Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Munich Migrating To Linux 127

Rockgod writes with a progress report on the open sourcing of the city of Munich's administration. From the article: "The capital of Bavaria plans to complete its current migration of more than 80 percent of its desktop systems by 2008 and says that the first users of open software in the city's administration are pleased with the initial results. On Tuesday, Munich's mayor Christine Strobel said at the Systems trade fair that 'up to now, we are very happy about the results' of the migration currently underway. 'I am not a computer geek, but I must admit that it was easy to switch to the new software,' she reported. By the end of the year, some 200 workstations... will be running on a special LiMux client. If everything runs according to schedule, most of the approximately 14,000 PCs will be migrated to open source in the next two years."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Munich Migrating To Linux

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:15AM (#16628650)
    now the poor souls miss out on all that upcoming Vista goodness.
  • How long until some of our more major cities follow this approach?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't know, but I've heard that building a fence stops these migrations.
    • Large cities and governments use hundreds or even thousands of Linux servers. The thing that is holding Linux desktops back is domain authentication and single sign-on processes. Making Windows and Linux desktops co-exist using a central LDAP server is not difficult, but there is precious little information on the web on how exactly to do that. Here is the only sensible guide that I have found so far that explains it: http://aeronetworks.ca/LinuxActiveDirectory.html [aeronetworks.ca]
  • is Chicago next? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by uncadonna ( 85026 ) <mtobis@gmailAAA.com minus threevowels> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:18AM (#16628678) Homepage Journal
    Is it? [dailytech.com]
    • by jesterzog ( 189797 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:50AM (#16628874) Homepage Journal

      From here [principal.com], regarding Chicago:

      The city's infrastructure had historically been a multi-platform environment that included about 100 Solaris servers used to run a large number of Oracle databases and applications. As these servers neared the end of their life cycles the City of Chicago began the migration to cost-effective Red Hat solutions.

      Given that they're migrating their Solaris server boxes rather than Windows desktop workstations (as seems to be happening in Munich), I'm not sure if it's quite the same thing.

  • by daeg ( 828071 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:20AM (#16628690)
    Officer workers don't care what their system has as long as it can run (a) solitare and (b) popcap games.

    Particularly government workers.
    • They will become masters of SameGnome!

      There should be follow up to this periodically to see how progress is going for the switch. I think it's great publicity for Linux in the office world.
    • A customer is migrating to Linux at full scale. They have 100+ desktops over three branches and right now there's only a few Windows installed - mostly for running a couple Windows-only applications. For most office use, like spreadsheets and word processing, there's no rational reason to keep using Windows. The vast majority of users actually use a tiny fraction of office applications' features.

      There are a few GUI differences between Microsoft Office and Open Office, of course. Some users complain about

    • Speaking as a government employee, I can tell you this is not true. It has to be able to play a CD too.
    • by MoogMan ( 442253 )
      Of course, being Linux it has three Solitaire programs, all of which have 30 different types of Solitaire to choose for. And who said choice was a bad thing! ;-)
    • by cortana ( 588495 )
      It comes with all these [gnome.org]. :)
    • by Soltys ( 980516 )
      Solitare, Mineswepper & Sudoku are in Linux. Is a lot reasons to waste of time on Linux

      BTW: I like (K)Sudoku the most
    • You forgot myspace. Unfiltered access to myspace (and for me Slashdot (I'm actually at work as I write this)) is also critical.
    • You obviously have never met a German government worker.

      I have a friend who works for the civil service in Bavaria (in a city just outside Munich infact) and she often leaves for work at 5am. Maybe she is trying to get in a few early rounds of solitaire, I don't know but it's still a bloody early time to go to work!

       
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:23AM (#16628714)
    They'll never be able to read MSFT Word documents with embedded VOIP!

    Sincerely,
    Some MSFT spokesperson's reason why ODF is bad. (I can't find the reference)
  • With so many distributions out there, how does a government decide upon which one to deploy?
    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:37AM (#16628806)
      With so many distributions out there, how does a government decide upon which one to deploy?

      First off, they have to state what their requirements are. Just as with any other project.

      Then they look at what is out there and how closely it matches those requirements and how much time/money would be needed to fill in the gaps. Munich decided to go with a Debian base with KDE and OpenOffice.org.

      One of Munich's requirements seems to have been to become "independent of monopolists like Microsoft." In this, Debian's social contract would have been a major plus.

      • One of Munich's requirements seems to have been to become "independent of monopolists like Microsoft."

        The actual requirement was to avoid vendor lock-in, for which the free distribution of Linux is very useful. Red Hat and Novell don't have to be monopolists to present the same danger of exorbitant support fees and lack of choice.

    • Doesn't matter, since the differences are superficial. The better you know Linux, the more you'll realize that there is almost no difference between distributions.
  • by Kanaka Kid ( 829457 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:25AM (#16628726)
    Oktoberfest will never be the same!

    Free Beer!

  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:37AM (#16628808) Homepage Journal
    Over the next few years as we see more governments organizations (and some schools) moving to desktop Linux solutions, I think we'll see a corresponding upswing in home use. Maybe massive citywide conversions like Munich's will be the catalyst that the desktop Linux market needs to gain traction. For the everyday user, if they use Linux at work, they'll probably want to use Linux at home ... assuming they can get a distro that's easy enough to install and maintain.

    I'm sure it's been discussed, but I think the risk of losing home users is the real impetus behind Microsoft basically giving away software to schools, and offering STEEP discounts to governments.
    • Eventually. (Score:5, Informative)

      by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:47AM (#16628864)
      For the everyday user, if they use Linux at work, they'll probably want to use Linux at home ... assuming they can get a distro that's easy enough to install and maintain.

      But the problem with home use is NOT about being easy to "install and maintain".

      Home users tend to stick with whatever was pre-installed. Once you have a city using Linux, there is a financial incentive for OEM's to build boxes with 100% Linux friendly hardware and a nice recovery CD with all the Linux drivers on it. After all, a city buys a lot of computers and parts over the years.

      But that's just the base platform. That still doesn't address the apps (games) that the home users will want to run. So the market will ... slowly ... be changing. As grandma gets her Linux computer with Internet access, email, web browsing and basic photo editing (look at my lovely grandchildren), more ISV's will attempt to sell software to her.

      I'm on 100% Ubuntu Edgy Eft and it handles everything that the average home user would do with the exception of games and certain IE-only websites.
    • by Tim C ( 15259 )
      The problem with that theory is that it assumes that "the everyday user" is at all comfortable with the idea of installing an OS. I've recently helped two friends set up/sort out their laptops as they weren't even particularly comfortable with installing applications, or pinning things to the XP Start menu.

      What you may well see happen is an increase in consumer demand for PCs with Linux pre-installed; that's part of the reason Windows became so popular at home. Not because people were installing it (althoug
      • by Fred_A ( 10934 )
        The problem with that theory is that it assumes that "the everyday user" is at all comfortable with the idea of installing an OS. I've recently helped two friends set up/sort out their laptops as they weren't even particularly comfortable with installing applications,
        If Windows users aren't comfortable with installing applications, what the hell is it that they do with their machines besides playing solitaire and minesweeper all day ??
        • Installing all sorts of applications without knowing it; they've got applications automagically appearing by only browsing for porn/discounts or using p2p and Outlook.
    • I'm sure it's been discussed, but I think the risk of losing home users is the real impetus behind Microsoft basically giving away software to schools, and offering STEEP discounts to governments.

      Precisely. Microsofts main advantage over Office competitors is basically "everyone is "trained" in MS Office". And the fact that Computer classes in schools are mainly just about using Microsoft Software is despicable.
      Apart from the ludicrous Idea that using Powerpoint qualifies as a professional skill, that shoul

    • Over the next few years as we see more governments organizations (and some schools) moving to desktop Linux solutions

      Actually, there are quite a few schools that have been using desktop Linux. The last two I've attended - UL Lafayette and MIT - have been using some *nix or another on the desktop for years, most recently Solaris. Now that Linux is the most popular* desktop *nix, they're starting to use it instead.

      *Mac OS X might be more popular, and yes, it's real UNIX, but it's quite non-trivial to keep th
      • UL Lafayette and MIT
        i'm assuming that by schools the parent poster meant the things they force kids to go to not degree level education.

        • Yes, but college students/grad students/faculty are more likely to actually make decisions about the home OS than schoolkids. At the least, schoolkids will get a dual-boot partition and Windows will still be the most used OS.
  • This is a growing trend in countries outside the United States. A lot of governments in Europe and Asia seem to be a lot more open to change. In the United States, the land of corporate dominance, Linux takes a backseat on Desktops for government offices and commercial companies to Windows, not because it's Linux, because it's not-Windows.
    • Re:common place (Score:5, Insightful)

      by donaldm ( 919619 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:45AM (#16629402)
      Actually you have hit on the major reason why Linux is not popular in many Business because "it is not like Windows". The real problem with Linux is while it can happily inter-operate with nearly all distributions of Linux and Unix, *nix OS's don't inter-operate well with MS Windows, due to fact that MS Windows does not have open formats while Linux not only has open formats it also has its source open for all to see. Unfortuantely the desktop will always be the hardest to migrate since many Business are very conservative, the lead to the acceptance of the Linux desktop will come first from Government.

      The slow but steady adoption of Linux by Governments in Europe and Asia is not due to them being altruistic but pragmatic since the openness of the Linux (or all *nix) formats makes a great deal of sense and they are under scrutiny by their electorates and opposition (unless it is a dictatorship and then anything anti US business is acceptable) to cut costs. Once enough Government groups move to Linux, business and eventually the home user will follow.
      • ...than cost-cutting is, in my opinion, cost retaining. Even if it costs were the same overall, F/OSS would be attractive to municipalities because they could find a local company(ies) to customize an operating system based on their chosen distro of Linux. Having your Software budget go off to America is kinda like if your entire police force were foreigners, and took their salaries home to spend them. And I agree with GP that home users would think Macintosh system 6 was the best operating system in the
  • by MassEnergySpaceTime ( 957330 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:42AM (#16628830)
    "I am not a computer geek, but I must admit that it was easy to switch to the new software."

    It's lines like these that give Linux more promise and hopefully brings out the "If they can switch, so can we" line of thinking among others.

    Conversely, I'm sure Microsoft HATES lines like these.
    • Conversely, I'm sure Microsoft HATES lines like these.

      Well, not when it takes this long and when it costs this much. From the article:

      After a decision was made in 2003 to migrate to Linux

      If anything, this project demonstrates that open-source isn't a magic silver bullet solution to everyone's problems. It should also be noted that the final Microsoft solution was actually less expensive than the open-source one, so one cannot look to cost as a compelling factor for switch. This article - http://www. [usatoday.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        As this same topic has been on slashdot [slashdot.org] many times before, it should be noted that the 'Microsoft solution' is less expensive because of discounting by Microsoft to avoid the switch over. I do not know how deep the discounts where, but I suspect a standard contract would have been considerably more expensive.

        I do not expect that I would get the same treatment from Microsoft and told them that I was moving 25 desktops and 3 servers to linux.

        • Well sure, there's nothing wrong with sharpening your pencil. Munich pointed out that they could get a better solution elsewhere, and Microsoft discounted the deal. But at the end of the day the open-source solution was more expensive than the Microsoft solution, mostly due to the immense cut the consulting companies will be taking.

          And whether or not you personally would get a better deal is beside the point. When the original story broke one of the key points made repeatedly of the effort was to save mo
          • Yes, you're right. It was a political decision, but not based on some aversion towards Microsoft or the US, but based on the goal to be more flexible in the future. The big improvement for Munich is the fact that they cannot be forced to buy upgrades from this point on and that they can get local software developers to make the software meet their demands whatever those demands may be.

            They can also choose from a wider selection of service providers. They can basicly get any software company that has knowled
  • I can't believe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xor.pt ( 882444 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:53AM (#16628890)
    I can't believe how wrong they got the client name! ...LiMux?!

    How about Munix? Doesn't it sound a lot better?

  • Why is it taking too long? Isn't this information about 2 or 3 years old? I thought they had completed the migration.
    • by vivek7006 ( 585218 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:07AM (#16628970) Homepage
      Why is it taking too long? Isn't this information about 2 or 3 years old? I thought they had completed the migration.

      They decided to go with Gentoo Linux couple of years back. They are still waiting for the damn thing to finish compiling
    • by grcumb ( 781340 )

      Why is it taking too long? Isn't this information about 2 or 3 years old? I thought they had completed the migration.

      Please, please tell me you're joking. I guess I've been around Americans too long or something, but I honestly can't tell whether you're aware that there are, in fact, more than one city in Germany. There are several, actually. And now another city in Germany has decided to move to Linux. That makes two cities. Because, as we learned in the first sentence (you remember the first sentence, d

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nope! They delayed it. The microsoft crowd declared "HEH! They are not switching after all, hurrah! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!...." However, Munich worked on centralized management software in the interum (which is now completed). They are deploying at a tremendous rate as they now have an extremely powerful central management and deployment system (and are using to great effect). Better than that: they are planning on releasing the software to others as a Free Software project, so that other cities can
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by nospam007 ( 722110 )
      >Why is it taking too long? Isn't this information about 2 or 3 years old? I thought they had completed the migration.
      --
      Everything had to be translated, in Freestate Bavaria, Munich, they speak Bavarian, not German. ;-)
      Also getting a Penguin to wear Lederhosen was no small feat.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      Why is it taking too long? Isn't this information about 2 or 3 years old? I thought they had completed the migration.

      If my local council in the UK moved this quickly I would think it was acting with undue haste or had suffered an outbreak of competence.

    • The problem is not the desktop per se. The problem is the infrastructure: Authentication, LDAP, Email, Web Applications, Database Applications, Point of Sale Systems... The desktop itself is minor issue compared to all that.
  • by Mostly a lurker ( 634878 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:02AM (#16628936)
    The thrust of this rather positive FA seems to be that user acceptance has been good, and the delays were caused by such things as legal concerns and complex negotiations with project partners. The indications are that a massive migration to desktop Linux is perfectly feasible. I think Wilhelm Hoegner's view that this project, by itself, will not cause an avalanche of further conversions will prove correct. That said, a few projects like this can dramatically change perceptions leading to major change over time.
  • by jmv ( 93421 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:08AM (#16628976) Homepage
    Rockgod writes with a progress report on the open sourcing of the city of Munich's administration.

    Cool, I always wanted to change the city of Munich's administration. Does the mayor come with full source code?
    • Cool, I always wanted to change the city of Munich's administration. Does the mayor come with full source code?

      Yeah, but you have to build the Makefile.

    • by kanweg ( 771128 )
      Of course, it is called DNA. But code sharing is another matter.

      Bert
  • ffs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:15AM (#16629006)
    They have migrated less than 200 work stations. Can we wait till the project actually approaches completion before deciding upon its success
    • by JPriest ( 547211 )
      Especially considering the amount of time and money they already have invested.
    • At my workplace they did a pilot for Windows SP2 of about that size. It's still being rolled out and I'm still on SP1. There have been a lot of problems due to software compatibility issues.

    • Among the very first Linux installations was the computer of the Mayor (Christian Ude). He's very happy with it, so they'll for shure continue.
    • "They have migrated less than 200 work stations. Can we wait till the project actually approaches completion before deciding upon its success", ffs

      "By the end of the year, some 200 workstations close to Lord Mayor Christian Ude and a number of nearby organizational units will be running on a special LiMux client."

      "The base client mainly runs on the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 distribution and uses Desktop KDE 3.5 and OpenOffice 2."

      'Furthermore, the City Council aims to use Linux to become politically "
  • I can now become a UNIX-using eunuch from Munich.
  • It is better for Munich to move to Linux than
    Linux to move to Munich.
  • by Andreas Schaefer ( 513034 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @03:02AM (#16629462) Homepage
    ..is how well they managed to port some of the custom built applications. switching from word/excel to openoffice is not a big step, but some of these specialized pieces of software for government purposes (so far with a Win95 look and feel) were the tipping point in the success of a migration like that.
    congrats to the munich mayor!
  • As a proud Bavarian, I am glad that Linux is finally getting the acceptance it deserves. My school, for example, uses Gentoo for its servers (Although it is maintained by some wannabe-geeks that mostly have no real clue about this stuff)
    Now if only broadband would become more common in Bavaria, so that I could get a goddamn broadband connection and start using linux as a primary operating system instead of a dual-boot option that is never touched...
    • "My school, for example, uses Gentoo for its servers (Although it is maintained by some wannabe-geeks that mostly have no real clue about this stuff)"

      It must be true: who but a wannabe-geek with no real clue would choose Gentoo in such an environment? It has to be a maintenance nightmare!
      • Oh come now, Gentoo isn't that bad in a production environment. You treat it the same as you would any other distribution except that you can compile your own packages instead of relying on binary packages. Change management doesn't change just because you're using a different flavor of Linux.

        (For what it's worth, Xen makes the process a lot easier to deal with. Clone a DomU, test out the new configuration, then decide whether to use the new DomU or stick with the old DomU.)
        • "Oh come now, Gentoo isn't that bad in a production environment."

          Oh, yes, it is!

          "You treat it the same as you would any other distribution"

          And then you are doomed. I'll tell you how do I treat distribution maintenance: I have my boxes look at the distribution spools so when there're security updates they download them and send an e-mail for me to know. Then I have a look at what security menaces they provide protection to, then I install them and forget about the issue. You just try to do the same on a G
  • Munich [muenchen.de] is the Capitol of Bavaria, Germany. Bavaria is the high tech capitol of Germany and the richest state in Germany. They have always been ahead of the curve. It is no wonder that they are migrating to Linux and adopting open source software where it makes sense. With Munich being home of some of the largest high tech companies in the world, it would make sense for the government of Munich to adopt similar policies. I for one, praise Munich and it's government for thinking out of the box. The lice

    • WRONG (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm sorry that i have to correct some misconceptions here. Obviously Munich is not Bavaria, quite to the contrary. Munich is a long-time social-democratic (somewhat left, conservative) run city while Bavaria is run for about forever by the christian-socialist party (very right, conservative). Then they have not "always been ahead of the curve", actually, Bavaria was one of the most backward and poor states of Germany up to the 1980s, one of the major money-receivers from the nationwide "Länderfinanzaus
  • by vogon jeltz ( 257131 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @05:58AM (#16630284)
    In my brother's surgery we've been on Linux ever since and the system runs smoothly with 16 diskless fat clients (http://132.230.4.73/trac/dxs). That being said, I'm kind of clueless when it comes to Windows administration. At my workplace however, I had to "take over" system administration of a seriously broken W2K setup. One W2K pro license and one Office 2003 license for 10 PCs. No server license although the "server" (no PDC, just a workgroup config) runs W2K server. I told my boss over and over again, that if someone digruntled about the company would run to the police or the BSA, he'd be in big trouble. This is simply being ignored. They'll tell me that it'd be too hard to switch to Openoffice because it's "too different". They won't let me buy a couple of Office and W2K licenses on ebay for maybe 1500 in order to save their arse. A Linux setup is completely out of question.
    The fact is, people don't have a clue, and never will - if I'd setup a system with a properly configured Samba-server, LDAP, Kerberos and imap, they'd still complain and blame me if the slightest thing broke (i.e. they had to learn a couple of new things). So I basically gave up and don't care any more if they lose data or get fucked by the prosecutor.

    If people are willing to listen to you, or respect your technical expertise (our Linux system) it's relatively easy going. If they don't, don't waste your time. Let them have a very bad awakening one day (after all, you tried to explain ...)
    • by johnjaydk ( 584895 ) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @08:37AM (#16631124)
      Get yourself a new job ASAP.

      So I basically gave up and don't care any more if they lose data or get fucked by the prosecutor.

      This works for the short term but in the end it eats you up. You'll be labeled a constant complainer, become bitter, isolated and stuck in a dead end job. Just get out of there.

      If people are willing to listen to you, or respect your technical expertise (our Linux system) it's relatively easy going. If they don't, don't waste your time. Let them have a very bad awakening one day (after all, you tried to explain ...)

      This goes for more than just Linux expertise. It's a fundamental requirement for a decent job. I just ditched a comfy telco developer job for a senior consultant position. I'm going to be working more than twice as hard but it won't be for a bunch of retards.

      Wake up and smell the coffee. The grass is greener elsewhere.

  • As a corporate worker bee with a reasonably techy company I can tell you that taking two years to migrate 15K desktops either suggest an inept IT organization or poor migration/management tools for their Linux distribution. The company I work for five years ago migrated more than 20K desktops running Windows 98 and Windows 2000 to Windows XP in about three months including internal trials to test applications etc.
    • right so you are saying that your company made a minor upgrade on the NT line of windows and threw out the 9x line of windows (presumablly if you were running both then 9x and NT lines you already had most of your critical apps working on 2K). Some minor testing for breakages needed but as you say ultimately no big deal.

      compare that to a migration from windows+office+IE to linux+openoffice+firefox where you have to
      1: find every macro heavy excel spreadsheet that is serving some vital function and get that f
    • Most likely they migrated to Windows 2000 versions of most of those Windows 98 apps... there's a reason Microsoft bends over backwards to provide backward compatibility for developers. Moving from FooApp v.whatever to FooApp v.(whatever + 6) is probably easier than moving from FooApp to similarly-functional BarApp. In moving from Word 98 to Word 2003, the users just need 80 hours of training because some menu items moved from one drop-down menu to another. Between Word 2003 to OpenOffice, some functional

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

Working...