Munich Migration From The User’s Viewpoint

Spiegel has a piece about a department manager’s view of the migration. The guy is 60+ and worked 20 years with computers before migrating to GNU/Linux. Some details:

  • The major problem he encountered were some duplicated records in a database. These were eventually fixed.
  • 22 CMS (Content Management Systems) were rolled into one.
  • Cost was not so much a priority as efficiency.
  • 300 applications had to be replaced.
  • 50 people did the migrating work.
  • Only 10% of machines needed to keep that other OS as no simple replacement could be found for some applications on GNU/Linux.
  • To date 6900 PCs have been migrated.
  • By 2013 it is expected that 12000 of 15000 PCs will be GNU/Linux-only.
  • Heavy use will be made of web-applications to facilitate future changes to the system.

See 20 years Linux
How the Penguin came to Munich

On a lighter note, a councillor asked hard questions about going back to that other OS but the mayor promised to stay the course.

So the FUD about the Munich Migration being a disaster of some kind is not real. They are doing much more than migrating to another OS at the same time by rationalizing IT in other ways (CMS and web-applications) and they are not in any hurry crunching 50-100 per week and likely doing some hand-holding at the same time. It works for them.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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64 Responses to Munich Migration From The User’s Viewpoint

  1. oiaohm says:

    oldman nice. Windows 2003 Enterprise and Windows XP 32 bit SP3 and later in ndis(network stack interface for drivers) are 100 percent identical.
    Note SP3 and later. SP2 and before they are not 100 percent identical so the Dell person might not have been a complete idiot just lacking the fine details.

    Its close enough that the driver works but 2003 drops out about every 6 to 8 hours long enough most people don’t notice the problem unless of course you are trying to really run a server with it. Remote areas laptops power usage ends up server so more hardware can run off solar. This is also why some people started suffering from strange network problems after SP3 was installed into XP.

    XP x64 and Windows 2003 x64 are 100 percent the same kernel in fact. So yep hardware is x64 and you have XP x64 drivers install 64 bit version of 2003 everything is good.

    I have had a few dells and be pain and require the Dell cut of Ubuntu so wireless works. Ubuntu from Ubuntu main site fail. Mind you these were the more expensive Precision Workstations that are tested with Redhat enterprise. Those work perfectly with Fedora and Debian and everything else Redhat related but would go stupid with Ubuntu from Ubuntu.

    Basically a Dell is a mixed beast. Interesting to know what series group yours was if you had trouble with fedora or debian on it.

    Yes the wording –“n-Series” systems ship with FreeDOS on a CD in the box.– Yes you order a n-Series with FreeDOS what you really get is a computer with a blank harddrive with a FreeDOS cd for you to install yourself.

    Yet for some reason you cannot choose to not be sent the FreeDOS cd.

  2. oldman says:

    “oldman I have had Ubuntu fail on wireless and Fedora and Debian work. Ubuntu was a bad mistake wrong firmware for kernel driver.”

    It worked fine on my Dell out of the box.


    YMMV. Mr. oiaohm.

    In the meanwhile I was able to run windows 2003 Enterprise edition on the same portable using windows xp drivers to fill in the support. Something I was told by Dell said should not be possible.

    Needless to say the person who saidf this was an idiot.

  3. oiaohm says:

    “Munich IT mayor Christine Strobl (SPD) said that the client, version 3.0 of which has since been released, has made it necessary to switch distributions from Debian Etch to Ubuntu 8.04 in order to better match the council departments’ requirements”

    Contrarian that is not translation error as such as minor context error people fall for like oldman. Debian Etch and Ubuntu are/were not used raw. At the time Ubuntu had more modern software than Etch. If you had read more of the documents you would have been aware that its not raw usage. Version 3.0 what version of Ubuntu is version 3.0 there is no such thing. LiMux is a distribution in it own right with own version numbers there are latter versions. The use a nice little tool to make it by the way.

    So they changed the base of there distribution. Mint has changed from debian to ubuntu back to debian. over the same time frame.

    They have altered ubuntu so they are not using stock. There images have pulseaudio and other things missing that are common trouble makers. Ubuntu does not work out the box for Munich.

    That ubuntu cannot be used stock for deployment and items due to stability have to be removed this is very much a condominium of Ubuntu. Reason Debian was used stock with things added not removed.

    Basically Debian stock was stable enough to work but software was too old. Ubuntu had more modern software but had to be fixed for stability.

    No large deployment case has used Ubuntu stock. This is a reason why I don’t recommend it to new users. If it is a quality desktop you should be able to use it stock. If I have to alter it to make it stable it is not worth a cracker to me. Ubuntu is simply over hyped.

    oldman I have had Ubuntu fail on wireless and Fedora and Debian work. Ubuntu was a bad mistake wrong firmware for kernel driver.

    Contrarian german government of course using openoffice in schools they are training there next lot of staff. Also not like it really matters if students use MS Office. Microsoft changes there interface about once every 5 years and it will take longer than that for kids to get through school so they will have to relearn anyhow. If OpenOffice/Libreoffice reduces relearning it will give students more learning time to learn more important things.

    Also OpenOffice/libreoffice as the dominance in schools is MS worst nightmare. Since when someone wants to write up a short document they will not ask for word but for free writer and so on. So reducing MS Office sales. I knew there was a current road map of the desktop side. With all the corrections for historic stuff ups on it.

    Clearly shows when the OpenOffice migration stops and the Linux Desktop Migration starts. Reason why have been ripping into you for your use of numbers Contrarian. How can the 5.9 billion apply to Linux migration when most of that time Linux migration was not the project.

    Also the last 3000 are the more complex cases there plan does include the possibility of using emulation. None of the 12000 will are using emulation of any form wine or virtual machines. This is why 100 percent still might be hit. There own documents state emulation may have to be used.

  4. Nonsense. The hardware is handled by the Linux kernel and its drivers. Canonical has been criticized for how little they have contributed there. They certainly tweaked higher-level stuff but Debian GNU/Linux has given me little trouble with random devices wirelessly. Last year, we went wireless at the peripheries of our LAN and the COTS PCI cards and various notebooks encountered had no problem.

  5. oldman says:

    “GNOME is more friendly than GNOME?”

    Lets put it this way Pog, Ubuntu was the only distro that could at least in my experience manage pc hardware without any manual help. It was the only distro that handled wireless properly.

  6. GNOME is more friendly than GNOME?

  7. oldman says:

    “I don’t find the Ubuntu treadmill much more comfortable.”

    But a lot of people do Pog. The reality is that for all its flaws Ubuntu has been the only commercially offered non geek friendly version of a personal linux desktop on the market. What I find interesting is that Munich chose to go with 8.04. Presumably it is because this version of Ubuntu is viewed as the most recent stable version that can be used.

  8. Nope. It shows political interference overruling sound tech.

  9. Last time I checked, Ubuntu was based on Debian GNU/Linux. They could probably use Debian Testing for their purposes. I don’t know why anyone would choose Ubuntu over Debian when they were familiar. I chose Ubuntu once and regretted it. I got off the Wintel treadmill for a reason. I don’t find the Ubuntu treadmill much more comfortable.

  10. Contrarian says:

    BTW, it looks like even Munich has come to the conclusion that Debian is not for them. The article above states:

    “Munich IT mayor Christine Strobl (SPD) said that the client, version 3.0 of which has since been released, has made it necessary to switch distributions from Debian Etch to Ubuntu 8.04 in order to better match the council departments’ requirements”

    Better check with #oiaohm to see if you can claim that something has been lost in the translation.

  11. Contrarian says:

    “In 2009, Florian stated that all the schools used ”

    But they used it on Windows, #pogson! Are you forgetting the recent discussion sparked by:

    Too bad that the Munich taxpayers are too stingy to give the kids a leg up on learning MS Office, though. It shouldn’t take them much time, though, OO has copied almost all of the MSO stuff and moving to the real thing when they get a real job should not be too hard to do.

  12. Contrarian says:

    “The IDC information is really off topic to here. Also that issue was part of the reason you had never paid for a full IDC report and read the methods sections. Yet you dared to use the numbers”

    Are you saying that you did pay for the IDC full report, #oiaohm, and therefore know better? No one with such a trivial understanding of markets and sales as you have would ever do such a thing. You are a poor liar although you seem to work at it constantly. Of course the IDC information is not on the current topic outside of its proving that you are a fool. You made the statement that you understood finance and marketing, but your previous posts prove that is a lie.

  13. In 2009, Florian stated that all the schools used (about 11 minutes in). A presentation dated 2011-8-11 still includes the 33000 machines in schools. That’s 43000 PCs and 1000 IT staff. This ratio may reflect the large number of sites rather than the large number of PCs and may well be a continuation of the pattern from that other OS.

  14. oiaohm says:

    “50 people 7 years to convert the first 6900 workstations?”
    If fact it not in a single report Contrarian. Because that 7 years is broken down into sections. Each covered by a reports. There is not a constant number of staff for 7 years working on Desktop. The reports over that time frame cause you problems.

    Last reports for 2010 on states the staff being used in migration what is 50 of course not full time on the project they have other maintenance work as well. Reason they are the general IT staff not some special department.

    There is a state of 50 for 2007-2009 reports. But in that time frame they were doing many things. Conversion from MS Office to Openoffice part time. Also the section of the staff 2007-2009 were working on new web interfaces to replace legacy techs. So not all decanted to Linux Desktop Migration. These are not really working on migration to Linux but clean up work. Still coming out of the LiMux budget.

    So unless people can be in 2 places at once 50 working at once on Linux desktop migration is not possible for any time in the project. I guess you are a person who believes they can be in two places at once or using figures without enough information to understand them? Contrarian.

    For the 2005-2006 trial there is no state the 50 IT staff being used. The trial did not use the complete IT staff. This is also stated in the reports for the trial.

    There is no staff work other than a 5 people before 2005. I don’t know where you get the took 7 years with 50 staff. took 7 years is bogus with 50 staff. There are only fragments of that time would the staff would be in use on the project in the sections related to Desktop working on migrations.

    You missed read what was said I would say german has nasty cultural traps compared you what you know. “50 people did the migrating work.” You see this a bit. Never mentioning full time doing it. Germans don’t mention full-time presume part-time. Cultural difference. USA don’t mention anything presume full-time so completely different context based on your background. Its a mirror. Yes 50 part-time people due to them doing other work as well would be the way to read it.

    5.9M euro project over run on what. Several new web interfaces that were not in the project document have been built and came out of the LiMux budget. Is the Linux desktop migration related or is this simply cleaning house processes that should have happened anyhow.

    We know a section of the 5.9M directly is linked to MS Office to OpenOffice. This is an expense someone could run into just migrating to OpenOffice on Windows. Is the really a Linux Migration expense. It is iffy. To be correct this is a OpenOffice migration expense. That if they decided to stay with windows they would keep. Yes really hard to call this a Linux Desktop Expense. Issue we don’t have the exact cost figure for this.
    Yes its the June 2010 report when restarted work on active migration that the number is stated. That you have not read Contrarian. Target for completion is 12000. Nothing says they have to stop 3000 short. Just the project is successful at 3000 short. In fact that report has a lot of useful information. A no point do they say 3000 short is because Linux cannot cut it just its the line in the sand they drew. 12000 machines have been chosen for 100 percent sure migration basically.

    Also the June 2010 states that the current 15000 machines are temporary and had been migrated to open source applications late 2009.

    German logic Google translate did a reasonable job getting it to english.
    “Last but not least is – as in every long-running project – that it is successful if it delivers what is currently needed and not what the parties have intended to project start.”
    I can read german but rewrite it as english I am stuffed you have my dyslexia effect on my english. combined this with translation you really don’t want to see it. So forgive the use of translate engine otherwise I would have had to quote the raw German.

    This clause has been on almost every LiMux report. The class of successful is zero disruption to operations.

    It is important because it explains why the project will overrun and the overrun will be accepted. If something happens that need attention so current operations work if it was in the plan or not LiMux has to fix it. Yes why it a serous question 5.9M euro overrun on what. Linux Migration or Website repairs or some other bright spark idea to provide a new interface for something… Basically the LiMux budget is a catch all budget due to its mandate.

    Basically stop acting as if LiMux spend money is just for Linux Desktop Migration. Yes the project stated goals that you have never read Contrarian or failed to read. Wikipedia perfect english no excuse here since you need no german skill to read it “The decision in 2003 had two components, on the one hand to get free software running on most of the desktops, and on the other hand to buy and develop web-based and platform independent (e.g. Java-based) business applications.”

    Note three things its for Most desktops not all and that its two independent projects in the one budget. Web platform and Desktop. So what one overrun for 5.9M by how much thinking they are both billed under LiMux. Do you have the figures. I know I don’t Contrarian its nice to kick the Linux desktop with anything you can get your hands on even if its not solid numbers.
    “get free software running on most of the desktops” Yes this is a very lose victory define. That they have Openoffice, firefox and thunderbird on all the desktops by end of 2009 they were successful to meet the project objectives.

    The 80 percent goal is also stated here it also explains why the Foreign Office went south so baddy. Again in german.

    Yes also contained handy information like they were using Microsoft Office 2000. Now who wants to retrain Microsoft Office 2000 users on Microsoft Office 2010? From a user training point of view libreoffice/openoffice is closer.

    The IDC information is really off topic to here. Also that issue was part of the reason you had never paid for a full IDC report and read the methods sections. Yet you dared to use the numbers.

    Your incompetence with numbers and research keeps on coming up Contrarian. You use numbers with no solid base about time you stop that. 5.9 M euro is not a solid number to be using. Since you don’t know what the over run was on.

    I have been able to state where some overruns were from the exposed reports. But that is not all of them.

    Basically if you cannot read german due to all the key LiMux source documents being in german you really should keep your month shut. Contrarian otherwise you are going to keep on goofing up badly and annoy us who can read german. Reading an english translation without understand the culture as well will cause you to miss understand the documents as well.

    Simply a lot of people commenting on LiMux really don’t have the skills to. Contrarian you are not alone in not knowing this.

    Heck you could not read the wikipedia english page to get a basic background on what the project covered so I should I expect this level of incompetence from you Contrarian. Or is this going to be a one time mistake.

    Basically LiMux is too murky to be used to attack Linux Desktop migration. Can be used to prove viability of Linux desktop migration as a TCO base but that is about it. The murkyness is ideal for a worst cast TCO.

    Yes the murkyness of LiMux is why I am tell you that you have to TCO the complete project. You cannot get enough information to make 100 percent clear cash reading on over budgets and other things.

    All you know they spent more. Not on what. Was it refunding the project for other work that was required?

  15. Contrarian says:

    “That is not a failure of GNU/Linux in any way. GNU/Linux could run the application if it existed”

    I would argue that it is a failure in the sense that it makes Linux useless for the individual involved.

    Poring through the above link on this thread, I noticed that it claimed that there were some 1000 IT jobs associated with maintaining the 15000 workstations involved overall in the project along with some 28000 computers in the school system. That seems excessive in any scenario, eh? It may be that there is so much featherbedding going on in Munich IT circles that any initiative at all would come up looking rather inefficient. Also, it was noted previously elsewhere that the educational machines are not involved with conversions to Linux and the schools have opted out of the project.

  16. Contrarian wrote, “Where does it not say that, after all is said and done, 3000 of the 15000 workstations will remain as Windows since Linux cannot cut it?”

    “Facts and Figures

    as of March 2011

  17. 15,000 jobs to use free software such as Thunderbird and Firefox
  18. 15,000 jobs using and the wiki
  19. Nearly 6000 people use the LiMux client (either Debian Etch or Ubuntu 8.04, KDE 3.5)
  20. 10 of 22 areas of migration are already migrated
  21. Target by the end of the project

    Migration of at least 80% of the administrative client PCs on the LiMux”

    So, the site reports 80% of 15000 PCs is the least conversion rate. That is, it could be more. That is quite different than 3000 will remain unconverted. It could be 90%, leaving 1500 unconverted and it says nothing of why the conversions might be remaining undone. In this article it is stated, “Even politically, the project set up seems to be still solid. Long-term goal, is converted by 2014 80 percent of all computers on LiMux to have and it may now shake probably no one. “There are simply cases, there is a switch to Linux, not just economically,” said Maier.”

    So, the problem is that in a few cases, migration is not economical. e.g. One guy runs one application. It would be wasteful to write a new application for so few users. That is not a failure of GNU/Linux in any way. GNU/Linux could run the application if it existed. Of course, the ISV may eventually see it in his interest to port to GNU/Linux.