Combining Tehama’s secure virtual desktops with the raw power of Linux

Jaymes Davis

There's no doubt many Linux users love what their systems can do – and for good reason. The raw power of Linux, not to mention the comparative freedom of an open-source ecosystem, makes it an ideal operating system (OS) for high-performance computing (HPC)-related activities like software and game development, chip design, IT administration, and media production.

But most also acknowledge some of the most common criticisms and latent pain inherent with using Linux. To wit: The several hundred different Linux distributions aren’t particularly consistent or user friendly. It’s not an appealing option for non-technical business users accustomed to a certain level of user experience and centralized IT administration. Plus, it often requires more time tweaking the OS or fiddling with tuning parameters than actually performing business tasks. 

Perhaps most importantly, when it comes to the centralized, virtualized, secure and compliant environment that’s become so important in today’s business landscape, Linux users have traditionally been out of luck. Instead, most Linux boxes usually sit under a desk, relatively unsecured and with little centralized administration – despite the fact that they’re often chock-full of valuable intellectual property.

This kind of latent pain is a big reason why Tehama recently conducted a non-scientific survey of more than 200 modern Linux desktop users. We wanted to get a handle on how they utilize their systems, their pain points, and whether they actually use their Linux systems as their primary desktops – or are forced to use something else.

Here are a few highlights

  • Only 20 per cent of respondents said they use Linux as their primary desktop = This means, unfortunately, that Linux users who don’t use it as their primary desktop usually end up paying OS licensing fees to companies like Microsoft or Apple (fees which don’t exist with Linux), on top of also paying Amazon, Google or Oracle for their Linux instances. 
  • Nearly 70 per cent said they connect to Linux desktops remotely – something that’s especially common when managing networks. 
  • Most Linux desktops (56%) are physical, not virtual
  • Nearly half of respondents said their Linux desktop is not managed by IT
  • More than 30 per cent of respondents use an integrated desktop environment (IDE) such as Eclipse 
  • Nearly half of respondents (47%) only use native Linux applications

The times are changing for Linux

Linux is, however, slowly becoming more attractive to users as a primary desktop for a host of different reasons. Although Linux users have always been able to use Windows applications alongside Wine for application compatibility, these were never as smooth and polished as the real thing. The good news is that more and more native versions of popular desktop applications such as Microsoft Office and a fully-supported version of Unity (a game development application) are starting to appear on Linux. There has even been chatter surrounding Adobe bringing a native version of its celebrated Premiere Pro video editing suite to Linux. 

Additionally, Linux kernels powering Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows machines are now ubiquitous thanks to WSL 2, allowing Windows users to run native Linux applications like Docker much more easily. And, as mentioned, environments like Plasma offer a much more mainstream-feeling experience when using Linux as a primary desktop. This growing popularity even spurred one recent commentator to christen 2020 as “the year of Linux on the Windows desktop”, and while some in the Linux community may view that statement as hyperbolic at best, it’s indicative of Linux’s relative momentum when it comes to desktop use.

How Tehama is changing the Linux experience

Tehama’s secured virtual offices and desktops on the cloud have helped many enterprises onboard and manage their global workforce faster and more efficiently than ever before. Until now, however, this only applied to Windows. 

That changed recently with the unveiling of Linux Tehama Desktops: A platform that provides virtual, SaaS-based Linux work environments. Tehama now offers the power of Linux for HPC-related activities like software or game development, chip design, IoT development and IT administration, but defended by Tehama’s secure virtual rooms when connecting to the cloud, applications, and corporate and IT infrastructure.  

Linux Tehama Desktops solve pretty much all the traditional issues blocking Linux from larger-scale adoption as a primary desktop. It allows for easy centralized IT management of Linux desktops, along with platform support and a consistent user experience. It uses a Plasma environment by default, which our survey shows most Linux users prefer, along with GNOME or an IDE such as Eclipse. It’s got built-in SOC 2 Type II compliance mechanisms and audit controls for automated compliance, along with zero-trust access, multi-factor authentication and automated security and firewall patches for secure connections. 

It also uses a pay as you go payment model, meaning that not only do you not have to pay double licensing fees for your primary desktop OS and Linux instance anymore – you only pay for the time you use, period.

Linux Tehama Desktops have massive implications for several Linux-heavy industries. For software developers and content creators it means secure, compliant access to powerful HPC sandbox environments, IDE support, and sensitive data protection with easy multi-monitor support. For IT administrations it means secure web app delivery and management using a secure browser alongside secure administration tools.

4 uses for a modern Linux workspace powered by Tehama

  1. Secure Administration: For IT administrations, Linux Tehama Desktops secure web app delivery and management using a secure browser alongside secure administration tools.
  2. Electronic Design: Users can access embedded chip design applications or IOT development environments with Native tools for chip design and manufacturing applications. 
  3. Manufacturing: Leverage data science in manufacturing by accessing and collaborating on sensitive data transformation applications. 
  4. Software and Game Development: Development for everything from Media and Entertainment, to Finance and Educational applications is possible with a number of features including rendering and compiling, HPC sandbox environments, GPU workloads, and multi-monitor support.

Combined with Linux’s open source nature – which, because its source code has been reviewed by thousands of developers around the world, is on average more secure than Windows as an OS – Linux Tehama Desktops just might be the most secure primary desktop in the world.

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