A Plug for the Linux Users

Posted On June 4, 2012 By Kevin O'Brien


While operating systems like Linux are becoming more widely used the number is still very small compared to the traditional Windows PC or Mac.  Of course, I’m only referencing desktops for this article since Linux runs on many hardware platforms like that Android device you may be holding in your hand.  In fact, thanks to open source and the ability for the public to help develop various distributions you can find Linux on many devices such as firewalls, routers, Fiery’s (print controllers), your hacked Apple TV (which we don’t condone), the list goes on.

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Before I really start to get off track and lose my audience please allow me to set the stage.  We recently received a service call from a local non-profit organization that made the switch to Ubuntu, a free Linux distribution with GUI (Graphical User Interface) capabilities. For those who use Linux you already know what I’m talking about, but for others, Ubuntu can function on a similar level as Windows depending on what corporate environment you are in.  It comes standard with productivity software that again is very similar to the Microsoft counterpart and it’s free.  After the non-profit made the switch they were happy with the OS but had additional challenges integrating in existing printers, scanners, and MFP’s.  Luckily they called the right place and Advance was able to provide several solutions to get them up and running again.


The customers first challenge was getting printing to work.  Setting up a printer within Ubuntu isn’t a difficult task, but in this customer’s situation they were using accounting codes or user codes to track all output within the office.  Simply selecting the correct PPD (PostScript Printer Description) from www.openprinting.org didn’t cut it as the user code portion wouldn’t work properly for their specific device.  With a little bit of hands on, Advance was able to help the customer modify the PPD and make the codes available to the multiple users who logon to each PC.  All Linux workstations are now properly secured and the office can continue to keep color costs low.  The second task was setting up a scanning solution and scan to email wasn’t an option in this situation.  While most versions now come standard, the Samba SMB client, which allows for browsing and accessing Windows or SMB/CIFS (Server Message Block/Common Internet File System) shares, the server portion needed to be installed in order for scan to folder to work.  Of course FTP is still an option but we will stick with CIFS for this application.  In the end the customer had a fully functional scan to folder solution to one Linux server and multiple workstations utilizing that resource.


Regardless of what kind of environment you have, chances are Advance has a solution to fit it.  In this case, the client as able to keep their operating costs low by switching to Linux while relying on Advance to provide document solutions at an affordable cost.  If you have questions about your environment or need to consult with Advance, please contact your representative or submit an inquiry through our customer portal.