Ubuntu Linux helped my nonprofit grow and become more productive
Several years ago I grew increasingly frustrated with Windows XP and its restrictions around file sharing. It hampered my nonprofit organization’s ability to take on interns.
Windows XP let me down
I found it simple enough to share files using Windows XP Pro. But, we frequently bumped against the 10 user file sharing cap imposed by Microsoft. When an eleventh person tried to access the host computer’s files, they were either denied access, or someone else (usually my boss!) would get bumped off. This seemed unfair to me – like a scheme to force our small nonprofit to spend more money on a Windows server solution. XP Home is even more restrictive, with file sharing capped at five users. The trend with Microsoft was clear – each release meant less ability to share files.
Samba to the rescue
A tech-savy friend came to my office and introduced us to Ubuntu using a live cd. He helped us configure Ubuntu and Samba (software that allows for file sharing). Each employee and intern continued to use Windows on their computers – they simply accessed files from a Linux machine, rather than a Windows one. There was no real difference from their perspective. I quickly found that there seemed to be no limit to file sharing – my nonprofit could take on as many interns as we wanted!
It did not take long for me to wipe my personal laptop’s hard drive and install Ubuntu.
Impressed with Ubuntu
Using Ubuntu, I have had no regrets. Here are some of the things I have discovered.
- It is easy to set up file sharing, and I have not run into any limits or problems.
- The computer we use for file sharing is amazingly problem-free. When we used Windows XP as the host of our files, it seemed that I would run into a problem at least once a month. Using Ubuntu, I’ve simply forgotten about that machine, occasionally ensured it received updates, and not rebooted for months on end.
- You can backup everything – not just your files, but the entire operating system including all the installed software. If the computer were to die, I could be up and running on a different computer, with everything there.
- Ubuntu can print anything and everything as a .pdf.
- Ubuntu opens you up to an entire “universe” of amazing free open source software. Some of this software is available for Window, buy much of it is not.
- The ease with which you can find, install and uninstall is breathtaking. Windows users would not believe it.
- You can restart the operating system only, rather than restart the entire computer.
- It just looks and feels nice.
Are you sharing files using Linux in your office? Do you love Ubuntu? Hate it? Is there a reason to rejoin the Microsoft fold? Does it sound great, but you are just too scared? Did this post simply suck? Let me know. Comment and share below!