PC Operating systems

We have a number of old PC’s that we were looking to dispose of because of unsupported operating systems (Vista) but one of our CI’s suggested that we might want to put a lighter OS on them and suggested a form of Ubuntu.

Is there anything that would stop us from doing this? I’m thinking more of the opensource potential issues.

I know the preferred browser for Bader is Chrome but Firefox is just as good. AV shouldn’t be a problem.

No issues at all, newer versions of Ubuntu are pretty good at supporting hardware.

Means they will run quicker and provide web browser access.

If you know someone with a bit of savvy set them to reset themselves and delete everything but the OS on reboot to keep them clean.

Another OS option would be Linux Mint, probably with the Mate desktop, which is less demanding on PC hardware. With Firefox and perhaps Open Office too, you’d be able to do most of the ATC tasks like SMS, Ultilearn and email.
It’s not too complex to install so give it a go or give some cadets a small project?

As *nix systems go I favour Linux Mint for use by those who are normally used to Windows.

Ubuntu is fine and all my servers run it. Keep in mind that some of the newer fancy desktop environments can be just as resource hungry as older Windows versions.

I installed Windows 7 on all our old Vista PCs and they run fine. I have dual boot option for those in the CIS room Windows 7 or Linux Mint 17 with the Mate desktop.

1 Like

We’re moving away from Windows 7 because of the end of support early next year, so mostly on Windows 10 for the PCs. We do have some older laptops that will probably end up with Linux Mint on them.

Only real issues will be office. LibreOffice is okay but you will find some issues with RAFAC documents, especially forms.

Personally I prefer Fedora over Ubuntu / Debian based distros, but there’s no massive difference to the average user.

These will only really be used to allow cadets to do classification exams and the odd time looking at documents. Hopefully using Open office will cover that.

Just need to learn Linux commands now.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I’ve had a look at Linux Mint and it looks ideal. Originally, I thought of building the machines using ChromeOS, not realising that Google don’t Open Source it.

Anyway, Mint looks ideal, the latest version (19.2) with the Mate desktop has the following hardware requirements (from Mint website):

System requirements:

  • 1GB RAM (2GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 15GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).

I Imagine that disk space could be trimmed if needed.

Only question now is the point that @PBark78 raised which is the one of allowing a login to the RAFAC website from a machine running an Open Source OS. Personally, I fancy the security of Linux over Windows any day, but often cost is confused with quality. If anyone has any comments on this, I’d be interested.

I would build the machines with all sudo privileges switched off and root access well locked down, I think that would surpass Windows level security. I also love the suggestion from @bob1 to have the machines purge previous usage as they reboot, so it looks like a clean machine every time, could even make the browser open full screen to the login page.

Thanks for your suggestions.

I’ll let you know.

The great thing is…no one fiddles. Leave a Windows machine unattended and you’ll get new icons appearing, printers stopping working, folders on the desktop. I’ve used Zorin OS which mimics Win7’s GUI, and is easy to use. I’ve even made printers work from it! Some printers are more compatible than others. I found one in pcworld for £30.