Cost, Alone, Is Sufficent Reason To Choose GNU/Linux For Your Operating System

Libby Clark of the Linux Foundation has published an analysis of the ascent of GNU/Linux in HPC (High Performance Computing). In the face of competition from UNIX operating systems and M$’s stuff, GNU/Linux rules 90% of units and petaflops…
“The licensing cost of a custom, self-supported Linux distribution is the same, whether you’re using 20 nodes or 20,000,000 nodes. And by tapping into the vast open source Linux community, projects had access to free support and developer resources to help keep developer costs on par with, or below other operating systems. With a vendor supported OS, institutions would go bankrupt fast at these scales if they had to pay for it.”

see 20 years of Top500.org Supercomputer Data Links Linux With Advances in Computing Performance

Think of that for a moment… If a single organization should lean to GNU/Linux because of the cost of 20 million licences for an OS, how fast should the world move to GNU/Linux on thousands of millions of computers? It’s exactly the same problem, “How do we reduce the cost of the whole system to something more affordable? . It has the same solution, “Use Free/Libre Open Source Software, the GNU/Linux OS.” . Sticking with M$’s OS is succumbing to a divide-and-conquer approach. Together we are bigger and better than M$ and GNU/Linux is our OS. Millions of programmers around the world have worked for years and pooled their resources for everyone to share.

The largest installation I did had 153 seats. By using GNU/Linux and multi-seat X, I was able to take the money that was ear-marked for client PCs and invest in many servers, printers, scanners, cameras and gigabit/s networking where it would be useful. 153 seats X (~$100 for an OS licence from M$ and ~$100 for a word-processor licence from M$) and the hardware costs of 60 more PCs to make up for the absence of multi-seat X easily came to half the price of the project. So, we got about twice the IT we could have afforded using M$’s stuff. That’s true whether the system is a computer lab, a wharefhouse-filling supercomputer or the world’s IT. GNU/Linux is the right way to do IT because you can always find something better to do with the money, like buying more hardware, seats or petaflops.

When you add to cost the freedom and flexibility that GNU/Linux and FLOSS offers, it’s a no-brainer. Free/Libre Open Source Software is software that you can run, examine, modify and distribute. That’s the right way to do IT whether it’s a single PC in your home, the whole IT department in some organization, business or government or the world. Learn more at www.Debian.Org.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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23 Responses to Cost, Alone, Is Sufficent Reason To Choose GNU/Linux For Your Operating System

  1. matchrocket says:

    Try a little harder to act like you don’t care bw. You’re not quite convincing enough.

  2. bw says:

    OMG! That could explain why many schools do not show up

    Well sure! It was so well hidden for years until matchrocket came along. Lucky for you!

    Are the other net stats counters doing the same? Better get your man on that soon.

  3. matchrocket wrote, “NetMarketshare only counts commercial Linux from Redhat and Suse, and just recently added ChromeOS from Google. So that 1.28% is almost completely Redhat WS Linux.”

    OMG! That could explain why many schools do not show up. Many run Ubuntu GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/Linux or Fedora. While RedHat and Suse do have salesmen, most of their stuff ends on servers so client stats are in the pits… Chuckle. Isn’t this fraud?

    Fraud : Deception deliberately practiced with a view to gaining an unlawful or unfair advantage; artifice by which the right or interest of another is injured; injurious stratagem; deceit; trick.

    I would find it easy to believe that M$ and NetApplications would conspire to do that. M$ would not hesitate.

  4. matchrocket says:

    I found this quote by anothercanuck from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols “Linux Kernel 3.10 picked for long-term support” comment section over at ZDnet:

    “For anyone willing dig deeper, and pay about $3300 for a month’s worth of NetMarketShare’s raw data, the reason it never varies becomes crystal clear. I had my company pay the $3300, and discovered why this statistic never changes. NetMarketshare only counts commercial Linux from Redhat and Suse, and just recently added ChromeOS from Google. So that 1.28% is almost completely Redhat WS Linux.”

    “Non-commercial Linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, etc. are not counted by NetMarketShare, period. That data is dicarded by the NetMarketShare web client, so as to not ever make it into the DB.”

    That should clear things up a bit.

  5. bw wrote, “99% of the people using these products are using them on Windows, not Linux.”

    Unlikely. The share of legacy PCs running GNU/Linux are much higher than 1% and the share of non-legacy PCs is probably not relevant as very few iOS or Android/Linux machines use them. LibreOffice, for instance, gives download stats for that other OS and they are similar to the number of users of GNU/Linux, not much more.

  6. oiaohm says:

    bw
    “For starters, you may not have noticed that all of the open source productivity products such as Libre Office or Open Office are readily available for Windows and it is likely that 99% of the people using these products are using them on Windows, not Linux. ”
    You need to stop saying this statement its a lie. Do you presume I don’t use kontact. I am a KDE user. Yes I use Libreoffice but there is a lot of KDE particular applications.

    kontact for windows is still experimental.. Yes its also scary at requiring over 1 G of harddrive space on Windows.

    The reality is not all productivity applications on Linux are available for Windows. Trying to claim majority might be right bw. But I would like to see the evidence backing that claim.

    Bw Linux world does have some unique parts to it. Some of it is highly integrated and very hard to port. Porting kontact to windows pulled like 20 other applications along for the ride min. Yes you need all of them to behave themselves so kontact works perfectly. So yes the porting effort with highly unstable results has been going on for years even that porting to windows is commercial backed.

    Evolution is another item that was ported to windows and is not today. This is also a problem.

  7. dougman says:

    BW, your opinion is worthless, but to each his own.

    If someone wants to use bloated Windows 8, so be it, have at it, but when it becomes comprised don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you trust the baked in heuristics of Windows AV, then doom on you. LOL…..

    Windows Defender:
    http://www.av-test.org/no_cache/en/tests/test-reports/?tx_avtestreports_pi1%5Breport_no%5D=130597

    ESET NOD32:
    http://www.av-test.org/no_cache/en/tests/test-reports/?tx_avtestreports_pi1%5Breport_no%5D=130523

    Also, certain security risks inherent to the Windows 8 platform could very well allow malicious applications to slip through the cracks, ultimately affecting a company’s entire network. Just because an application has been allowed into the app store, does not necessarily make it suitable for business use. Like to explain that to the company executives? Didn’t think so.

    Also, read my post about Windows 8 and lack of privacy: http://mrpogson.com/2013/08/06/quiet-gnulinux-revolution-in-new-zealand/

    Ah, so NOW you admit that Libreoffice IS a viable solution, so long as it is on Windows. You sound just like Billy and Ballmer.

    See, you assume I know nothing, but your fail to realize I make money fixing computers and you did not disagree to pirating Windows or that M$ Server costs money. Eh…

  8. bw says:

    add in all the extra software that one will need

    No real point in trying to set you straight, doughman, you are, as I have noted before, pretty much of a lost cause. But you could up your game if you would bother to learn a little about what you blather about.

    For starters, you may not have noticed that all of the open source productivity products such as Libre Office or Open Office are readily available for Windows and it is likely that 99% of the people using these products are using them on Windows, not Linux. So that source of “cost” is simply not there.

    Maybe your ignorance extends to knowing nothing at all about Windows 8 as well. That might explain why you are unaware that it ships with an extensive anti-virus feature as part of the OS itself.

  9. oiaohm says:

    bw you have not gone into a Microsoft store and ordered that machine. You will find out clean of crapware its a lot more expensive.

    There is between 50 to 250 dollars difference in price based on how much kick back OEM gets from software makers to have their software pre-installed.

    Sad reality here crapware free install Linux and crapware free install Windows cost about the same.

    Linux normal does not appear retail because retail wants the cheapest. They don’t care way. Also some of the direct surveys of Linux users find they use more custom order stuff.

    Does not matter long term about the x86 market. The price difference between arm and x86 per unit is over 300 dollars in base hardware costs. Arm licensing is way way cheaper so cpus using arm are way cheaper.

  10. dougman says:

    NO Linux machines where you shop? Then you are blind; BestBuy has plenty of Linux machines and devices on the floor .

    The majority of kiosks, payment terminals and POS’s run Linux.

    OK, so you bought a Windows 8 crap-top for $250, now add in all the extra software that one will need. Say like M$ Office thats another $140, a malware and antivirus $85, then backup solution and an external drive $140.

    NET: $615, $475 less backup and drive

    See with the Ubuntu laptop, all the software you ever need is located in the repositories, current count is 40K or so.

    So, the gist is Windows costs you more.

    Oh and added in costs services when the computer gets pwned with malware and you need to pay someone to fix it, with Ubuntu or any other Linux derivative, one does not need to worry so much about viruses or malware.

  11. bw says:

    â—¦bw must not have seen Trimslice and Utilite

    That is very true. Where would I have ever seen it? Or anyone else?
    â—¦bw must not have seen Travelmate. Newegg has one (Intel Core i3 2377M(1.50GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 3000 1366 x 768 DVD Super Multi) with Ubuntu GNU/Linux 12.04 for $399.99

    Who would want one of those cheapo Acer units when they could get a genuine HP with better specs and Windows 8 for $241.99? That’s 158 bucks cheaper than that Linux junker.

    HP 450 – Core i3 3110M / 2.4 GHz – Windows 8 64-bit – 4 GB RAM – 500 GB HDD – DVD SuperMulti – 14″ HD BrightView wide 1366 x 768 / HD – Intel HD Graphics 3000 – charcoal By HP

    http://www.costcaptain.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=C&Product_Code=TDX_11169114&gclid=CKzEjca_6bgCFepZ7AodPEQAYg

    â—¦bw must not have seen this outfit in Egypt

    Wow! You win again! But, be honest now. When’s the last time you bought a PC in Egypt? I never have. Where I shop, there are no Linux machines to be seen.

  12. bw says:

    The world can form a union of PC buyers and buy through a single point of purchase

    You are living in a dream world.

  13. dougman wrote, “Meanwhile, Linux users just pop in a CD/DVD, boot and in 15 minutes have a functional machine to deploy.”

    That’s with a conventional file-by-file installation. If one does imaging, the time can be much less, just moving bytes from one part of network-storage to another. One can even avoid installation by using PXE to boot clients and using a networked file-system. The FLOSS licence permits any and all means and benefits for no extra charge.

  14. dougman says:

    Maybe BW is pirating Windows, so his cost would be essentially $0.00, as he is simply not taking into account the cost’s of Windows software.

    So in layman’s terms, his math is computationally incomplete and the final solution derived is WRONG.

    We should report BW to the BSA; hope you have invoices for that software dude, if not your SOL.

    Checking the prices for Windows Server OS:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/buy.aspx

    The very minimum is an extra $500 charge and thats limited to ONLY 25 users. The next tier is priced per processor and per user, thats where it gets expensive quick.

    Meanwhile, Linux users just pop in a CD/DVD, boot and in 15 minutes have a functional machine to deploy.

  15. bw wrote of consumers’ choices for GNU/Linux and that other OS, ” If Linux computers are available at all, they are priced with little to no difference and if you compare a Linux brand to Dell or HP on specs, you find Linux to be fairly costly by a hundred dollars or more.”

    • bw must not have seen Trimslice and Utilite that run GNU/Linux but ship no OS…
    • bw must not have seen Travelmate. Newegg has one (Intel Core i3 2377M(1.50GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 3000 1366 x 768 DVD Super Multi) with Ubuntu GNU/Linux 12.04 for $399.99 and another (Intel Core i3 2.40GHz 4GB Memory 320GB HDD HD 4000 1366 x 768) with “7” for $486.99. Do we need to remind him that $486 is much greater than $399?
    • bw must not have seen this outfit in Egypt selling a raft of Acer notebooks with similar specs (Intel Core i5, 320-500gB, 2-4gB, 15.6″) with DOS 3050 EGP, DOS 3800 EGP, Linux 3599 EGP, and “8” 5149 EGP… No wonder “8” is not selling.

    It’s not magic, bw. M$’s $billions come from somewhere. A lot is from consumers who buy what’s on the shelves. Today, more shelves have GNU/Linux and consumers are choosing it. btw, in that selection from Egypt, “8” is the least popular.

  16. oiaohm says:

    bw Dell and HP enterprise orders of Linux can have your company image of Linux come already installed. Yes there is a difference between ordering a machine with Windows and ordering a Linux machine. Of course a troll like you bw would not know this.

    Linuxcoe would be a good thing for you to look up some time made by HP used by DELL, HP, IBM… and quite a few others in enterprise orders.

    Linux orders have no requirement to format to remove advertisement ware. PS bw there is a charge to get a junk free version of windows go into a Microsoft store in the USA and take note that junk free Windows machines are in fact higher priced.

    Linux based entprises ordering from IBM and DELL do save time. New machine lands unbox it set it up on table and you are basically done other than running updates. Windows is not this friendly. Why using linuxcoe in the entprise login you can list exactly what you want imaged onto the machines you are ordering from the distributions software list including selection of different distributions.

    Bw Microsoft does have a flexibility problem.

  17. matchrocket says:

    bw blathers: “This falls pretty flat as a selling point in my estimation.”

    Your estimation is worthless bw. You lie, your recollection of facts is selective, you revise history and then… You start from square one again. Over and over like a good little troll. You’re fading fast bw.

  18. dougman says:

    BW, the arm-chair IT warrior is at it again.

    Linux is hundreds of dollars more? Oh sure…and M$ cannot keep up in the tablet market, the most recent price drop in Surface tablets prove this. So they are a non-relevant in that regard.

    Phones, NOPE. Servers, NOPE. Software, the cash cow is fading, this is why you see M$ Office migrating to a annual fee, whereby they extract more money from the ignorant masses.

    Dell/HP Server – Windows vs Linux pricing

    When you start adding all the software to even begin to have a functional server, Windows loses due to price.

    Go ahead and create a two-column table (Windows vs Linux) with just a bare server, then start line iteming software costs, in short order, one will will find the Linux is the less-costly solution. Do you think Facebook, Instagram or even Google run Windows servers? LOL……

  19. ram wrote, “Takes no more time than assembling the hardware.”

    Exactly. If you can imagine the system and assemble the hardware, GNU/Linux can run it like it was a single PC. I’ve seen that repeatedly in schools where I could take a random bunch of PCs and servers new and old and a single image of GNU/Linux would run them all. In the process, you don’t need to let the machines phone home, authenticate with M$ or count licences. Beautiful.

  20. bw, denying reality, wrote, “No it is not because the individuals who buy the PCs are not a monolithic structure and do operate independently. An organization contemplating buying 20 million identical items has a lot of clout in terms of dictating terms. Someone buying one for themselves does not and has to take what the big buy, in this case the OEM, decides is best for their business.”

    The world can form a union of PC buyers and buy through a single point of purchase. Because the world can do that, in principle, it is the same situation. Another analogy is all the small businesses in a neighbourhood refusing to do business with a local protection racket. In this case, the neighbourhood is the world. Big businesses are dependent on consumers, not the other way around.

    Despite the lack of an apparent organization the world has collectively decided not to wait for M$ to provide OS for smartphones and tablets and moved on. The world can do the same for legacy PCs too.

  21. bw says:

    It’s exactly the same problem

    No it is not because the individuals who buy the PCs are not a monolithic structure and do operate independently. An organization contemplating buying 20 million identical items has a lot of clout in terms of dictating terms. Someone buying one for themselves does not and has to take what the big buy, in this case the OEM, decides is best for their business.

    When you add to cost the freedom and flexibility that GNU/Linux and FLOSS offers, it’s a no-brainer.

    As you yourself have seen again and again, the cost picture presented to a consumer is nowhere near the dramatic difference that you believe. If Linux computers are available at all, they are priced with little to no difference and if you compare a Linux brand to Dell or HP on specs, you find Linux to be fairly costly by a hundred dollars or more.

    Free/Libre Open Source Software is software that you can run, examine, modify and distribute. That’s the right way to do IT

    This falls pretty flat as a selling point in my estimation. People want to run popular programs. They really don’t care about examining the source or making modifications or distributing it. So they ignore the point, valid or not.

  22. Mats Hagglund says:

    Then there is case Snowden and NSA….

  23. ram says:

    My HPC needs are filled by Linux. Wish various distributions could have NFS with more sensible defaults, but most things work without all that much setup. Takes no more time than assembling the hardware.

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