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Lower Saxony KDE Migration 119

An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet reports on a recent German Linux migration by the tax authority in Lower Saxony which has made the decision to migrate an impressive 12,000 desktops to SuSE Linux using KDE. The project, which is now in process converting 300 desktops daily, moves systems from Solaris x86 version 8, which the organisation has been running since 2002. The migrations are reported as going well thus far. KDE's Kiosk desktop customisation, source code access and licensing costs were cited as key reasons for the decision. Congratulations to all involved, and best of luck going forward with this effort!"
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Lower Saxony KDE Migration

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  • Hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It's pretty easy to migrate from Solaris.

    If we start hearing about big Win32 -> *nix migrations, THEN maybe we can say kill -9 [stanford.edu] to billy boy...

    But more importantly, it's telling that we're not hearing about good, honest, honorable American migrations. We know all about Germans [shelleytherepublican.com] and the so-called "sport" [shelleytherepublican.com] they are hosting for the so-called "world"... and in any case, we know Linux isn't as reliable as Windows [shelleytherepublican.com] yet...
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:44PM (#15510504) Homepage
      It's pretty easy to migrate from Solaris.

      This one is more interesting than most however. Normally you here about that on the server side. It's interesting that the organisation is choosing to retain Unix-based desktops rather than go Win32. Interesting also that they've not moved to Solaris 10.

      Cheers, Ian

      • Normally you here about that on the server side

        Or even hear about it...


      • Please don't call Linux "UNIX". It's really not, in a number of important software ways but especially in legally binding trademark ways.

        But my experience with Solaris, for many years, is that to make it usable you have to basically replace a lot of core tools with the much more powerful and better built ones from the FSF, many of which are core to Linux OS deployments. Emacs, sendmail, more, make, bash, gcc, and tar, all are much better deployed from recent FSF releases or maybe www.sunfreeware.com rebund
        • > Please don't call Linux "UNIX".

          Or what? Will you tell my mother? Like Richard does every time I forgot the "GNU/"?

          > It's really not, in a number of important software ways

          But it is still similar enough to be called UNIXy.

          > but especially in legally binding trademark ways.

          Oh, oh, oh, I think misusing a holy commercial trademark in a discussion forum will not be giving me sleepless nights, actually.
    • -1 Troll seems harsh, almost as if some crackpipe-wielding mod was too quick to judge. The 'Linux isn't as reliable as Windows' link could've come from the Paul Thurrot Supersite and should definitely provide light relief to Linux zealots of whatever denomination. I laughed anyway and I don't particularly care for Linux that much.
    • OMG PONIES! I love that site!
  • by demongeek ( 977698 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:41PM (#15510482)
    Isn't it the naming convention that all programs starting with a G are Gnome based? Well, it ain't Kermany...
  • by layer3switch ( 783864 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:52PM (#15510542)
    "Freely accessible sources, no license costs as well as optimum support of current hardware."

    I thought, I'd never live long enough to see the day someone will ever say this... Look away, it's just some dust in my eyes...
  • back in the 90's, Linux is ignored and I became a laughing stock in University. Now who's laughing now? What we've been deprieved before is freedom, now that freedom is back.
  • by p80 ( 771195 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:21PM (#15510631) Homepage
    For those that don't know about KDE, it was started by a German guy and most KDE users and devs live in Germany (though it's now popular in other countries too), also Suse was German and used KDE as its main desktop. So lots of people are pushing KDE there just like they did at Munich and now in Lower Saxony.
    I will be surprised when some country in Asia or America that is not known for its KDE community decides to switch to KDE.
    That being said, it's of course great that did it in Germany.
    • Ok, so apart from a lot of native-language support for the product there's one other thing you have to consider.

      Out of the two X11 'desktops' out there, KDE and Gnome which one is not an absolute pain in the arse to deploy and lock down in an enterprise?

      I'd have though KDE's Kiosk mode would be a big factor considering their moving from CDE, along with the fact that custom apps in QT are a breeze compared to GTK.
  • SuSE vs. x86 Sol (Score:5, Interesting)

    by packetmon ( 977047 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:22PM (#15510634) Homepage
    While I haven't used SuSE since 1998 or so, its nice to see they're coming along. One thing I take note of is the mention of "licensing costs were cited as key reasons for the decision.". I think there are many here who will take a "it's free!" approach to that statement, and that is not necessarily the case. Sure there are tons of free programs available, but most are forgetting the SuSE/Novell issue where SuSE isn't entirely as free as say CentOS, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, etc., there are some minor caveats, OpenExchange, etc. As for replacing x86Sol, I've never taken x86Sol seriously. If you ask me it was unstable, riddled with hardware issues, and had more security issues then Solaris on a Sparc.

    I'd thought of installing SuSE using OpenExchange because of the cost factor when I worked at a smaller company but I found I could do just as good using an alternative so I ended up installing CentOS webservers, proxy servers, Solaris 10 for mail and LDAP on a v280, and ended up configuring a nicely equipped intranet for under 5k. I wound up going open source for most tools, e.g. DotProject replaced MS Project server and saved about 4k. SugarCRM replaced SuradoCRM at about 8k. CentOS replaced MS Windows SMB 2003 for about another 4k. I saved the company a lot of money but ended up to my neck in work. Was pretty neat to get things going, and I had originally wanted to use SuSE before they started selling seats for OpenExchange. Its always nice though to see the distros moving up... Right now, I'm back into the telco/communications (VoIP arena to be exact) and I was lucky enough to be in a Linux shop with flexibility to use what we feel gets the job done right... Not what magazines and researchers often sponsored by MS point to as "the perfect solution"
    • i'd like to note that suse linux _is_ completely free, including updates & upgrades.

      novell's products that are called suse linux enterprise server (sles) and novell linux desktop (nld) are "pay -for-support-and-upgrades" products, but you can easily download them for free (i'm not sure about all license details, though - but i don't think there could be anything seriously limiting).
      basically those two versions are based on suse linux (for example, sles 10 will be based on suse linux 10.1), similar to fe
    • "While I haven't used SuSE since 1998 or so, its nice to see they're coming along"

      I like SuSE I really do but .. not ready yet ..

      One thing I take note of is the mention of "licensing costs were cited as key reasons for the decision.". I think there are many here who will take a "it's free!" approach to that statement, and that is not necessarily the case.

      Well what was actually said was the primary reasons were increased flexibility, enhanced usability and reduced training and support costs and se
  • Very strange... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aphaenogaster ( 884935 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:59PM (#15510737)
    I find it very odd that solaris 10 was not used instead (considering what life must be like for 12,000 solaris 8 users). Since they say old hardware is a primary concern, and since lisencing is both 'free' (in different ways), I have to believe the SUSE choice might be driven mostly by the old hardware. You need 512 mb ram to even install 10 x86 graphically.

    I see a couple of things happening though...

    1. KDE is not a stable desktop. Yes Yes stop turning red, I mean it is not stable like CDE is stable. This could lead to frustration among 12,000 users that were used to probably the most stable OS (sol 8 is a rock), using an insanely boring and stable desktop (CDE).

    2. Now that these people will be able to do all the cool things you can do with a modern unix and KDE, the IT people are going to go crazy

    and have to hire more people and work mucho overtime.

    • come to think of it, they may have even been using openwindows and dude, there is nothing more robust (and nearly useless) after the command line than that.
    • KDE is not a stable desktop.

      Last time KDE crashed/messed up on me? Not in the last few years. Currently KDE 3.5.2 via Gentoo, and it's lovely.

    • Dude, I think you should start considering the TCO on the crack you smoke. Cheapest isn't always the best.

      And I speak as a former VAX/VMS user. I have managed to crash VMS with a bug in a callback function in a Motif application I wrote, but I have never found a way to crash KDE. And when I say "crash VMS" I mean crash the system in a way that nobody else could log in, they couldn't even get a login prompt in a VT-100 terminal.

      OK, I know, you mentioned CDE, not VMS, but VAX/VMS was that other legendary "imp

  • It's all over (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Optikschmoptik ( 971793 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:59PM (#15510738) Homepage
    Here at University of Goettingen, the majority of public terminals use KDE and SuSE, probably for the same reasons mentioned in the article. I didn't notice this until I visited my girlfriend at the library and noticed the computer, last seen running WinNT, was using linux. She's not at all into computers. She complains about me tinkering with SuSE on my laptop all the time. At the library we had an exchange something like this:

    "Did you notice you've been using linux all this time?"


    "Well, that's KDE running on SuSE. When did they switch?"

    "I don't know. They switched what now? Who's Katie?"

    I asked her colleagues in the English department if they knew when the switch took place. No one noticed it. SD loves to have debates about whether *nix is ready to replace windows for the everyday user. Ok, so maybe joe schmo or the proverbial English-major girlfriend (or boyfriend) wouldn't be able to install Ubuntu or SuSE, but if it's there, they can use it. There's a lot of money to be saved on public terminals for general use.

  • by schmu_20mol ( 806069 ) <schmu20mol@gma i l .com> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @06:14AM (#15512281)
    ... would be if they started porting their, already free of charge, income tax return software to linux (elster [elster.de]).
  • Good to see that Slashdot has realised there's something interesting happening in Germany at the moment...Oh wait.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain