City of Munich: GNU/Linux Desktop Migration Completed Successfully

“The city is now using a unified desktop system, Limux, its own distribution based on the Ubuntu Linux open source operating system and open source applications, on 14,000 of the total 15,000 desktops, spread over 51 offices across the city. That is 2,000 more than it’s intended goal, using Limux on 80 % of its desktops. Hofmann confirmed that the city will now switch to using the LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, replacing the current open source alternative OpenOffice, that is used since 2006.”
see City of Munich: "Migration to sustainable desktop completed successfully".

That was an amazing “slow-speed chase” but it’s the result that counts, the vast majority of Munich’s PCs now run GNU/Linux and they plan to switch to LibreOffice from OpenOffice.org soon. Munich survived the pressure from M$ and slings and arrows from Linux haters everywhere. We enjoyed it despite the slowness. Munich was in a deep M$-induced hole and climbed out. If they could do that anyone can.

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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9 Responses to City of Munich: GNU/Linux Desktop Migration Completed Successfully

  1. jason says:

    matchrocket said “Oh the trolls are going to love this”

    Maou Sadao replied “You bet I love it”

    So Maou Sadao admits to being a troll.

  2. George Hostler says:

    Robert Pogson: Certainly more effort is needed for migration from M$’s stuff to GNU/Linux but the cost is one-time only and thereafter there is a periodic saving. I could have migrated Munich in a year easily but a lot of stuff would have broken. Businesses often throw more money at the problem to make it go away. That’s not good IT for anyone but M$ and “partners”.

    I have to agree with you there, Robert. Munich did the wisest thing to not disrupt productivity in a multi-tiered environment encompassing a wide array of functions involving a large IT base. When Ernie Ball did it 13 years ago, he was deeply motivated. Here is what he had to say:

    Ernie Ball : History (Slide horizontal bar to Year 2000, click on the circled Microsoft figure with a red slash through it):

    OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE In 2000, the Business Software Alliance conducted a raid and subsequent audit at the San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based factory that turned up a few dozen unlicensed copies of programs. Ball settled for $65,000, plus $35,000 in legal fees. But by then, the BSA, a trade group that helps enforce copyrights and licensing provisions for major business software makers, had put the company on the evening news and featured it in regional ads warning other businesses to monitor their software licenses. Sterling Ball told his IT department he wanted Microsoft products out of his business within six months. The transition was a breeze, and since then he’s been happy to extol the virtues of open-source software to anyone who asks. View the Full Story at http://news.cnet.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html?tag=lh

    Ernie continues Microsoft free for the 13th year and has Microsoft to thank for that. The $100,000 he paid for alleged software piracy violations has been recouped many times over through not having to pay annual licensing per seat fees and continual hardware upgrades just to run the Microsoft upgrade OS’s, etc. In the CNET article, he had this to say:

    Ernie Ball is pretty much known as a musician’s buddy. How does it feel to be a technology guru, as well? The myth has been built so big that you can’t survive without Microsoft. I think it’s great for me to be a technology influence. It shows how ridiculous it is that I can get press because I switched to OpenOffice. And the reason why is because the myth has been built so big that you can’t survive without Microsoft, so that somebody who does get by without Microsoft is a story.

    It’s just software. You have to figure out what you need to do within your organization and then get the right stuff for that. And we’re not a backwards organization. We’re progressive; we’ve won communications and design awards…The fact that I’m not sending my e-mail through Outlook doesn’t hinder us. It’s just kind of funny. I’m speaking to a standing-room-only audience at a major technology show because I use a different piece of software–that’s hysterical.

    This is what Munich did right, they figured what was needed to work in their different departments and sections, then worked to get the right stuff for that in the right timing.

    I am glad to finally see closure on this, another Linux and FOSS success story in the making.

  3. ram says:

    Many Fortune 500 companies never used Microsoft products in the first place. They used Sun’s Solaris and/or IBM’s AIX. They found going from one “Unix like” operating system to another, in this case, Linux, was easy. This is part of the reason all the big motion picture companies use Linux today.

  4. oiaohm says:

    Maou Sadao there are way bigger Linux migrations that completed in a lot shorter time than Munich.

    Something to be aware of even that it took 9 years to migration from Windows to Linux to this level. Linux version to Linux version changes at Munich takes months.

    1 to 2 years to migrate all there computers from 1 version of windows to another. Is very poor show.

    This is the problem Maou Sadao when you compare same style of migration Linux to Linux and Windows to Windows. Taking into account Linux to Linux takes months(and that include certifying all the applications). The 9 years of labour time alone will be recovered by migration saving going forwards.

    Why is a Linux to Linux migration so fast. Dependency solving. Yes package management of Linux is a curse and a blessing. Large installs its more of a blessing.

  5. Maou Sadao wrote, “Munich, who merely needed 9 years to migrate their crap (the migration started in 2004 after 3 years of planning).

    And:

    Fortune 500 companies with 50,000+ employees, who merely needed 1 to 2 years tops to migrate all their computers to Windows 7 from start of planning to completed rollout.”

    Certainly more effort is needed for migration from M$’s stuff to GNU/Linux but the cost is one-time only and thereafter there is a periodic saving. I could have migrated Munich in a year easily but a lot of stuff would have broken. Businesses often throw more money at the problem to make it go away. That’s not good IT for anyone but M$ and “partners”.

    He/She also wrote, “They can afford good software and don’t have to rely on free crap.”

    That’s why Munich choose Free Software rather than crap. The cost was about the same as migrating from NT to XP once and they’ve saved the price of migrating from XP to “7” completely. Good job, Munich. Cost wasn’t the main concern however. They now have an open, manageable system rather than a random collection of shackles developed by M$’s salesmen.

  6. Maou Sadao says:

    You bet I love it, matchbox.

    Let’s see, we have to decide between:

    Munich, who merely needed 9 years to migrate their crap (the migration started in 2004 after 3 years of planning).

    And:

    Fortune 500 companies with 50,000+ employees, who merely needed 1 to 2 years tops to migrate all their computers to Windows 7 from start of planning to completed rollout.

    It’s loltastic that the believers still want to sell Limux as a success.

    Oh well, once the SPD has been ousted from office, Windows will reign again, as soon as new computers are ordered.

    Munich isn’t poor. They can afford good software and don’t have to rely on free crap.

  7. matchrocket says:

    Oh the trolls are going to love this.

  8. dougman says:

    In light of the worsening economics of the U.S., and for any other country in the world. It would be cost worthy, for a large group of entrepreneurs to find themselves a small town or city and pitch the idea or deploying Linux for the long-term.

    One could even hire Dave Richards, to show what can be done.

    http://davelargo.blogspot.com/

  9. Gonzalo says:

    Just great. Way to go, Germany!

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