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Munich Decides On Debian

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the home-of-lager dept.

Debian 59

RichiH writes "Notwithstanding the recent craze about Ubuntu and the negative effects this might have, the german city of Munich chose Debian as the base for its LiMux project. Gonicus and SoftCon are the companies who were chosen to achieve this feat. With 14,000 desktops, this is one of the largest Linux transistions ever, even prompting Microsoft's Steve Balmer to offer a rebate of 90%. Other /. coverage here here and here."

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59 comments

Long time planning. (5, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233649)

This has been in the planning stage for a long time. Much as I love the almighty Penguin, I'll believe this when I see it.

Re:Long time planning. (0, Flamebait)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233740)

I had exactly the same thought -- this has turned into the new "one million GNOME desktops in Mexican schools".

It's interesting, though, how the spin has changed from "Take that, Microsoft!" to "Take that, Ubuntu!"

Re:Long time planning. (3, Insightful)

xoboots (683791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234149)

Who says this is a "Take that, Ubuntu!" ?? Just because the submitter suggested as much with his link to that retarded "controversy" the other day? Its all just meaningless flak. No doubt Munich chose the Debian distros they did (German) for the same reason that Suse was originally conisdered. No doubt SUse is not considered now just because it is now a foreign corporate entitity -- just like MS. Of course governments are going to want to support local ventures -- and why not? With Linux, they can. Everyone doesn't have to run distro "x" and it is possible to have many winners.

Re:Long time planning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12263877)

The country of origin of the software had no influence on the choice.

Re:Long time planning. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234159)

It's interesting, though, how the spin has changed from "Take that, Microsoft!" to "Take that, Ubuntu!"

That's probably because Ubuntu's theme reminds everyone of a box of Kashi.

Re:Long time planning. (2, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234594)

Just like with computer hardware, the longer you wait for Linux the better the version you get.

By the time deployment comes it will probably have OpenOffice 2.2, Evolution 2.4, etc.

Success of the project will be measured by office workers shrugging as they get to work on the new systems and finding expected functionality has continued wondering what the big deal was all about.

Kind of like the Y2K non-event.

Uh, Novell, SUSE, hello???! (1)

invisik (227250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233743)

What the heck happened there?

At least it's not Windows!

-m

Re:Uh, Novell, SUSE, hello???! (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233774)

Considering the internal problems that have recently been reported about Debian, this is even weirder a selection. I thought SuSE was a shoo-in as well.

Re:Uh, Novell, SUSE, hello???! (4, Interesting)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234100)

SuSE would have been a shoo-in had it not been bought by an American company. This is not an anti-European rant, but companies and governments (especially) look for 'local' companies to deal with. When Novell bought SuSE, Europe lost its local distro, and buying SuSE has the same trade-balance effect as buying from M$.

Re:Uh, Novell, SUSE, hello???! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234628)

Well, the whole thing is a politically motivated clusterfuck destined for expensive failure. Might as well toss in some irrelevant nationalism to boot.

The fact that these guys are switching distros after more than a year is a good sign that Ballmer wasted his time with that salespitch.

Re:Uh, Novell, SUSE, hello???! (1)

ftvcs (629126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264475)

I think the novell buying suse deal, made them switch from a corporate to a non-corporate strategy. After all they could have gone for Mandriva, if they were to choose for a european solution.

Not cheap enough (2, Funny)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233753)

prompting Microsoft's Steve Balmer to offer a rebate of 90%.

Ah, the price of Windows XP is now down to $20? With Linux and Solaris free of charge, Microsoft still has some distance to go.

Re:Not cheap enough (5, Funny)

ajrs (186276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233827)

Yeah, you would have to pay me a lot more than $20 to give up linux for XP.

Re:Not cheap enough (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234157)

What about dual-boot?

Re:Not cheap enough (2, Interesting)

ajrs (186276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234441)

I do have an old 98 partition I use to play games. For me, windows is only good for playing games, not for work. If you want me to use windows full time, you'd have to pay me enough that I didn't need to work anymore. And then some.

Re:Not cheap enough (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234214)


Therein lies the flaw in Microsoft's business model. Sun and IBM can pay you $20 to give up Windows, because they live off of hardware and services.

Re:Not cheap enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234558)

The "flaw" you are speaking is that customers can get complete and fit products cheaply. What you are suggesting is that we go back back to 1970s IBM-style buttreaming.

Re:Not cheap enough (2, Insightful)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12236029)

What you are suggesting is that we go back back to 1970s IBM-style buttreaming.

I don't think this is the result, but what is happening is that software-only systems companies (Microsoft) are being undercut on their entire product lineup. That ain't good for business.

Look what Sun and IBM can do that Microsoft can't:

- give away the OS (OpenSolaris and Linux)
- give away the dev platform (Java & J2EE--rumors of open source JES from Sun, too)
- give away productivity apps (OpenOffice.org, GIMP, etc.)

What does that leave Microsoft with, the XBox? All the while, Sun and IBM are selling SPARC, POWER, and Opteron servers and selling support and services surrounding those servers.

IMO, in the long term, Microsoft will either have to be bought by a real systems company (HP? Dell?) and become a small figment of what they now are or inevitably become a teeny-tiny figment of what they now are.

Re:Not cheap enough (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234905)

The cost of windows is not the $20, it's the cost of all the little add-ons that are absolutely free in the FOSS world that cost $19 here, $29 there, like cd/dvd burning software, office suites, editors, antivirus, etc.

The other cost, which, depending, can be more, is, comma, the cost of babying the system: Install this, upgrade this, enter validation key here, run ad-aware there, and all the gnarly little tasks that people don't do because they're so freaking boring and tedious that end up making a P4 crawl to a painful stop, making the befuddled l-user call ME on the weekend to "please help me fix my PC cuz it's soo sloww". And then, I have to spend my precious time (not that precious considering /. really) telling them nicely (they're a friend of my wife) that, hum, yes I'm a computer programmer, but that, hum, no, I can't help them because I'm so busy and without sounding like a complete insensitive jerk.

I really want to help them, but I know what happened: They hosed their box and want me to fix it. Well Sherlock, that's the cost of windows: If you install windows, you're gonna have problems, and the geeks around you will just leave you alone, because they don't want to buddy up with a l-user who's gonna ask them supid questions like: "Can you help me stop all the popups?"

Geeks are where the technology curve meets the 1600mph/58,000feet level. Windows people are stuck in a leaky barge on a mucky river full of pirhanas (sp?). Running windows guarantees you're going to hang out with gamers, MSoffice, email, and IE users who think Flash is cool. I'll pass.

You can call my attitude all high and mighty, but I guarantee I'd rather read the Dune Series than spend my life running regedit looking for crap keys.

Re:Not cheap enough (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12236168)

"Install this, upgrade this, enter validation key here, run ad-aware there, and all the gnarly little tasks that people don't do because they're so freaking boring and tedious that end up making a P4 crawl to a painful stop, making the befuddled l-user call ME on the weekend to "please help me fix my PC cuz it's soo sloww". And then, I have to spend my precious time (not that precious considering /. really) telling them nicely (they're a friend of my wife) that, hum, yes I'm a computer programmer, but that, hum, no, I can't help them because I'm so busy and without sounding like a complete insensitive jerk."

If you look at the capabilities of the Sun Grid along with SunRay, it is plausible that in the future people could order a managed desktop service (100% GNOME/Mozilla/OpenOffice.org/etc.) from their telephone or cable company just like ordering TV service or VoIP, now.

Many people already do this for e-mail (Yahoo! Mail) and search engines (Google), for example, so basic word processing and web browsing are not far-fetched extensions. It's just one of those things that someone's personal porn stash would be best kept on a home PC, but for tons of other things the privacy of a managed service is adequate.

Re:Not cheap enough (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12297699)

I'm looking at that, but so far, not seeing all that much. Where are the screenshots? Where is the video? Where is a free demo?

Is Sun offering a SunRay + SunGrid 90 day free trial combo to geeks?

Call me Japanese, but I don't recommend things to my boss/friends/schoolmates on hearsay and slick marketing brochures. I have to go kick the tires and take it around the block, if you gt my meaning.

I use Python. I recommend python. Other people use python on my recommendation.
likewise firefox. SunRay? No. Reason? I don't use SunRay. Reason? Can't figure out how to get a free account. Reason? It ain't offered. The ball is in your court, SunFan.

Re:Not cheap enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12272016)

Heh, I know how that is. I just explain to them that a programmer is not a system admin. I can write software but that doesn't mean I know how whatever OS they are using works.

When it comes to Windows half the time I don't even know what the hell is going on.

Great (0)

jaygray (141540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233777)

Good call Munich !

Re:Great (1)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233876)

WUNDERBAR!!!!!

That's the only German I know unfortunately. :(

Re:Great (1)

Squiddl3 (745702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234101)

but it fits perfectly,
keep on learning :)

Re:Great (0, Redundant)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234391)

"Gott erhalte Linux den Kaiser"

Linux ,Linux über alles, ,
Über alles in der Windows Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
als unix zusammenhält,
Von der GNU bis zu Herr Linus,
Von G.R.U.B bis IPTables -
Linux , Linux über alles,
Über alles in der Windows Welt.

Re:Great (2, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234410)

Sorry hit save instead of preview and extrans messed it up

"Gott erhalte Linux den Kaiser"
Linux ,Linux über alles,
Über alles in der Windows Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
als unix zusammenhält,
Von der GNU bis zu Herr Linus,
Von G.R.U.B bis IPTables
- Linux , Linux über alles,
Über alles in der Windows Welt.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12235071)

Redundant ? its a joke I thought
, a rewording of the German national anthem. Maybe offtopic or overrated but not redundant...

I see he messed up and had to reprint it but that does not warent redundant it warents nothing, perhaps overrated as I stated before .
Please for the love of God mods Read the FAQ before wasting your Mod points and learn to contribute to slashdot .

GargoMod

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12235250)

Sorry to disagree with someone so obviously agreeing with me , but it was redundant .. FC--

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12250090)

Let me introduce you to an interesting (and free!) game called Enemy Territory! You can pick up a couple more German words from it...not to mention frag a few people along the way. :)

Hmmmm, FPS as an edutainment title. It just might work!

Looking forward to the know-how... (1, Troll)

Erik_ (183203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233839)

I'm looking forward to see how they are going to plan a uniform distribution of packages across such a large quantity of workstations... rpm/apt/yum/redcarpet2/zenworks/altiris ?

Re:Looking forward to the know-how... (2, Insightful)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234233)

I'm looking forward to see how they are going to plan a uniform distribution of packages across such a large quantity of workstations... rpm/apt/yum/redcarpet2/zenworks/altiris ?

Well, since they are using Debian, I would assume the use of apt/dpkg since that's Debian's package management software.

I am curious as to what you mean by "a uniform distribution of packages"? Are you discussing the bandwidth of updating 14,000 desktops from a Debian mirror, and thus want to setup your own mirror/repository? Or, are you asking about how someone would administer/roll out 14,000 workstations?

Re:Looking forward to the know-how... (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234361)

Their own APT server containing only well tested packages, and then point all the 14.000 machines to that server? With a nightly cron job running apt?

Dunno if it would actually scale, but it's certainly a good possibility it would.

Re:Looking forward to the know-how... (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234992)

Maybe they don't need to be all the same? A tarball to install a standard base system and then according to the needs of the user? There is still the issue of updates though. They'll probably have their own server.

Ballmer can kiss my !@# (3, Insightful)

KingBahamut (615285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233857)

with his rebates. I think M$ is so vicious in their borg like behavior that giving an entire group of 14,000 users a 90% rebate is just a sign of what theyll do to keep their userbase in Europe. Something I fear that they have clearly lost already. Why doesnt Ballmer just give them Windows for free and see if that will denth their $800,000,000+ settlement by the EU?

Questions to be answered.

Re:Ballmer can kiss my !@# (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234245)


Microsoft can't give away Windows for free, because thier billions in cash would start to evaporate. Well, given how frequrently they settle lawsuits lately, it's probably evaporating already.

Re:Ballmer can kiss my !@# (1)

KingBahamut (615285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234623)

You are probably more likley correct than not.

Of course in Ballmers case, he sees a loss of marketshare. Thats probably why he offered.

What suprises me is the choice to go to Debian. Id have thought with the popularity of Novell/Suse in Europe, that it would have been the logical choice.

Re:Ballmer can kiss my !@# (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12235149)

But people forget that M$ has a ton of cash in the bank. They can practically live on interests alone.

Re:Ballmer can kiss my !@# (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12235373)

The shareholders expect better returns than bank interest rates. The $n billions that microsoft owns is really the shareholders money, because the shareholder own microsoft (that's what holding a share is).

If the shareholders were happy with bank rates, they would be better off buying US treasury bonds: less risks, same return.

No, MS can't just live on the interest. It _has_ to keep making money faster than other equally risky financial instruments to attract investors. Actually, a huge cash hoard is a liability and makes your stock underperform.

Company A: 50 million shares, $1/share , nets $10 million for the year: profit per share: $.20. Annual return per share: 20%

Company B: 50 billion shares, $1/share , nets $10 billion for the year: profit per share : $.20. Annual return per share: 20%

Same performance.

Company C: 5 million shares, $1/share, nets $2 million for the year, profit per share: $.40. Annual return per share: 40%

Better performance than company B.

Which would you rather invest in, risks being equal?

Re:Ballmer can kiss my !@# (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12236251)

I'm an amateur investor, but doesn't those billions in the bank also dilute their price/book ratio?

Nice link (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233891)

Very interesting site linked to in the 4th to last link of that article. I hadn't heard of this "/." before.

Oh, wait...

and the text in English (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233897)

courtesy of babelfish...

M?hen sets on Debian


The companies Softcon and Gonicus got the addition from the Bavarian state capital M?hen, the IT Migrationsprojekt LiMux with the production to unterst?en configuration and care of a basis Clients which is based on open SOURCE often commodity f?die 14,000 Arbeitspl?e of the city administration. That means, which will be based zuk?tige basis Client of the city administration on the Linux distribution Debian. The city M?hen had European-wide written this order out.

LiMux project manager Peter Hofmann is pleased?r a high participation in the advertisement and the Qualit?der offered achievements. That shows that a migration on Linux on the job is not "Exotenl?ng at the market". The offerer with the best Verh?nis received the addition from technical authority and price. Now z?g a prototype is to be provided, in order the tats?liche migration starting from year end begins to k?en.

The town councillor M?hens decided in May 2003to begin on the personal computers of the city open SOURCE often commodity since the Unterst?ung used f?das operating system at present by Microsoft was adjusted. Up to the summer 2004 a fine concept was provided to the technical conversion and the organizational conditions, which the town councillor absegnete on 16 June 2004. In September previous yearly best?gte a legal opinion the M?hener Linux course (anw/c't)

Can we have a proper translation please? mein Deutsch ist nich so gut

Re:and the text in English (2, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12235124)

Google normally produces similar results but with better handling of strange characters.
from the Google Translation of TFA [google.com] :

Munich sets on Debian

The companies Softcon and Gonicus received the addition from the Bavarian state capital Munich, the IT Migrationsprojekt LiMux with the production to support configuration and care of a basis Clients which is based on open SOURCE often commodity for the 14,000 jobs of the city administration. That means, which will be based future basis Client of the city administration on the Linux distribution Debian. The city Munich had European-wide written this order out.

LiMux project manager Peter Hofmann is pleased about a high participation in the advertisement and the quality of the offered achievements. That shows that a migration on Linux on the job is not "Exotenloesung at the market". The offerer with the best relationship received the addition from technical authority and price. Now a prototype is to be provided briskly, in order to be able to begin the actual migration at year end.

The town councillor Muenchens decided in May 2003 to begin on the personal computers of the city open SOURCE often commodity since the support for the operating system used at present was stopped by Microsoft. Up to the summer 2004 a fine concept was provided to the technical conversion and the organizational conditions, which the town councillor absegnete on 16 June 2004 . In September previous yearly confirmed a legal opinion Munich Linux course ( anw /c't)

Why be surprised? (3, Insightful)

bestadvocate (816742) | more than 9 years ago | (#12233977)

Debian still has a larger package base, more archs supported and a bit less complecated costomazations. Ubuntu is better for end users looking for an easy install. The only "distrobution" we have seen derive from Ubuntu is Kubuntu, and thats just an alternative set of packages for default installation, and I would not be surprised if this mostly remains the same. Debian as a distro base is tried and true.
I feel this is like comparing ROCK with Gentoo, if less extreem

Re:Why be surprised? (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234138)

Gnoppix is now based on Ubunto. Though the direction they are heading (Gnoppix is the official live CD version of Ubunto and Ubonto's live CD version disappears) means that "based on" will be short lived.

Re:Why be surprised? (1)

bestadvocate (816742) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234247)

oh damn your right, i kninda forgot about that because I downloaded both the Ubuntu Live CD and the Gnome Live cds, and couldnt find much diffrent. But that was back at early warty.

Re:Why be surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234263)

For the love of GOD .The distro is called Ubuntu not ubunto

Re:Why be surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234576)

For the love of GOD, who gives a shit?

Re:Why be surprised? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234215)

...and indeed, ubuntu is based on debian.

so.. why wouldn't they base their own distro on debian? it's after all a great base for something like that(as proved by ubuntu & others).

Riiiight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12234248)

And they'll no doubtedly run in to all sorts of issues just like the other cities that have tried this and eventually returned to the superior Windows platform. In the end, LinSux will still be a steaming pile of some of the shittiest code ever written, only used by retards and zealots with a sweaty, precarious grip on reality. Die, LinSux, die!

Re:Riiiight (1)

KingBahamut (615285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12236725)

Hmmmmm....Typical of an Anon Coward. If your going to flame , at least do it with an account so we can all Foe you out.

Again I refer to my previous post , if M$ is willing to dump free software onto a group to salvage a lost market share, no matter how small (14k in relative to the world is pretty small) , is a clear sign that M$ is concerned about loss.

Not saying that M$ doesnt have its place, it does. Its done wonders for the client to start off.

But its time to innovate, and they havent done that. All theyve done is release unstable and insecure product into the market and allow it to do what it does. Would we have large qualifiers of legistlation and law items going against spyware, malware, and viruses, if not for Microsoft?

Can someone answer that?

If your going to make a Troll comment at least do it with some flair.

Free beer? (0, Offtopic)

harley_frog (650488) | more than 9 years ago | (#12234614)

No? Oh, well, I still think this calls for a Heineken [heineken.com] .

Re:Free beer? (1)

Wudbaer (48473) | more than 9 years ago | (#12237705)

A Heineken ? In Munich ???? Heretic ! Burn him at the stake !

ubuntu (-1, Troll)

kwoff (516741) | more than 9 years ago | (#12235030)

Craze is the right word for it.

90%? (3, Insightful)

booch (4157) | more than 9 years ago | (#12236414)

A 90% price cut? That's pretty incredible. To me it says one of 2 things:
  • The company makes more than 90% profit on every copy of Windows they sell.
  • Microsoft was attempting to "dump" the software for less than their cost, and should be prosecuted for that crime.
If it's the first one, then people and companies need to start paying attention. If it's the second one, then the government(s) need to start paying attention.

marginal costs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238015)

The marginal cost of any copy of windows is the cost of distributing the software.

you see, with a standard product, like a car, a large hunk of the cost comes from paying for the raw materials, paying to make them into the parts and paying for the assembly and testing.

Since microsoft has already written windows the cost per additional sale is mostly in actual cd production. We are looking a cents/copy. But if they were to sell these in a microeconomic free market (one without monopolies) they would only be able to charge slightly more than marginal costs. If microsoft only got cents/copy they would lose money and all incentive to produce a product.

This has the side effect that they can increase revenue by decreasing the prices of a FEW copies that they otherwise would not have sold almost without limit.

Re:marginal costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241369)

Thanks for spelling that out, we're obviously so fucking stupid we need you to do our thinking for us.

Re:90%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12265779)

By that rationale, should open source projects get prosecuted for 'dumping' their software on the market for less than their cost?

Double standards suck.

Tip of the iceberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12243675)

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Debian.
Especially in germany are a lot of organizations which were dissatisfied with SUSE [suse.com] services and switched to Debian [debian.org] .
According [zdnet.co.uk] to [ianmurdock.com] Noèl Köthe's employer credativ [credativ.co.uk] , a company with strong Debian background, has made a SUSE to Debian migration for 30-40 organizations in 2004.
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