Category Archives: Windows

Moving to Desktop GNU/Linux from Windows/Mac

There are many curious individuals who tinker with GNU/Linux as a Server OS and want to experience what it is like as a Desktop OS. The switch is often hindered by two obstacles:

  1. Some daily use programs are not available. (i.e. Photoshop, iTunes, etc.)
  2. The unknown of what to do if something goes wrong or what do I do to get my 3d graphics driver installed and working.

While these are valid reasons and definitely show stoppers for some, others can safely migrate to GNU/Linux.

The obstacle of programs

I like Krita as an alternative to Photoshop. The menu options are nearly the same and I do not have to install a silly theme (like I have to do in Gimp) or re-learn photo editing just to recognize where everything is at. I have successfully installed Photoshop CS4 with wine without any issues, but Krita is more featured than CS4. Darktable is also a good alternative to Photoshop RAW/bridge.

Rhythmbox connects to iPhones/iPods the same way as iTunes does, but without the store. iTunes does run on a recent version of wine quite well. Some might also want to check out Clementine.

Most every program has an alternative. Alternatives can be found via or software recommendations on StackExchange.

The unknown obstacles

To use GNU/Linux successfully as the primary Desktop OS, in my opinion, one must have a desktop with worthy hardware. I consider myself an AMD guy. I like the price for performance and I rarely do CPU intensive tasks on my desktop. When AMD bought ATI, I was also happy as ATI was my favorite graphics card. Unfortunately, most Desktop GNU/Linux users are developers and need that extra performance. They have desktop workstations that have Nvidia graphics cards in them with Intel CPUs. You will often find that Desktop GNU/Linux performs better, is easier to use, and has more tutorials for Nvidia graphics cards and how to get them working.

How to get users to switch from X to X and use it

There are many free, open source programs available which are equal (if not better) than paid counterparts, but the biggest hurdle to overcome is getting people to switch. It is imperative that you remember what caused you to switch and realize the two reasons for change:


“You change for two reasons: Either you learn enough that you want to, or you’ve been hurt enough that you have to.” – Unknown

So how do we get users to switch from X to X? Here are some quick ways: Continue reading How to get users to switch from X to X and use it

Switching from Active Directory to Samba4

Active Directory is solid, secure, and stable platform for user, group, and computer management. I would go as far and say that it is probably the backbone of 99.9% of all organizations world wide. So why would anyone want to switch away from Active Directory? The answer to that question is varied, but the most common reason why are:

  • Reduce licensing costs (per user/device cals)
  • Reduce Windows foot print
  • Advanced features of AD are not needed
  • Less than 5,000 users
  • Because <insert_favorite_software> is greater than <insert_hated_software>

Let us get started on switching to a Samba4 backend. Continue reading Switching from Active Directory to Samba4