The government of the state of Tamil Nadu, India, led by Ms. Jayalalithaa has decided to go open source with BOSS (Bharat Operating System Solutions) Linux, an indigenously developed port of Linux by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing). It is a huge step for Linux, already a well known OS in India to get the official approval from one of the states of the largest democracy in the world. India being a major software hub, Linux has been around in India over a long time through software engineers and hackivists but the government offices by and large still depend on closed source software and Microsoft solutions. However, the Tamil Nadu government’s attitude towards Linux had always been different. BOSS Linux was the pre-loaded OS on the free laptops provided to students in the state around 2.5 years back. But moving to Linux at a government level is definitely a significant step. The state department of Tamil Nadu has considered the amount of savings that comes with the use of Linux and given its nod to the switch.
BOSS is a Debian derivative featuring the GNOME Desktop and supporting many Indian languages. It is free to download and use.
Regular Expressions which has always been vocal about governments moving to open source welcomes the decision of the TN government. Our readers might remember one of our past articles where we strongly advocated the use of open source solutions by governments not only for cost reduction but also for several other reasons.