Welcome to Crystal Ball Sunday #6. This week I'm exploring the possibility of Linux becoming the operating system of choice for virtualization--specifically Desktop Virtualization. Regardless of which operating system or desktop type one uses, Linux will be the underlying operating system that gets you there.

Way back in 2002, I wrote an article for Sys Admin (Linux as a Windows Terminal Server Client), the now defunct CMP publication that ran for over 10 years, about this very topic. 6 years later, the Zeitgeist may have arrived for desktop virtualization and Linux. The original article may be found here.

The whole point of desktop virtualization is to provide a common desktop environment for users who may be spread around the globe and using operating systems ranging from Windows 98 through the latest version of Linux. A common desktop environment brings geographically disparate users together and allows them to use a common set of tools. This commonality will become increasingly important in the near future as more companies globalize their service offerings.

The common desktop environment also provides administrators a single point of update and repair. Managing hundreds or thousands of desktops is an almost impossible and expensive task. Linux further decreases the costs associated with providing this environment by providing a no cost lightweight client or by providing the no cost server upon which the virtual desktop environment runs.

Desktop virtualization is the future for large computing environments where client hardware and operating systems will become insignificant compared to providing users a common environment with which to work.