small business with Linux?

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by irish, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. irish

    irish New Member

    Sep 20, 2012
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    I looked through old threads but need a bit more.
    I use Linux at home and love it. My friend has to get a new POS for her small store. I looked at apps like GNUCash ,LemonPOS and SUSE. Has anyone with a business used these or other Linux systems. I have read that Walgreens and GAP and Home Depot use Linux. I know they work but we need hardware, training and systems for a small health food store. She is told by her computer guy that fixed her old MS stuff to stay away from Linux, no one can work on it or knows it! we are in south Mississippi.:eek:
    I am no expert but I know that he is way off. Can anyone steer me in the right direction? Know of a company that can do all and linux ? I would like her to stay ahead of the curve not lag behind and spend lots of $$ on MS.
    Thanks to all

  2. GNUguy

    GNUguy New Member

    Sep 26, 2012
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    I'm just beginning to look into this. Here are some links that might help.

    I've just been warned I can't post links yet. I'm new here, hence my user name "GNUguy."

    I use ASK to search. I'm not a Google guy. Search using [Linux "POS systems"]. Don't include the brackets. DO include the quotes.

    Some other issues to consider.

    Some systems are free. Some are not.

    FWIW, I was told if you need credit card processing, make sure the system is PCI compliant.

    Search on [PCI compliant] using ASK. Tons of stuff comes up.

    LemonPOS is a fine system, but appears to not have credit card capabilities. Also it's a one-man project. The guy has done great work so the one-man thing is a testament to his skill and dedication. I'm not sure how he handles updates re frequency. Further, there might be more people involved with the project now. My info might be out-dated.

    If you buy used/refurbed hardware, be careful re touch-screens. Some have a limited MTBF or might be close to needing replacement.

    I hope this admittedly sketchy info helps you. Like I said, I'm just beginning to learn about this area. Good luck.
  3. ddench

    ddench New Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Business apps for Linux

    Hi there Irish

    I run a small business that supports UK schools. Just beginning to look into branching to private business, so this was an interesting post to come across. My company exclusively uses FLOSS and recommends and supports it to our clients. GNUGuy is right, PCI compliance is important to look into, as are payment portals for online payment transactions. SuSE is a fine system, I'm writing this on OpenSuSE. However we use CENTOS for any mission critical servers (such as a POS solution would be). This is because of it's upstream to Red Hat, and subsequently the amazing amount of support articles for that platform. I have found it more flexible system than SuSE (both free and paid versions).

    RE her support guy. Our philosophy is to support whatever is right for the customer, that 'support' is imho a 'better' support than 'only use MS cos that's all I know' so perhaps she should find someone who is more flexible/capable ;-)

    Regarding specific software:

    LibreOffice - More than capable of replacing the vast majority of MS Office
    Scribus - for poster/flyer/any professional publication
    Evolution - Email, calendar, tasks - a Novell (SuSE) backed (read' 'proffessional') Gnome project
    GNU Cash - Again very capable, though I do sometimes find invoicing a bit of a chore, everything else is ace.

    Remember, she needs to be comfortable and use what works for her. She could still use Windows with FLOSS tools if using Linux on the desktop is too much of a leap, but there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to set up a stock control and point of sale system, CRM etc on a Linux server that performs outstandingly well.

    Web based/business backend apps

    Megento/OpenCart/Ubercart - Webstore
    Drupal - Website
    SugarCRM/vTiger/OpenERP/xTuple - Enterprise (customer) relationship management
    OrangeHRM - Human Resources (if needed)

    POS/ERP specific

    Unicenta oPOS (based on OpenBravo ERP)

    Digital Signage

    Xibo is a good all rounder for displaying dynamic content in shop displays it only runs on Ubuntu LTS versions, and hasn't been updated for the latest one yet, but again, we use it and it works well.

    It might be worthwhile to think about how different services tie in - for instance Drupal has modules for Magento and Ubercart online stores, that would keep the brand coherent online. Similarly stock control systems will have integration with pos and crm (vtiger, sugarCRM etc). Also most of the POS/ERP/CRM providers offer paid support, the comfort of which may be of primary concern if your friends IT guy isn't up to the task.

    We've only just begun looking into these tools (POS/ERP) so I can't specifically recommend one. Drupal is excellent, I use it often for customers, and have used SugarCRM to manage mail out campaigns.

    Hope this was useful, let me know if you would like any other help.



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