Monday, January 25, 2010

Going completely open source

I'm pleased to bring you this story: A New Zealand high school converted entirely to an open source software platform, both server and desktop. By doing so, the school has slashed its server requirements by a factor of about 50 - despite a government deal that effectively mandates Microsoft software in all schools.

This was a bold move, since (as we too often see, unfortunately) a national contract with the government means Microsoft gets paid anyway, even though the school doesn't run any Microsoft software.

The school runs Ubuntu on the desktop, and Mandriva on 4 servers: firewall, storage, and 2 virtual host servers (KVM). They also use Mandriva Directory Server to manage the school's LDAP directory, OpenOffice and Google Docs for documents, Moodle for education, Mahara for student portfolios, etc.

Good job!


  1. Even more important is that this was reported on in CIO Magazine. Which means other CIOs will read about it, and perhaps move some of their systems as well. A 50x reduction in systems is pretty significant, any CIO would be impressed.

  2. Wat really gets me is that the govmt made some sort of volume agreement with M$, so M$ still gets the money whether or not these guys are using it. When will orgs learn to not do this.

  3. I hope it works out very well for them. As long as the software provides everything needed to get their jobs done, I'm sure the computer people will be able to concentrate more on what they love doing rather than fixing all the borked MS machines. If only enough public schools (anywhere on the planet) would use free software, governments will find they can save a bundle on not wasting money on paid-for non-free software.

    @weezil: probably just more management mantra - the "we'll get a better price on everything if we have only one purchasing agent". In reality the entire school body on a whole does not get a significantly better deal than individual school districts - but someone gets to make false claims and get a large bonus.


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