Old hardware and Linux

Oldies but Goodies

© Lead Image © Marc Chesneau, Fotolia.com

© Lead Image © Marc Chesneau, Fotolia.com

Article from Issue 212/2018
Author(s):

Corporations and organizations don't need to buy new computers every two or three years because the old ones are no longer serviceable. We look at which tasks these hardware seniors can handle.

Over the years, many corporations – and home users – accumulate discarded computers, printers, and laptops. If nobody disposes of them immediately as electronic waste, they often stand around unused in storage rooms. A larger market for used equipment has established itself, and used systems often find buyers or lessors quickly. Because of tax regulations and leasing contract terms, the market is fed by company inventories with equipment only a few years old.

Prices drop extremely quickly, especially in the case of professional computer systems. Moreover, new owners might be able to write these devices off immediately for tax purposes as low-value assets for an instant benefit. The new owner also contributes to a positive ecological balance, because the production of new computer systems is resource intensive.

Unlike new versions of Windows, which might not provide drivers for older hardware, Linux distributions potentially support older hardware better than brand-new equipment. Some special Linux distributions with the right drivers concentrate specifically on such older hardware, but which used systems can admins best buy and run with Linux? Which desktops support production use with the lowest possible administration overhead?

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