Germany Organizes Migration to FLOSS

Germany has had a lot of experience with different local governments and departments migrating to FLOSS applications and/or GNU/Linux. They have set up an office to provide information so that the wheel does not have to be reinvented for each migration. You can read their latest study of migration for the City of Dortmund:
Google’s Translation:“Open source software is the foundation for a company in the software without any legal obstacles that can be exchanged freely. This is the best framework provides for the innovative development of software because it can not be processed by only one provider, but by the entire scientific community and updated. was to move away from the proprietary software industry, means a municipality vendor-neutral, market-independent, flexible and cost effective to act. Moreover, this is the only way IT -supported management processes to make fully understandable and thus deserve the democratic ideal of transparency towards the citizens. The decision in the long term management well with open source planning software provides the opportunity to strengthen local partnerships, as open source software be exchanged between the local authorities at no additional cost. An example is shown in the city of Dortmund that begin municipalities must disentangle themselves from proprietary software and open source software provide targeted support to ensure the long-term benefits of open source software inherent to the to use. This is a necessary organization adapted to the particular open source software strategy to use for unrecognized opportunities. Author: Christian Nähle, employees of the City of Dortmund”

see Open Source Software im geschäftskritischen Einsatz bei der Stadt Dortmund (Open source software in mission-critical applications in the city of Dortmund)

contents page
0th Introductory remarks 4
First Open source software –
long term the only sustainable solution for the city of Dortmund
Second What is Open Source software? 6
Third Why is open source software company politically desirable? 8
4th Advantages of open source software – an Overview 10
5th Open source software has long been a popular model – Application Examples 16
6th Open source software in mission-critical use of the city of Dortmund 23
6.1 What benefits entails open-source software for the city of Dortmund? 23
6.2 Next Steps: Development of an open-source software strategy
for the city of Dortmund,
6.2.1 A possible entry … 32
6.2.2 Existing points of 33
6.2.3 A view … 34
6.2.4 hurdle to overcome 35
6.2.5 Migration Support 37
7th Final word 38

It’s a difficult read from the translation but the gist is that everything is possible and the sooner Dortmund shifts to open standards and FLOSS applications the better.

I agree with that. One can look for difficulties with migration and one will find them but they are all soluble one way or another. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux for Dortmund or anyone else who wants an IT system that’s a cooperative product of the world, independent of individual suppliers and sufficiently flexible for any task.

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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23 Responses to Germany Organizes Migration to FLOSS

  1. oiaohm says:

    Viktor note you did mention one “A much more apt description would be that our Prussian heritage forbids us to just do things. Until it’s not bogged down in bureaucracy it’s not German.”

    This is a side effect of a higher population of logical people than creative. If we document put processes in place it has to be effective.

    Every trait at it ext-ream end causes problems.

    National trait more vague because it has to allow for the mix of bloodlines and cultures making up the nation. Bloodline or Culture trait is far simpler define exactly. Basically National traits are a overview to an approximation. If you understand them they do explain some actions.

    “There is no unchangeable, absolute “trait”.” This is incorrect the DNA traits are absolute. You cannot give a person a higher IQ than what they were born with. You can fail to give them enough stimulation to develop to their max IQ or fail to treat other conditions they have that are prevent their max IQ from being achieved. Particular populations due to DNA will have IQ in different areas. Like visual, language and so on. These are sold traits.

    Culture and Environment traits are changeable to a point. Toxin exposure from a particular area may lower a person IQ in a particular area outside their DNA. So Environment traits might be imprinted in you forever because you grew up in a particular area. For small countries these Environment traits could be national because everyone was exposed to it.

    Even that there are differences there are a common set of traits between Germany’s federal states. Some trace to left overs from world war 2. Yes each state of Germany has some stronger traits that are just theirs.

    Trait tracing of criminal can sometimes lead you all the way back to their home town because in their actions they have displayed a trait that is 100 percent unique.

    “For example, if you compare the concepts of time in Spain and Germany, then you could easily get the idea that Germans are punctual.”

    Being punctual is not a useful trait to compare cultures on. The traits that are a better question on is planning questions. Spain people are less likely to plan a trip. Most likely to do something in the heat of the moment. Higher creative. Also higher percentage of risk taking compared to Germans.

    One of the reason why Germans are more punctual is more culture of planning. So you got a Spanish person and you need them to be punctual there culture has most likely not done the planning bit as well. German the planning bit will be good but the over confidence that they will succeeded will come back and bite them. Yes I have looked at the German public transport system. The issue is lack of buffers to allow for disruptions. A German is unlikely to turn up 15 min early unless told. Other cultures by nature will automatically turn up early so they are not late and other cultures with always turn up late so lie about the start time.

    Viktor when you travel you learn there are national trait and regional traits.

    Yes particular sub sections of there people are more extreme in those areas.

  2. Viktor says:

    As I have already pointed out, many so-called German “traits” like punctuality or efficiency are cliches. These traits have been ascribed to Germans by others. Public transport alone is reason enough to shatter any faith in German punctuality.

    The crux of the matter is that such “traits” can only be extracted in front of an “alien” background. For example, if you compare the concepts of time in Spain and Germany, then you could easily get the idea that Germans are punctual. But only in contrast to Spaniards. There is no unchangeable, absolute “trait”.

    And to begin with, you will also find many, many differences between Germany’s federal states. So how would you want to define in the first place what a “national trait” is? The only German “national trait” is one’s passport or identity card. If it says “German” on there, then you are one by means of institutionalized law.

  3. oiaohm says:


    Ted sign up as a Microsoft registered partner and start reading all the stuff about cals and the break downs between versions. Yes enterprise is between 20 to 25 cals depending on the windows version in box. With a up to 5 instance setup.

    Issue is windows 2008 enterprise has a max hardware size it will run on. You call it ridiculous assertion mind you its only true if you are buying windows by volume licensing not retail as well.

    Reality the the current status that stacks of small servers are cheaper than 1 big one is quite a ridiculous state. So when people start penny pinching in enterprise and you have windows you end up with insane number of servers to take care of. That undermines the penny pinching in the first place. Linux penny pinching equals less servers.

  4. Viktor wrote, “(nation traits) is beyond ridiculous.”

    I have not been to Germany but I have visited Switzerland. Having lived and worked in various regions of Canada and the world, I can tell you people from different regions are different. Their behaviours are shaped by their experiences and history. For example, in Europe, many towns and cities are centuries old. In Canada few are. My nearest city was just wilderness visited by nomadic tribes until 1812 and did not become a city until after 1870, a little more than 100 years. Attitudes to all civic matters like naming streets or preserving old buildings are entirely different in the two regimes. My ancestors came here to escape the rigidity of old establishments seeking green spaces. That history shapes everything we do, for example, treatment of firearms. The registry here of ordinary firearms has been tried and discarded twice in Canada but would be standard practice in Europe. Those are national traits.

  5. Ted rudely asked for numbers when he was given them already: “Could you please provide some numbers to back up this ridiculous assertion?”

    If you need references just look at advertisements.

    Here’s what’s in the EULA these days:“You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances of the server software only to administer those instances.”

    see Licence terms

  6. Ted says:

    Windows server enterprise comes with a 20 cal license out box. To buy 20 more cals to add on to it cost more than then licensing to run another machine in fact more than hardware to setup a poor server as well.

    Could you please provide some numbers to back up this ridiculous assertion?

  7. oiaohm says:

    Viktor culture is in part of criminal profiling. Its not just were you are born its where you are raised as well. Some values are part of the culture and effect problem solving so how you react as a criminal.

    You can get probability of being a particular culture.

    Prussian culture does bring particular traits to problem solving.

    Also Shockley Viktor you are not up on modern research on the topic.

    DNA of your blood line decides how your dopamine receptors and other receptors in the brain are configured. This defines your base nature. Yes you can attempt to work against it but its always your base nature and have some success. So you can paint over you spots but you really cannot change them.

    So there is real science theses days to nation traits. DNA markers that directly link to brain configuration.

    Now does this make old nation traits wrong yes because they had the idea of superiority without understanding traits. Each trait is a double sided sword. White skin normally also equal high endurance from dna but a slow sprinting speed and black skin normally equals low endurance but a high sprinting speed. There are of course dna outsiders in each group. Because dna has altered the mix of cells that make up the mussels. Also white skin good for areas with low sun to get enough vit D where dark skin is good for area with lots of sun less skin cancer.

    DNA also alters the mix of cells that make up your brain. This is the problem. Mental National traits do exist in DNA. Some nations will be more logical and less creative due to the DNA of there population. Some will be more creative and less logical again due to dna mix in there population. Most mixes provide some advantage. Not learning from mistakes also means a person does not give up as easy. Like being stuck at bottom of hole trying to escape the one that does not give up lives.

    There is almost no trait without a positive in particular conditions. Just like there is almost no trait without a negative.

    The old nation superiority idea is wrong. The ideas of national traits turn out to be right. Once you wake up it all down to DNA and Culture.

  8. Viktor says:


    No, really, there’s more “LOLWUT!?” material here than anywhere else. To think that people here, especially Pogson and Ohio Ham, really believe in something like Volkseigenschaften (nation traits) is beyond ridiculous.

    And kozmcrae … he’s just dumb. Probably knows Germany for its beer and the Oktoberfest, like Michael Larabel. Wouldn’t be surprised if he were unable to find it on a map of the world, despite a BA in Geography. Spouts patriotic crap like “should be proud of Germany”, blah, blah, blah.

  9. oiaohm says:

    “Munich becoming bogged down by and entangled in their own bureaucratic IT nightmare had nothing to do with Windows.”

    This is wrong. Microsoft provides environment for fragmentation when ever budgets are tight. Particularly when you are bureaucratic. Reason there are sweat spots in server licenses.

    Windows server enterprise comes with a 20 cal license out box. To buy 20 more cals to add on to it cost more than then licensing to run another machine in fact more than hardware to setup a poor server as well.

    So bureaucratic you end up with a stack of different servers of low capacity in different departments since this is the cheapest way to acquire the software with hardware for a Microsoft setup. This now causes everyone not to work effectively with each other now making the bureaucratic process worse with duplication and other bad things due to poor inter department communication. So making a Munich.

    What happened in Munich is a case of Microsoft Server software model and German natural processes not being compatible.

    Now lets look at a Linux server. Large server always works out cheaper than deploying many small. So with German bureaucratic logic this is safe. Same with BSD, solaris, AIX and other large Unix systems.

    Viktor is right on Germans being bureaucratic.

    kozmcrae is partly right on the “If the Germans are anything they are efficient.”.

    Germans run efficient bureaucratic processes in most cases with valid cost compares. Its the valid cost compares that dig them into a hole using Microsoft Servers.

    So at a min when you understand the German nature you want the Microsoft Servers gone replaced with something else compatible with there nature. Keeping a windows desktop brings some issues but nothing as bad as what the Windows Servers do to a people with a nature of the Germans. I am 1/2 German so yes Viktor I do read German natively and I understand the nature very well since I have to deal with relations that are full blood with strong Prussian nature.

    I might understand it more than you viktor since I don’t have the strong Prussian nature and can see what it does. Some-ways Germans are too logical for their own good when dealing with Microsoft.

    It also now that I know you are German explains why you had to believe that something that appears to work is working. This is German nature not to look deep into things that are working for defects. Very strong on the moto if it not broke don’t fix it in there nature.

    This strong following of the moto if its not broke don’t fix it also digs Germans into some very deep holes since the build on top of technologically that is not good enough.

  10. kozmcrae says:

    Viktor wrote:

    “I am German.”

    Oh really!!? Snort!

  11. Viktor says:

    Again, dear Mr. Pogson, Munich becoming bogged down by and entangled in their own bureaucratic IT nightmare had nothing to do with Windows. Munich’s IT people themselves admit that on their Limux project page. (Of course, you like to ignore anything which isn’t compatible with your view of the world.)

  12. kozmcrae wrote, “If the Germans are anything they are efficient.”

    One can clearly see that is untrue in the case of Munich and anyone else who allowed their IT systems to evolve willy-nilly using that other OS which is inherently overly complex and inefficient. M$’s whole business plan revolves around making each release of software more complex and inefficient than the one before in order to induce people to have to buy new software and hardware, keeping the Wintel treadmill running. The system became so complex that Munich was forced to question taking another step on the treadmill. Part of that complexity was their own, using a single-user OS in a huge organization with multiple divisions each implementing it in their own way. They needed to rationalize IT just to keep sanity and using that other OS, going to XP/2003, would have been a huge effort in any case. Their change to GNU/Linux combined with combining divisions into a single unit will result in a huge improvement in efficiency as well as getting them off the treadmill.

    So, they may not have been very efficient as they were ~2003 but they will be much more efficient in IT from here on. As the mayor has observed, service calls are way down. They could probably cut the lower-level support manpower down quite a lot if they wanted to do that but that was never on the radar. The main reason for the migration was to kill off Lose NT which M$ was ending support. So, Munich was looking at a bunch of issues other than efficiency but were forced in the process to become more efficient. Really, if they had started using GNU/Linux a decade earlier, their systems would have been much simpler and easier to replace. Staying with M$ from ~1995 to 2003 was a very inefficient choice. I remember a lot of schools in those days having PCs in the administration’s office and computer labs only. Now quite a number of schools have 1 PC per staff/student in all locations except the gymnasium. Those that stuck with that other OS were practically forced to adopt the server version and chatty LANs and decreasing performance. I’ve been in schools where IT told the teachers no more PCs could be added to the LAN even though the number of PCs was ~50 with XP/2003. I have had 153 seats of GNU/Linux on a LAN with no issues of bandwidth. Munich has added ~1K seats in the years since the migration was contemplated but have reduced complexity and increased performance by going to GNU/Linux. There was a school division in Saskatchewan that migrated from that other OS to SUN thin clients with a trebling of seats and no increase in IT staff. That’s a measure of the inefficiency of that other OS.

  13. Viktor says:

    If the Germans are anything they are efficient. It makes sense that they will lead the way to more efficient, leaner municipal governments. You should be proud of them Viktor.


    I am German.

    Germans are not efficient. That’s just a description from outside, a false perception, a cliche that just won’t die. (Punctuality is another one of these cliches.) A much more apt description would be that our Prussian heritage forbids us to just do things. Until it’s not bogged down in bureaucracy it’s not German. That would in many ways be pretty much the opposite of the core idea of FLOSS.

    Perhaps this “German-ness” holds a certain appeal for people (like you?) who don’t know this kind of Prussian organization from their own country.

    If you want to know something about Germany read Max Weber’s seminal works about bureaucracy.

  14. kozmcrae says:

    Victor wrote:

    “Simple concept to understand, yet it goes right over your head.”

    Viktor, if I can set you straight on the probable outcome another German city converting to GNU/Linux and rattle your cage at the same time, I will.

    If the Germans are anything they are efficient. It makes sense that they will lead the way to more efficient, leaner municipal governments. You should be proud of them Viktor.

  15. oiaohm says:

    Viktor really if you read German go read all the other things their IT’s have been talking about and asking about.

    When I say active I do mean active. If that proposal does not make it another one will. They are particularly worried by core services being effected by outside parties that they cannot control like Microsoft. So any proposal has to attempt to address that.

    Munich did show them that core services could be split away from closed source dependence.

    So this migration might not go all the way to desktop but there will be something change there.

  16. Viktor wrote again, “that they are not in an active process of migration”.

    Migrations take all kinds of shape. At some point in the process, the possibility of migrating needs to be conceived. They are passed that. I expect what their IT people are doing is forming a budget of time, money, equipment, man/womanpower, etc. I doubt the IT people have the power/authority to say yes or no, but to discuss technical ways and means. I expect within months that could be done so expect Dortmund to be well along this time next year.

  17. Viktor says:

    Already the Cult of Microsoft is trying to kill it with Viktor saying it’s not even a considering a migration.

    No, I wrote that it’s a proposal, which it is. And that they are not in an active process of migration. That means (I’ll make this really simple for you):

    a) They can go with it.
    b) They can not go with it.

    Simple concept to understand, yet it goes right over your head. The “cult of Microsoft” seems to be much more intelligent.

  18. kozmcrae says:

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…. Another “Munich” to taunt the Cult of Microsoft. I was sad to see the Munich migration come to a finish. It was fun to see the Cult of Microsoft come out with all their “I told you so’s” with every little set-back that invariably came along. Then Munich would just keep on going. Ha, ha, ha.

    Now it looks like we have the City of Dortmund to kick around. Already the Cult of Microsoft is trying to kill it with Viktor saying it’s not even a considering a migration. Good one Viktor. Do you think you are the only German speaker around here? One thing is for sure, you know how to take a lot of punishment.

  19. Phenom wrote, of Munich, “There is no financial report to justify any savings from going to FLOSS.”

    Sure, there is. The mayor replied to questions about that:

  20. Viktor wrote, “Dortmund isn’t in the active process of migrating. This paper is merely a proposal. And, I might add, a very badly written one. Must be because it has been written with Word 2007. Chuckle.”

    Christian Nahle, the authour, is an employee of Dortmund’s city council.

    Gee. They paid to have the proposal written. That’s pretty active, spending taxpayers’ monies and all… Why would the city’s IT department even read the article and the government of Germany have it published if they were not leaning that way?

  21. Phenom says:

    Munich still looks bad enough. There is no financial report to justify any savings from going to FLOSS.

  22. oiaohm says:

    Viktor first one from munich looked worse. the related blog to this is interesting reading. So the process is active.

  23. Viktor says:

    If you can’t read German, don’t try. Dortmund isn’t in the active process of migrating. This paper is merely a proposal. And, I might add, a very badly written one. Must be because it has been written with Word 2007. Chuckle.

    (No, really, Dortmund is busy celebrating Borussia Dortmund’s 2012 championship and preparing for the Pokalfinale. They’re not busy wanking to open source manifests.)

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