to a specific program and are using an open source alternative you’ll generally notice very little difference in tool layouts. A related article entitled Linux For Buisnesses.

Installing Linux

Selecting a distribution for your business can be confusing until you realize that the main differences are in the intended uses of the distributions. This is arguably true enough as the biggest differences between most Linux distributions are their default configurations of desktops, package managers, and a few other minor differences. This isn’t to say they are all the same, far from it. However if choosing between say Debian, Ubuntu, or Linux Mint for example… The end user will only have a preferrence after some exposure to each.

Installation generally involves the following steps:

  • Download the ISO image of the Linux distribution i.e. LinuxMint-32
  • Burn the image to DVD disk or write a USB installer using Unetbootin or Rufus (Many can be written quickly for mass deployments)
  • Boot the computer from the installation medium (F-10 or F-12 during startup usually)
  • Follow the installer directions after selecting “Install” from the options
  • Add any drivers and update system using included tools

There are many comprehensive lists of how to install Linux and a few were included among the links in the article already.

If you have any questions feel free to ask me out on Twitter (@AlwaysInTao)


Spread the love

622 thoughts on “Linux Office Deployment”

  1. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  2. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  3. Heya! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours require a massive amount work? I am brand new to blogging but I do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  4. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  5. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  6. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  7. Superb blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get responses from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Cheers!

  8. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  9. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  10. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome web site!

  11. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  12. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a awesome job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Opera. Superb Blog!

  13. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  14. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

  15. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Many thanks!

  16. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  17. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My website covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

  18. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  19. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

  20. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  21. First of all I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thank you!

  22. Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *