US schools trial desktop Linux

Hundreds of thousands of Linux machines could eventually be deployed in the state of Indiana

A number of schools in the US state of Indiana have deployed Linux in a pilot project that could lead to every secondary school pupil in the state using the open source operating system, software company Linspire said on Thursday.

Linspire, which sells a version of Linux aimed primarily at consumers, said "dozens" of classrooms across Indiana have already deployed the open source operating system on desktops. If the trial is successful, around 300,000 Linux PCs could be deployed over coming years. This would allow every secondary school pupil to have access to a Linux desktop in each classroom they visit during the day.

Kevin Carmony, the president and chief executive of Linspire said the trial is going well and could lead other schools deploying Linux.

"We're thrilled that a desktop Linux solution is being evaluated in Indiana with such success, and we're confident that other school systems will look to this deployment as an example for their own classrooms. This is a way educators can give every student quality, well-equipped computers at a price the schools can afford," said Carmony in a statement.

The US is not the only country with large-scale plans to roll-out Linux on the desktop. South Korea has deployed Linux in 190 schools in its capital city Seoul and plans to eventually roll it out to 10,000 schools across the country. The city of Bergen in Norway is also at the early stages of a desktop Linux roll-out that will eventually lead to 32,000 pupils and 4,000 teachers using Linux at 100 schools across the city.