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German town of Gummersbach migrates to Linux

The German town of Gummersbach (population 50000+) reported that this summer they successfully migrated all 300 of their PCs to Linux and LibreOffice, away from the unnamed proprietary operating system and office suite that they were using. They retain 25 PCs running the proprietary OS for legacy applications. The migration has already saved them a 5-figure sum (in euros, which means 1.5 million Rand at the very minimum) and one IT person.

Gummersbach, courtesy of

Gummersbach, courtesy of

In addition to LibreOffice, they’ve selected the Mate Desktop Environment, Open-Xchange groupware (email, calendar, messenging, collaboration suite) and in selected cases WollMux, Linux software designed by the city of Munich for managing forms and document templates.


  1. Danie van der Merwe on Google+: German town of Gummersbach completes switch to open source
  2. Open source observatory: Gummersbach completes switch to open source

(The other high-profile successful German municipality Linux switch, that of the city of Munich with its 15000 PCs and laptops, was recently in the news due to rumours of a possible switch back to proprietary systems. It turns out these rumours were highly exaggerated.)

OSSSA is born

Today (Monday, October 6, 2014) is the start of Open Source Software for South Africa, or OSSSA for short, a group campaigning for the increased uptake of open source software in South Africa. Please read the about page for more detail.

If you also feel strongly that open source software (OSS) should be preferred in South African government and industry, please join OSSSA by subscribing to this blog via email, and/or subscribing to @oss4sa on twitter. Contact OSSSA at to get yourself or your company listed on these pages.