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I noticed on distro watch that some governments, notably Spanish ones, sponsor versions of linux for their citizens. Guadalinux was just released by the government of Andalucia, as an example. ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Government sponsored linux


    I noticed on distro watch that some governments, notably Spanish ones, sponsor versions of linux for their citizens. Guadalinux was just released by the government of Andalucia, as an example. What is the forums take on this. Is it a good thing that more governments should do? Or is it a recipe for a bloated, problem plagued distro?
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    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    In these hard times, savings are important. Andalusia is in the process of updating their IT systems to use their sponsored Linux. According to Linux Format, it is going well and quickly because their IT people already know their way around the distro. More and more governments around Europe are switching to open source for cost, quality and security purposes.
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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    There are actually quite a few localized government agencies and branches here in the US that have been switching to Linux in the last few years.
    Among them are the Dept. of Defense, the Naval Submarine fleets and the US Postal Service. I also read that the Federal Court system is using Linux.

    I think it's great, and highly doubt that it will lead to a bloated distro or one that is riddled with any major issues.
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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    I'm all for everyone using linux, but question whether a government agency being the developers is a good thing. After all, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." is a standing joke in America. Can a bureaucracy do the developing more efficiently, and more importantly, will they listen to the users.
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    Just Joined! Randicus's Avatar
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    The above examples are government departments designing Linux systems for use within their respective departments. They are not trying to develop new distributions for the public. So listening to users is not a requirement. It is analogous with specialised distributions like Scientific Linux and the one (I forget the name.) that is designed for forensic analysis.

    So at this point, there is no need to worry about government intrusion. I would say it is good if governments are switching to GNU-Linux for reasons of cost savings and security, because government funding of GNU-Linux development will be beneficial in the future to everyone, even if it is unintentional. Do not forget that the internet began as a project of the American military. They were thinking about communication between military units during a nuclear war, not about quick communication for everyone.

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    I believe Guadalinux in particular is targeted at "public sector desktops" (including libraries, schools, learning centres, etc...). Theoretically, it's cost saving, lower maintenance, practically malware free and you won't have every teenage hacker wannabe breaking into it.

    I don't think this is some kind of "government linux" loaded with intrusive software which the masses will be forced to use. Anyway it's GNU/Linux, so if that's what it does turn out to be, then people will know about it very soon...

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