"We have developed a GUI that allows total server administration via an HTML interface. Installation of Linux is as simple as inserting a CD giving the IP addresses, and the CD will install automatically," reports Johan Hybinette, vice president of engineering, who contends that Linux is really becoming a player in the prepress and printing segments.
At DRUPA, Hybinette plans to release Onyx Network Cube—a self-contained server without monitor, keyboard and mouse, based on Red Hat Linux.
"We are also doing co-development with DALiM to release a complete printing workflow product based on our Linux servers to be released at DRUPA," he says.
"Linux has all the power of UNIX and you can get support for free. If you are a developer and post a question, you will get an answer the next day—try that with Sun," Hybinette claims.
Whether pro or con on the Linux topic, one question looms: As the commercial printing sector waits for product rollouts, what factors are contributing to the resistance of Linux's acceptance and adoption?
SGI's Arvidson takes a shot.
"The biggest pushback is stemming from the fact that Linux is an open-source application—it's an accountability issue. People fear that if they buy a peripheral or download a driver, those devices will not have been tested for compatibility with particular Linux systems," Arvidson states. "They're worried that they'll have a hard time getting support if something goes wrong."
For example, there's a very large printer looking at Linux now, but the company's biggest fear, as they consider the OS, is of unsupported peripherals. "We are committed to developing fully supported Linux solutions," Arvidson responds. "All the peripherals and software for our systems will be certified by SGI; we are supporting Linux to the same extent that we support IRIX."