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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro 158

jrepin (667425) writes "The government of the autonomous region of Valencia (Spain) earlier this month made available the next version of Lliurex, a customisation of the Edubuntu Linux distribution. The distro is used on over 110,000 PCs in schools in the Valencia region, saving some 36 million euro over the past nine years, the government says." I'd lke to see more efforts like this in the U.S.; if mega school districts are paying for computers, I'd rather they at least support open source development as a consequence.
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

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  • TCO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:13PM (#47545975)
    At the risk of being modded troll I'll ask if anyone knows the TCO on these Linux roll outs. If Spain has lower tech wages it might be much lower than Windows, but in the United States at least there's tonnes of cheap Windows IT gurus but if you want someone that can admin your Linux boxes you'll pay through the nose. Google Docs and other web apps might be changing that though, at least until you hit college.
  • Re:TCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:32PM (#47546073)

    From my experience you need less Linux sysadmins to begin with. Its easier to do remote admin. So the TCO numbers Microsoft claims are usually bullshit.

  • by Lolaine ( 262966 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:39PM (#47546113)

    First of all: Valencia is the most indebted region of Spain in relation to it's GDP (and second in monetary value) . Having spent billions on ill-fated projects (F1 track, Americas Cup, Arts and Science City) that have failed to meet economic returns. The former President resigned over corruption charges, Majors being investigated for contract mishandling and enrichment, a former governor in jailed this same week, etc... No thing that comes from this region is out of suspect.

    This said, What it is commonly spoken about these projects is that they do not exist to leverage libre/opensource software on the school. They exist to praise regionalism of the different autonomies(regions) of Spain by local politicians, so, instead of viable ecosystems, they become second-choice-dual-boot-distros that exist to fill the pockets of several local companies (distro makers, maintainers, call-centers, certifiers...) that do literaly nothing contributing to the communities they get their software from.

    Also, every region spent millions on creating their own distro, duplicating efforts (which is a clear indicator that it is a national-regionalist issue rather than a techno-economical one). If Extremadura has it distro, Andalusia also wants it and Valencia too.

    Moreover, I put in doubt the claim that a somewhat high amount of Euros were saved whatsoever because educational licensing is usually done on a gubernamental level and not on a seat level.

    So, this is only one more sample of PR-BS for me.

  • Re:TCO (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:20PM (#47546285)

    Posting AC because this will elicit knee-jerk responses:

    When I was in college, Macs were primarly used, then Linux. However, the second one graduated, one faced a world that is all Windows. Not Zimbra, but Exchange/OWA. Not Thunderbird, but Outlook. Not OpenOffice, but LibreOffice. To boot, being versed in MS's way of things is the difference between getting a job versus not.

    Then there is the vast gulf between Linux enthusiasts versus Linux IT people.

    Yes, one can use Linux to route iSCSI over a Wi-Fi connection. However, there is a big difference between doing stuff on a desktop distribution of Ubuntu versus working out how to deal with security rules, regulations, internal company policy, and hardware, then deploying an "approved" distribution, making sure it works with AD and has McAfee installed on it [1].

    There is also a difference between installing Linux on an old P3 versus lighting off servers via iLO, having them PXE boot and install with different server configurations.

    For maintaining commercial Linux distros, there are supported ways and unsupported. This is important on production machines and clusters. Yes, one can grab source and slap on files, but the real way is to use signed files (be it RPM, .deb, or whatnot.)

    Oh, and of course, upgrading willy-nilly is a no-no. Slap RedHat or CentOS 7 on existing 6.5 installs, and shit breaks. Shit will break big time.

    tl;dr: The world runs on Windows, and the school does a disservice to the students by not preparing them for reality.

    [1]: Linux doesn't need AV, but there are a lot of companies that sign some sheet saying "all servers will have AV protection on them." So, McAfee goes onto the Solaris LDOMs, the AIX LPARs, and the Linux VMs. This makes sure a checkbox is ticked for the legal eagles.

  • Re:TCO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:04PM (#47546517)

    I agreed with everything until here:

    And the savings are clear and obvious, as more and more locations are finding.

    This reeks of "Linux is the hammer for every problem" thinking. What if they require Quickbooks server? What if they have tried alternatives, but indicate that they need Microsoft Publisher, or Excel? I have heard all three of these before, and they make me hesitate to say "screw what you think you need, we're changing everything because FOSS!"

    Sometimes its feasible. Sometimes you're just creating headaches and big sunk costs of conversion for no real reason.

  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:14PM (#47546561)

    Will they invest any of the 36 million Euro savings in Linux development or are they just free loaders?

    That's an odd perspective ... you can't have it both ways. If you want the freedom of the GPL, then you get ... the freedom of the GPL.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @06:29AM (#47548409) Homepage

    1 - Schools in the USA do not hire competent IT or Teachers that can handle a powerful Operating system like Linux. Actually paying for competent staff is outside of their budget.
    2 - Microsoft will quickly give the schools all the free licenses they want for the OS, Office, etc.. if they even threaten to switch to anything else.

    Microsoft knows that if you dont get the children hooked when they are young, they might use their curiosity and explore other operating systems. And we cant have that.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll