French Gendarmerie Switches to Linux

I read about the French Gendarmerie nationale beginning the switch from Microsoft to open source software some time ago. The first step was moving from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice starting back in 2004. They moved 35,000 (yes, thousand) users over to OpenOffice. They are in the process of upping this number to 72,000.

They also moved users to the Mozilla Thunderbird email client and from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox.

Their next step, driven by the end-of-support of Windows XP, is to move 72,000 users to a customized version of Ubuntu Linux called GendBuntu – they are up to 35,000 according to this great article on ZDNet.

While I am no fan of Ubuntu – I hate the, ironic it would seem, lock-in to the Unity GUI – and use Linux Mint with the Cinnamon GUI – I am agnostic between the Red Hat Linux (actually CentOS) distribution and the Ubuntu distribution. Although, I admit, I do have to remember which distro I’m using from time-to-time.

This isn’t the first governmental organization to move away from Microsoft. The City of Munich move to a custom Linux distro – MiLux – starting back in 2004.


About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.