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Re: Debian in the Federal Government

On Sat, Feb 10, 2007 at 08:09:05PM -0500, Karl R. Harger wrote:
> I enjoy Debian. It's easy to work with, easy to install, easy to modify and is
> suitable for most of my needs.
> In Government contracting, Linux has seen greater use. More often, as an OS
> "underneath" of Oracle, but for other purposes as well.
> As a systems administrator, far away from the decision makers and their
> utmost concern of the bottom line, I find that I am generally
> removed from the process of selecting software. 
> In any event, I wish that I had more control, and was permitted to run
> Debian on my cubicle desktop. 
Based on my interactions with people who make or influence the decision
of what software to buy for particular things, it is all about the "warm
fuzzy feeling" for the higher-ups.  That is, I have seen places in the
government that are nearly all RHEL for servers *and* workstations.
There is custom software used by the government that only runs on Linux.

I once asked someone at one of these places why they don't use something
like CentOS or Debian.  The response that I got was something to do with
having someone to hold accountable outside the organization, someone to
call and yell at when things go wrong and with the idea being ingrained
into everyone that software must be licensed.  Of course, at most of
these places you will find that everyone has the trial version of
Winzip, a JRE and Adobe reader on their windows desktops.

Then again, I have seen places where the admins were really sharp and
managed to convince management that RHEL was a waste of money for them
and they are all Fedora (not something I would do) and CentOS.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any places within the government, no
matter how Linux-friendly, that use Debian unless it is "hidden" as the
underpinnings of something purchased from a contractor or reseller or in
an embedded device.



Roberto C. Sanchez

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