The South Korean government recently announced it will move all computers currently in use at central, local, and public institutes to Linux-based operating systems starting later this year.
The decision was made just a month after Microsoft officially stopped offering “free” support to the Windows 7 operating system, which is a widely used computer operating system by the Korean government.
There are two reasons why South Korea turned to Linux.
The first reason is that the Korean government is seeking to reduce its dependence on Microsoft in general, and Windows in particular. The second reason, they want to cut down the cost of software copyright.
Choi Jang-hyuk, Korea Minister of Strategy and Finance, said: “We will reduce our dependence on a single company and reduce our budget by using an open source operating system … “
Although most Linux distros are free, Korean officials estimate that moving all of the existing 3.3 million PCs from Windows 7 to Linux will cost around 780 billion won (approximately US $ 655 million). ). This cost includes making, converting, and purchasing new PCs.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance intends to first conduct a migration test to evaluate and detect compatibility as well as security issues when using the new operating system.
Because many government websites, network devices, and software in South Korea are designed to be compatible with Windows operating systems, conducting testing is a wise move for the government.
If the test program is successful, without major problems, the Korean government will proceed to deploy the use of Linux on a wider scale. And if the Korean government succeeds in transitioning to Linux, governments in many other countries around the world may also learn and follow this model.
Up to now, South Korean officials have not yet stated whether they plan to switch to Linux distros, or whether they plan to create their own like North Korea did with Red Star OS. However, the Ministry of Defense and the country’s National Police Agency have been using an Ubuntu-based Linux distro, Harmonica OS 3.0.
HarmoniKR – Linux distro is being used by the Ministry of Defense and the Korean National Police Agency
Reportedly, the Korea Post is converting to TMaxOS, a Korean operating system that uses the Chromium-based web browser, ToGate, and has a unique desktop interface. In addition, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Administration and Security entered the Linux world with the Debian-based distro GooRoom Cloud OS. However, GooRoom Cloud is more like Chrome OS than traditional Linux desktops, because it works on the cloud.
The Korean government also intends to launch the “Desktop as a Service (DaaS)” program, which uses a virtual PC environment running on the cloud in the second half of 2020. According to estimates, with DaaS, Korea will Save up to 72% of the cost. DaaS security standards and models are currently in the development phase, and is expected to begin testing in October this year.
Obviously, the information that Korea has turned to using Linux is good news for the Linux user community in general, which has long affirmed that Linux is a better operating system than Microsoft Windows. A serious government’s consideration of this operating system as a viable alternative to Windows reinforces this belief. Hope they will succeed!