CSIR to switch 2300 users to Ubuntu Linux
Parastal CSIR, South Africa’s national science and technology research organisation, is readying to switch most of its more than 2300 staff to using Ubuntu Linux as their default desktop. As part of the move, the organisation has issued a request for information (RFI) for providers to assist in making a few remaining Windows-based applications available to users while working on Ubuntu.
According to the Strategic Procurement Unit, which issued the RFI, “recent studies completed by the South African government concluded that an investment in open source software (OSS) would be beneficial to South Africa. The National R&D strategy identifies a problem where 98% of South African ICT investment is in imported technologies and there is little significant local innovation in ICT.”
“In line with the above and a strong global move to adopt open source … the CSIR has made the decision to migrate to an Ubuntu Linux desktop.”
The CSIR has 2331 members spread over its main operational offices.
The RFI is to find solutions to allow users to continue using Windows-based applications when there is no suitable open source alternative. “Certain staff members in the CSIR have a dependency on software that is developed only to run on Windows. To migrate these users to the Ubuntu Linux desktop a mechanism should be developed that still allows access to those applications from the Ubuntu Linux Desktop,” the organisation says.
The CSIR already runs OpenOffice.org extensively across its operations but the organisation says that certain applications such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop and MS Project may be required because of certain functionality or external agreements.