Why Munich Matters to GNU/Linux

The Migration of the city of Munich to GNU/Linux matters because it was the flagship of European migrations. It was not a bunch of school labs like Extremadura or a small operation like random individuals but a whole large complex organization doing it in public. As it was Ballmer himself tried to intercept the ship and FUDsters have kept firing at it for years, but now it is almost complete.

One of the FUDs that was thrown at it was NetApplication’s “recalculation” to reflect populations. That produced a huge drop in GNU/Linux share, according to NetApplications. Another was that Munich failed utterly because they took so long to prepare and test but they were seriously locked-in and it did take time for a small crew to figure it out. Their cost of migration was not much more than the cost of normal operations if they had migrated to XP and if they had also migrated to “7” the cost would have been much more, so Munich is wildly successful.

The migration was mainly not about cost but independence and Munich is certainly much more independent of M$ and “partners” today. The team involved in the migration was just 20 people which is good considering how many different offices were involved. The biggest chore was migrating gazillions of templates.

The chart above, derived from NetApplications’ data, shows GNU/Linux back to where it started a few years ago in Munich showing that M$ and Apple are still grinding away but this single migration held back the machine for a couple of years. It mattered and growth of GNU/Linux in Europe and elsewhere was affected by it.

In the process, it amazes me that the whole organization from politicians to employees were involved and made it work. It is a lot easier if just the low-level people do their thing. In schools where I have made migrations, politicians were not involved. It was mostly school principals or “Director of Education”, some local business manager. People can sit in one small room and discuss details and the overview and get on with it. Every layer of bureaucracy involved delays and complicates a migration. Munich is strong evidence that GNU/Linux is the right thing to do if so many diverse people could agree on it.

In the end, IT has grown so much since the Munich migration was conceived that it may not matter at all by its size but it surely matters because all the FUD that was overcome and because GNU/Linux showed itself able to run a huge portion of the IT in the city.

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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11 Responses to Why Munich Matters to GNU/Linux

  1. George Hostler says:

    The Linux way – “Freedom the way we tell you to.” and “It’s all about choice! As long as you choose Linux.”

    This statement by Ted is a lie. The Charter of comp.os.linux.advocacy is, “For discussion of the benefits of Linux compared to other operating systems.”


    It also follows along the lines of Microsoft Evangelism:

    In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology
    becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.”

    Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.

    We want to place selection pressure on the companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitor’s technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.

    PDF page 55
    Microsoft Evangelism
    Comes vs. Microsoft court case


    Most of the trolling in c.o.l.advocacy are abusive attacks on advocate’s character.

  2. I always have the option of not accepting comments…

  3. Ted says:

    “The only way to take it back is to eliminate troll friendly ISP’s. Believe me, the advocates have been LART’ing (Luser Attitude Readjustment Tool), which caused reasonable ISP’s to terminate troll activity.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    So a “troll” (which from the Linux camp is normally just anyone who disagrees with the groupthink or dares to criticise Linux) should have their internet service curtailed or even terminated for their temerity, or their ISP should be put out of business. Why not go the whole hog and fire-bomb the makers of the routers that forward the blasphemous packets, and then nuke the servers that dare host such heresy?

    The Linux way – “Freedom the way we tell you to.” and “It’s all about choice! As long as you choose Linux.”

    Pogson, we may disagree on a great deal of things, but you have my genuine pity for what’s coming, if the denizens of comp.OS.linux.advocacy start posting here.

  4. notzed says:

    Usually those ‘valid’ looking spams are obviously rubbish based on the link. Like those ones that say ‘keep up the good work’ or other meaningless nonsense.

    There is sometimes a fine line between suppressing valid alternative views and just getting rid of griefers (or other `troubled’ individuals) – but often the line just isn’t so fine.

    Blog comments are not general open forums either; delete what you like.

  5. I used to post in the “Computer” forum at Craigslist. That was taken over by Astroturfers, too.

  6. It’s not that the spam-filter is too tight. It’s that the spam has increased in volume and some of it looks a lot more like valid posts.

    Here’s an example:
    I got my dad to start using Ubuntu; it wasn’t too hard or anything, crnisdeoing he learns through experience. So, he knows how to open up Firefox to browse the net and watch his youTube stuff, open IE4LInux to browse the sites he needs for work (which only work with IE, sadly), open GAIM to chat with his friends and family on MSN and best of all, download things. Somewhat irrelevant, but with the use of Ubuntu, his HD space is decreased; he isn’t downloading so much crap anymore (MP3s). My friend at school, who is a Mac dev., installed Ubuntu 6.10 onto his laptop (dual boot with XP, since we HAVE TO HAVE XP omfg) and loves it. He loves playing with Beryl. He loves how 6.10 just worked (with extremely minimal tweaking). Most of all, he just LOVES using Ubuntu he can get his code on like mad lyve styll.Incredibly irrelevant: I was looking through my gr12 physics notes yesterday cause I was looking for something in particular and I still have one of your tests. It made me miss working with you, laughing with you and playing with you. Cheers, I’ll see you at various times during the holy-days.

    Is that a real comment or spam? It’s sort of relevant and except for mentioning 6.10 and “I’ll see you”, could well be a legitimate comment. How is a robot supposed to tell? In this case I think it was a URL or IP address accompanying the post.

  7. George Hostler says:

    The only way to take it back is to eliminate troll friendly ISP’s. Believe me, the advocates have been LART’ing (Luser Attitude Readjustment Tool), which caused reasonable ISP’s to terminate troll activity. Even x-privat.org now filters out certain COLA trolls, if you subscribe to their service.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Funny thinking what comp.os.linux.advocacy is meant to be about. Calling Robert a wacko Shill yet posting in a forum that is meant to push Linux forwards.

    Really one day we have to take comp.os.linux.advocacy back from the MS shills that have set up home in a forum that is not their forum.

  9. George Hostler says:

    This is exciting news, Robert. There has been much FUD on the internet with Linux deployments in Munich. I am glad to see that it is just the opposite. Just to show the effective job you are doing Robert regarding advocating Linux, take a look at this Usenet reply referring to your post here: http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.advocacy/msg/a5f767e279956bfd

    The M$ shills don’t like your positive news. Keep up the good work, Robert.

    Sincerely, George Hostler

  10. Kozmcrae says:

    What a great story Munich is. I love the way it brings the FUDsters out of the woodwork and then trounces them. Have they given up on trying to find failure in the Munich transition to GNU/Linux?

  11. oiaohm says:

    French police and Munich are both markers. Most migration projects after them are going forwards.

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