After much discussion my CEO agreed to deploy Linux in our Content and SEO Departments (Our is a Search Engine Optimization Farm in India). Next, the issue on the table was which distribution to deploy. As usual, I put forth PCLinuxOS 2009 TR3. Many frowned at it - "It's just a test release!" I told them though in testing its remarkably stable than the final releases of leading distros such as Fedora, Ubuntu and OpenSuse.
No, nothing to go. My teamlead jumped right in the middle pushing Ubuntu Gutsy. According to her, it's the most popular desktop and its forum is great. Our system admin, popped up the free Ubuntu disks in three of the desktops. There was not a glitch in installing. 15 minutes flat and the desktops are saffron - beautiful and quite responsive. But Ubuntu was sacked out after a short while as some of our team players had some annoyances reading docx files from server and listening some old MP3s (not musics, but some of our recordings - discussions and briefings with clients). Then a few others had problems with streaming multimedia on browsers. The poor system admin is noob windows guy. He could not help.
Next, came Linux Mint Felicia to the centerstage. It installed well, configured well (including wi-fi), ran well - for almost a week.
On a fine morning Mint popped up some package update notification and many of us okeyed to install the updated packages. After update, the team worked till night. Next morning 10 out of 12 systems did not boot up. Then it was doomsday!
The booting stopped in the very beginning with a kernal panic message:
Starting up.... [1.440101] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown bloc (0,0)
I probed a system with the mint liveCD and knew that the instability was caused by updating the kernel.
Tried to solve the problem with that good old chroot technique, i.e.,
sudo init 1
mount -t ext3 /dev/
But the system came up with another set of error messages telling something is missing in the /proc
Then I resorted to grub-install methods. It did not help either.
Finally, we called in a Linux Administrator who is going to setup the office with Fedora 10. Is Fedora 10 a good choice? May be. But, at least there are some RedHat Administrators around to troubleshoot.
So please, be careful while updating packages when it is going to update the kernel alongwith. Kernel Panic due to package update is really a mess.