Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

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Would you install linux on a work pc or laptop and not tell your boss?

Yes
3
7%
No
34
83%
Maybe
3
7%
Not Sure
1
2%
 
Total votes: 41

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Rouge11
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Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by Rouge11 »

Hello all.

My question is would you install linux on a work pc or laptop and not tell your boss?
Even though they dont know what you do nor have they even checked or looked at your computer over the past 7 years.
Do I just continue to use crap bc they are not willing to change?

Me:
I have been using linux for 3 years on my personal computers (Ubuntu, Parrot OS and Mint). Working from home a lot this year, I have been able to do my job using linux programs.

Company:
I work for a small startup company of 6 people and have been there over 7 years now and get a new comp ever 2 yrs. Basically every new person that comes gets a new cheap $200-300 laptop (uses it for a year) then the next replacement uses for maybe a year or they just buy new ones and keep the old ones as backups or throw them out. They are not tech savvy. They use edge, outlook and type with 2 fingers. Occasionally download a virus or fall prey to a scam.

Computers:
I have a cheap all-in-one desktop in the office and laptop they want me to use for home use now instead of my personal comp. The cheap desktop at the office is slow, I luckily convinced him to let me install at least 8MB RAM and upgrade the hard drive when he finally saw me click and wait like 2 mins for it to do something. He wanted to pay our tech to do it. I just went ahead and did it saving him a few hundred the guy charged us for upgrading a coworkers computer a few days earlier.

Programs:
They are paying for Microsoft and Adobe (I tried saying I have free programs that do the same thing and save in the same format, dont renew my subscription and save a few bucks). I'm their admin, so I plan to remove my subscriptions. He said no no, he wants everyone to have the same programs just in case. Just in case what?

I think that he thinks I will leave at some point and wont be able to access any files I work on. (Which are still word, excel and pdf docs - that I have tested for the past few months on the linux programs and no one knows the difference). There is maybe 1 program that runs only on windows that I use maybe once every 6-8 months. (I tried installing it on my personal comp with Wine but it wont install - still trying to trouble shoot that. I assigned it to someone else to do a few months back, so I dont really need it but would be nice to still have access to that program or check his work).

Everything we do is on dropbox and usually word, excel and pdf docs. Rest is web based. I still want to do a test to make sure the printer/scanner works and is recognized. After that, only downside is having to redownload the few GB of folders from dropbox (one afternoon after hours).

I replaced most of the default windows programs with alternative open source or privacy related stuff on windows for now and deleted the bloatware. Using WPS office but still using Adobe for pdf signing and creating docs. Recently started using Rainmeter to see if that helps with at least with how windows looks.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by cliffcoggin »

Put yourself in your boss's position for a moment. What would your reaction be if you discovered an employee had surreptitiously installed an OS that you have never heard of onto company property?
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antikythera
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by antikythera »

cliffcoggin wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:35 pm
Put yourself in your boss's position for a moment. What would your reaction be if you discovered an employee had surreptitiously installed an OS that you have never heard of onto company property?
Instant dismissal. Regardless of how IT savvy you think the boss or your colleagues are you shouldn't take the piss, that means not downloading stuff from dropbox after hours to experiment with at home too.
Last edited by antikythera on Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by Pjotr »

Don't do it. It might just give your boss the excuse he needs, to get rid of an employee cheaply in these economic hard times....
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by old_noob »

As everyone says, bad idea. I work for a state government in the USA. The IT guys here (well, most of them) are not dummies. Yes, Windows is job security for them, and they know it, but they are not dummies. You will likely get busted and fired.

You can probably safely do a full install of Linux on a USB drive and boot into that on your work machine when desired but that is definitely as far as I would take it. Do the USB install on a personal machine in case something goes haywire.

Funnily enough, I now sometimes get recruited to help the IT guys because we are operating with a skeleton crew, 6 or so people in a building designed for 80. Thus, I am often the only other person in the building with admin privileges when someone shows up to fix something. So, if Vermont suddenly disappears from the digital landscape, you know why :mrgreen:
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by trytip »

bad idea. if computers are connected and shared, windows will not see your ext4 partition. if someone has to go and update something on each computer and gets to you they have no idea how to upload or even boot it properly, if you didn't pay for the computer, desk and chair, electricity being used it's still the company's material and do not have permission to modify it. plus you'll be sitting there tweaking and tinkering with it and be distracted from working tasks.

even if i had permission to modify company material, when things hit the fan and i need support for a new program, i'd rather call IT and have them fix it.

that said, our windows 10 computer at work where we all punch in if our phones are out of service takes ages to boot and last time i boot into it the hard drive led light was at 100% all day. i tried troubleshooting it to see what was eating the drive that way but before i realized i had spent too much time on it.
Last edited by trytip on Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by AndyMH »

Coming from a defence background, if I were your boss, you would be on your first and last formal written warning (if I liked you, if not, I'd fire you) - you've created a potentially major security risk. I'd also fire the company IT for not locking down their PCs.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by antikythera »

Do I just continue to use crap bc they are not willing to change?
Yes or find another job. To expand a little on my earlier comment:

Your boss has every right to dismiss you for your actions anyway. You are tampering with Company property without permission having actually also been told not to do so by the boss instead of getting on with your job. That's called insubordination so what respect they may have had for you at one point will go straight out the window anyway.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by Portreve »

Rouge11 wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:35 pm
Hello all.
Personally, it doesn't sound to me like the company you're working for is worth it.

I have some recently acquired, um... "experience" in this particular regard.

I dared to take the JPEG used as wallpaper on our company scanners, modify it with bullet holes through the logo of the crap software we use on it, and replace it on just my company issued scanner. Got reported by a co-worker, and now I'm sitting with a final written warning. Basically all I have to do is sneeze and they can fire me instantly. And my boss never actually saw the modified image, so it's not because of the way in which it was modified.

I've come to the conclusion at age 48 that Steve Jobs was right: don't waste your life following someone else's dream. I've got an interview already scheduled for this week, and I've put in half a dozen other applications over the last three days. Hopefully I can walk away from this job. It definitely isn't worth it.
Pjotr wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:42 pm
Don't do it. It might just give your boss the excuse he needs, to get rid of an employee cheaply in these economic hard times....
I'd second that advice. Unless you really don't give a crap... and can afford to lose the job, leave well enough alone.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by BenTrabetere »

To echo what others have said: It is a bad idea, don't do it. It may be a stretch, but in the US you might open to prosecution for unauthorized access or exceeding authorization to a computer. Personally, I would not install software to a company computer without the knowledge/permission/blessing of the owner and the IT dept.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by antikythera »

@Portreve - Nobody respects a co-worker who grasses up colleagues for such trivial things, not even the boss will like that too much but that said a final warning is harsh for something minor compared to the OP's example that most of us with a modicum of humour would find fairly amusing.

I'd understand it if the boss saw it themselves somewhere that clients brought to the office for meetings may also see it because it looks a little unprofessional and could be interpreted the wrong way but a final written warning is disproportionate in this case. A verbal warning to change it back would have sufficed even then.

Good luck with the interviews but at the same time, you now know not to try it again ;)
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by MurphCID »

They have us so locked down, that we cannot even add Firefox or VLC without getting the permission of MIS. They can access our machines at any time in order to snoop on things. We were issued laptops and told do not install anything under penalty of termination, except for Chrome. I don't do ANYTHING on the work machines that might be considered "suspect", and that includes net surfing. Same goes for the work phone, no apps other than the permissible, and NO net surfing on the phone.

I just got a new(er) computer at work, and when the MIS guy came to transfer things, I got the third degree on what some programs were (video codecs, required to view videos (a pet peeve, every flipping mfg uses a different codec for their videos)), and how did I have so much data on the system (I went from 1 tb HDD, to 256gb SSD), so I moved all my crime scene photos to the file server, same with search and arrest warrants. After 16 years I had A LOT. Once more don't do it, don't even think about it. They allow us to change wallpapers, but we have to be careful what we put on there. Nothing political or controversial. We are not supposed to even use external backup drives without written permission.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by cliffcoggin »

antikythera wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:50 am
a final warning is harsh for something minor compared to the OP's example that most of us with a modicum of humour would find fairly amusing.
True, but few company bosses have the knowledge to judge whether such a change is harmless or not so it would, rightly in my opinion, be viewed with the greatest suspicion.

The irony for the OP is that if he had approached the matter differently by getting permission from the boss to change company software beforehand, he might be regarded as a saint instead of a sinner.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by Hoser Rob »

I'd definitely tell him/her, I'm not a COMPLETE moron.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by tjay260476 »

The best solution is become your own boss - THEN install Linux!

This is exactly what I have done, my 2 laptops and main PC are all running Mint - the company server is running Ubuntu Server.

If I was working for someone else - OH HELL NO! There's a good reason why Windows Domains are popular - it's to stop workers manipulating thier workstations - for good reason, it saves the IT dept hving to reset the machine every five minutes!
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by 151tom »

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Last edited by 151tom on Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by AZgl1500 »

Portreve wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:06 pm

I've come to the conclusion at age 48 that Steve Jobs was right: don't waste your life following someone else's dream. I've got an interview already scheduled for this week, and I've put in half a dozen other applications over the last three days. Hopefully I can walk away from this job. It definitely isn't worth it.

I'd second that advice. Unless you really don't give a crap... and can afford to lose the job, leave well enough alone.

Don't make the mistake I did once a few decades ago.
I found a new job in a different state that pays more than my current job.
I thought I would be upfront and let their HR department know that I was planning to move.

they fired me on the spot while I was talking with them... I lost two weeks wages that I had planned to use to pay for my move to the new job.

after that, I never gave anyone a heads up on any moves that I had in mind.

this brings up a funny instance.
I worked for a city government in IT, and there was only one other person there that was "useful", the bosses had been elevated to their positions because they were so inept, the only way to get rid of them, was to promote them.

when I retired, I talked to the HR folks, and mentioned that I did not want prior notice given of my retirement.
they said "okay, no skin off our nose".

my last day at work, I ordered in Pizza for the whole IT shop, let the delivery boy in via the back gate ( we were supposed to have all deliveries go through the front door, a 1/4 mile a way.... piss on that, I just opened the back gate and let him in. )

After the food was delivered, and my closest friend and I had our fill, I walked around and mentioned there is pizza in the shop, for anyone who wants it..... the Boss Man ( useless jerk ) came in and asked how did that get here? I didn't see anyone go up front to accept that....

I told him "oh, it was a lot easier to just meet him at the gate and take the order there".

Boss Don't you ever do that again

Me Oh, I can guarantee you boss, it will never happen again....

that was a Friday..... come the next Monday, I did not show up for work, and the Boss Man was getting pissed, he started asking around and no one would tell him that I had retired.... none of us liked the jerk.

it took him a while, but he finally decided to file a Complaint with Human Resources and get me fired. We had a mutual dislike for each other anyway :wink:

I heard later from my best friend there, that he was really pissed off when HR told him, oh, didn't you know, he retired last week . :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Last edited by AZgl1500 on Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by Portreve »

Epic!
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by AndyMH »

they fired me on the spot while I was talking with them
Employment law won't let companies do that it in the UK, if it is someone they don't want around the norm is to put them on 'gardening leave' for the period of their notice.

Back in '98 colleague and I set up our own business (it was a success) and handed our notice in. Didn't get on well with my boss (the director, I was a manager) and it was a tense meeting (threatened me with disciplinary action at one point - really, do I care?). Our worst fear was that they'd make us work our notice (3 months), we had contracts to pursue and bills to pay. We settled on being paid to a week on Friday (this was a Tuesday) and not to turn up again. The petty thing was we got stopped and searched at the gate on the way out (major defence contractor). They took my friend's floppies - nothing of substance on them - he never got them back. Could say we got our own back, couple of weeks before we resigned I'd accepted a reasonably sized contract (I ran a consultancy group), without the pair of us they had no way of delivering the contract. We would have done the work on a subcontract, but the atmosphere was too toxic for that - what happens when egos get in the way.
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Re: Installing Linux on a work comp....Do you tell your boss?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

When I got fed up with management at the last job I worked before I retired for keeps, I didn't give any notice of quitting before going on a final two week vacation to burn off my remaining vacation time. I would have simply not returned to work except the person who worked the shift before me would have been required to work a double shift (he was an assistant manager and they could be forced to work any shift to replace someone, even if it meant working a double shift in the same day) but I didn't want to do that to him so I waited until payroll had gone in on the Friday before I was supposed to return to work to call in and tell them I wasn't coming back.
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