(Open Source) - Munich: '..LiMux has been a success, has shown how flexible and effective free software is..'

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'..and will hopefully inspire many other cities to follow its lead in the future.'

<blockquote>'Hirschgarten, in the west of Munich, is one of Europe's biggest beer gardens, with over 8,000 places to sit. It's a spectacular sight in summer: hundreds of benches as far as the eye can see, trees providing some shelter from the heat, and a vast number of people relaxing and enjoying the city's famous beers.

But while 8,000 is an impressive number, it's not as impressive as 15,000. That's how many people the Munich city council has switched from Windows to Linux over the last decade..


While the LiMux version of Kubuntu was fairly standardised across the different departments in the city, it took a lot of work to provide the same functionality as the myriad Windows setups previously out there. Peter and his team counted over 50 different configurations of Windows in use, so even when the transition had gone well for one department, the requirements of the next one were often completely different.

Today, the IT infrastructure is a lot more centralised, with the LiMux developers issuing new releases and giving support. It's much easier to fix problems and help people when you have roughly the same operating system on each PC, rather than non-standard custom setups with different service packs, patches and so forth.

Money talks

While the initial aim of the project wasn't to save money, it's still what a lot of people talk about. Today, over a decade down the line, has LiMux been a good idea in terms of finances?

"Yes, it has, depending on the calculation. We did a calculation and we made it publicly available on our information system for the city council. We have the exact same parameters for staying with Windows as with the migration to the Linux platform. Based on those parameters, Linux has saved us €10m."

A respectable sum indeed—but some companies weren't happy with it. HP compiled a study which concluded that no, actually, switching to Linux had cost the city €60m. Had Munich stayed with Microsoft's products and moved to Windows XP and Office 2003, it would only have cost €17m. So what did Peter and his team make of this?

"We contacted HP and said: 'Nice numbers, how did you calculate them'? And they said 'Uh, um, that was an internal paper and not supposed to be published...' They published a summary, but it was not clear for anyone to see how they calculated."

As a major partner of Microsoft, it's not surprising that HP would try to put a different spin on the project. But the proof is in the pudding: LiMux has been a success, has shown how flexible and effective free software is, and will hopefully inspire many other cities to follow its lead in the future.'

- How Munich switched 15,000 PCs from Windows to Linux, May 16, 2014</blockquote>


<blockquote>'..the open source way..' - '..changing the world.'

Beyond democracy - 'Open source .. to positively change our society..'

'..open source collaborative process .. vision..'

(In The Electric Universe) Open Source Infrastructure, beginning of the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS)</blockquote>