Almost half, 44 percent, of all the servers in Gipuzkoa, Spain's smallest province in the autonomous Basque region, run on open source operating systems. Of all the IT workers employed by the province or municipal administrations, 21 percent use open source tools.
The most commonly used GNU/Linux distribution in the Basque province is Red Hat. Other distributions are Debian and Suse GNU/Linux. The best-known open source application in Gipuzkoa is the web browser Firefox. This application is used by a quarter of all civil servants and by 46 percent of all civil IT workers.
Several of the province 88 municipalities are exploring the use of OpenOffice, according to the report. "This explains why 46 percent of all civil IT workers use OpenOffice, as opposed to just 21 percent of other civil servants."
These statistics are part the results of a survey that the province carried out earlier this year, in order to find out how much its public administrations use open source software. The report "Uso de software libre y de código abierto en la Administración Foral y Local de Gipuzkoa" (The use of open source software by Gipuzkoa's provincial and municipal administrations) was published on 13 November.
"Some argue that with a proper approach, free and open source software and its call for free access to technology, is an important tool to foster competition and bring long-term benefits in the global service economy", the authors explain their motive.
The report mentions several ongoing open source development projects, such as municipalities sharing source code for applications to manage fines or to create lists of election candidates. Two cities, San Sebastian and Irun, are working on an open source web service that provides their citizens access to information about sport activities (eKirol). The report also mentions that the provincial administration is working to make geographical data publicly accessible, using the geographic Internet database Geonames.