Open Source

In an effort to reduce software licencing costs, Limerick City Council is fully committed to adopting open source solutions that prove to be value for money.

In the ICT Section we have worked for more than a year on evaluating many open source solutions for various servers/services that we currently provide to our users. In the presentation made at the Open Source forum on 25/01/2011 we showed how we can deliver similar or even better solutions by replacing proprietary software with open source technologies.

Libre Office – an office management suite - has been deployed with the objective to give Limerick City Council alternative options to proprietory software. This will place the Council in a better negotiating position thus further reducing licensing costs by an estimated €300,000. As Libre Office is based on an open source licensing model, it comes free of charge. Training has been provided so far for 100 users and it will continue in 2012.

What we implemented so far

On the desktop side:

  • Majority of our users have been migrated to Zarafa web based mail server;
  • All our users have LibreOffice installed and very few still use other packages;
  • All our users got IE, FireFox and Chrome so they have an option as what browser they want to use;

On the server side:

  • OpenLDAP in sync with Active Directory, so users have only one password;
  • Zarafa mail server and Postfix to move mail between Zarafa and Exchange.
  • Samba for some of our file sharing.
  • Squid proxy server as a backup for our main proxy server;
  • Municipal Museum in Limerick City uses Collective Access, an open source solution for cataloguing Museum/Archives collections;
  • Virtual corporate MySQL server to store our OS databases;

On the support side:

  • Our support technicians use Linux desktops and virtual Windows XP machines in VirtualBox.
  • They can now check Linux servers in Putty as easily as they can RDP (using Remmina) to Windows servers.

What’s next?

  • We intend to complete our e-mail migration;
  • More integration of historical information by using Collective Access: City Archives, Local Studies will complement the Museum.
  • We hope to have The Limerick City Gallery of Art using Collective Access as well.
  • LTSP for managing public computers in Libraries;
  • And…a linux desktop? Why not?

More information on Open Source in Local Government can be found on LGMA's Open Source website

Last update:18/11/2011