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Linux replaces Windows in German public systems

Munich chooses Linux instead of Windows, a big change for the German city. The decision was made by the recently elected politicians.

The agreement of the new combination between the elected Green Party and the Social Democrats was finalized on Sunday and will be in force until 2026: "Wherever it is technologically and financially strong, the city will emphasize open standards and free open-source authorized software. We will follow the principle of "public money, public code". This means that as long as confidential and personal data is not involved, the source code of the software in the city will be public. "

Linux replaces Windows on German public systems

A look back at the past

The beginning of the road to this decision is 15 years ago, in 2003, when the Microsoft planned to end support for Windows NT 4.0. So Munich was called upon to find a replacement, and in 2006 it began to move away from proprietary software. This pioneering and ambitious project, for the data of that time, was based on Linux, was independent of suppliers and was open, codenamed "LiMux»(Combination of Linux and Munich). While 80% of the city's management computers were scheduled to run on LiMux software by 2013, the board continued to run Microsoft software at the same time. However, when the government changed, in 2017, it was decided to abolish LiMux and select it Microsoft, a decision that seemed suspicious to many.

It is expected that any such transition will take years. But in the case of Munich, it can move faster due to their prehistory. If the CDU remains in power, it could become the official seat of the German government.

However, technically neither systems is no better than the other in modern use, said Basanta Thapa, a digital expert with the Fraunhofer Foundation's government: "It's not a purely technical decision, but more political, in my opinion. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I find it very exciting that Munich is back. "

This decision is undoubtedly a victory for his supporters free software, who consider it as the best choice, economic and political, but also in terms of administrative transparency.

Ultimately, this option may lead to complete independence from major suppliers.

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