Adoption of free and open-source software by public institutions

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“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable -- one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could.”

Official statement of the United Space Alliance, which manages the computer systems for the International Space Station (ISS), regarding why they chose to switch from Windows to Linux on the ISS[1][2]




The Government of Kerala, India, announced its official support for free/open-source software in its State IT Policy of 2001,[3][discuss] which was formulated after the first-ever free software conference in India, "Freedom First!", held in July 2001 in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, where Richard Stallman inaugurated the Free Software Foundation of India.[4]


In January 2010, the Government of Jordan announced that it has formed a partnership with Ingres Corporation, a leading open source database management company based in the United States that is now known as Actian Corporation, to promote the use of open-source software starting with university systems in Jordan.[5]


Malaysia launched the "Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Program", saving millions on proprietary software licences till 2008.[6][7]



In March, the French Gendarmerie Nationale announced it will totally switch to Ubuntu by 2015.[8]


The German City of Munich announced its intention to switch from Microsoft Windows-based operating systems to an open-source implementation of SuSE Linux in March 2003,[9][10] having achieved an adoption rate of 20% by 2010.[11]


The Portuguese Vieira do Minho Municipality began switching to free and open source software in 2000. [12]

North America[edit]


In September, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced its formal adoption of the OpenDocument standard for all Commonwealth entities.[9]

In February 2009, the United States White House moved its website to Linux servers using Drupal for content management.[13]

South America[edit]


In 2006, the Brazilian government has simultaneously encouraged the distribution of cheap computers running Linux throughout its poorer communities by subsidizing their purchase with tax breaks.[9]


In April, Ecuador passed a similar law, Decree 1014, designed to migrate the public sector to Libre Software.[14]


In 2005 the Government of Peru voted to adopt open source across all its bodies.[15] The 2002 response to Microsoft's critique is available online. In the preamble to the bill, the Peruvian government stressed that the choice was made to ensure that key pillars of democracy were safeguarded: "The basic principles which inspire the Bill are linked to the basic guarantees of a state of law."[16]


In 2004, a law in Venezuela (Decree 3390) went into effect, mandating a two-year transition to open source in all public agencies. As of June 2009 this ambitious transition is still under way.[17][18]


  1. ^ Gunter, Joel (May 10, 2013). "International Space Station to boldly go with Linux over Windows". The Telegraph. 
  2. ^ Bridgewater, Adrian (May 13, 2013). "International Space Station adopts Debian Linux, drops Windows & Red Hat into airlock". Computer Weekly. 
  3. ^ ""Role of Open or Free Software", Section 15, page 20, of the State IT Policy (2001) of the Government of Kerala, copy available at the UN Public Administration Network (UNPAN) site". 
  4. ^ "Press release from GNU Project, July 2001". 
  5. ^ "Jordan Information Ministry signs deal on open source - Government - News & Features". Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Ars Technica – French police: we saved millions of euros by adopting Ubuntu". 
  9. ^ a b c Casson, Tony; Ryan, Patrick S. (1 May 2006). "Open Standards, Open Source Adoption in the Public Sector, and Their Relationship to Microsoft’s Market Dominance". In Bolin, Sherrie. Standards Edge: Unifier or Divider?. Sheridan Books. p. 87. 
  10. ^ "Declaration of Independence: The LiMux Project in Munich". Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Official LiMux page". Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Vieira do Minho - citizens and administrators profit from open source". European Commission. 2013-05-31. 
  13. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. "Obama Invites Open Source into the White House" in PCWorld, 29 October 2009.
  14. ^ (Spanish), Decree 1014
  15. ^ Clarke, Gavin (29 September 2005). "". Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  16. ^ National Advisory Council on Innovation Open Software Working Group (July 2004). "Free/Libre & Open Source Software and Open Standards in South Africa" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2013-08-10. Retrieved 31 May 2008. 
  17. ^ (Spanish) Venezuela Open Source
  18. ^ Chavez, Hugo F. (December 2004). "Publicado en la Gaceta oficial No 38.095 de fecha 28/ 12/ 2004". Retrieved 23 October 2011.