Linux Daily Driver

Linux Daily Driver

In an effort to better prepare for my Linux Essentials, then LPIC System Administrator tests, I’ve decided that I need to be using Linux as a daily driver.

I need too install it natively on a laptop, no virtual machine in Parallels, not on my laptop I use at home, but to use it for my day job, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (minimum). This decision came about a week ago, after a few months of using my Lenovo N22 with Xubuntu, and having both a CentOS and Ubuntu Parallels VM on my 15″ MacBook Pro.

So I knew going into this that there wasn’t any way I could ween myself off of Windows in the office, the broader parent company is a Microsoft/Active-Directory shop, so for as long as I needed to admin user accounts, I would need to be able to access windows. That was a task I was alreadyd halfway to solving even before I made the decision to swap operating systems.┬áIn an effort to stop relying on the Parallels VM, which always seemed to hit the performace of my host OS and virtual OS, I thought that, for the amount of time that I needed to actually access active directory, I decided that a spare Dell 3000 tower in the LAN room at my office, accesed via RDP would be a fine solution.

I also use Apple Remote Desktop to admin a few MacBook Pros, and Mac Minis that power the digital signage in the office, that’s a bigger fish to fry. Remote into the MacBook with VNC, then use Apple Remote Desktop from there? That’s a roundabout solution, but maybe it’ll work, more on that next time.

I decided that a Dell E7450 I had just been returned to me from a user was going to be my main laptop. They’re sturdy, the 14″ screen is big enough to work without a monitor, and small enough to be portable. (Not to mention, plastic body, while less durable than aluminum, was much lighter than the 15″ MacBook Pro). Due to some side projects in the office with some of IT, involving Ubuntu, I decided that Ubuntu 17.04 was going to be the distro I chose, at least until I made a better choice, and decided that this was somthing I could make work.

Install was squirrely, (UEFI, etc), but after a second round, I was up and running. The machines have a decent i5, a 512GB HD and 8GB of RAM. It was lower spec’d than the MBP, but I’ll survive. Once installed, now I needed to find all the apps I needed. I had an easy checklist of apps/services I needed;

  • Email client – (Thunderbird? Evolution?)
    • 2 Gmail Accounts
    • 1 IMAP
    • 1 Exchange
  • Slack (Native Linux Slack client)
  • Skype for Business/Lync access? (for enterprise communication)
  • Skype?
  • Spotify (unsupported Linux version, seems to hold its own)
  • Office Suite (LibreOffice)

Part one of a small (maybe?) series on use of Linux as a daily driver, in a company with a Windows infrastructure, in a design lab full of Macs. Challenge accepted.

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