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Lithuanian police switched to LibreOffice

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Now piloting use of Ubuntu Linux

The police force in Lithuania has switched to using LibreOffice. This free and open source suite of office productivity tools is implemented on over 8000 workstations. The police have started to test the use of workstations running Ubuntu Linux.

Savings were the main motive for the switch to LibreOffice, the police confirmed in an email to the European Commission’s Open Source Observatory (OSOR). The switch will save the police EUR 1 million.

The completion of the transition was announced on June 30.Screenshot from the Lithuania Police force website

Management support

Key to the success of the switch is support by the top management, the police confirms by email: “Deputy Police Commissioner General D. Malaškevičius personally took care of the project, in direct contact with the IT department.”

“Changing to a slightly different desktop is very complicated”, the police write in their announcement. “Once staff members realised the huge amounts of money we saved, they became open to change, and quickly adapted to using the LibreOffice word processor, spreadsheet, presentation application, its mathematics tool and database solution”, the statement quotes General Malaškevičius as saying.

“We did not have any specific change management plans, the police told OSOR. “The dates were set by order of the Police Commissioner General.”

Next steps

LibreOffice is one of several open source solutions in use at the Lithuanian police. “About 30% of the software is open source”, the police writes. It uses this type of software for email, for project management and online file sharing.

The police are now testing the use of Ubuntu Linux. One unit, totalling nearly 50 workstations, hase switched to Ubuntu, and will continue to use it until the end of this year.

The police in Lithuania did not contact their colleagues in France or Italy. In France, the Gendarmerie has 65,000 PC workstations running Ubuntu Linux and LibreOffice. In Italy, the Ministry of Defence expects to save EUR 26-29 million over the coming years by using LibreOffice on about 100,000 desktop workstations.

More information:

Police force announcement (in Lithuanian)
LibreOffice Denmark blog post (in Danish)
Radio France Internationale news item (in French)
15Min news item (in Lithuanian)
Blog post in Spanish