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Linux Software Government Politics

French Parliament Chooses Ubuntu 174

Posted by kdawson
from the all-those-letters-are-silent dept.
atamyrat reminds us that last November it was announced that the French Parliament had decided to switch to Linux. At that time the distro had not been determined. It will be Ubuntu: "[T]wo companies, Linagora and Unilog, have been selected to provide the members of the Parliament as well as their assistants new computers containing free software. This will amount to 1,154 new computers running Ubuntu prior to the start of the next session which occurs in June 2007."
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French Parliament Chooses Ubuntu

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  • It strikes me as a good distro for individuals new to Linux, but I personally would never deploy Ubuntu in a business or government setting. I would go for something a little more enterprise-ish, like Fedora, (Open)SUSE, or Debian.
    • by Noryungi (70322)

      Hmmm... As long as their servers are secure, Ubuntu is as good a choice as any other.

      You said it yourself: it's a good distro for individuals new to Linux.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The thing is that Ubuntu is built around the latest and greatest bleeding edge bits and pieces, it's quite common for stable packages to be replaced with beta versions and for things to break horribly without warning. Maybe Ubuntu could start releasing a toned down distribution for use in environments where stability and predictable behaviour is more important.
        • by Knuckles (8964) <`gro.naitnad' `ta' `selkcunk'> on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:57AM (#18315009)
          The thing is that Ubuntu is built around the latest and greatest bleeding edge bits and pieces, it's quite common for stable packages to be replaced with beta versions and for things to break horribly without warning. Maybe Ubuntu could start releasing a toned down distribution for use in environments where stability and predictable behaviour is more important.

          You have no clue how the Ubuntu releases work, do you? What you proposing exists since 06/2006, it is called Ubuntu 6.06 LTS [ubuntu.com]
          • by BiggyP (466507)
            That doesn't sounds much like dapper to me, it's just the same old bleeding edge ubuntu with a longer support period, i've heard all manner of horror stories about 6.06
            • by Knuckles (8964)
              it's just the same old bleeding edge ubuntu with a longer support period, i've heard all manner of horror stories about 6.06

              Well, it's not. The changes from Warty to Hoary to Breezy to Dapper have become more progressively more conservative. Breezy to Dapper was for many people quite disappointing because not much exciting happened, just polish.

              I don't know what horror stories you have heard, but every OS has bugs. All 6.06 installations I have done (some for people without a clue whatsoever) worked like a
        • by Zonk (troll) (1026140) on Monday March 12, 2007 @09:02AM (#18315075)
          Hmm. Perhaps you haven't heard of the LTS release. Dapper [ubuntu.com] is supported on the desktop for 3 years, 5 on the server. Packages are stable, only getting security and bug fixes. Similar to RHEL. I'm sure this is what they're planning on using. If not, they need to fire the implementers.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The Live CD - version would be be a boon to French computer security!
        No passwords or incriminating data will be stored on stolen from hard drive or secondary storage ever again!
        , and never suffer computer data theft or security issues from a computer hard disk again

        Live CD- isathe ticket to stopping data theft from computers from secondary storage like hard disks forever!
        Because No hard disk or secondary storage need be in the machine, a stolen computer reveals no data to t
    • I wouldn't dream of using Fedora in such a situation seeing the stablity issues Fedora Core 5 had out of the box. If I had to run for something free, I'd choose CentOS 4.4. Rock solid stablity and still top notch for usability.
    • by cyclop (780354)

      Why? What are the fundamental differences? Support? You can buy support from Canonical, AFAIK.

    • by JonathanR (852748)
      Perhaps you might like to elaborate on your aversion to Ubuntu in this situation?
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Tokimasa (1011677)
        I used Ubuntu for about a day. I found it to be childish and rudimentary. It didn't strike me as something professional or suitable for a working environment, but rather something that I would use in a school (elementary or middle/junior high) or at home for someone who is new to computing or new to Linux.

        I must admit, though, that it's been about a year since I tried Ubuntu. Maybe it has changed. But I read the site around the time the last release (Fiesty Fawn, I think it was) came out and it didn't look
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Da Fokka (94074)
          Linus... is that you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Short Circuit (52384) *
      To me, Fedora is the RPM equivalent of Ubuntu.

      I'm not sure either should be used as an enterprise's first Linux desktop rollout; Windows admins aren't accustomed to their relatively furious rate of major releases.

      Debian might have been a better choice, with its slow release cycle and decent security patch rollout rate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by meringuoid (568297)
        I'm not sure either should be used as an enterprise's first Linux desktop rollout; Windows admins aren't accustomed to their relatively furious rate of major releases.

        There's no law saying you have to be bleeding-edge; they can perfectly well stick with Dapper, which is the current 'long term support' release. The rest of us can install pre-release versions of Feisty if we want, but it's certainly not compulsory.

    • by MartinG (52587) on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:14AM (#18314647) Homepage Journal
      enterprise-ish

      Would you care to define enterprise-ish for us non-bullshit speaking types?
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Tokimasa (1011677)
        Enterprise-ish is something that is professional, powerful but easy to use, and expandable to multiple conditions and types of users (from the office secretary to an ace developer).
        • by MartinG (52587) on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:20AM (#18314671) Homepage Journal
          That sounds like pretty good description of Ubuntu to me!

          Which of those characteristics you describe are Fedora, (Open)SUSE or Debian better than Ubuntu at?

          Just to be clear, I'm not saying I think think Ubuntu is better than the others. In fact Fedora is probably my favourite disto. I just don't see how it is more "enterprise-ish" than Ubuntu is.
        • by Orgazmus (761208)
          Ant it must use XML as an "Information backbone" to call itself truly enterprise worthy.
        • by Nutria (679911)
          Enterprise-ish is something that is professional, powerful but easy to use, and expandable to multiple conditions and types of users (from the office secretary to an ace developer).

          "Enterprise" systems
          • handle lots of data
          • can be stripped down and highly configured to one task, or bulked up to be able to accomplish many simultaneous tasks,
          • don't choke when stressed,
          • are remotely administered,
          • are highly scriptable and automated,
          • are secure against viruses,
          • are constantly monitored (by eyeballs or automated system
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by meringuoid (568297)
        Would you care to define enterprise-ish for us non-bullshit speaking types?

        enterpriseish: expensive, in such a way as to allow the head of IT to justify his large budget and hence status within the organisation; carries connotations of several very nice lunches with vendors and junkets to important conferences on an expense account.

    • by Xymor (943922)
      If you're aiming for enterprise-ish why not chose RHEL over Fedora?

      It's admirable they are moving to open software, but their priority should be requiring the use of standards compiling software in all government areas.
      • by Phisbut (761268)

        It's admirable they are moving to open software, but their priority should be requiring the use of standards compiling software in all government areas.

        Ubuntu uses GCC, which is a pretty standard compiler to me...

    • by hey! (33014)
      I agree SUSE would be a better choice.

      The biggest and most critical challenge they're likely to have is directory services. I know that LDAP is up to the job, the question is, are their IT staff up to LDAP? With SUSE, they could cushion the blow by going with Novell's directory solutions.

      Aside from that, I don't think it makes much difference at all which of the mainline distros they take.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        By choosing SUSE you're a direct supporter of both Microsoft and software patents.
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          By choosing SUSE you're a direct supporter of both Microsoft and software patents.
          und zie germans... something the french are particularly known for.
    • by DrYak (748999)
      Or go for the local national stuff, like Mandriva / Mandrake ?
      As opposed to the south-african origins of ubuntu, german origins of SuSE and american origins of RedHat

      (Although I personally prefere SuSE's YaST to Mandriva's DrakConf. But public backing could boost sales of the distro and help finance more work on the config tools)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:04AM (#18314577)
    chair == chaise

    throw == jet

    monkey == singe

    boy == garçon

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Le singe est dans l'arbre
      La chaise est dans l'arbre
      Mr. Balmer conduit l'autobus
  • Cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by archeopterix (594938) on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:08AM (#18314603) Journal
    Ok, Yet Another Visible Organization chooses Ubuntu, joy & bliss. I'm curious whether they plan to contribute - bug reports, patches, new features/apps maybe?

    Frubuntu anyone? :-)

    • by Azathfeld (725855)
      I'm curious how long it'll be before this Yet Another Visible Organization Drops Ubuntu.
    • by creepynut (933825)
      Let's just show France we appreciate their support and tag the article blamefrance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think that would be expecting a lot, but if any organization chooses a linux distro, then it is in thier best interest to report any problems that happen during deployment. That alone would at least contribute something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'm curious whether they plan to contribute - bug reports, patches, new features/apps maybe

      It is hard not to contribute while using Linux in a large organization. They've got several companies doing support and services for them and that is going to include solving bugs. If nothing else, I imagine they'll be contributing bug fixes to the french language support, which is good it being such a common language in many third world countries where Linux can be a boon.

      • Yeah Linux will take over all those desktops in Haiti, Algeria and the Congo. This is a market that MS can't afford to lose.
    • The French parliament is obviously not going to submit patches. The companies they have hired to provide local support might submit patches that makes their support job easier, but those will just come in through the normal patch stream, and not be obviously linked to the parliament.
  • by atamyrat (980611) on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:13AM (#18314641)
    I came across with Wubi [cutlersoftware.com] - new Ubuntu installer for Windows. You don't have to burn CD nor create new partition.
    From FAQ:

    How does Wubi work?
    Wubi adds an entry to the Windows boot menu which allows you to run Linux. Ubuntu is installed within a file in the windows file system (c:\wubi\harddisks\ubuntu.hd), this file is seen by Linux as a real hard disk.
    How do I install Ubuntu?
    Run wubi, answer the few questions, reboot and select "Ubuntu" from the boot menu, go grab a coffee and when you are back Ubuntu will be ready for you.
    How do I uninstall it?
    You uninstall it as any other applications. In windows go to the control panel and select "Add or Remove Programs", then select Wubi and uninstall it. You can also use the uninstaller that you find in C:\wubi\uninstaller.exe.
  • by SimonInOz (579741) on Monday March 12, 2007 @08:18AM (#18314667)
    I seem to recall, just a few years ago, Microsoft was declared in court as being a monopolist.
    Now as I understand it, that's not illegal as such. It is, however, to use a monopoly to manipulate other markets.

    So, ever so quietly, Microsoft is supporting Linux in general up to the point where Microsoft can no longer be seen as a monopoly.

    Then it can go back to its previous predatory practices, maniulate other markets merrily, and nobody can say a word.

    Have I got that right?

    (I mean, it wouldn't do to see this as good news, surely?)

    • Except Linux and OSS in general has a long way to go to push MSFT out of the monopoly role.

      And by time OSS does that, it may have a strong enough foothold to undo MSFT anyways.

      Tom
  • Because the first year of real bureaucratic workers using only Linux will be hell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iworm (132527)
      "Glad I don't do my IT work in France"

      So are the French.
    • Not true. If applications do fit the purpose - it would be fine. And since they have backing of two consulting agencies, I hope they know what they do. I mean, somebody lobbied for the deal, someone sweetened the deal to the point of acceptance.

      [ I know people who moved bureaucracy to Linux - it was bit involuntary move when power failure fried bunch of hard drives 5(6?) years ago. IT gave three of their old Linux servers to department so that they would at least be able to work in Web interface. And p

    • Because the first year of real bureaucratic workers using only Linux will be hell.

      Why? Is it because you don't understand Linux, or is it because you think that they'll be doing something requiring a vastly different set of knowledge?

      If it's the latter, you're probably being foolish. What complex tasks are bureaucrats going to be left to that require Linux-specific knowledge on their behalf? Sending and receiving email? Viewing web pages? Reading and writing office documents? These are not Linux-cent

  • Good stuff (Score:3, Informative)

    by RoiDaGaubert (970028) on Monday March 12, 2007 @09:51AM (#18315685) Homepage
    I'm french and for once proud to be :-p

    Obviously that the only good decision that the french gouvernement took for a long while ....
  • just watch out for chairs though... ;)
  • Will be bashing all Ubuntu linux users next as unAmerican. .... well at least the ones I know about
    • by Nutria (679911)
      Will those neo-cons actually find out that the French Assembly is dumping Windows for Ubuntu?

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