Using Ubuntu Linux on a Corporate LAN

Like so many people I have to use Windows at work because that’s what we’re supplied with and our IT support refuse to support anything other than Windows and MS Office. But like many other people I find Windows a real pain at times and I’d really like to use Ubuntu…but how? Well the answer was even simpler that I could imagine. The first stage was to create a dual boot system. It was important to defragment the HDD before going any further as I have read of many problems encountered by not doing this. Then simply boot from the Ubuntu (Feisty 7.04) live CD and hit Install. The process is fairly straightforward, the only complicated part being the creation of the partition for Ubuntu to reside on. That done you can re-boot and choose to boot to Ubuntu . So far so good. Now, how about my email (MS Outlook), calender and contacts? At first I wanted to use Thunderbird as this is my email client of choice, but it doesn’t interface with MS Exchange server. The solution was staring me in the face, Ubuntu installs Evolution as the default email client and amazingly it can interface with MS Exchange server using the Outlook Web Access (OWA), which is usually something like https://mail.yourcompany.com. Evolution is very easy to set up and if you choose MS Exchange Server then you’ll need to input your OWA URL. The last thing to set up with Evolution is your MS Outlook Global Address list (if you use it). To find the address for this list (from Windows) open your Address book in MS Outlook, right click on global address list and click properties, this should give you the server address for the list. You can then set this up in Evolution by going: Edit>Preferences>Mail Accounts then click on your mail account and click edit, under receiving options there’s text box for you to add the URL of your global address list. Job done, you should now be up and running on your corporate LAN with access to your Email, Contacts and Calender. There’s lot’s more functionality you can add like accessing shared folders on servers etc. but most are fairly obvious.

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