[sf-lug] Another GNU-Linux school in San Francisco

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 15:13:06 PST 2010

I am very happy to let you all know that another school's lab has been
converted from slow, virus-bitten Microsoft Windows to GNU-Linux.  This
school is the ISA school at 18th and De Haro.  There are now 22 machines
running in the library running Karmic Ubuntu.  Most of these machines were
previously too slow to be used effectively by the students, and so they just
sat here unused.

Now there will be about 4 classes in the library daily using Free Software
to do web browsing, email, and essay composition.

In addition, one of the teachers here has been using 3 Linux machines in his
classroom since January, and likes it.  Soon, we will install Linux on
another teacher's mission-critical teacher machine, meaning that teacher
will use it for his teacher assignments and work.

This conversion was made possible by James Howard's cool mass installer.  We
were able to install these machines in just about 2 hours or so.  The
machines are going to be stand-alone clients with access to the Internet, at
least for the short term, until we get a server in here to establish
top-down control of the software.  The machines all have parental control
filters that function as part of the SFUSD protection for the students.

It is really rewarding to see machines which had been abandoned as junk
turned into functioning machines to allow students to get online and do what
they need to do.

This particular school project is also a huge step forward for the Partimus
Linux school conversion project, because it has been followed closely by the
IT staff for the entire SFUSD.  If this process works well and is reviewed
well by the SFUSD IT guys, there is a chance that we could see a real domino
effect, with SFUSD adopting Linux as a viable alternative for Microsoft

The timing of this migration is fortuitous.  San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin
Newsom, has come out strongly for FOSS recently:


"Second, I am challenging City departments to use open source software when
they look to update or purchase new software. In recognition of how far open
source has come today, I am also pleased to announce the launch of my new
city web site in open source <http://www.sfmayor.org/> powered by WordPress.
Open source software has been able to deliver shorter implementation times
and lower costs. We have seen this with DataSF.org <http://www.datasf.org/>,
RecoverySF.org <http://recoverysf.org/> and our 311 integration with

We are seeing the grassroots movement in schools possible converging with
Mayor Newsom's visionary move to FOSS.  Perhaps the day is not far off when
Microsoft will face real competition for the hearts, minds, and wallets of
budgeting departments throughout San Francisco city government.

So many thanks to James Howard and Grant Bowman, the two FOSS gurus who have
been heading up the schools effort.

We still do need decent printers with ethernet ports, so if anyone has some
that they could share with us, we would be grateful.

Christian Einfeldt,
Producer, The Digital Tipping Point
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