Smart tools for staying ahead of the Windows challenge

Living Easy


This month we feature some new ideas for Windows integration.

Although Linux is growing more popular every year, the fact is, Windows hasn't disappeared yet, and it probably won't for a very long time. Whether you work on a small, medium, or large network, you will never be far from the problem of Windows integration. This month we take a look at some strategies for living easy with Windows.

One big complication of a heterogeneous network is supporting separate collections of applications for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and other alternatives. Ulteo Open Virtual Desktop (OVD), an innovative new tool from the labs of Mandrake creator Gaël Duval, provides a unified desktop where server-based Linux and Windows applications can run side by side in a browser window. You can even manage permissions through an Active Directory or LDAP directory system. We'll take a look at how to merge your worlds with OVD.

Next we bring you a nifty trick for the road warrior – the "no-boot" bootable USB stick. You'll learn how to use the QEMU virtualization tool to set up a portable Linux system that boots inside a Windows virtual machine. In other words, this solution lets you bring your portable Linux-on-a-stick to settings in which a system reboot is impractical or prohibited.

Then we turn our attention to the Samba file and print server – a classic interoperability tool used around the world for easy cross-platform file sharing. We show you a new Samba add-on that lets you serve up files from a high-availability cluster, and we finish with a look at another recent Samba innovation: a Windows-style configuration registry that you can even edit using Windows registry tools.

If you are looking for new ideas on integration with Microsoft networks, read on for more on living easy with Windows.