French parliament picks Ubuntu for Linux switch

French parliament picks Ubuntu for Linux switch

Summary: When members of the French parliament and their assistants return from their summer break, they will conduct parliamentary business on PCs running Ubuntu. Starting in June 2007, 1,154 desks will feature Linux-based PCs.

SHARE:

When members of the French parliament and their assistants return from their summer break, they will conduct parliamentary business on PCs running Ubuntu.

Starting in June 2007, 1,154 desks will feature Linux-based PCs. During the latest IT update for parliamentary assistants, the National Assembly decided to switch from Windows to Linux, allowing the 577 parliament members to switch to non-proprietary software for the first time.

The project was won by IT services company Linagora, an open-source specialist, and Unilog. Mandriva was mentioned in several documents under consideration but was eventually dropped.

As well as using the Ubuntu software, the parliament members and their assistants will use Firefox, OpenOffice, Mozilla's messaging client Thunderbird, and other applications.

Parliament members Richard Cazenave and Bernard Carayon, of the Union for a Popular Movement party, have defended the project, noting that there are certain advantages with open-source software, such as the reduced cost of public IT equipment and the added value to French and European users.

Before making its decision, the assembly hired Atos Origin to undertake a study into the matter, which concluded that "open-source solutions now offer functionality adapted to the needs of MPs and will allow the realisation of substantial economies despite certain installation and training costs." The budget for switching from Windows to Linux is expected to be approximately $105,000.

The French lower house is already using open-source software elsewhere in its IT systems, including the Apache Web server and the Mambo content management system. The parliament members' move to open source is the first involving the switch of an operating system; previous initiatives have been more focused on servers, OpenOffice and Firefox.

Topics: Open Source, Browser, Linux, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

4 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Ubuntu and/or Kubuntu

    Does this by implication include Kubuntu as well? There are several out of the box advantages to Kubuntu vs Ubuntu for developer purposes.
    anonymous
  • Ubuntu

    I wouldn't be surprised if it included all versions of Ubuntu, depending on the needs of staff and infrastructure.
    It's definitely good news for many reasons.
    anonymous
  • Ubuntu

    does it really matter which version they use as long they use Ubuntu.
    anonymous
  • Ubuntu

    What really matters is are they STILL using it?
    anonymous