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Is Linux free?  RSS feed

 
Bruce Jin
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I want install Linux on 50 Desktop PCs. Can I buy one copy and install them on all PCs. How can I really get free Linux?
Thanks.
 
Michael Yuan
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For most Linux distributions out there. Yes you can buy one copy and install on any number of computers.
In fact, you do not even need to buy that one copy if you do not need support. For most distributions, it is perfectly legal to download and burn your own CDs.
Of course, it is a good idea to buy a support contract from Linux companies, especially if you do not have an in-house Linux guru.
 
Bruce Jin
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Thanks for the reply.
I buy one copy for $30 and install on 50 or 5,000 PCs. This seems to be a good deal.
 
Frank Carver
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Just to emphasize Michael Yuan's answer, if you are doing the deployment, installation and support yourself, maybe even $30 is too much to pay.
One of the main ideas behind most linux pricing is that you should only pay for what you actually need. If you have $30 to spend, I would strongly recommend that you spend most of it on a good Linux book, and get your Linux installation disk either by direct download or from one of the low-support, low-cost suppliers such as CheapBytes or The Linux Emporium.
If you are really planning to install on more than one or two machines, you should spend some serious time choosing which software you need installed and which distribution you want to use. Linux is available in hundreds of slightly different forms ("distributions"). If you are to be responsible for maintaining these machines (or appointing those who maintain them) you want a system which is as close to your ideal feature set as possible from the start.
It can easily take several days to get things set up if the stuff installed by default is not what you need, and if you multiply that by even just ten or twenty machines you are starting to cost far more than the software. Don't be swayed by the "big names" (Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE etc.) just because they spend money on advertising. Find out what software is included, what hardware is supported, what versions of things are installed, and how the defualt distribution is configured, then make an informed choice. You won't regret it.
Oh, and you can always ask here
 
Tim Holloway
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It's all in what you want to accomplish. If I was setting up a commercial server farm, I'd probably buy 3 copies of RedHat (triple redundancy in case of disc damage) and subscribe to the RedHat Network ($25/system/month) to keep them all automatically patched. And learn to set up a standard network-based install. Probably buy a support contract and maybe even take some expensive classes. Because time is money.
On the other hand, as a starving student, I'd get one copy (Even then, probably buy it, since downloading several Gigabytes over the Internet is not my idea of fun), get all my docs over the Internet (why buy expensive books when you're too cheap to buy a less expensive CD?), and do everything myself. Because if I don't have the money, I'll just have to spend the time.
I mentioned RedHat just because they sucked me in fairly early and it serves my purposes. Not mening to slight the legions fans of Mandrake, Suse, Yellow Dog, etc.
 
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