The German town of Gummersbach announced that this summer it has completed its switch to Linux PCs, retiring a decade-old proprietary operating system no longer supported by the IT vendor. The migration has saved the town a five-figure sum, and Gummersbach expects a further reduction of IT costs, a combination of savings on proprietary licences and lower hardware costs.
Using Linux has reduced the need for PC maintenance, freeing 1 full-time equivalent employee (FTE). The IT department now employs three persons.
In August, the city sent a statement to Pro Linux, a German Linux news site, announcing the completion of the migration project and detailing its current desktop PC policy. Earlier today, the city made the same statement available to the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR).
The administration now uses 300 thin client PCs, with desktop and applications retreived a SuSE Linux Terminal Server cluster of six servers. The desktop environment is Mate. The city staffers use the LibreOffice suite of office productivity tools and the Open-Xchange suite of email, instant messaging, calendaring and online collaboration tools.
Some departments use Wollmux, an open source tool for managing forms and document templates developed by the German city of Munich.
The Linux desktops can access a number of business application that depend on a proprietary operating system, by using a combination of proprietary desktop virtualisation solutions. Gummersback retains 25 PCs running a proprietary operating system, a requirement for applications used by the Civil Service desk, and for computer aided design software in use by the town.
All of the city's desktop PCs are centrally managed from the region's municipal data centre in Siegburg.
The city began its move to thin clients and Linux in 2007, foreseeing the need to replace an out-dated proprietary desktop operating system and office suite.
Gummersach is a city with about 50,000 inhabitants in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.