US Government & Linux

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gordon.cooke
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US Government & Linux

Post by gordon.cooke »

If you are a US Federal Government employee...
The White House opened up the Save Award for 2012 - if you're unfamiliar, it is a website for employees to submit and vote on ideas to save money in government and how we do business. If you are not a government employee, sorry, I dont think you can vote or submit through this method.

Please vote for: http://saveaward2012.ideascale.com/a/dt ... 8776-19787

I submitted the idea to stop paying for MS Windows and MS Office liscenses and switch to a government linux distro. (NSA is already managing SELinux). The Army alone has a contract on order of ~$500 million for Microsoft products. The Air Force and Navy are probably similar size contracts. Through in the rest of the federal government, and some agencies pay full retail, and you we spend Billions on MS Windows and Office. The cost to fully fund a team of several developers to maintain a custom distro is likely on the order of a few million dollars (Lets say a team of 5-10 at a loaded rate of $200k/yr = $1-2 million)

Issues with managing what software is apporved for use or not approved (Certificates of Networthiness etc) - effectively gone ("Is it in your software center? Then its apporved")
Most large applications are customized for the government anyway (not to mention web based), why not customize for linux platform.
Retraining users- I dont believe as big an issue as some seem to think. What are we doing when Metro becomes standard? No retraining was offered or considered when MS Office switched to a ribon interface - and that was a major UI change; we survived.
Retraining IT workers- perhaps an issue here. But a centralized distro should also be able to provide centralized materials, and are we really hiring IT specialists that can't handle a Unix based system (thats a different problem).
Software and driver availability and support- you want to see vendors suddenly get real interested in suporting linux- just switch DoD over let alone the entire federal government.
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Oscar799
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Re: US Government & Linux

Post by Oscar799 »

Moved here by moderator
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Jellybones
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Re: US Government & Linux

Post by Jellybones »

I don't know why it hasn't already been done, since using Microsoft products alone takes a huge chunk of money that could be spent on better things.
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bejiitas_wrath
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Re: US Government & Linux

Post by bejiitas_wrath »

The Microsoft operating systems, especially Windows XP are still in wide use even though they have countless bugs and security holes, best to retire them and move to a more secure operating system that would not be vulnerable to a Stuxnet styled virus. I am surprised the military does not have it`s own super-secure OS.
/dev/urandom

Re: US Government & Linux

Post by /dev/urandom »

Which OS would that be? Is there any which is malware-, security-hole- and bug-free?

Linux, for one, is not nearly.

The dangerous part is: Whatever OS they use, it will automatically attract evil hackers to find more security holes. (Like Samba and MySQL which are already open like a gate and still widely used.)
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nextdistroplease
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Re: US Government & Linux

Post by nextdistroplease »

NSA has been running Red Hat Linux for some years.

The gov't doesn't need to save money. Ben Bernanke needs to "stop the presses".
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