The Federal Government has released a new version of its AUSkey authentication software that promises to support Linux software packages for the first time.
As previously reported on iTnews, Treasury was working with Linux Australia to make its AUSkey and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) systems compatible with open source platforms.
AUSkey was launched in April and intended to be a single authenticator for businesses in their dealings with 11 government agencies, including the Offices of State Revenue, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and the Australian Taxation Office.
The ATO previously deemed Linux too "cost-prohibitive" to support, with deputy commissioner Bettina Konti estimating Linux users to comprise only one percent of Australian business users.
But it has now announced that the AUSkey registration, download and installation process had been successfully tested with Ubuntu 10.04 and Firefox 3.6, and may also work with other versions of the software.
"The latest release will assist software developers to integrate AUSkey into their financial and accounting software packages for Linux users," the tax office announced.
However, "if you are a Linux user, having an AUSkey may not automatically guarantee Linux-based access to the government online services that accept AUSkey."
Users that wish to identify agencies that accept AUSkey should select "Where AUSkey accepted" from the left-hand navigation menu of www.abr.gov.au/auskey.
Only the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Business Register currently accept AUSkey for their online services.