Evolution of GNU/Linux in German Government

  • 2002: IBM signs Linux deal with Germany.Germany’s Interior Minister, Otto Schilly, said the move would help cut costs and improve security in the nation’s computer networks.

    “We are raising computer security by avoiding a monoculture, and we are lowering dependence on a single supplier,”

  • 2002 – Munich studied 5 alternative IT systems and in 2004, decided to go with GNU/Linux + OpenOffice.org and web applications.
  • 2008 – The Foreign Ministry is migrating all of its 11.000 desktops to GNU/Linux and other open source applications. According to Schuster, this has drastically reduced maintenance costs in comparison with other ministries. “The Foreign Ministry is running desktops in many far away and some very difficult locations. Yet we invest only one thousand euro per desktop per year. That is far lower than other ministries, that on average invest more than 3000 euro per desktop per year.
  • 2011 – The Foreign Ministry announces they will be going back to that other OS after years of using GNU/Linux…
  • 2011 – after using GNU/Linux desktops for ten years and increasing numbers of PCs in use tenfold, the city of Scwabish Hall, has a lot of satisfied users. (article: Wikipedia – Schwabisch Hall) Even though Schwabisch Hall has only 37K residents, the 400 PCs running GNU/Linux in the government don’t get counted because NetApplications shows only 1.68% GNU/Linux in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg (10million). They show no data for Schwabisch Hall.
  • 2011 – Gummersbach: ‘Open source desktops much easier to manage’“Easier management is one of the main reasons for the German city of Gummersbach to switch its almost 350 PCs to the open source operating system GNU/Linux, a move that began already four years ago. One of the IT administrators, Dirk Hennrichs: “Our Linux desktops need close to zero maintenance, making them light years easier to manage than their proprietary predecessor.””
  • 2012 – Munich expect to complete its migration.

Even though there have been some tribulations, it seems GNU/Linux use in government will continue to evolve in Germany. It’s certainly on the radar and the pros and cons have been weighed. There are even committees and accumulated knowledge on migration. I expect the advantages of GNU/Linux will cause continued growth in this area.

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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