France’s Gendarmerie Nationale recently decided to review its IT infrastructure policies. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, now reports the police force has upgraded its 85,000 PCs to Ubuntu Desktop Edition, removing its reliance on the Microsoft operating system completely. As well as simplifying maintenance and improving ease of use, Ubuntu Desktop Edition is saving “les flics” €2m a year just in licence fees. Moreover, the force has also re-purposed 4,500 machines to act as local servers, dramatically reducing its hardware expenditure.
The Gendarmerie has also found that Ubuntu Desktop is much easier to manage and maintain than Windows. Updates and upgrades can be made quickly and easily. Previously, an IT administrator needed to be traveling all year to physically install new versions of anti-virus applications on the desktops in the Gendarmerie’s outposts – some of which are as far away as French Polynesia. A similar operation can now be completed within 2 weeks and requires no traveling at all.
The police force has been able to tailor Ubuntu Desktop to meet its exact requirements. Gendarmerie Commandant Jean-Pascal Chateau says: “We have a lot of personnel who work in the field. The fact that Ubuntu Desktop is so easy to use is a huge benefit. Agents can personalize their desktops to fit their needs. That means that they can access the same desktop environment no matter which workstation they log in from.” He adds: “Now staff are more motivated and we’ve reduced costs and introduced solutions that better match our needs.”
Read more about the Gendarmerie’s experience with Ubuntu by downloading the case study (PDF) here.