I was wondering if any people had any experience of using ubuntu (and other office - like software & possibly some wine installs) as their only OS. To clarify, i am asking if anyone has experience with MS free office environments and would like their input on:

  1. Training time (not all office workers are tech savvy)
  2. Migration Issues
  3. Support Issues Compatibility with other MS using offices.
  4. Other?

I know in theory that Ubuntu has all the tools needed, but i havent heard of any experience of people actually doing it.

  • Why the downvote ? – NWS Oct 28 '11 at 12:19
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    Ratings can be weird sometimes. The question is probably borderline AskUbuntu / Ubuntu Forums material but I don't think it's out of place (but I've been proven wrong before) – zookalicious Oct 28 '11 at 12:25
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    @NWS It's sort of an open ended question. The site works best with questions that have a single answer. Someone probably thought your question was too subjective. – Kris Harper Oct 28 '11 at 12:29
  • zook & root, Thanks, i dont think its an inappropriate question as there are probably many people who have considered this and getting many different inputs is part of making an informed choice. – NWS Oct 28 '11 at 12:33
  • I didn't downvote, but a question can be interesting, useful, helpful etc but sadly still fall foul of the various 'is this a good question' criteria for this site. – user12753 Oct 28 '11 at 15:17

There are some case studies of companies (or more usually goverment agencies) switching to GNU/Linux for workstations. Most notable would be Gendarmerie Nationale (French police) - they've switched to Ubuntu in 2009.

If you are looking for company-wide deployment, I'd recommend to contact Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) who can provide you all the information and support you need. There are more commercial-backed distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (by Red Hat) or SUSE (by Novell), and there are many local partners or independent Linux dedicated companies which will provide you with the support.

Edit: I believe you should take first steps by using cross-platform software with your existing infrastructure - most software available for Ubuntu is available for Windows too. For example, switch from MS Office to LibreOffice (aka OpenOffice.org), and so on. This way you can apply training in small doses and always easily switch back if you run into any problems.

If you rely on some Windows-only software without any viable alternative, Wine could be a solution but it's definitely not a silver bullet - check out Wine's AppDB or try CrossOver (a commercial counterpart of Wine by CodeWeavers, which are contributors to Wine).

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  • Thanks, thats exactly the helpful response i was looking for. – NWS Oct 31 '11 at 9:10

We have used Ubuntu only with OOo (now LibreOffice) on all our computers since 2008, and on one computer since 2006. And we have used LibreOffice since it was called StarOffice, more than ten years ago. In all these years we have only come across ONE document (Excel) that was not readable in the free office program. (An early version of OpenOffice run on Windows XP.) Our website (http://valutronic.se) is 100% made with LibreOffice´s Writer/Web (WYSIWYG editor). Adding hardware like printers is a breeze -- Typically, while connected to the Internet, just connect the printer, turn it on and wait a few seconds. A sign pops up telling you the printer is connected and working.
Software installation is best done via a Software center. If the program has dependencies (extra drivers needed) these are installed automatically. A child can do it, you don´t need any previous experience. No need for opening a terminal window any more. The new desktop might look strange at first (I first hated it because it was so "different from what you are used to" -- a sign of starting dementia???)... but when you get used to it and find out how intelligent it works, you will probably love it. I do now.

We still use Windows XP for an old TV card and our GPS map downloading software at home, but for all our business needs we use 100% Ubuntu.

So, my advice is: Install it on one computer, use it for a week and find out yourself. In LibreOffice, you can save your work both natively in OpenDocument formats, or if you want to send them to others who use MS Office, in MS Office formats. Install "Ubuntu restricted extras" and VLC media player and your Internet and multimedia experience will also be just fine. If you do advanced image retouching, try GIMP (some learning curve, however) and if you need to automatic colour correction for bad photos, try Pinta. Just install whatever you fancy from the Software center and try out the software. Almost all is free, so there is no reason not to. Best regards Stefan Berge, Valutronic, Sweden

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We are using ubuntu and centos in our office (with two or three windows machines for for web designers).

This is my experience:

  1. Training time :- Nil. There is no need to be a tech savvy to use ubuntu.
  2. Migration Issues :- No issues.
  3. Support Issues Compatibility with other MS using offices. :- No issues
  4. Other? :- The only thing that I found is that coraldraw files are not working. There should be a software supporting cdr files .
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Google has been using a customized version of Ubuntu for many years. We used Google Docs, Sheets and Slides a lot, though, so didn't need LibreOffice really.

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I love it (being MS free). office fully compatible. Training is an issue but also issue with new msoffice 2007 + 2010. I won't go back to buggy, crashing, continual updates with MS junk.

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