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Services for Desktops & Laptops

Choosing to install Linux on your desktop or laptop can bring a number of benefits. On top of speedsecurity, savings and the different software you can run directly from your machine, you can add a variety of services as needed.

We install and configure Linux on your desktops and laptops. We take care of the updates for you.

Should you prefer to keep Windows on those front-end machines, we can then offer regular backups of those systems from the server, through the network. You will however be responsible for updates, installation and use of an anti-virus software and periodic defragmentation of the hard drive on those Windows machines. 

Services for Desktops







Documents and User Settings: Local or Server Based

By default, all of your user settings, emails and documents are hosted on the local hard drive of the machine. If the machine's hard disk dies, so do the data it contains; and the new drive will need to get everything re-imported from backups. If the machine goes away, the documents go along with it. This is what you want if you have a laptop, as the device will by definition move from place to place.

Desktops are on the other hand static, and allow a different approach with Linux. Here, all documents and all user settings (including emails), can be hosted directly on the server, which can bring a number of advantages :

  • Every document is, by definition, on the server: there is no risk of not finding a particular file because a user forgot to save it on the network.
  • One backup of the server automatically backs up all user data, even when user desktops are shut down.
  • If one desktop needs to be replaced, all data are plugged back into it through the network. 
  • Users can have access to their documents from any machine, even from the outside if the appropriate service is set up.
  • Savings can be made on desktop drives, which don't need to be very large. 



Working With Thin Clients

You may also choose to go one step further, and work directly on the server, using thin clients. Thin clients are small terminals, most often diskless, that will get their OS and data from the server through the network. Think of them as screens and keyboards 'almost' connected right into the server. Here you are right on the server, using server power and speed, with the only bottleneck being network speed. On top of all of the benefits described in the previous section, thin clients also offer the following :

  • Thin clients can be small factor, silent diskless terminals or any low end, low-power-consuming computer.
  • Any user may access his or her session from any terminal on the network (no need for a dedicated machine per user).
  • Only the server needs to be updated, and any update on the server will be made available automatically to all clients at once. 

Services for laptops


Manual Synchronization

You may choose to use a laptop much like a desktop, and have every document solely hosted on the server. In this case, when you are away, you can have access to your documents through the internet. This remote access provides the very safe feeling of being able to have access to everything at all times, but there are however two hurdles : the first one is to have an internet access available, the second is the time it may take to download a file from the server and to possibly upload it back. This second issue depends on your server's Internet connection as well as the connection you're on remotely.

A more appropriate approach is to synchronize folders and documents from the server with your laptop. You can choose which folders to synchronize and change over time as needed. 

Manual vs Automatic Synchronization

We recommend manual over automatic synchronization, to let you choose what you want to synchronize and when you want to synchronize. We recommend automatic synchronization between static computers such as servers, for backup purposes. 

Data Encryption

As laptops are generally on-the-go, the risk of their being stolen or lost is higher than that of other computers. Of course you need to know the username and password to log into the user's session, but IT specialists can by-pass this security if they have a physical access to the machine. Linux thus offers the possibility of encrypting your data, on top of the usual username/password. You may choose to encrypt either the whole computer, or only a dedicated "private" folder.

Encrypting the whole disk is safer, in the way that you don't need to remember to put your sensitive data in a specific folder, but the sharing of data over a network will be more difficult. Encrypting a special folder makes it safe only for whatever is in that particular folder. 

Services for desktops and laptops







Remote Data Access Through the Internet

If you choose to have all of your documents hosted on the server, you may also choose to be able to access those documents remotely through the internet. Here, opening a distant document locally is the equivalent of downloading it; saving it is the equivalent of uploading it back. These operations may take time.

Check the Ubuntu screenshots in the Screenshots section for an example of one desktop in Europe accessing documents on a server in the US. Regular distant locations may be bookmarked for easier access. 

Remote Session Client

If you choose to have all of your documents hosted on the server, you may also choose to be able to access your session on the server. In this way, you will work right on the server, much like what has been described above under Working With Thin Clients. Here, opening and saving a document is done on the server; you are only being sent the display of what is happening. These operations are quite fast.

Check the NX screenshots in the Screenshots section for an example of a remote session access.