Product SiteDocumentation Site

2.3. Why a GNU/Linux Distribution?

Several factors have dictated this choice. The system administrator, who was familiar with this distribution, ensured it was listed among the candidates for the computer system overhaul. Difficult economic conditions and ferocious competition have limited the budget for this operation, despite its critical importance for the future of the company. This is why Open Source solutions were swiftly chosen: several recent studies indicate they are less expensive than proprietary solutions while providing equal or better quality of service so long as qualified personnel are available to run them.
Among free operating systems, the IT department looked at the free BSD systems (OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and NetBSD), GNU Hurd, and Linux distributions. GNU Hurd, which has not yet released a stable version, was immediately rejected. The choice is simpler between BSD and Linux. The former have many merits, especially on servers. Pragmatism, however, led to choosing a Linux system, since its installed base and popularity are both very significant and have many positive consequences. One of these consequences is that it is easier to find qualified personnel to administer Linux machines than technicians experienced with BSD. Furthermore, Linux adapts to newer hardware faster than BSD (although they are often neck and neck in this race). Finally, Linux distributions are often more adapted to user-friendly graphical user interfaces, indispensable for beginners during migration of all office machines to a new system.