Putin Loves Linux, Orders Government Transition to Open Source

Meanwhile, in Russia…

If Google translate is to be trusted, a Russian publication has claimed that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed an order to transition the technological “power structures and the federal budget to free software” starting in the second quarter of 2012.

The 17-page document, “Transition Plan of the Federal Authorities and Federal Budgetary Institutions to Free Software,” covers the period from 2011 to 2015.

According to Deputy Head of the Ministry of Communications Ilya Massuh, the document describes a complete transition of the federal government and state employees to GNU/Linux. The time-line set forth in the document has set 5 goals:

  • 2011, 2nd Quarter: Approbation of a basic package of free software in the pilot sites
  • 2011, 3rd Quarter: Approval of data formats to be supported by free software
  • 2011, 3rd Quarter: Plan developed for changes in instructions to record intangible assets
  • 2012, 2nd Quarter: Creation of a national repository
  • 2014, 3rd Quarter: Introduction of a package of free software in government and fiscal institutions

Massuh hinted of having the repository operate like an App Store for open Linux software.

Putin has apparently been a fan of Linux since 2007 when a report surfaced recommending the switch of many government agencies to the platform. It reappeared in 2008 but was shelved after push back from some of the ministries.

“The fact that Putin has signed the order for this project could be critical: there have been several previous plans for moving parts of the Russian government to using free software, notably in the educational sector, but in practice they have mostly failed to materialize because there has been insufficient political weight behind them,” said Glyn Moody from OpenDotDotDot.

“But if Putin says: “make it so”, I suspect that a lot of people will jump pretty fast to make sure that it is so. And once that happens, other plans to roll out free software might well suddenly look rather more attractive.”

Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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  • Well, using Linux would allow Russia to disentangle themselves from Microsoft and they are right to be concerned.

    Microsoft’s system and software “phones home” over the internet.

    Linux “phones home” to its “distro” IP address which can be a trusted .ru location.

    Not to mention that its free so nobody’s got squat to say about what software you run, when and why.

  • Zac

    A smart and strategic decision. Governments needs to get off the Microsoft lock-in. Microsoft is of those mega-corporations that is fully supported by the US Government, and is one of the significant ways to infiltrate, influence and leverage other countries. I hope Putin puts significant resources into the project, and invest big in primary schools.

  • Zeng Peets

    Never thought about it like that before. Wow.


  • I always knew there was something about the guy that I liked.

  • I know there’s a “In Soviet Russia” joke here somewhere, but I’m not feeling creative. Anyone got anything good?

    Source open you? No…that’s crap.

    EDIT: Guy above me has a decent one.

  • I tried to think of a better one, but it’s a challenge. Actually, “source opens you” would have been better than mine.

  • In the internet, Windows, or any other software you want can be downloaded for free.

  • beniwtv


    No. Piracy is not a viable solution to a company / government.

  • Your Majesty Lewowpard

    Vladimir Vladimirovic is better than anyone when it comes to governing a country, HE ALWAYS DOES WHAT HE SAYS. Not like some Presidents who keep on saying their country will embrace open source but sign secret deals with Microsoft under the table, even worse they’re looking like clowns for having becoming Sales Promotion Guy for Apple, Inc.

  • With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • This move by Russia is widely viewed as the continuation of a similar campaign launched in 2008 focusing schools. By 2009, Russia had aimed to rid schools of all paid proprietary software and encourage free software.

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