Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Nov 2017 23:12 UTC
Linux

The LiMux (or Limux) initiative in Munich has been heralded as an example of both the good and bad in moving a public administration away from proprietary systems. Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) President Matthias Kirschner reviewed the history of the initiative - and its recent apparent downfall - in a talk at Open Source Summit Europe in Prague. He also looked at the broader implications of the project as well as asking some questions that free-software advocates should consider moving forward.

The LiMux initiative is one of the longest-running story 'streams' on OSNews. The oldest item I could find is from 2003.

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These are the candidates...
by JLF65 on Sat 11th Nov 2017 00:23 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

That all ended in 2014. The old mayor did not run for reelection, so a new mayor, Dieter Reiter, from the same party was elected. Reiter did not like Limux and was quoted in some articles as being a Microsoft fan. He ran partly on the idea of switching away from Limux.


Despite saving the city $16M (a little less than 12M euros), and despite the fact that they'll have to buy all new licenses for Windows, he's going to switch the city back to Window. I'd hate to live there right now.

Reply Score: 3

RE: These are the candidates...
by mkowalik on Tue 14th Nov 2017 14:54 UTC in reply to "These are the candidates..."
mkowalik Member since:
2012-08-06

Rest assured, it's still a nice place to live, and honestly, what OS is being used by the city council is probably the least of the problem for (almost) anyone living down here.

Not once a conversation topic, outside the local Linux User Group, that is. The property rent price explosion on the other hand...

I personally don't even think the license price was an issue for the town - they have got MSFT to move in from UnterschleiƟheim to Munich lately, I guess that offset some of the trouble.

The Limux discussion was extremely political from the beginning, and I hoped it could work, but what I never understood was why on earth fork a new distribution - what did they win, beside extra maintenance job to keep LiMux in sync with Ubuntu?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by DefineDecision
by DefineDecision on Sat 11th Nov 2017 01:08 UTC
DefineDecision
Member since:
2017-10-09

<I have more opinions, but that'll have to wait until FreeBSD finishes installing....>

I've never heard a straight story regarding LiMux, especially what it was like in the trenches. It's always filtered through the lens of ideologues. I wonder how good of an idea it was, how it was implemented, and how much resistance there was not politically, but in the field.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by DefineDecision
by jessesmith on Sat 11th Nov 2017 14:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by DefineDecision"
jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

I have noticed that too. It's always politicians talking about cost savings or productivity or training. The people in the offices, the end users and IT staff, never seem to be interviewed in these articles.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by DefineDecision
by Flatland_Spider on Mon 13th Nov 2017 18:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by DefineDecision"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

LWN had a good article about this, but it's behind a paywall now.

The best kernel in the article was IT didn't have control over the situation and everything was fragmented. People wouldn't upgrade which caused bugs to hang around, so things spiraled out of control.

Interestingly, RedHat has finally realized controlling lots of Linux desktops is a problem and released FleetCommander. (https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Fleet-Commander-...) It's roughly equivalent to Active Directory's GPO and a compliment to FreeIPA.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by DefineDecision
by oiaohm on Tue 14th Nov 2017 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by DefineDecision"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Controlling lot of Windows desktops is also a problem.

Items like Freeipa that Fleet Commander depends on are still stuck in debian sid(unstable). So this solution is not very cross distribution.

There have been many groups in schools and governments managing Linux Desktops in the thousands to 10 of thousands using puppet. So I don't see lack of something like group policy as barrier that cannot be overcome.

Companies make their living providing third party windows management solutions for windows desktops so the windows side is not that friendly here either.

The big issue is always dependency hell. flatpak and snappy are starting to offer us a way out of that might be more generally used upstream.

People would not upgrade question why? The answer is more annoying simple.

They have X program with X version that is required to X. Now when X program is updated to a newer version you have cases at times that the older files don't open. So now you have be it Windows or Linux new copy of the OS where the old version of the program does not run.

Under windows people can be blocking particular updates from installing so key programs they depend on work. Yes windows blocked home users from blocking particular updates but with windows 10 enterprise people still can using wsus. So over time windows deployments start fragmenting the same way.

Most places that have long term Linux deployments have systems in place for dealing with this problem. Munich when the insanely increase testing route. Not solution to allow old on new and new on old when required.

By the way the suggesting of returning to MS Office is a laugh.
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Feature_Comparison:_LibreOffice_...
Reason why Libreoffice was looked at in the first place was Microsoft Office dropping backwards compatibility support.

Reality the choices of Libreoffice + Microsoft Office and Libreoffice alone make sense for something like government that may be required to look at 20+ year old documents about civil infrastructure deployments because you need backwards compatibility.

Also Libreoffice has enough unique features to stand on it own two feet.

Reply Score: 2

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Controlling lot of Windows desktops is also a problem.


It's easier for unskilled hacks to get something basic going. Click a few buttons to get AD stood up; a few more clicks for GPO. Not needing technical staff with a deep understanding of all the pieces, and how they work is a boon for many organizations.

Items like Freeipa that Fleet Commander depends on are still stuck in debian sid(unstable). So this solution is not very cross distribution.


That's not really a problem. Switch to the RH ecosystem. ;)

Seriously, it's a Debian problem. There isn't a lot of interest from the Debian crowd.

There have been many groups in schools and governments managing Linux Desktops in the thousands to 10 of thousands using puppet. So I don't see lack of something like group policy as barrier that cannot be overcome.


I'm sure there are. Unix has had the problem of management of mass deployments solved for decades, and it's not rocket science to get Kerberos, LDAP, and some config management setup, despite what some people think. FreeIPA and Fleet Commander are just shortcuts.

Going back to staffing issues. A lot of times management will get cold sweats when things don't have a GUI, and they kind of have a point. It's easier to hire unskilled hacks and sit them in front of a GUI then it is to find skilled hacks who can work a command line. The GUI front end for the unskilled hacks is the hole FreeIPA and Fleet Commander are really filling.

Companies make their living providing third party windows management solutions for windows desktops so the windows side is not that friendly here either.


Windows isn't friendly in general. After all these years, it's still incredibly hard to do some simple things.

I only have to deal with a few Windows installs these days, and I still hate it when I have to.

The big issue is always dependency hell. flatpak and snappy are starting to offer us a way out of that might be more generally used upstream.


Yes and no. People like to make a mountain out of dependencies, but it's really more of a mole hill.

Unix-like systems make it stupidly easy to adjust the environment and build your own file tree, so I don't see Flatpak or Snappy offering anything new or interesting as far as dependency management goes.

Interestingly, TrueOS/PC-BSD originally used PBIs, which were similar to Flatpak and Snappy, to package software, but in the end they went back to regular packages.

Reply Score: 1

Windows 10
by MechaShiva on Sat 11th Nov 2017 21:27 UTC
MechaShiva
Member since:
2005-07-06

As someone working in a state government organization supporting Windows 10 clients, I hope they have a good plan for tracking major OS build releases. Pushing out OS refreshes every 9 or so months is a giant pain in the ass, especially if you have software that doesn't cope well with the upgrade process. Organizations of this size are far more reactive than adaptive so unless the infrastructure and expertise are ready for the task, things are going to get much more expensive than they might be factoring. Managing windows 10 environments requires a skill set above and beyond anything required by previous versions of Windows. Yes, there is a great deal more flexibility in the process but the added complexity is nothing to sneeze at.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows 10
by oiaohm on Sun 12th Nov 2017 00:29 UTC in reply to "Windows 10"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

If I am reading what you wrote right. This does not sound any better than looking after a Linux solution. Sounds worse in fact. So no 12 month cycle between major changes.

Sooner snappy and flatpak comes more common on Linux the better by the sound of it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Sun 12th Nov 2017 17:27 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

Not going to say most but there still are business people (and politicians) that whenever they hear problem with X software they think about it as a package (i.e: mail doesn't work - oh no, linux is not working again, we had an outage because network was down - that linux box again .. ).
Based on this it's usually about whoever comes with the best investment plan. What's inside doesn't matter after all as long as it works as advertised.

Reply Score: 4

Kudos To Limux Munich...
by dionicio on Mon 13th Nov 2017 22:04 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Losing This Battle don't mean You're fighting the Wrong War.

Future efforts should pivot around culture management.

Tip: focus on ONE... Format. One by One. GRAB control of it, within gov.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Kudos To Limux Munich...
by dionicio on Mon 13th Nov 2017 22:13 UTC in reply to "Kudos To Limux Munich..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Most Of Gov Work can be implemented with simple text and lots of protocols. You Can embed media on base 64 there.

Unix is text based on excellent... reasons.

Reply Score: 1