16 January 2009

Russia to create "National OS" Based on GNU/Linux?

Here's an interesting idea: for Russia to fund the creation of a "national operating system" to replace Windows, based on GNU/Linux:


Отечественное ИТ-сообщество просит президента поддержать идею национальной операционной системы.

Будущие разработчики российской «национальной операционной системы» могут получить поддержку в виде федеральной целевой программы. Во всяком случае, на это рассчитывают авторы письма президенту Дмитрию Медведеву, которое сейчас готовится в Госдуме.

[Via Google Translate: Domestic IT community has asked the president to support the idea of the operating system. Future developers Russian «national operating system» can get support in the form of federal target programs. In any case, the authors expect this letter to President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now preparing for the State Duma.]

Details are still unclear, but the ideas seems to be to build on top of GNU/Linux - described as "open code" here:

Кроме просьбы инициировать подготовку федеральной целевой программы в нем будет обоснована польза от создания «национальной ОС». Хотя подразумевается, что основой для нее станут уже существующие системы с открытым кодом, вопрос о степени ее свободности в письме «останется открытым, чтобы не загружать президента техническими подробностями».


[In addition to the request to initiate the preparation of the federal program, it would be justified benefit from the establishment of «national OS». While it is understood that the basis for the existing system will be open source, the extent of its free, in a letter «remain open so as not to load the president technical details».]

As is often the case, the key advantage that would flow from the creation of such a "national OS" is the control that it would give the Russian government - something it doesn't have with Windows, say, or even generalised free software produced elsewhere:

Смысл создания в России «национальной ОС» для силовых структур и госучреждений прокомментировал гендиректор ALT Linux Алексей Смирнов: «Национальной можно назвать ОС, если государство имеет право ее распространять и изменять, и, как заказчик, влияет на ее разработку. Систем, удовлетворяющих таким требованиям, сейчас не существует ни среди свободного, ни среди проприетарного ПО». Смирнов полагает, что проект «национальной ОС» на первом этапе будет базовым: «Без нее, например, речи быть не может о разработке в свое время “национального железа”». Не надо забывать, напоминает Смирнов, что, если для системы будет принята «свободная» модель, то, «чем больше Россия будет вкладывать в мировое движение СПО, тем больше она на него станет влиять».

[The sense of creation in Russia «national OS» for uniformed services and government commented director, ALT Linux Alexei Smirnov: «National include operating systems, if a state has the right to distribute and modify, and, as a customer, influence its development. Systems that meet these requirements, now there is no freedom of, or in proprietary software ». Smirnov believes that the project «National OS» in the first phase will be basic: «Without it, for example, the speech can not be on the development of its time," National Iron "». We should not forget, Smirnov recalled that when the system will be adopted «free» model, then, «the more Russia will invest in the global movement of the ACT, the more it will have an impact on him».]

Although the proposal is still in its early stages, the attractiveness of the proposal to a government keen to assert its independence at all levels is obvious. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't be surprised, it's just another attempt to convince their government to spend some money on nothing. There are no requirements from Russian users so specific and important that a new OS must be created for them. And nothing stops them from participating in Linux in a regular way and with this have impact on its development.

Such attempts to get some money from the government happen in any country, but they may have some success in countries with high level of government corruption.

glyn moody said...

Nonetheless, it would be nice if some money ended up in the pockets of free software programmers....

Júlio Springer Pitanga said...

With so many Linux versions aiming at suiting the specific and important needs of so many groups of users, it's amazing that Russian users are the only group on the Earth lacking specific and important needs. As to success in getting money from government as a measure of government corruption, no country is a match to US (did anyone say 800 billion dollars?).

glyn moody said...

Well, once politics enters, logic goes out of the window.

Júlio Springer Pitanga said...

Dear Glyn,
Do you really think that politics does not fully pervade the subject of your original blog post (and, of course, the Anonymous' comment)? Not being aware of this trivial fact, it is indeed difficult for you to follow the logic of the comments (both Anonymous' and mine).

glyn moody said...

Er, I just said it *did*....

Anonymous said...

glyn you should have said, "Well, once politics enters, logic goes out with windows.

glyn moody said...

True...

xrgtn said...

Like this: http://suxx.kak-sam.to/ruslinux.jpg

SteGriff said...

They should call it Kremlinux.