Tag Archives: servers

Install Nagios core 4.4.1 on Ubuntu 18.04 Server


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Nagios® Core™ is an Open Source system and network monitoring application. It watches hosts and services that you specify, alerting you when things go bad and when they get better.Nagios Core was originally designed to run under Linux, although it should work under most other unices as well.

Nagios Features

Some of the many features of Nagios Core include:

Monitoring of network services (SMTP, POP3, HTTP, NNTP, PING, etc.)
Monitoring of host resources (processor load, disk usage, etc.)
Simple plugin design that allows users to easily develop their own service checks
Parallelized service checks
Ability to define network host hierarchy using “parent” hosts, allowing detection of and distinction between hosts that are down and those that are unreachable
Contact notifications when service or host problems occur and get resolved (via email, pager, or user-defined method)
Ability to define event handlers to be run during service or host events for proactive problem resolution
Automatic log file rotation
Support for implementing redundant monitoring hosts
Optional web interface for viewing current network status, notification and problem history, log file, etc.

Preparing your system

First You need to make sure you have install Ubuntu 18.04 LAMP Server and once you have that follow the next steps.

Switch to root user and run the all the commands

sudo su —

Install the following packages

apt-get install build-essential apache2 php openssl perl make php-gd libgd-dev libapache2-mod-php libperl-dev libssl-dev daemon wget apache2-utils unzip

You need to create nagios user,nagcmd group and add the nagios,apache user to the part of nagcmd group

useradd nagios
groupadd nagcmd
usermod -a -G nagcmd nagios
usermod -a -G nagcmd www-data

Download Nagios core DIY Source from here

cd /tmp/
wget https://assets.nagios.com/downloads/nagioscore/releases/nagios-4.4.1.tar.gz
tar -zxvf /tmp/nagios-4.4.1.tar.gz
cd /tmp/nagios-4.4.1/

Compile and install Nagios Using the following commands

./configure –with-nagios-group=nagios –with-command-group=nagcmd –with-httpd_conf=/etc/apache2/sites-enabled/
make all
make install
make install-init
make install-config
make install-commandmode
make install-webconf

Configure Nagios web Interface

Create nagiosadmin account using the following command

htpasswd -c /usr/local/nagios/etc/htpasswd.users nagiosadmin

Enable CGI module and restart the apache2 server

a2enmod cgi

systemctl restart apache2

Install Nagios Plugins

Download and install nagios plugins using the following commands

cd /tmp

wget http://www.nagios-plugins.org/download/nagios-plugins-2.2.1.tar.gz

tar -zxvf /tmp/nagios-plugins-2.2.1.tar.gz

cd /tmp/nagios-plugins-2.2.1/

Compile and install nagios plugins using the following commands

./configure –with-nagios-user=nagios –with-nagios-group=nagios
make
make install

Start Nagios

Verify the sample nagios configuration files using the following command

/usr/local/nagios/bin/nagios -v /usr/local/nagios/etc/nagios.cfg

Output

If you are not seeing any errors enable Nagios to start automatically at system startup.

systemctl enable nagios

Start Nagios service.

systemctl start nagios

Access Nagios Web interface

From the web browser use the following syntax URL

http://server-ip-address/nagios/

Use the loginame as nagiosadmin and the password created previously.

Once you logged in you should see similar to the following screens

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Install Webmin on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) Server


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Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix. Using any modern web browser, you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and much more. Webmin removes the need to manually edit Unix configuration files like /etc/passwd, and lets you manage a system from the console or remotely.

Install webmin on ubuntu 18.04

Edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file using the following command

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line

deb https://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib

Save and exit the file

Add the GPG Key

wget http://www.webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc

sudo apt-key add jcameron-key.asc

Install webmin using the following commands

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
sudo apt-get install webmin

Access webmin

Go to https://serverip:10000

Ubuntu in particular don’t allow logins by the root user by default. However, the user created at system installation time can use sudo to switch to root. Webmin will allow any user who has this sudo capability to login with full root privileges.

Once you logged in you should see similar to the following screen

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NVMe over Fabrics: Fibre Channel vs. RDMA


In the last few years, enterprises have been getting hungrier for infrastructure that provides high throughput with low latency and greater performance for hosted applications. Faster networking with high-speed Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and Infiniband offers end-to-end speed varying from 10 Gb/s to 128 Gb/s.

Enterprises are also starting to realize the performance and latency benefits offered by the NVMe protocol with storage arrays featuring high-speed NAND flash and next-generation SSDs.

But a latency bottleneck has arisen in the implementation of shared storage or storage area networking where data needs to be transferred between the host (initiator) and the NVMe-enabled storage array (target) over Ethernet, RDMA technologies (iWARP/RoCE), or Fibre Channel.

The NVMe bottleneck

Latency gets high when SCSI commands transported by Fibre Channel require interpretation and translation into NVMe commands.

NVMe over fabrics (NVMe-oF) is a network protocol introduced by NVM Express to address this bottleneck. NVMe-oF replaced iSCSI as a storage networking protocol, allowing enterprises to experience the full benefits offered by NVMe-enabled storage arrays. NVMe-oF acts as a messaging layer between the host computer and target SSDs or a shared system network over ultra-high speed RDMAs/Fibre Channels.

NVMe-oF supports five technologies: RDMA (RoCE, iWARP), Fibre Channel (FC-NVMe), Infiniband, Future Fabrics, and Intel Omni-Path architecture.

In addition, NVMe-oF allows separation of control traffic and data traffic, which further simplifies traffic management. Also, it takes advantage of the internal parallelism of storage devices and lowers I/O overhead. This enhances overall data access performance to reduce latency.

NVMe-oF offers a performance boost to enterprises that are deploying machine learning applications, big data, and Internet of Things (IoT) analytics, which demand real-time access to stored data without any distance dependencies. 

Performance evaluation of NVMe-oF over Fibre Channel and RDMA

Recent conferences have sparked debate about which transport channel delivers the best performance using the NVMe-oF protocol. Some vendors firmly believe that RDMA is a better option for higher throughput, and many vendors stick to Fibre Channel to gain performance advantages.

Both network fabric technologies have their own benefits and pitfalls.

NVMe over Fabrics using Fibre Channel

NVMe over Fibre Channel relies on two standards: NVMe-oF and FC-NVMe. NVMe-oF is the protocol offered by NVM Express organization for enabling transportation of NVMe traffic over network fabric, and FC-NVMe is the Fibre Channel-specific transport standard. The combination of both serves as a solution. A majority of enterprises are already using Fibre Channel technology to process their critical data to and from storage arrays.

Fibre Channel was specially designed for storage device and systems, and it is the de facto standard for enterprise storage area networking (SAN) solutions. The main advantage of Fibre Channel technology is that it provides concurrent traffic for existing traditional storage protocols — SCSI — and the new NVMe protocol using the same hardware resources in storage infrastructure. This co-existence of SCSI and NVMe on Fibre Channel benefits most of enterprises because they can enable NVMe operations with just a simple software upgrade.

In March 2018, NVM Express added a new feature called Asymmetric Namespace Access (ANA) to the NVMe-oF protocol. This allows multi-path I/O support among multiple hosts and namespaces.

Gen 5 and Gen 6 are new versions of Fibre Channel. Gen 6 supports transfer speeds up to 128Gbs, i.e. the highest in storage networking. Additionally, Gen 6 enables monitoring and diagnostics capabilities that enable visibility into latency levels and IOPS. NVMe-oF seamlessly integrates with both new versions of Fibre Channel protocols.

As per a Demartek report, NVMe over Fibre Channel delivers 58% higher IOPS and 34% lower latency than SCSI-based Fibre Channel protocol. Large enterprises favor the use of FC-NVMe for processing critical workloads due to its simplicity, reliability, predictability, and performance.

However, this implementation requires more expertise at the storage networking level, which may add costs.

NVMe over Fabrics using RDMA

RDMA offers an alternative to Fibre Channel. According to WhatIs.com, “Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a technology that allows computers in a network to exchange data in main memory without involving the processor, cache, or operating system of either computer.”

In other words, RDMA allows applications to bypass the software stack for processing network traffic. Because RDMA data transfer does not involve so many resources, RDMA helps enterprises achieve higher throughput and better performance with lower latency. NVMe-enabled storage devices appear to be near to the host with RDMA.

RDMA can be enabled in storage networking with protocols like RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet), iWARP (internet wide area RDMA protocol), and Infiniband.

iWARP is roughly an RDMA over TCP/IP. It uses TCP and Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) for data transmission.

RoCE enables RDMA over Ethernet. It is described as Inifiniband over Ethernet. There are two versions of RoCE v1 and RoCE v2. Both of these protocols are incompatible with each other due to different transport mechanisms.

Inifiniband is largely supported by vendors offering high-performance computing solutions. It is the fastest RDMA storage networking technology having data transfer speed around 100 Gbs, compared to the up to 128 Gb/s offered by Gen 6 FC-NVME. Like FC-NVMe, Infiniband is a lossless transmission protocol, providing quality of service (QoS) mechanism, along with credit-based flow control.

Some vendors consider RDMA to be highly compatible with NVMe use cases due to their use of the same queueing structure. The main reason for using RDMA-based technologies is that command transfer does not require any kind of encapsulation and translation of commands as both use the similar queueing structure for data transfer without CPU intervention. This way RDMA saves CPU cycles, which lowers latency in data transmission from hosts to storage devices.

Key differentiators

  • With Fibre Channel, enterprises can preserve their existing hardware investment along with taking full advantage of complete NVMe-enabled storage infrastructure. But NVMe-oF implementations based on Infiniband, RDMA (iWARP or RoCE), and Ethernet often require new hardware resources for enterprises.
  • Fibre Channel fabric has a flow control “buffer-to-buffer credit” feature with which it assures the quality of service (QoS) for enterprises by providing lossless network traffic. RDMA Ethernet (iWARP and RoCE) require additional protocol support to enable this feature.
  • As compared to other network fabric options, Fibre Channel requires less configuration to initiate network traffic.
  • Fibre Channel fabric has a feature to automatically discover and add host initiator and target storage devices and their properties. RDMA Ethernet (iWARP and RoCE) and Infiniband lack this capability.

Summary

As per a 2016 NVMe ecosystem market sizing report published by G2M Research, the NVMe market will be worth more than $57 billion by 2020, and more than 50% of enterprise servers will have NVMe-enabled by 2020.

NVMe over Fabrics takes the NVMe boost to a network, providing efficient, reliable and highly agile storage networks to be used for advanced use cases like artificial intelligence/machine learning, IoT, real-time analytics, and mission-critical applications.

But enterprises have to evaluate their investment capabilities based on different kinds of NVMe-oF implementations. RDMA offers advantages which are suited for advanced use cases (considering real-time access to storage), but enterprises can also leverage FC-NVMe by transitioning to the Gen 6 version which offers the highest data transfer speed with low latency.

In upcoming years, NVMe integration will be crucial for enterprises that are transitioning their IT infrastructure ecosystem for digital transformation.



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Android Pie Is Filled with AI | Operating Systems


Artificial Intelligence plays a big role in Android 9, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, released Monday.

Called “Android Pie,” the OS is designed to learn from its users’ behavior, and apply those lessons to simplify and customize their phone experiences.

“From predicting your next task so you can jump right into the action you want to take, to prioritizing battery power for the apps you use most, to helping you disconnect from your phone at the end of the day, Android 9 adapts to your life and the ways you like to use your phone,” noted Sameer Samat, Google’s vice president of product management for Android and Google Play.

google's android 9 pie

Adaptive Brightness and Adaptive Battery are two ways Android Pie uses AI to customize and improve a phone’s performance.

Adaptive Brightness learns what brightness levels a user likes in certain conditions and automatically adjusts the display to those settings when those conditions arise.

Adaptive Battery plugs into Google’s DeepMind systems and can learn a person’s phone usage patterns and make adjustments to optimize power usage.

“Users of the Android P beta program on Google Pixel phones found a 20 percent increase in battery life,” said David McQueen, research director for consumer devices in the London offices of ABI Research, a technology advisory firm.

“Battery life has always been a major pain point for the smartphone user, so this implementation of AI will be welcome relief,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Seeing Will Be Believing

The power management feature works without adding additional hardware, McQueen pointed out.

Huawei introduced performance-enhancing AI in its Mate 10 Pro product, he said, but to do it, the company had to add a chip to the device, which it called a “neural processing unit.”

“There’s not much going on in terms of new battery technology that can lengthen battery life, so Adaptive Battery could be a good thing,” suggested William Stofega, program director for mobile phones and drones at
IDC, a market analysis company based in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The Adaptive Battery feature appears to be compelling, acknowledged Tuong Nguyen,
a senior principal analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory company
based in Stamford, Connecticut. However, he is withholding judgment on the feature until the verdict from users comes in.

“We see a lot of power optimization announcements, and I’m sure they work well enough,” Nguyen told TechNewsWorld, “but my perception as a consumer is that I can never stay sufficiently charged and am always using too much battery.”

Screen Slices

Another new addition to Android is App Actions. It makes connections between when and how you use apps and makes suggestions based on those connections. For example, it’s 5:15 p.m. on a Monday. App Action may ask if you want to open the e-book you’ve been reading on your commute to and from work for the past week.

Google also announced a feature for Android Pie called “Slices,” which won’t appear in the OS until later this fall.

Slices shows relevant information from apps depending on a user’s screen activity. So if a user started typing Lyft into Google Search, Slice would display a slice of the Lyft app with information such as prices to a destination and the ETA for a driver.

“Slices is great because it brings us a step closer to the post-app world,” Nguyen said.

“Instead of searching through a dozen of apps and individually opening them,” he continued, “the UI allows me to use them with fewer steps.”

Better Security

Android Pie also sports a new single home button for simpler navigation.

In addition, Android’s Overview feature has been redesigned to display full screen previews of recently used apps. It also now supports Smart Text Selection, providing action suggestions based on selected text.

Security has been beefed up in Android 9. It has an improved security model for biometrics. It uses a secure, dedicated chip to enable hardware security capabilities that protect sensitive data, such as credit card information.

Android 9 chooses the TLS protocol by default, as well as DNS over TLS, to help protect all Web communications and keep them private.

Multi-Camera and HEIF Support

Android’s photographic capabilities are expanded in Pie. It supports multiple cameras, which enables developers to access streams from a number of physical cameras simultaneously.

“Multi-camera support is a potentially cool feature because it impacts the trajectory of immersive augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality experiences,” Nguyen said.

“Anything that advances immersive is exciting for me, but it’s a long road, so don’t expect to see something with a super impact immediately,” he added. “It’s more of a building block for bigger things to come.”

Android Pie also supports a new image format, HEIF. The format provides better compression than the widely used JPEG format without a loss in quality. Apple has been using the format for awhile.

A common complaint among consumers is a lack of storage on phones, Nguyen noted.

“I’m not familiar with the technical details on HEIF, but I think all consumers can appreciate having more room because of better compression,” he said.

Fighting Phone Addiction

With concerns rising about how much time people spend with their phones, Google decided to add some time management features to Android Pie.

“While much of the time we spend on our phones is useful, many of us wish we could disconnect more easily and free up time for other things,” observed Google’s Samat.

“In fact, over 70 percent of people we talked to in our research said they want more help with this,” he added. “So we’ve been working to add key capabilities right into Android to help people achieve the balance with technology they’re looking for. “

The new “digital well-being” features that will be added to Android Pie this fall include the following:

  • A Dashboard that helps users understand how they’re spending time on their devices;
  • An App Timer that lets an operator set time limits on apps and grays out the icon on their home screen when the time is up;
  • A Do Not Disturb mode, which silences all the visual interruptions that pop up on a screen; and
  • Wind Down, which switches on Night Light and Do Not Disturb and fades the screen to grayscale before bedtime.

While the new digital health features may be embraced by some users, they could be annoying to others.

“I can see things like Wind Down and app timers getting in the way,” IDC’s Stofega told TechNewsWorld. “I thiink people want to use their devices whenever and however they want.”

Possible Pain Points

For many Android users, all the goodies in the latest version of the OS are likely to remain out of their hands for some time, since Pie works only on Pixel models, and a few other phones that participated in the beta program for the software.

“It will be telling how quickly Android P is able to migrate to Samsung and Huawei smartphones, and then on to those that run Android One,” McQueen said.

Even for those who are able to get their hands on the new OS, there could be challenges.

“The issue always is how quickly will people be able to recognize some of these new features,” and whether these devices are “getting too complex for their own good,” Stofega said.

“These devices are becoming Swiss Army knife-like,” he remarked. “Device makers have to figure out and adjust to what people really need versus what’s technically possible.”


John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reporter
since 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, the
Boston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and Government
Security News
. Email John.





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New LibreOffice Version Offers Fresh Take | Software


By Jack M. Germain

Aug 9, 2018 10:54 AM PT

The Document Foundation on Wednesday announced the availability of its second major release this year, LibreOffice Fresh 6.1, with enhanced editing on Desktop, Cloud and Mobile platforms.

New LibreOffice Version Offers Fresh Take

One of its most significant new features is Notebookbar, an improved experimental user interface option that resembles the ribbon interface popular with Microsoft Office users.

The developers hope to release a fully refined ribbon-style interface in the next major release, according to Italo Vignoli, spokesperson for the foundation.

The Fresh release targets both early adopters and power users. Early adopters are mostly individual users. Power users are those participating in enterprise deployment of the open source office suite.

LibreOffice Notebookbar

(Click Image to Enlarge)

The 6.1 release is the start of a new development cycle for LibreOffice. The office productivity suite has undergone a four-part development cycle starting with code cleaning in version 3.x, continuing with code refactoring in version 4.x, improving the user interface in version 5.x and enhancing ubiquitous productivity in this current release.

“LibreOffice 6.1 represents the bleeding edge in terms of features for open source office suites,” Vignoli told LinuxInsider.

It is built with document conversion libraries from
The Document Liberation Project.

The new features were developed by a large community of code contributors. Almost 72 percent of commits are from developers employed by companies sitting in the Advisory Board, including Collabora, Red Hat and CIB Software, and by other contributors, including SIL and Pardus.

LibreOffice Google Trends

What’s New

The top new features include two new icon styles and a revamped image handling system. Also, much attention has been given to aligning features for consistency among the five office modules.

“Krasa Jaga” — a new icon style that replaces a Linux font style no longer maintained — means “looking to the future” in Indonesian.

The Colibre icon style is designed to provide the look and feel of Windows 10. It is based on Microsoft’s icon design guidelines, which makes the office suite visually appealing for users coming from the Microsoft environment.

Developers extensively reworked the way LibreOffice 6.1 handles images with a completely new and much improved graphic manager, improved lifecycle handling, deprecation of accessing embedded images by URL, and on-demand loading of images from OOXML and MSO formats.

The image handling process is now more functional, according to Vignoli. It eliminates issues caused by using too many images in a document.

“The old handling methods were not entirely proficient in handling the software with images. Many LibreOffice users do not fully understand how to apply images on a page. They make a lot of mistakes,” he said.

The changes make users’ lives easier. Image handling is now more stable and easier to use. Pages with lots of images load much more quickly than before.

More Improvements

Improvements and feature upgrades extend to all LibreOffice modules in this release. Aligning the features is a major push in version 6.1, according to Vignoli.

Developers redesigned the database engine in the Base module to make it more user-friendly, he said. The changes are a work in progress and are considered experimental. They will be refined for version 6.2.

The reorganization of Draw menus comes with the addition of a new Page menu. This results in a better user experience consistency across the different modules.

LibreOffice Draw Menus and Styles

A major improvement for Base is available only in experimental mode. The old HSQLDB database engine has been deprecated, but it is still available.

The new Firebird database engine is now the default option. A migration assistant helps users migrate files from HSQLDB to Firebird. Another option is to export them to an external HSQLDB server.

An improved EPUB export filter gives better performance to link, table, image, font embedding and footnote support. More options now exist for customizing metadata.

Online Help pages have been enriched with text and example files to guide users through features. Also, they now are easier to localize.

The features are aligned in all of the modules for improved ease of use.

Almost Like (Ribbon) Heaven

The improved but still experimental Notebookbar feature is similar in style to the Windows ribbon interface, but it is not meant to be identical, said Vignoli.

“It is under development more as a transition for Microsoft Office users to give them a more familiar style UI,” he said. “We would like Office users switching to LibreOffice to have a familiar interface.”

The developers deliberately chose not to call the feature a “Windows-style ribbon” interface, Vignoli said. It has a different background. It is created to look in a way that is similar — but there are distinct differences.

For one thing, the new UI does not take the same amount of space as the Microsoft ribbon interface, he pointed out. It is limited in size. Designers are working on reducing the vertical face of the Notebookbar.

So far, the Notebookbar interface is more suitable for smaller laptop screens. Developers want it to be equally functional on desktops.

“It is still evolving, so it is introduced as experimental. We hope to make it a fully developed feature with the next major release, version 6.2,” Vignoli said.

Established Stability

The Document Foundation has been playing it coy with the way it addresses the concept of stability in LibreOffice. That is part of the rationale behind calling this latest release the “Fresh” version. It named the previous release, version 6.1, “Still.”

The Still version is more suitable for larger enterprise deployment, as it has been tested by more people, Vignoli acknowledged.

However, “after eight years, LibreOffice is quite stable with a large organization of volunteers and company-sponsored developers,” he pointed out. “After eight years of developing LibreOffice, we have shown that stability is not an issue anymore.”

Caution is in order, however, based on how enterprises deploy major software platforms, noted TDF Director Thorsten Behrens, who has been a senior developer with the project since OpenOffice, and also serves as LibreOffice Team Leader at
CIB, which provides value-added document services.

“Some companies really do not want to upgrade every half year or yearly,” Behrens told LinuxInsider.

In previous years, performance issues and feature limitations were tied to the speed of the user’s CPU. The amount of memory in the user’s machine also was a performance variant.

“Those criteria essentially no longer exist. LibreOffice just works,” Behrens said.

That said, for any enterprise class deployment, TDF recommends the more mature LibreOffice 6.0, according to Vignoli. The software should be sourced from a company that provides a Long Term Support version of the suite.

Built-In Code Corrections

The Document Foundation spent years cleaning up code using
Coverity Scan to reduce and then eliminate the number of errors that otherwise would contribute to stability issues, according to Vignoli. That has had a major impact on making LibreOffice both stable and secure.

For example, the most recent code scan on July 20 showed that for nearly 6.5 million lines of code the defect density detected was zero, he pointed out. The analysis chart shows that over the last few years LibreOffice code went from a defect density of 0.02 in 2016 to 0.0 since January of this year.

“So we are definitely a lot better. This goes to show not only the quality of LibreOffice code but also the amount of work on quality and security matters of the source code provided by our developers,” said Vignoli.

Every week there is a new scan on code development. Developers take care of whatever faults are found in the source code a long time before they get to the consumers as binary code, he added.

Online Version More Challenging

Developers have been furthering their efforts to improve all modules of LibreOffice Online, incorporating changes to the user interface to make it more appealing and consistent with the desktop version.

The online engine is exactly the same, so the features have become more aligned. The eventual goal is to offer online version users the same range of features the desktop version offers, gradually introducing them during the next two or three major releases.

Unlike Google Docs and Microsoft Office online products, LibreOffice Online is not available for everyone to use for free. LibreOffice Online is fundamentally a server service and should be installed and configured by adding cloud storage and an SSL certificate.

LibreOffice online now has more features, making it similar to the standalone version. However, the online version is available only to users with access to ISPs or enterprise servers that offer it as a feature.

No Plans for Online Catch-Up

Having a fully functional online version that equals the functionality of the desktop version is *not* in the works, Vignoli emphasized. The Document Foundation lacks the finances and infrastructure to provide an online version the likes of Google Docs and Office Online.

However, developers have been adding features to the online version and improving its look and feel. Numerous issues with using the online version have been resolved for a better user experience.

ISPs can provide the online version for a monthly fee or for free. Also, enterprises can provide it on their own servers. However, the foundation can not provide it to everyone. Some enterprise cloud-sharing services, such as NextCloud, provide access to the LibreOffice online version.

A better online option to overcome restricted access to the online version of LibreOffice would be improved mobile support on Android devices, Vignoli suggested.

The Android LibreOffice Viewer app has been getting more support. It now can provide some editing as well as file display functionality.

However, support for LibreOffice on the Chrome OS is not in the works. Vignoli suggested that using LibreOffice Viewer on a Chromebook that supports Android apps could be one possible workaround.

That approach typically would not provide access to local storage on Android devices, though. Users would need to figure out how to work around documents stored in the cloud or use a method that Android apps on Chrome OS can access.

Mixed Views on Using LibreOffice

Whether LibreOffice is a suitable free replacement for Microsoft Office depends on several factors, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. It might not be universally ideal for both individuals and power users.

For example, if an organization has standardized on Linux, then LibreOffice is a solid option that is bolstered by its free cost and integration with Google Cloud for backup, file sharing, and so forth.

“It should also be an adequate option for power users, especially those who are interacting with other LibreOffice users,” King told LinuxInsider.

That is mainly due to complaints about incompatibilities between LibreOffice and Word, due to Microsoft using its own version of OOXML, he explained. So users working with Word docs may be better off by purchasing a Microsoft license. For most businesses, those users are a minority of employees.

Weighing the Options

Potential LibreOffice adopters should consider possible downsides, urged king. With more than two decades into the “revolution” sparked by Linux and open source solutions, LibreOffice still constitutes a small fraction of the productivity applications and tools market.

Would that be the case if these offerings really were superior? Adopting any new platform requires retraining, and that includes LibreOffice, he said. Most employees arrive knowing at least the rudiments of Word and other Microsoft apps.

Plus, to its credit, Microsoft has addressed many user complaints and Office 365 makes it cheaper and easier to use the company’s solutions than ever before, added King.

“So companies have to sort out why they are considering LibreOffice,” he suggested, to determine “what potential benefits are actually achievable and whether leaving behind a longtime market leading solution (Office) really makes sense.”


Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.
Email Jack.





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