Linux in Government

Working on Linux in government? Here is a chance to talk to your peers.

Linux has proven itself as a server OS in both government and industry. Early adopters (Linux Journal for example) have used it on desktops for years. Now, the time is right to start moving Linux onto desktops in government. Again, I encourage you to join the new mailing list and see what your peers are doing. They are likely to have answers to your questions.

Phil Hughes is the publisher of Linux Journal.



Phil Hughes


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Linux in Government (Argentina)

Anonymous's picture

We are using and development in GNU based software,
and a new site called is the most specific result (sorry for my english) of this.

Just take a look, in Argentina the "Ambito de Software Libre en el Estado Nacional" (...try to translate... "Group of GNU users/developers in the Government") is declarated of "National Interest".

Visit the page and please write me.


Already a global trend Re: Linux in Government

Jaco's picture

I live in Costa Rica and had been helping locally on a Congress Law to promote free software in the Public Sector. I want to take this opportunity to invite all the members to:

a new international organization created to promote the use of technology for social development (copy left to other sectors to...), and more specifically, the use of free software in the Public Sector and Development related projects. At this moment the group has members from Latinamerica, mainly from places where free software already is the first choice in the Public Sector, like the state of Rio Grande do Sul (8 million, $11Billion economy) in Brasil. Hipatia will be interested to keep in contact with people in this list who wants to see free software in the Public Sector.

I attended as a speaker in a seminar in the World Bank relating the use of OSS/FS in Governments and was very much impressed from the developments in the state of Kerala in India, I 'm happy to see in this list lawyers from Kerala!.

Definitely is a global trend already the move of Public Sector to free software. Too many cities and states already legislated and implemented, and the number is growing. Soon someone will draft a map showing this trend...In the US just California is hot on this issue, but most probably in 2003/4 many other states will follow the same path.

Re: Linux in Government

Anonymous's picture

You refer to 'older' equipment and desktops.

In the case of desktop users and given all the software and desktop options available, it would be great if distros did the following on install:

1. Inventoried the available hardware

2. Canvased the user to determine their most basic needs vs 'ideal' expectations.

3. Determined the possibiliy of any future upgrades being done.

4. Based the install on the above.

The install would size the software according to the hardware available. More 'meager' machines would get smaller/simpler installs. This would be especially useful for schools and other areas where IT dollars are scarce. The kernel could likewise be compiled on install to make it reflect the hardware inventory.

The net result would be a desktop tailored to the performance of the machine - not the other way around.

Re: Linux in Government

Anonymous's picture

What I need is:

1. A Linux interface to my SCADA systems

2. Autocad on Linux (Yes, I know that there are other cad programs. But we are heavy users of mapping software and there are many other third party software programs that interface with this standard.)

3. Tax, billing, accounting, and utility software packages.

4. A company to purchase support from for these products.

Linux is great for networking and desktop office use, but I'm still booting the other operating system 25% of the time.


Re: Linux in Government

Anonymous's picture

One thing I think linux solutions is lacking is a reliable, easy to install terminal server.

With terminal servers the TCO falls considerably since the hardware is minimal, (sometimes just a silent 486, without a HD, will do!).

And did I mention it must be _easy_ to install ?

I mean , distros should have a option to make a TS install, with programs that deals with DHCP and X config for the clients. Mozilla and openoffice ready to use wouldn 't be a bad thing :) .

Knoppix comes quite close to this, but works with new hardware only (PXE enable boards).

Another problem is to port/interact with old apps and servers (think in clipper / novel / cobol mainframes). Solutions to this will be very welcome.

Linux have a great place place in govermnts, as in ours houses and shops and cars. IMHO, it boils down to easy of installation, maintenance and use that make a difference.

Forget about making laws to put linux trough peoples' troat. The only way is to make a better, more manageble software.

Thanks and sorry for my english.

Easy, trivil, read messages above

Anonymous's picture

It is so easy to do this in Linux that you do it in 10 minutes (5 if you

Re: Easy, trivil, read messages above

Anonymous's picture

I find this particularly amusing as I installed Linux .99pl13 on my server (386/40) when it came out and ran it (NFS, dial-up net connection, mailing lists, and more) for five years. I upgraded because I wanted to add a larger SCSI disk and had to replace the motherboard because I needed a PCI slot for the new disk controller. In that five years the system was rebooted less than five times.
Sure, you can stay on the bleeding edge if you need to but a stable distribution is just that--you don't have to upgrade.

Re: Linux in Government

Anonymous's picture

Absolutely nothing could be easier to set up on the major distros than LTSP. There is even a RH based distro which does the whole thing out of the box, K12Ltsp

Re: Linux in Government

Anonymous's picture

You have no clue dude! I believe your post is FUD more than

anything else. Check out:

This is the answer to you terminal server question.

Secondly I am working as a consultant for a State Government.

I have turned them on to Perl. We have Perl applications talkking

to Cobol applications. And after I started writing applications in Perl the State programers asked me to teach them Perl.