Who Says Linux is Not Growing?

Who Says Linux is Not Growing?

Who says Linux is not growing? Everyday somewhere around the globe people ranging from personal businesses to government agencies are switching to Linux. Governments are also encouraging the use of it.

Recently the Munich government have started distributing Ubuntu 12.04 LTS version CD’s to its citizens. Because of the end time of Microsoft Windows XP.

The news all over the web about governmental, security, military agencies and others migrating thousands of computers to Linux distros ranging from Ubuntu, Debian, and others daily.

One of this big adaption is the France Gendermerie and GedBuntu.

“GendBuntu is a version of Ubuntu adapted for use by France’s National Gendarmerie. The Gendarmerie pioneered the use of open source software on servers and personal computers since 2001 when it adopted the OpenOffice.org office suite, making the OpenDocument .odf format its nationwide standard.”

A publication by JoinUp on September 30, 2013 covers how it all started and how Open Source software packages and OS  over weighs proprietary software packages, and the number of  computers that have been migrated to Linux so far from Windows XP. Also the number of computers to be reached by September 2014.

Below is a full coverage too of the timeline.

Timeline of the Adaption of GedBuntu by France Gendarmerie

2004 – OpenOffice.org software replaces 20,000 copies of the Microsoft Office suite on Gendarmerie computers, with the transfer of all 90,000 office suites being completed in 2005.
2006 – Migration begins to the Mozilla Firefox web browser, on 70,000 workstations, and to the Mozilla Thunderbird email client. The Gendarmerie follows the example of the Ministry of Culture in this decision. Other software follows, such as GIMP.
2008 – The decision is made to migrate to Ubuntu on 90% of the Gendarmerie’s computers by 2016. Ubuntu is installed on 5,000 workstations installed all over the country (one on each police station’s LAN), primarily for training purposes.[2]
2009 – Nagios supervision begins
2010 – 20,000 computers ordered without a pre-installed operating system
January 2011 – Beginning of the large scale phasing in of GendBuntu 10.04 LTS
December 2011 – 25,000 computers deployed with GendBuntu 10.04 LTS
February 2013 – Upgrade from GendBuntu 10.04 LTS to GendBuntu 12.04 LTS. The local management and IT support teams will phase in the upgrade in such a way to not disrupt the running of the police stations.
May 2013 – Target for end of the migration to GendBuntu 12.04 LTS – 35,000 computers upgraded.
December 2013 – 43,000 computers deployed with GendBuntu 12.04 LTS.
February 2014 – Beginning of final stage of the migration of existing Windows XP computers to GendBuntu 12.04 LTS
September 2014 – Migration completed. 75,000 computers deployed with GendBuntu 12.04 LTS.”

Sources: Wikipedia and JoinUp

  • nasser

    linux slowly becomes more popular and know in our city (Tabriz) , i think i can be a good replacement for other os s…

  • littlenoodles

    I’d like to know how they managed that 2 year upgrade cycle. One of the weak links in the Linux chain is the frequency of major upgrades requiring a fresh install. As a home user, I’m able to manage it pretty effectively. I used to run PCLinuxOS, which did rolling upgrades and couldn’t have been easier – when it worked ;-)

    Ubuntu doesn’t support that. Since I’ve switched to Mint, I’ve gone through one re-install style upgrade. It wasn’t too bad, since I keep /home in its own filesystem and Ubuntu/Mint comes with a utility to remember all the packages you had installed and automagically reinstall them on the new OS.

    In any case, my office computer’s still running XP (way more than 2 years). It’s not the latest thing, but it still works okay. An upgrade to Win7 would be painful indeed, but the ugly upgrade you don’t have to do might beat the nicer one you have to do every two years…

  • http://stop.zona-m.net Marco Fioretti

    Hi nasser, I’d really like to know more about how Linux is known and used in Tabriz, in order to write an article about it: please email me at mfioretti@nexaima.net, thanks!

  • http://stop.zona-m.net Marco Fioretti

    The next step to make Linux grow even more, and above all in the right way and with the right people, is to make personal, Linux-based clouds a reality, as I propose at http://per-cloud.com

  • Enock Seth

    Hello littlenoodles,

    Talking about upgrades every two years…..

    The best choice for you should be LTS (Long Term Supports). The current LTS Ubuntu 12.04 has until April 2017. Isn’t it better?

  • Patryk Poblocki

    Yes it is but there always be someone with complains ;) Oh by the way, after last MS updates the fonts just disappeared from my Win7 but it’s fine because Windows is such a great OS :D LOL

  • iowabeakster

    Ubuntu doesn’t do rolling release. But ubuntu major release updates are very easy. Just click the update button, come back a couple hours later (depends on hardware and download speed) and you are done*. Files, settings, apps (which are updated through the repositories if needed) are all intact.

    Outside (unofficial) repositories are temporarily disabled. After the system updates, go back and enable those outside repositories to update those apps.

    *For system mods that have been made it’ll ask if you if you want to keep them or replace with the new version defaults. So if you make mods to the system, you’ll need to answer keep/replace questions during the process, so you might need to keep an eye for the pop-ups.

    But, really There isn’t any type of major release update that could be any easier/quicker. To say that a fresh install in needed, is very simply untrue. I’ve been doing it on my oldest machine for a long time. I did the update from 10.04-12.04. And then did the update from 12.04-12.10. And from 12.10-13.04.

    And the 12.04 LTS is supported for 5 years, not two.

    Easy… very easy…

  • iowabeakster

    Oh, and I do love the cinnamon desktop in Mint, which I am running on a different machine. I really hope Mint can make major updates as easy as Ubuntu does, because my computer time is always on desktops, and I prefer the traditional desktop of Mint.

    And even if… with an upgrade cycle of 6 months, and complete fresh installs each time, requiring running back-ups to save files, reinstalling all apps, setup, etc etc etc. That would take most of a day, maybe (of course not everything would need to be done in that one day to get back to work).

    Over that 6 month time period, I’d waste a lot more time dealing with horrible performance during normal daily windows updates (and issues with updater), virus protections, system freezes, crashes, etc etc etc. It’s plain awful after you spend some years using something much better. At least Microsoft has inertia going for it still.

    But ask the IT guys in the French police about it. They aren’t making the switch because it more difficult. :)

  • Danny

    I was on a Delta flight and they had to restart the server for the in-seat entertainment. It ran Linux! I didn’t catch which distro (I’m sure it was probably custom) but I did see Tux.

  • juzzlin

    Linux is very common in embedded systems like that.

  • littlenoodles

    The problem with staying on LTS for the full 5 years is that major upgrades to stuff are often not backported. I’ve seen cases where a Firefox upgrade never makes it out because of GTK dependencies on a newer version of GTK. It’s probably possible to support both versions of a major toolkit simultaneously, but obviously not easy – otherwise distros would do it.

    Things change really fast in linux-land, and that has good and bad aspects. Nice to see that Ubuntu makes upgrades so easy (if it’s really true). I’m surprised Mint’s upgrades aren’t equally easy, since it’s based on Ubuntu. PCLOS was a breeze – but unfortunately, they can’t install on a GPT partitioned machine with EFI (not the ‘secure’ kind) booting scheme. Sheesh…

    Anyway, I hope Munich and the French police have figured out how to manage upgrades effectively, because other than that, the savings are obvious.

  • http://devtools.korzh.com/ devtools.korzh

    I know that developers prefer linux, but for me it seems to be inconvenient a bit.

  • Enock Seth

    Great. Tux is everywhere.

  • littlenoodles

    Yes, 5 years is better than 2. Then again the original article mentions that they didn’t wait the full 5 years. They upgraded from 10.04 to 12.04. And there’s a reason for that. At some point, you can’t get the latest version of important apps, even on an LTS platform. Sure, you’ll get backported bugfixes that will hopefully prevent major security holes from opening up. But the basic desktop toolkits used to develop apps are under such a rapid state of flux that once those apps start targeting a new version of a toolkit, it becomes near impossible to keep a backport going. That’s a problem, which is mitigated somewhat by the fact that upgrades are free. But the work of upgrading tens of thousands of desktops isn’t free.

    While it’s nice to see that the old TCO canard doesn’t play out, and these guys are still managing a nice 40% cost savings in spite of choosing to upgrade on a 2 year schedule, it’d be even nicer to see an article that explains how they are able to manage it. If only to provide a ‘best practices’ roadmap that others can follow for successful migrations…

  • dschinn1001

    The public percentage of distributed Linux-systems with 1,61 % – refers to sold Linux-systems not to downloaded Linux-systems ! The number of downloaded Linux-systems is at least 5 to 10 times higher !