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Munich’s Linux desktop saves millions and is more robust

Limux iconJoinup reports that figures provided by Munich’s Mayor, Christian Ude, reveal that switching to a Linux-based open source desktop reduces costs and results in fewer calls to help desks, and that replacing the current pool of almost 10,000 open source desktops with a proprietary system would increase costs by some 25%. Moreover, the latter would entail the city not only renewing software licences, but also replacing 7,500 of the current 9,600 Linux desktops so as to meet the Windows’ hardware requirements.

The current Linux desktop deployed in Munich (under the monicker LiMux. Ed.) costs the city €11.7 million, the Mayor writes in a council bulletin (PDF, German) published on 19th March. To offer a proprietary desktop similar to the LiMux desktops would cost at least €15.52 million, Ude concludes. Moreover, that would not include the costs renewing the proprietary software licences, which would add another €2.8 million every 3-4 years.

Ude also points out that the Linux-based PCs are also far less troublesome. Since 2006 the number of malfunctions reported to the helpdesk declined from 70 to 46 per month; over the same period that the number of Linux desktops increased from 1,500 to 9,500.

Munich has been migrating its users from Windows to LiMux for many years (news passim) and the city’s IT department expects the migration to be completed later this year, when 12,000 PCs will be running LiMux.

There you are UK local authorities. Your German colleagues are finding Linux-based desktop systems cheaper and more reliable. What’s more, they also run on less powerful hardware, so you can keep running your kit for longer. Now that you know all this, what’s holding you back from following Munich’s lead?

Answers in the comments below, please.