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Tom Allensworth

Why..."linux of course"....?

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Maybe I'm picking at words, but I read with interest the news blurb that describes the additional hardware being implemented at Avsim. Being a 15 year veteran IT professional myself, I understand that there are different server operating system choices available (e.g., Windows, Unix, Linux) and that businesses and individuals choose from among these every day when making IT purchases. What struck me as amusing was the reference that "Linux of course" had been chosen, with the seeming inference that any other choice would be silly or unusual. I just thought that the person who wrote that blurb should remember that Linux is used on a very small minority of servers overall, and that in fact, Linux is only used on a minority of web servers. That doesn't mean that the choice for Avsim is inappropriate or wrong, but the "of course" comment just struck me as little odd. If I'm picking at nits, then sorry.

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Me bad...It is an old inside AVSIM joke having to do with my competancy in working with server software. Having said that, Linux has served us well over the last 9 years or so, with amazing up time. We're using Red Hat and would not give that up for love nor money.

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As a person who spent the last 10 years of his life immersed in Linux and the Open Source culture, I would like to explain why the above statements by the original poster are both somewhat false and misleading.Linux and/or Apache (Open Source software developed on Linux) drive the vast majority of web servers in this world. Linux is now the #2 operating system across all platforms overall (surpassing MacOS about two years ago). Windows is, of course, still #1 (though certainly not in the server market). Linux is even beginning to make inroads on the x86 desktop. Its growth rate is phenomenal. It has been adopted by Sun, HP, Dell, Novell and IBM (to name but a few). Linux was the first _mainstream_ cross-platform OS that had native and full support for 64bit computing (MS's Windows64 hack job does not even come close to the stability and robustness of Linux64). It was the first mainstream cross-platform OS that included a threaded kernel and POSIX. It was the first mainstream cross-platform OS to offer _working_ SMP and clustering (NASA Developed BEOWOLF for Linux) on all variants. It supports nearly every platform known to humankind. Many, many of the technologies developed for (and with) Linux have made their way in to the specialized OS's like AIX, Solaris and even Mac OSX.Mac OSX is actually very heavily based on the same code/technology that drives Linux and even uses many native Linux innovations like Konqueror (its web browser back end). Mac OSX (and by proxy MAC itself) would not likely exist today if the Linux community hadn't taken *NIX to a new level in the years prior to and following Apple's purchasing of NeXT. The Linux community provided massive refinements to *NIX that Apple took advantage of during the five+ years it took to get Rhapsody (nee NeXT, soon to be OSX) to market.As far as economics go, nobody in the position that AVSIM is in (a specialized OLSP) is going to spend the huge dollars necessary to license some other UNIX variant (if they use Red Hat Enterprise Linux however... well see below), and no sane person would run Windows in an environment where there will be a lot of kids hanging around (like a game community). Windows (in any flavor) is far, far too insecure.So, claiming that Linux is somehow inferior and underrepresented in the server market is just so incredibly wrong it

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Shad, thanks for the post. Yes, when we purchased our first servers, we assessed (briefly) the wisdom of going with anything but UNIX or Linux. This was in 1998 or there abouts. At that time there was no way that we would have considered anything but, simply because of the uptime reliability of Linux compared to MS'. Given the security issues associted with MS servers, even today, we would opt to go the same direction. If I look back over the last 7 or 8 years of our operating Redhat, and I consider the number of times that we have been down for OS issues, I can't think of one time where the OS was the cause. AP's hurt us, but the OS has been rock solid.

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