In the slipstream of open data projects, Basque Country public administrations are increasingly turning to open source, reports SALE, the country’s free software resource centre. SALE is helping public administrations to publish datasets on its open data and openapps portal and to make software solutions available as open source. Open data is getting open source accepted, says Pablo Pérez Lafuente, SALE’s coordinator.
This past year, the resource centre has helped to set up the Basque Country open data portal. The portal is used to make available a catalogue of free software applications related to open data. SALE is also working with Spain’s Centre for Technology Transfer, and the Basque Country’s central e-government to federate this collection of solutions.
The open data portal at the moment makes available 2637 data sets and 12 open source applications.
The Basque Government is now running over 800 servers based on open source, combining LAMP - the Linux operating system, the Apache web server, MySQL for managing database and programming language PHP. LibreOffice, a free software suite of office productivity tools is installed on over 8000 workstations, together with the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
“The Basque Country government is now using a wide variety of free software solutions”, says coordinator Pérez Lafuente. Speaking at the LibreCon conference in Bilbao on 11 November, he presented a list of 29 free software solutions that are commonly used within the Basque Country government. Examples include the document and content management systems Alfresco, Joomla, Liferay, Drupal, Mediawiki and Wordpress. The country is also building a big data project combining Apache Hadoop and Apache Hbase with data warehousing solution Apache Hive. On workstations, civil servants will find image editor GIMP and voice-over-IP solution Jitsi.
The Basque Country government has also funded KZnux, a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Linux. It is now used by about 300 workstations in the Basque Country says Mr Pérez Lafuente.
The resource centre (Software Askea Libre Euskadin - SALE), was created in 2010, with the key objective to motivate public administration in Basque Country to use free and open source. Free software can create new opportunities for Basque Country”, the centre explains on its website, “it amounts to a profound cultural change, one that should be well-organised and not rushed.”