Due to his personal experience with excessive Microsoft Moments and the
associated productivity impacts, the CEO has issued an edict that MS Windows
will not be the primary OS at our company within the next 12 months. (No, I did
NOT set him up!)
For several years I've been running RH and more recently Mandrake at home, but
I'd like to evaluate all Linux distributions (and potentially FreeBSD et. al.)
for workstation usage before a full deployment. For this purpose, I wish to set
up a single machine upon which I can install many distributions (plus Win4Lin
and VMWare, for legacy purposes).
I see two basic alternatives:
a. A physical disk-swapping system. In this configuration, I'd put one of
the removable IDE trays in a machine, and purchase an IDE drive and drawer for
each distribution to be evaluated. A non-swappable drive would contain /home,
Windows 98, Windows NT, and probably /tmp and a swap partition. All other
partitions (plus another swap partition) would be on the removable drive.
b. Fixed disk with a set of partitions per distribution. In this
configuration, I'd just use really big disks, and create a set of unique
partitions for each distribution.
Queries, for those more knowledgeable:
Which option is best, and why? (beyond the obvious procurement cost
What filesystems should be shared vs. unique to a distibution?
Any thoughts on the partioning scheme in this case?
Any other recommendations for constructing an evaluation system?
Presently I do not have a concise set of evaluation criteria, so recommendations
on such are also solicited. My primary focus here is workstation evaluation,
although I also need to configure workgroup servers for file sharing, mail,
calendaring, source-code control, business databases, and internal web serving.
(Once I've selected a few - two or three - distributions as candidates for
deployment, I'll move to a trial usage phase, with actual users evaluating the
distributions in day-to-day activities. I also solicit thoughts on
criteria/evaluation techniques to use during this phase. Obviously, this is
presently a lower priority than the former.)
Workstation usage is primarily:
Business applications (word processing and spreadsheets)
Database clients (porting our legacy internal applications from VB to Java is
presently considered trivial).
SW Development (C, C++, Java, Python)
Presently I am supporting about 25 users at a single location, but need to
increase this to three locations and 50 users in one year.
Thanks in advance for your reasoned input,