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Is Oracle Linux feasible for a desktop enviroment or is it strictly server oriented?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Oracle Linux is based upon RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). It can be used either as a server or as a desktop, as a compatible alternative to RHEL.

As for a desktop, if you're looking for bleeding-edge packages (GNOME 3, recent versions of KDE, etc...), you will not find them in in Oracle Linux or any RHEL clone (CentOS, Scientific Linux etc...).

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As usual it depends on what you are looking for or what you consider feasible.

Yes RHEL and all of it's derivatives can be used as a desktop distribution, they do contain the graphical environment and a choice of Gnome and KDE desktops. I believe even XFCE is included in the main repository but I'm not 100% sure about that.

Red Hat even ships a desktop and a workstation version of it's distribution. You can compare them here

But as @renan pointed out, RHEL is aimed at business customers who want stability more than the latest new features so you will not find the most recent editions of the desktop environments.

I don't know if Oracle builds and supports these variants as well. But your sales-rep will be happy to tell you. :)

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Thank you Bram; as you describe RHEL derivates they seem to satisfy me needs. – Aslan986 Apr 29 '12 at 11:56

I have been using Oracle Linux for the company that I work for. We started with this Operating System as a Pilot Project to eventually migrate all of the workstations' Operating Systems from Windows XP to Oracle Linux.

Thus far we have received positive feedback from our users. It's a great option to replace Windows as it provides practically everything that Microsoft does and on top of that it's brutally fast.

I am not a Linux expert and I didn't take me much to get started with it. You can find any information you want online, basically from all the Linux communities. It took me a couple of weeks to get acquainted with YUM and the repositories issues, but once you learn how to deal with it and couple this knowledge with all the great resources you can find online - trust me my friend, you will never want to go back to any other Operating System again.

It offers everything one needs. The bad thing is that unfortunately from time to time you need to run some Windows based application and Wine may not be able to emulate it perfectly or just not well enough. I had this situation with some government based applications. In order to overcome this problem I downloaded VirtualBox to install the Windows OS and install all of the trouble making kind of software. (Which was great because the main reason that motivated the migration was performance issues and we had the licences for Windows), so the users used everything they needed on Linux and when they needed something else they would just log in the Virtual Machine and do their job. Awkwardly enough, the performance in the virtual machine was incredibly better as well, I don't know if Linux had anything to do with this or VirtualBox, but that is just a fact that screams at you as soon as you get started with the VM.

If you want to access Terminal Servers rDesktop will do the job for you, you can download it from YUM and It's much much faster than the Windows based workstations. If you want to compress and decompress files you will be astonished to see how fast it can do it compared to Windows, especially because you can perform these activities from the command line. Seriously - files that would take 15 minutes to decompress in Windows would require only 2 or 3 seconds with Linux via command line.

So my opinion is: GO FOR IT! Make sure to do this via a pilot project though so you can map all the issues that you need to cross until you reach the optimum opportunity to migrate every workstation that you have. It will pay off the job :)

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You say "It provides everything you need" and continue with "from time to time you need to run some Windows based application" which sounds like a contradiction. A nice answer, effort put into it clearly shows, but it might benefit from some rewriting as well. – Sami Laine Apr 13 '14 at 11:41

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