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Author's profile photo Nigel James

Going a little Ubuntu

Earlier this year I was about to take on a new client and it was very clear that I would need to upgrade my computer.

The fun part about this new client is that there was no SAP technology to be seen and it was a very open source house. Open source in the respect that it used a lot of open source technologies and open source thinking.

The fun part for me at the start of this assignment was picking out a new beast on which to practise my craft on.

After looking into the various options available I went for a  DELL Latitude with stacks of RAM and an SSD drive and chose Ubuntu for the OS.

WOW!  I can almost hear you drop off your chairs.

I have been a Windows guy for all my career. Not that I have particularly enjoyed that. Windows can be a right pain in the neck at times but at the end of the day it works most of the time and had everything I needed . I saw a lot of my developer colleagues heading down the shiny iMBP or iAir path and while that looked very shiny and attractive here are my reasons for going with Ubuntu, enjoying it and never going back to Windows again (unless I am forced to).

  1. Everything I need is available on Ubuntu.
    There is nothing that I need that is not on Ubuntu. Actually that is not quite strictly true in the most pedantic sense of the word but for everything I need to do there is an option on Ubuntu

  2. What’s good for the server is good for the desktop.
    The great thing about working with Ubuntu on the desktop is muscle memory. The servers run Ubuntu be it Webservers, Database servers, Monitoring servers, Email servers are all running Ubuntu. Not that all those processes are running on the desktop but it does mean that when you are working on the production servers all the same commands work exactly the same way. Need to work out if your server is running out of disk then using the same df or du commands makes it easy to remember.
  3. Embrace your inner command line.
    I loved windows because I could avoid the command line. Even though Windows does now have powershell and it is powerful I used to avoid getting into the DOS command line because it was really a pain in the neck. With Ubuntu and even with the MacOS systems in my life I love the command line. A lot of the time it is easier to type a command than use a GUI equivalent. Also because tools like grep become part of the everyday working with regular expressions become (slightly) less daunting. They just become part of your muscle memory.

  4. Do I need to mention Windows8?
    The short answer is no. I have used Windows 8 a little bit on some machines that I had to and I cant say that it was a pleasant experience. It really is two user interface paradigms nailed together badly.
  5. Installing software is a snap
    I had this impression that installing software on linux systems was compile, make etc but because Ubuntu and similar debian based systems have a critical mass software repositories are up to date and it is easy to sudo apt-get install <program>. Pretty much anything you need is an apt-get away.
  6. The performance is awesome
    This is perhaps down to Dell and the face that I have all the memory and SSD that I do but to be up and running from a cold start in 30 seconds is fantastic. My old clunky creaking Windows machine was literally come back after you have made your second coffee. I know I am not comparing apples to apples here but the I haven’t yet made it really made this machine creak. 
  7. Virtual machines rock
    VirtualBox is the best. Teamed together with Vagrant and Ansible they make a great combination of creating local servers that can be easily created, provisioned, deployed and destroyed. They make it easy to work on similar setups right across the software landscape.

Seven good reasons to leave the realm of Windows and not get dragged over the the expensive side of the force.

If you are looking to replace your machine soon take another look at Ubuntu. It is not as scary as you might think.

I was first introduced to Ubuntu by a basis consultant years ago. Now I look back and wonder why it took so long to get on board.

I would love to hear of your feedback and how SAP software can be made more Linux friendly.

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      Author's profile photo Luis Felipe Lanz
      Luis Felipe Lanz

      Hi Nigel,

      Glad to read you again here!

      Few years ago I made the same experiment, but quit soon as lack of apps and some compatibility issues, it was an early Ubuntu version and for sure it might be better and more stable nowadays.

      But now that we are in a Cloud era, we found almost everything in the cloud, without worry about OS and on-premise layers, just with a CAL click you have an SAP system up and running without any problem

      A good point of contact for this topic is our team in SAP LinuxLabs , they are testing and qualifying SAP software for run on Linux, you can get in touch with them via SAP on Linux

      Again, glad to see you around again!



      Author's profile photo Nigel James
      Nigel James
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Luis. I think I went on the same journey. When I was first introduced to linux as a possibility I thought it was all a bit too low level for me. I thought I would have to be recompiling kernels from source and that sort of thing but now the barrier is so much lower and as you say - deploying an image to the cloud is second nature now that the developers OS becomes less of an issue.

      I am plannning to write a bit more about open source so I will pop over the linux space and see what is going down there.