JUN
30
2004

German Government Desktop Unveiled

During LinuxTag 2004 the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the company credativ unveiled the Linux Government Desktop. The Linux Goverment Desktop has been developed within the scope of the project ERPOSS which evaluates Open Source Software in government environments.

Composed entirely of free software the distribution is available as a Live CD as well as an Install CD. While it's based on Debian Stable (Woody) the CD contains KDE 3.2.2, Mozilla and a special themed version of OpenOffice 1.1.1 which integrates seamlessly with KDE.

One of the highlights brought by the Government Desktop is the fact that it saves the whole data on encrypted filesystems. Furthermore KMail is preconfigured to send and receive encrypted e-mail (GnuPG and S/MIME) and to make use of all kinds of authority certificates. The package is completed by integrated spam and virus protection and a preconfigured personal firewall.

Comments

Wow, posted Wednesday 2004/6/30. News from the future. Can you please include Euro 2004 news on the dot, I'd like to start a few bets...


By AC at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

LOL! Thanks for pointing this out.
I would have missed this great opportunity to have a good
laugh otherwise ;-)


By Martin at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

You people seem to forget that there are many time zones in the world and half the world may be a day ahead of you in terms of date.


By Anonymous at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

probably americans :)


By Anonymous at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

There are time zones two days ahead?

Whereabouts?


By Evan "JabberWok... at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

Probably the French. I think it's metric time. ;-)


By Scott Wheeler at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

Do you really thing that it is appropriate to post such a comment with a kde.org address?


By Nicolas Goutte at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

Why of course yes, because the French, like everybody else, can take a joke :)


By Dan Leinir Turt... at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

The moment I post this, it's the 30th June almost everywhere except some islands where it's still the 29th. But it's nowhere the 2nd July. The server date *is* wrong.


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

OSS is virgin territory to most and much more approachable by CD than by pulling pieces from the web.
Are there any takers yet (my German is rusty)? I guess this a competitor to SuSE (which also is Debian based AFAIK). But what about support?
And why Mozilla - what is it that it can do that Konqueror cannot? Does it integrate with OO? I have it but use only Konqueror.


By Claus at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

SUSE is not Debian based.


By Anonymous at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

slack-> debian
slack-> suse

so debian and suse are brother and sister cause both have the same mom ? ? ?


By thomas at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

As far as I know, Debian, Slackware and SUSE are three completely different products, none of them based on another.


By Stew at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

suse is originally based on slackware


By Anonymous at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

/suse is originally based on slackware/

Yeah, a long, long time ago....


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

... and at some point they adopted RedHats package management system (aka RPM) and even tryed to be a bit compatible with RedHat's RPM's.

Secretly i hope SuSE will someday adopt Debians 'apt' (.deb) for their packages; for the sake of online updating, for the eaz adding of 'sources' and for freedom in general [Oeps no secret anymore]

Right know i use apt-for-suse to install the needed multimedia packages. This takes alltogether an extra 1/2 - 1 hour on the install time.


By cies at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

> for the sake of online updating, for the eaz adding of 'sources' and for freedom in general

Why for freedom? And for the other two things you don't have to switch the package format.

> Right know i use apt-for-suse to install

You say it. Other solutions for RPMs are yum and urmpi. No need to switch to .deb packages.


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

http://derstandard.at for example.


By hiasl at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

Konqueror seems ot have trouble with complex scripts and complex stylesheets, in my experience.


By Anonymous at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

Not now, and especially not with KHTML being used in Safari. I've experienced surprisingly few problems, if any, with my web browsing. Mozilla is put down here simply because it is more well known.


By David at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

> And why Mozilla - what is it that it can do that Konqueror cannot?

The unfortunate truth is that Mozilla is better at displaying broken websites than Konqueror is. I don't think that is it possible that Konqueror will ever get there by just fixing bugs.

The technology in Mozilla is open source, but is there anything other than the code which is available -- do they have a test suite of broken HTML to use for development?

The most efficient method is to use their code.

My suggested solution is to either totally integrate FoxFire/Gecko into KHTML or to make a FoxFire/Gecko based KPart so that users can choose to use it in place of KHTML.

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

> > And why Mozilla - what is it that it can do that Konqueror cannot?

mail, irc, webpage composer, and all that on the windows platfom too...

> The unfortunate truth is that Mozilla is better at displaying broken websites than Konqueror is. I don't think that is it possible that Konqueror will ever get there by just fixing bugs.

True.

> The most efficient method is to use their code.

KHTML is (IMO) more efficient than gecko... If there would be a gecko-kpart this will result in loss of speed. Not having to use the bloated gecko was the main reason to create KHTML in the first place.

> My suggested solution is to either totally integrate FoxFire/Gecko into KHTML or to make a FoxFire/Gecko based KPart so that users can choose to use it in place of KHTML.

IIRC this is done some time ago, but was not maintained...
http://www.google.com/search?q=gecko+kpart

MY CURRENT SOLUTION is to start Mozilla/Firefox when Konq cannot view a particular website. Which is like once every 2 months for me. When there would be a site that i regularly have to use and that i cant open with Konq I'll let the site maintainer and the konq-team know, till that day I work like this.

my .02 riel (cambodian money)
cies.


By cies at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

> > And why Mozilla - what is it that it can do that Konqueror cannot?
> mail, irc, webpage composer

And why are they breaking it into single applications now then?

> Not having to use the bloated gecko was the main reason to create KHTML in the first place.

Didn't khtml exist already before Gecko?


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

"KHTML is (IMO) more efficient than gecko..."
Not just yours... I believe Apple choose KHTML over gecko for a number of reasons...not just efficiency either.


By am at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

> MY CURRENT SOLUTION is to start Mozilla/Firefox when Konq cannot view a
> particular website. Which is like once every 2 months for me. When there would
> be a site that i regularly have to use and that i cant open with Konq I'll
> let the site maintainer and the konq-team know, till that day I work like this.

This is just my experience, don't take it as real survay.

I was happily using Konqi from RH8 default KDE (3.0.4 IMHO). Quite happy about that. As I worked for Linux based company, it was my desktop 99% of the time. Only few pages did not want to render properly. But they were readable anyway.

Once, I screwed up my HDD, so I installed RH9, and its 3.1.? KDE. I was not quite happy, so I upgraded to then latest 3.1.4. Suddenly, I had to go to Mozzila very, very often. I was quite dissapointed.

One month later, I moved to win-based job (I am writing this in Mozilla 1.6 on WinXP), so I cannot say about KDE 3.2.x, but this regression left a bad taste in my mouth.

And I cannot forget my true love: KMail! Nothing comparable to it in Win world!


By tomislav at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

Kmail IS great, but Eudora was greater still. WAY more configurable with more features...but Kmail is growing on me.


By Joe at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

>The unfortunate truth is that Mozilla is better at displaying broken websites...

Makes me think of bad 3rd party Windows drivers making Windows look bad.

Anyway - also with the browser id set to Windows? Apple's trademark to me is perfectionism if anything and it's puzzling then that Safari would adopt khtml - but maybe that's what Apple fixed (some of) and gave back.


By Claus at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

I still use firefox once in a while though, and it has nothing to do with bad html coding. For MathML suppor for instance. Also cannot wait for "find as you type" support in KDE 3.3 :) That said, Konqueror is already my favourite browser.

P.S.:
The new possibility to "list all links" is *great* :D


By John WebSurfing... at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

Mozilla and Konqueror are both easily available.

Of course Konqueror is the better choice ;-)

Tackat


By Torsten Rahn at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

how do you get it to load in english?


By Mike at Sun, 2004/07/04 - 5:00am

Is this version free for download? And if it's free where can I find it and download it?


By slaff at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am


By Peter Rockai at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

Only German version available?


By jmk at Wed, 2004/06/30 - 5:00am

You do understand the basis of the article?
"German Government Desktop Unveiled"


By Paul at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

> You do understand the basis of the article?

Very well thank you.

> "German Government Desktop Unveiled"

It may come as a suprise to many Germans, but Internet & computers mostly
speak English to you (from one corner or another). Thus, some may prefer to
use their desktop with one language only - no mixed language settings to
me, thank you. I hate partial translations; which, they more or less always
are.


By jmk at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

>>Only German version available?

gee.. now that's really a surprise don't you think? Who would would have figured.."German Government Desktop".

According to my superstring theory calculations, it should be in German.

Anyone agree? Then we can start a movement unifying the "German Government Desktop in German" theory.


By ac at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

Those damn jerries should learn to speak the Queens English!

Well, i guess we will have wait for the official EU version.


By reihal at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

Links to both installation and live cd are listed on http://www.heise.de/security/artikel/48807


By binner at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

Just to make this clear:

The distro was designed for native german speakers, so there? s no need for an english version.

Or do you think, the guys/girls from your gouverment are able to use a german OS?? Well, I don?t think so.

Resume:
The distro does exactly what it should do: TALK GERMAN!


By harry at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

Why not KOffice? In my opinion, it has many advantages over OpenOffice.


By Shaman at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

Apart of being faster, I see none... unfortunately :-(


By ac at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

Several times I tried to use KOffice to work on more complex .doc files of WinWord2000. It was hell how KOffice misformatted the files. I understand why they don't want to use it 'cause beside .pdf it's quasi-standard for file exchange in the real world... sorry for bringing you down.


By the Mysterious ... at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

I've used Kword since January for writing reports. I really wanted to be able to use Kword but I found that it just isn't ready for prime time use. It needs a lot of polish and bug squishing. In general, I found that it took longer to complete my work using Kword then when I used OpenOffice.org.

Jarefri


By Jarefri at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

On the 5th FISL in Porto Alegre, brazil, brazilian government throught it's ITI arm (institute for technologies) was giving away nice customized kurumim (fork of knopix) live cds with propaganda to show people and companies (there where two flavors for you to choose) about linux and open source.

Governments are taking linux very seriusly almost everywhere. The biggest resistence seems to come from US, a logic thing because the country gets a lot of money from software export.


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

Yes, we here in the U.S. are bastards. OSS does need to be taken seriously, not only within governments, but also in companies and personal use. Unfortunatly, many people here are still stuck on Windows. I have been trying to convince my friend to use Linux, but he is so stuck in the Windows rut that I can't get anything across to him.
Him: "I like the Windows interface."
Me: "Linux looks almost exactly the same."
Him: "I like the Windows programs."
Me: "Linux has almost identical programs."
Him: "I like games."
Me: "I can run Windows games on Linux." (http://www.transgaming.com)
Him: "...No wanna try Linux..."

I don't get it. Why are people so opposed to it over here?


By Eric Kincl at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

Oh, I have a theory: they simply are LASY!
Why change?

Actually this could even herlp linux, give a person a computer with linux pre-installed and ... it will use and like it!
Most people simply don't have brains for computers nor want to care of what it is running.


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

Heck, I'd guess half of the world's computer users can't even tell the two apart. Linux won't ever take off with "normal" users until the OEM's are shipping it.

Most people don't really care what OS they're using so long as stuff works. In the shortterm this is bad for us; in the longterm it's great.

Most of the time this is kind of like those door to door cutlery salesmen -- I mean sure, they've got nice knives and whatnot, but I don't really care beyond "it cuts stuff; that's all I need them for -- I don't really care if you can saw through a log with it." ;-)


By Scott Wheeler at Sat, 2004/07/03 - 5:00am

I agree. This is even AFTER people complain to me about Windows .. "too much spyware" "too many viruses" "trojans" who knows what else.

I popped in a Knoppix CD (from mid-May) today for a Windows guy -- within a minute or so, it detected EVERYTHING on his brand new 3.2Ghz P4 machine. Internet access was self configured, I did a quick config of the printer and he was going. Heck, I even plugged in some USB devices (scanner, etc..) and Knoppix detected I plugged them in and let me use them WITHOUT installing drivers or other non-sense.

We are not just talking a stripped down WinXP install (or rescue boot disk) .. we are talking a fully configured system with scanning, OCR, fully featured office suite, fully featured CD/DVD writing capabilities, games, multimedia apps, full internet suite (gaim, mozilla, mail, newsgroups, irc, you name it..), desktop publishing (scribus) and who knows what else is jammed on that CD. Nothing in the Windows world even comes close to that amount of functionality accessible in less than 2 minutes. Not only that, but its FREE. Free to use, free to distribute, free to hack, free to do basically whatever with.

He still doesn't get it. Its funny, after I demo'd Knoppix and he was leaving, he started in again about Windows related problems -- issue with his iPod locking up the system, random reboots, spyware, etc..etc..etc.. *shrug*


By John Alamo at Thu, 2004/07/01 - 5:00am

What John just points out is -- to me -- the reason why Linux will succeed on the desktop...


By cies at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

Getting way off topic now, but still...

To be fair, Wine or Cedega (formerly WineX) aren't really that practical as a general alternative to Windows for running games - not all games work perfectly (or at all), games tend to run slower, and it costs extra. Couple that with ATI's fairly poor 3D driver performance in Linux and it is not a good recipe for running Windows games. Personally I've subscribed to WineX/Cedega (for now), but I still reboot into Windows to play a lot of games because it's just easier. Other than that I run my KDE-based system as a full-time home desktop.

I agree though, some people seem to have a strong resistance to Linux even if they see the problems with Windows and don't run games.


By Paul Eggleton at Fri, 2004/07/02 - 5:00am

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