Convincing a school district to migrate from OS X to Ubuntu or Edubuntu

Sandy Harris sandyinchina at
Wed Nov 19 13:40:59 UTC 2008

Rashkae <ubuntu at> wrote:

> I think you should start by switching the school computers to Open
> Office and Firefox, if you can.

Can you demo it? Put OO and Firefox on a USB stick, put in into
a machine, edit some files, show some web browsing, then bring
the files up in Word and show people that OO handles Word files
just fine.

> Open office because it's much more efficient and supports the up and
> coming data format standard for all platforms out of the box.

Also because it can save the school a lot of money. This might be
your main selling point.

Portability is an argument both ways. MS Office is considered standard
in some circles. For those folks, you can point out that OO can read &
write (most of) the MS file formats. This argument will fail if the school
has a large vocational component and needs to prepare kids to get jobs
in a market that has MS Office skills in many job ads. You cannot win
that one at the school; someone has to educate the employers.

Other folks need something that will also run on Suns or Linux or
whatever. For them (us!) OO beats MS Office hands down, but
they aren't your target market.

> Firefox because, well, it's Firefox.

Yes, and it is free and you don't have to uninstall Safari to install it.
And it runs on Windows PCs, Linux, Solaris, ...

> Personally, I think OS X is a nice enough system that if I happened to
> administer a Mac, I wouldn't remove it.  (I'm not really a free software
> purist.)

Macs are running Unix. They have FreeBSD underneath, so all the
editors & shells & ... available on Linux are available there too. Of
course there are differences in various details. Overall I prefer Linux,
but there are things on BSD that I consider far better.

Of course, they have extras, the Mac GUI, Safari, ... but they can
run all the standard stuff too. If you want X and your favorite
window manager, you can have them. Or Firefox, or ....

Every Windows box I use, I think about putting a Unix on it.
Which Unix depends on the machine & applications. Xubuntu
is my first choice for a PC-based desktop, OpenBSD for a
firewall, ...

It wouldn't occur to me to put Linux on a Mac. It already has
a perfectly good Unix.

Sandy Harris,
Quanzhou, Fujian, China

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