With Microsoft being the leading desktop software for many generations, the introduction to Linux has been a little confusing for most businesses. Although many have tentatively peeked at Linux, more and more small businesses are deciding to adopt this new software for their desktops. However, before you head on down and pick out the first Linux model you see, here are a few ways through which small businesses can select the most suitable Linux OS that meets their needs:

Distributions

Linux has various models or distributions as they are known and each one offers a distinct range of services that meet specific functions or services. The Linux Mint and the Linux Ubuntu are two of the most popular versions of Linux OS available. However, most OS’s are customizable and depending upon the need, they can either have industry specific apps or graphical interfaces. Nonetheless, keep one thing in mind. The more base apps in your Linux software package, the less time you’ll have to spend customizing it.

How a Small Business Can Select the Right Linux OS for Desktops

Business Niche

Some Linux OS’s are made with a particular industry in mind. For example: the Scientific Linux is produced by CERN and the Femi National Accelerator Laboratory. Another niche OS is the EduBuntu which is specifically designed to meet schools and classroom related programs. Owing to the diversity of the OS’s, you are sure to find one which meets your industry based demands.

Desktop Hardware

The hardware that you have at your disposal can greatly affect the choice of OS that you can choose from. If you have a less than cutting edge PC at your disposal, then you should select lightweight distros like the Xubuntu, the Puppy Linux, the Damn Small Linux, and the Bodhi etc. This ensures that your hardware does not hinder your choice of software. However, if you have the latest hardware, then more hi-tech versions like Ubuntu Linux which have touch screen features incorporated in them are the way to go.

User Skill Set

Your skills at Linux can also determine the version that you wish to get. If you and your employees have never used Linux before, and are newly switching over from Windows, then taking things slow and easy with the Linux Mint, the Ubuntu, Linux Lite, Zorin OS etc. OS’s like the Slackware and Gentoo are better suited for more advanced users of Linux.

Business Needs

Consider what kind of role software plays in your business organization if you have a business that heavily relies on the software, such as Microsoft Office. Luckily, Linux OS’s provide amazing open source equivalents of this software in their apps section. Although these are generally available in most Linux app stores, it’s good to be on the safe side and check the list of offerings on the pack.

However, before you commit, it’s good to remain on the safe side and take your selected OS for a test drive with the help of the Live USB or the Live CD. This can help you work with Linux and figure out which OS suits you best without suffering from making the wrong pick.

[Image via stacklinux]