Using Linux in a Microsoft based business

Can I use Linux at work?

Using Linux in a Microsoft based business
Micosoft and Linux working together?

It's no secret. My new job is at a Microsoft based business. Everything is Microsoft based. Client machines are Windows, preferred browser is Edge, syncing system is OneDrive, servers are running Windows with Active Directory, SoftwareCentral for managing client software, Azure for cloud management, Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Citrix for some remote desktop applications.

So of course, my main work device is Windows based. Simply because it integrates nicely and runs all the stuff I need easily.

But what would happen if I was to switch it to Linux?

Solving the software issue

The lucky part about this, is that most of the stuff is just running in a browser. And Edge is available for Linux.

So the Linux laptop is running Arch, but I have a couple of Flatpaks and an AUR package installed for the work stuff.

  • Microsoft Edge (flatpak), Firefox may work
  • Microsoft Teams (flatpak)
  • Citrix Reciever (AUR)

I don't really need the OneDrive sync stuff, the AD stuff is reached through Citrix and Azure and Office are just browser pages. So the above pieces of software is actually all that is needed.

The main issue

My laptop is old. The hardware in my Linux laptop is 5-6 years old at this point and it does not work well with the 2x 4k monitors at my desk. My laptop is not powerful enough to actually run them.

The next test

But there is hope. My work provides me with a laptop, that currently runs Windows 11. But it is actually my machine. Each employee has a hardware budget and that laptop is bought with my budget. I am allowed to install Linux on it if I want. I just need to be able to do my work.

So my plan is to, at some point, backup the Windows drive on the work laptop with CloneZilla. Then install Arch Linux with the same stuff as my regular laptop and see if that works with the monitors. If it does, I know it's a hardware issue on my private laptop. If it does not, it's a Linux issue.

If that test goes well, I will likely keep the Linux install on the work laptop. And if I really need to, I can switch back to the Windows install.

The final solution

So I've now been running the last 2 weeks from a Linux install at work.

Software I needed to install to be able to do my work:

  • Microsoft Teams (flatpak)
  • Firefox (package repository)
  • Citrix Workspace App (AUR)

I also installed the displaylink package from the AUR, because we use Thinkpad Hybrid Docks at work, so to be sure I got display out on them I opted to install it. Not sure if it's actually used though.

I also had to manually add the label printer we use, as the discovery needs some sort of working samba setup, which I have not done in ages. So added it via the socket:// thing and it works brilliantly.

My last real issue was the fact that even though the Windows install could run 2x 4K displays, the Arch Linux install only seemed to be able to do it when running X11, not Wayland (which is my preferred. Thanks to a Plasma developers help on Lemmy, I found out that I can get Plasmas Wayland session to run full resolution by adding this to /etc/environment:


This is because the default is 30 and there is a pixel bandwidth contraint in the kernel or something.

In any case it's now running smoothly and I have had no issues doing my work in the last 2 weeks.