Advocates of free and open source have tailored two Linux-distributions, motivating the country’s public administrations to use this type of software solutions. The distributions were presented on 29 August at events in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, the country’s most-populous cities. The Ministry of Education is the first to take an interest.
The collection of applications and tools were put together by the Rogento Linux User Group, which has members in both cities.
Both distributions are based on Gentoo Linux. One, titled Kogaion, is meant to be used by citizens, public administrations, and school administrations and other educational organisations. The other, Argent, is intended to be used as a secure server operating system, appealing to its use by tax administrations, security and defence organisations.
The distros are freely available. To support public administrations and other organisations that would want support, Rogento is building a network of commercial service providers.
Rogento is inviting the central government, including the ministry of Defence, municipalities, school and universities to install and test the distributions. The Ministry of Education is first, meeting Rogento in October, says spokesperson for Rogento, Stefan Cristian Brînduşă. “They are considering implementing open source in schools and universities.”
The group is busy contacting other public administrations. “There is approximately 0% use of free and open source software by Romania’s public administrations”, says Brînduşă, “so there is potential.” The group is building strong ties to computer technicians in the public administrations. “They are interested in free and open source because of its flexibility and lower cost”, Brînduşă adds.
Rogento’s announcement was reported widely in the Romanian IT trade press.