Monday, December 21, 2015

Support licensing vs Community support: A Comparison

Some people have asked us, why a commercial Linux distribution? Why not go with a free distribution like Linux Mint or Elementary? There are some advantages to purchasing support from a company vs community support. Here we will outline the differences between a community supported distribution vs a distribution with paid support.

Community forums vs phone and e-mail support: 

Black Lab Enterprise Linux comes with 12 months of phone/e-mail/on-site support. Which means - call in or e-mail a support request, and the average initial response time will be 10 minutes. After this response time your issue, whether it be software or hardware related, will be diagnosed and then our support will assist you in fixing the issue. Support times range from 5 minutes for easy solutions to 2 or more hours for more complex issues. If its a longterm issue PCOS support will continue to work with you toward a resolution. Community forums are much more tedious. Community based forums can be difficult to navigate; then, someone who is willing to discuss your issue with you has to 1). offer their support and 2). actually be able to fix your issue. Finally, response time on a community forum depends on the schedules of its contributors, which can vary from several hours to several days – and the issue may just start being discussed.

Donations vs license costs : 

Donations to community based distributions are very important. Our own free and open source distribution, Black Lab Linux relies on donations to fund the distribution and keep it running. A donation is not a purchase of a product or service;it's not a requirement for support. It's viewed as a gift, enabling the free product that you use on a daily basis to be maintained and updated. PCOS has heard from its customers and users how they gave donations to certain other distributions receiving no support or lackluster service in return : this is not surprising, for the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) model. A support license is completely different You are purchasing a product and/or service which comes with support for the term of the license.  Our length of support vary which are : 1 year for desktop, 2 years for server.

On-site service and installation support : 

A commercial distribution includes terms in their on-site service clauses which states that if the problem is severe enough, the customer can have a support tech to come and assist the user with the issue for a predetermined fee. The tech can also come on-site and assist in setup and installation of desktops and servers. Most free and community driven distributions don't offer those services, no matter how much they're offered in donations. Some consultants work with specific free and community driven distributions but they are at the mercy of the distribution provider; this means they rely on the software vendor for support issues. This also means that any security or application fixes are provided on an as-available basis – meaning, significant time can elapse, during which systems are vulnerable to data breaches, security issues and problematic operation. These are the comparisons between Black Lab Enterprise Linux, a commercial and licensed Linux distribution and community based distros like Linux Mint, Elementary OS and Ubuntu. What you use depends on your needs : if your data and applications are sensitive and mission-critical, then you need real support in real-time from paid Linux techs and Black Lab Enterprise Linux. If you take your chances using a distro with a community forum for support as a last resort in the event of problems, or have the in-house expertise and the desire to be held liable if something goes wrong, then a free distribution like Black Lab Linux might be your best bet.

At PC/OpenSystems LLC we provide you with the whole stack : hardware, software and the means to support both reliably. If you have any questions on how Black Lab Enterprise Linux can best service you and your organization's computing and data needs, please visit or contact .

Thank you.

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PC/OpenSystems LLC. is dedicated to providing top customer service including integration, providing Linux compatible hardware and enterprise desktop software solutions. We provide solutions tailored to your needs whether its building systems to suit your needs. Whether its a custom database solution, providing Linux powered PC and Server Solutions. Whatever you need you can rest assured that PC/OpenSystems LLC. will deliver a high performance and stable product

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About PC/OpenSystems LLC.

PC/OpenSystems LLC. is a small consulting firm and the only Linux retailer in NC for Linux PC's and custom systems located in Franklinton North Carolina. We specialize in hardware repair and we resell custom Linux based computers, software maintenance as well as custom application development.