Many years ago the college i was doing some work at, a few us in the tech department hatched a scheme to integrate or switch over some of the infrastructure to a linux based system to avoid the annoying documentation requirements that came with software auditing.
A solution that was arrived at was something like crossover linux. I don’t recall what we ended up using actually but it was a windows clone that was similar enough in appearance and function that users didn’t notice enough to complain and it was able to access the windows only network shares just fine.
i would think given what i’ve heard lately of the increasingly ridiculous licensing requirements more businesses would want to move away from windows for non-critical applications.
Best potential replacement/Migration OS’s right now seem to be:
- Cross Over Linux
- Linux Mint
- Zorin OS
- Haiku Linux (very visually appealing)
Haiku still doesn’t work, I’ve been off and on fiddling with it for more years than I can remember. Running on real hardware has been an issue and I haven’t tried in many years now.
That said, I did have BeOS running on a dual Pentium 2 a long time ago, bought the box with book and disk in a real walk in store with real dollarydoos in hand. Think it was a book store that had a good computer section, the also had things like Free BSD book/disk but I never had much luck getting it installed back then. Yes it was in the dial up days, this was before I could get satellite.
In order to mix Windows and Linux, you’ll also want to deal with the server side of things. I’ve played with Zentyal a little as an Active Directory replacement, but not enough work done on it to say one way or another. They say you can handle GPO with it, but that you’ll need a windows client with the proper RSAT tools installed to manage it properly.
At the time changes were made in the background to make sure the network protocols behaved. I don’t have to do this now i’m just wondering if others are or might be thinking about it given how toxic the licensing environment seems these days.
I’ve used cross-over a few times, linux mint and ubuntu. Those seemed like the most mature and pleasant iterations to work with.
I’ve tried more linux distros than I care to think of, and my reaction to most of them was yuck…