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.


Games are the best reason (and only for me at least) to keep Windows around.

I think a lot of the resistance to Linux is because you can't buy it pre-installed at retail, and its different. And most of the non-Linux using people I know who would have the expertise to install it also have a pirated version of Windows, so there really isn't any cost benefit for Linux. Pirated Windows remains one of Linux's biggest competitors.

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

its not only the us. the dutch government is really opposing OSS, too. the ict-guy of the liberal party stated a few days ago that the netherlands wont use OSS cuz its immature and they dont want to "experiment" with the tax-payers money. hmmm. And I just discovered his own website runs Red Hat Linux & apache...

I did sent him a letter, I voted liberal... ;-)

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

Unfortunately the 'liberal' party you are referring to is not a liberal party in the sense of the word liberal. The VVD party is just plain conservative, you can hardly call them liberal.

Which is a big pity. I am a social-democrat myself but I do like a lot of liberal ideas. Unfortunately the VVD is *not*, I repeat, *not* a liberal party.

If you want to stick to a true liberal party, go to D'66. Problem there is they have an absolut asshole as a minister for Economics in The Netherlands.. This lamehead doesn't understand anything about this whole EU Software Patent Law... but he voted in favour of it despite his own party being against it... *and* the whole parliament against it... Not a very democratic minister in my opinion...

Anyway, this is ehm *slightly* of topic ;). On topic: I am very happy about progress being made on OSS in Germany. Since The Netherlands always looks at Germany because we are neighbours I still have good hopes that if the whole thing succeeds in Germany, the Politicians in our country might wake up sooner or later...

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

Actually, to continue the offtopic rant, the classical meaning of the word "liberal" applied to politics means a hands-off government that lets private industry pretty much do whatever it wants. In other words, the word liberal originally meant conservative ;)

Of course in those days conservative meant monarchist, so that meaning has changed as well.

There is no true "liberal" or "conservative". These are just handy labels that have been so woefully misapplied for so long that they mean whatever people want them to mean at the time. If you want to talk about politics in English at any real level, you need to use words that have not yet lost their usefulness.

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

"left" and "right" sides of the political spectrum are usually pretty clear in the western world. "Liberal" on the other hand in American politics tends to note "left of center" and in Europe it's more often "rather far right".

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

To me, dutch government sticks its noise in USA's ash all the time. Take for instance the decisions on the fighter planes. Also the more or less support for the iraq invasion. I can only think of short term money earning/saving reasons, but who knows what the real reasons are.

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

yeah yeah yeah

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

OOo has better MSword-compatibility than KOffice, but there should be no good reason to use Mozilla instead of Konqueror. Konq starts faster, integrates with the desktop, and can render almost any page (and is pretty future safe since Apple helps development).

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

I'm sorry, but Konq quite simply doesn't work with a huge lot of websites. Especially submitting data has caused a lot of grief for me. I've not had time to hunt down the bugs and report them, though.

I really like the amount of work the konq team has done, but there is still a pretty long way to go for me to be able to use konq on a daily basis.

Some more things:
- No flashblocker (flashblocker exists for mozilla/firefox)
- No adblocker (adblocker exists for mozilla/firefox)
- Scrolling down a page with flash often 'stops' when arriving at a flash ad
- I want a decent popup blocker.
- Slow rendering/sluggish scrolling on flash-ridden pages.

Konqueror is quite simply unusable for my daily "newspaper browsing" due to them being overloaded with flash/ads that swamp my computer. I need a browser that may block'em, or the pages are unbearable slow.

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

emerge privoxy
rc-update add privoxy default
/etc/init.d/privoxy start

change konq's proxy settings to localhost:8118 and you'll have far better ad/popup blocker than can be provided by moz.

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

What about just installing mozilla? It happens to be a better browser anyway.

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

> - I want a decent popup blocker.

I'm not sure what your complaint is here. Using KDE with the "Smart" popup blocking option is better than anything Mozilla used to have. KDE had smart popup blocking well before Mozilla did, although FireFox probably has an extension that is just as good by now.

By anon at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

where is the "smart" option?


By logiq at Wed, 2004/09/29 - 5:00am

Under Java and JavaScript

By jlar at Fri, 2004/10/22 - 5:00am

Thank you. I was also unknowledgeable of this feature by name though I really doubted if Konqueror did not have this feature somewhere.

By cristian at Mon, 2005/03/21 - 6:00am

"there should be no good reason to use Mozilla instead of Konqueror"

Other than Mozilla being a much better browser, I guess not.

By Me at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

hey, i'm trying to login to my gmail with konq, but not having any luck, what do i need to do to login to it with konqueror? thanks

By new with suse at Sun, 2004/09/12 - 5:00am

It simply doesn't work with gmail. Sure, there are some
tricks with "Change Browser Identitifcation", but this
does not correct the numerous failed javascript features.

Suggestion: use firefox. Konq is great for simple,
HTML3.2-style pages. But for anything complicated,
it dies. :(

By criteek at Thu, 2004/10/21 - 5:00am

Konqueror's issues with GMail are fixed now.

By Datschge at Thu, 2004/10/21 - 5:00am

Actually, they are not.

By Apexified at Sun, 2005/01/02 - 6:00am

They were fixed, but gmail has managed to make new wierder ones.

By carewolf at Sun, 2005/01/02 - 6:00am

Konqueror issues with Gmail are again fixed.

By Laviniu at Mon, 2005/05/30 - 5:00am

Nope, it is not...
but its google fault...

By a tester at Tue, 2006/04/25 - 5:00am

Who cares who's fault it is?
For me it is a reason *not* to use konqueror...

By Marten at Wed, 2006/10/25 - 5:00am

Well, if you care enough to complain about it then you should care enough to complain to the right people, ie. Google.

By Paul Eggleton at Wed, 2006/10/25 - 5:00am

If you want to try this distro, be extremely careful: after you partition with cfdisk, it will format your first linux partition without any further warning!

By Sergio at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

Does this distro support installation/use in English too?

I do not want to download and find it does only German, which sadly, I cannot read or write.

By Kanwar at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

No, it does not. German only.

By Sergio at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

Read carefully the GERMAN instructions, it starts at the first linux partition. If you dont want to use it click CANCEL, it then selects the next partition in acending order. It also can encrypt swap space (very nice). I tried both the live Iso and installed the woody hard drive install!

By You did not bot... at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

My understanding of German is rather limited.
And besides a german user told me that those instructions weren't clear at all.
He is a long time linux user.
And anyway, what about a warning while you actually install?

By Sergio at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

Does this distro support installation/use in English too?

I do not want to download and find it does only German, which sadly, I cannot read or write.

By Kanwar at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

Knoppix is easier to change you have to run locales on the hard drive install.
The iso changes only on a reboot which is impossible on a live cd.
The desktop is mostly in english if you change the language settings in KDE, Mozilla, etc

By IT is in englis... at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am

Thanks for the info but sorry I am a novice as far as changing locales go. So how do I change the locale after booting this German Govt. Desktop?

By Kanwar at Mon, 2004/07/05 - 5:00am