Hundreds of schools in the Northern Italian province of Bolzano have migrated from Windows XP to Linux for the forthcoming academic year.
All of the Italian-language schools in the province have adopted the software, according to Christopher Gabriel, chief technical officer with Truelite SRL, a Italian GNU/Linux consultancy company that is coordinating the deployment. Truelite managed the technical aspects of the migration, from software development to teaching the courses.
The migration, known as the FUSS Project, means that 16,000 students will be using Linux from 12 September, when the new school terms starts. A 40-strong installation party installed the Debian flavour of Linux and the GNOME desktop environment on 2,460 PCs during July and August.
The deployment was funded by the Italian Scholastic Intendancy of the Province of Bozen, the European Social Fund and the Centre for Professional Training in Italian CTS "Luigi Einaudi".
Gabriel was upbeat about the deployment: "All the teachers will use this software, and the FUSS Project will print and distribute about 20,000 CDs to the students' families so they can install the software at home," he said.
This is the first such project in Italy claimed Gabriel, who hopes more Italian provinces will follow suit. "There are some similar projects here in Italy, all in an embryonic phase. FUSS is the only project which has already installed software onto schools' computer systems."