South Korea plans 'Linux showcase city'

In an effort to boost take-up and awareness, the government is paying for a city to deploy open source across its infrastructure

The South Korean government plans to showcase the use of Linux, by paying for a city and a university to deploy the software on their servers and desktops.

Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) will choose which local government agencies and which university will be used for the showcase by the end of March, according to a report in The Korea Times.  The government will provide financial and technical support to the selected government and university, which will be required to install open source software as their main operating infrastructure, including desktop and notebook computers.

The government believes the showcase city and university will encourage other organisations to migrate to open source software.

"The test beds will prompt other cities and universities to follow suit through the showcasing of Linux as the major operating system without any technical glitches and security issues," said MIC director Lee Do-kyu, according to The Korea Times.

The South Korean government has funded a number of open source initiatives over the last few years. In 2003, the government announced a plan to replace a significant proportion of proprietary software on PCs and servers with open source alternatives by 2007. In 2005, the government said it would provide over £1.5m to government agencies to encourage them to adopt open source software.

South Korea is also part-way through a massive rollout of open source software to schools. The project, called the National Education Information System, plans to install a Korean-developed version of Linux in 10,000 schools across the country.