PL: Mniów district: "Using op…

PL: Mniów district: "Using open source saves public resources"

Published on: 13/01/2009

The administration of the Polish district of Mniów has been using open source applications for several years, reports Jakilinux, a Polish news site on open source on 6 January.

"Using open source such as Openoffice helps to save public resources. Spending this on proprietary alternatives is a waste of money", senior IT administrator Aleksander Podsiadły says in the interview.

The administration has for several years been using open source both on the desktop and on servers. On 22 desktop PCs the district's civil servants use Openoffice, a suite of office applications, the web browser Firefox and the email client Thunderbird. On four other PCs the district uses proprietary office applications. According to Podsiadły, users did not need any training: "Only some ad hoc assistance."

On the servers, the administrator is using the Centos GNU/Linux distribution to run web server Apache, database management system MySQL, the Typo3 content management system as well as the freely available Qmail-toaster mail server and the open source web mail server Squirrelmail.

Internally, the district uses the Open Document Format (ODF) to create handle and manage electronic documents. When sending documents outside of the administration, ODF is used whenever possible.

According to a presentation by Podsiadły at a 2005 conference organised by the Polish chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC), around 2003 the Mniów IT workers assisted the district's information centre to set up GNU/Linux based desktops, first using the Polish GNU/Linux distribution Aurox and later switching to Centos. All eight desktop PCs can boot either into GNU/Linux or into a proprietary operating system. "To my great satisfaction, many young visitors to the centre seem to prefer the open source system."

According to Podsiadły the Mniów administration has no plans yet to switch to a complete open source desktop. "But I always take open source into account when researching options."

The rural district is located some hundred fifty kilometre south of Warsaw and has about ten thousand inhabitants.

More information:

Jakilinux interview (in Polish)

Presentation on the use of open source in Mniów district (in Polish)

Open source in Polish public administrations wiki (in Polish)