German city hands out Linux CDs for Windows XP users

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German city hands out Linux CDs for Windows XP users

Open source security for populace.

The southern German city of Munich has come up with a novel solution for its Windows XP-using citizens, whose operating system will be officially unsupported by Microsoft in April next year.

Following a decision by the city's administration on June, Munich authorities started distributing [German] compact discs with the Ubuntu 12.04 Long Term Support Linux distribution to all city libraries.

Some 2000 discs are now available for the burghers of Munich. City authorites said the purpose of providing Ubuntu was to allow people to continue using their older computers without being exposed to viruses and vulnerabilities via an unsupported operating system that won't receive any more security updates.

Munich city authorities said the discs were aimed at those who didn't have the technical ability or internet connections to download Ubuntu, which was the distribution recommend by the German municipality.

However, city authorities will not offer any support for Ubuntu upgraders, referring users to commercial service offerings or internet forums.

Munich is a long-time supporter of open source software, with the city administration having completed a desktop migration to its self-developed LiMux Linux-based operating system this year.

Of the 15,000 total desktops operated by Munich authorities, 14,000 now run LiMux and OpenOffice. 

The switch to open source in Munich commenced in 2005 and the city's head of the Linux migration project, Peter Hoffman, said the move had saved the public purse over ten million euro as of May this year.

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