Selling Linux

Selling Linux to management

The task? Persuading people that Linux is the equal (or better) of any of the commercial alternatives for reliably running a set of chemical analysers in another state...

PS. I am going to assume that you are not dealing with management at the Dilbert level!

The technical advantages

Point out the large number of technical advantages, such as:

Selling Linux as the basis for our project was relatively easy given that I had been using a Linux box for:

within the Water Studies Centre, and it has worked flawlessly since day one.


Bottom line (especially for academic institutions) is usually the dollar!

Linux is a big winner here in that you have:

The very low cost of Linux can be a great asset, but can also scare people off when they associate free software with junkware.

The commercial distributions

The fact that you can buy Linux "off the shelf" in a nice box with a pretty manual and a CD-ROM is a big selling point for many people.

Redhat and Caldera are probably the two more well-known commercial releases.

The wide acceptance of Linux

It sounds daft, but in my experience, people will often accept Linux when they see how widely it is being used. The Linux Journal often runs articles on companies or organisations using Linux, and there are plenty of people on the net happily extolling the virtues of Linux in a particular application.

Some of the more interesting Linux users (outside of the bevy of ISPs and uni web servers) include NASA, Cisco, DejaNews, Virginia Power and the US Army.


A critical factor in the success of Linux is the wide amount of support available; in fact, there is more support available for Linux than there is for many commercial operating systems:

Software availability

Even if we set aside the vast amount of free software available for Linux, there is also a large amount of commercial software available, for example:

The Linux Journal 1997 Buyer's Guide is an excellent reference to commercial Linux software, and is a very good tool for combatting people who will only use software that has a price tag!

Selling Linux to fellow technicians/programmers

The technical details

As listed above.

Of particular importance is the complete source code, rapid rate of bug fixes, the large amount of software available and the LDP.

The programming tools

The downside

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