Hello Windows, welcome Linux: German state turns the page


Linux as an alternative to Windows , an open source operating system that takes the place of a proprietary one. Replacing Windows with Linux is an option considered not only by end users, but also by state public administrations: this is demonstrated by the example of Schleswig-Holstein , German federal state which announced the process of gradual transition from Windows to Linux . The finish line will be reached by the end 2026 , with intermediate stages. The ultimate goal is about approximately 25. 000 computer in which LibreOffice will replace the Microsoft Office suite, and the operating system of the penguin that of the Redmond house.

I 25 . computers are those used by employees and employees of the public administration , including teachers. This means that a large chunk of the lander’s bureaucratic machine will be entrusted to Linux-based machines within the next five years. The main reason for the change of route coincides with the will of to contain costs , and then there are also all the advantages of open source, starting from the greater flexibility of the software . Jan Philipp Albrecht, the minister in charge of managing the digital transformation process of Schleswig-Holstein, explains the reasons for the change of route:

Firstly, financial, because licensing fees have continued to rise in recent years. Secondly, as regards our administration digitalisation objectives. Open source simply gives us more flexibility. At the same time, all the advantages that open source has always had apply: independence, security and data protection.

The minister also highlighted the ease with which it is possible to integrate LibreOffice into the existing infrastructure and confirmed that the lander plans to progressively reduce the work done offline by preferring cloud tools based on dPhoenixSuite (needless to say, an open-source platform).


Nobody denies the advantages of open source solutions (we certainly could not do it, even in light of our past as geeks) and the desire to look for alternatives to Windows and cheaper and more flexible Microsoft software, especially when the costs associated with its use weigh on the state coffers (therefore on those of citizens). At the same time, one cannot help but remember that, precisely in Germany, a few years ago, the city of Munich proved that it is not always the case that switching from Windows to Linux is convenient for public administration .

Please note that the local administration decided to make the passage in 2004, ten years later had to conclude that the experience had not been good overall and he chose to gradually switch back to Windows. In addition to the license costs, in fact, other aspects must be considered: for example the problems that can arise when, willy-nilly, it is necessary to make the Linux machine park interact with the Windows ones, which continue to represent the standard. These are activities that can involve extra costs and inefficiencies.

The idea of ​​flexibility is also a great thing – on paper – but in practice, it requires resources to continue developing and keeping customized solutions up-to-date. At the time, Monaco concluded that the cost savings on licenses had been offset by these initially unforeseen costs. Schleswig-Holstein now appears to be in the same constructive and enthusiastic phase that the Munich administration was in in 2004. Of course, many years have passed, technology has evolved, and the plan is wider (extended to an entire lander), but the unknowns remain .

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