Switching from Windows to Linux

by Pamela Jones

July 17 2004

I got an email suggesting we set up yet another site, specifically for a detailed How To on switching from Windows to Linux, viewed from the standpoint of a business. We've had articles touching on this before, although more from an end user perspective, and I don't think we need a separate site, but I have created a page [ http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/Switching_to_Linux ] for the topic on Grokdoc. I have put the email there, because it's such a thorough list of what a Windows user contemplating a switch worries about. See also the Application Crossover Chart [ http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/Application_Crossover_Chart ] also on Grokdoc.

The big issue, I think, seems to be how to run favorite applications that run on Windows. So, if you have any tips on that, or any other topic on the list, please feel free to share, here or, ideally, on Grokdoc or both. We can add a chapter to the manual on this topic in particular. Here's the email.


1. Which programs on Linux have the same or similar function as a given Windows programs like:
a) Office - specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access
b) IE - bookmarks and IE specific applications
c) Outlook and Outlook express, email repositories, calendars
d) Graphics applications, formats
e) Firewalls and Anti-virus applications
f) Backup applications
g) Databases and database applications
h) Development tools
i) Communication tools and applications
j) Gui/desktop
k) System administrator and system management tools

2. What to do about windows applications that have no similar linux version or are very difficult to convert.

3. Coexistence - short term and long term, cost and problems

4. How to convert existing data from a given windows application to a linux application

a) List of conversion tools

5. How to convert users from a windows environment to a linux environment

a) How to set up "work groups" and "domain" under linux
b) How to replace Primary and Backup domain controllers
c) How to migrate users and user groups to linux
d) What to do about the active directory
e) User environment like printers, files and directories, etc.

6. A section on pros and cons of a conversion

7. A section about time:

a) How long will it take realistically
b) Suggested stages
c) Template plans for a conversion job

8. A section on costs - it will always cost something to convert and being realistic about these costs gives higher credibility.

9. High profile reference cases

10. List of where to get end-user, sysadmin and developer education for linux

11. List of Service organisations or consultants that can help or do a conversion

12. List of Linux FAQs and documentation for the different user groups

13. Some reasonable criteria for a deciding on a conversion

a) Why and why not
b) Skills
c) Costs

09:14 AM EDT

Copyright 2004 http://www.groklaw.net - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/