July 29, 2013, 4:48 PM — Poor Countries and Linux
Nadeem M Qureshi covers the benefit of Linux for poorer countries in an article on the Frontier Post.
I don't blame them, it makes total financial and technical sense. Linux has so much to offer, with little or no cost. There really isn't any proprietary software that can come close to it in terms of value versus cost.
Many countries and governments - rich and poor - have realized this and have already initiated serious programs to switch all their computers to Linux based systems. Here are just a few examples of many: The Chief Secretary of the Malaysian Government justified the switch as follows: “the general acceptance of its promise of better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility and lower cost”.
The Turkish Government has created its own Linux distribution called ‘Pardus’, as has Cuba, whose distribution is named “Nova”. Iceland announced in 2012 that it will switch to open source software in public institutions.
All schools in Iceland have already switched to Ubuntu from Windows. Brazil has 35 million students in over 50,000 schools using over half a million PC’s all running on Linux. Russia announced in 2007 that all its school computers will run on Linux. The list goes on, and on.
As a poor country Pakistan cannot afford proprietary software.
And yet the use of Linux is not restricted to just poorer countries. The article also notes that the US military is the largest user of Red Hat Linux. So we're seeing Linux taking its place even among what many regard as the wealthier or more developed nations.
But cost is only part of the equation here. Choice is also a big part of this. Proprietary operating systems like Windows or OS X also impose certain things on countries that Linux does not. A nation that implements Linux also gains almost total control over the computing experience in a way that is simply not possible with proprietary software.
It's an exciting time for Linux fans to watch it being adopted by so many people around the world. The real value of Linux has become apparent, and I think we'll see a lot more of this in the days ahead.
Hey, if Linux works so well for super computers, then the case becomes even more compelling for using it on the computers of individuals who don't wish to become tied down to proprietary software.
Linux and Supercomputers
Speaking of costs, SJVN has a good look at why Linux is so popular and so widely used for supercomputers.
Certainly there are technical advantages such as being easily able to adopt Linux for a particular supercomputer, but there are cost advantages as well that make running proprietary operating systems far too costly.