Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux Gets Hawaii's Records House in Order

Filed under
Linux

Lester Nakamura tries to pride himself on always keeping an open mind. But when he went searching for a long-term solution to the state of Hawaii's bookkeeping needs, Nakamura said he quickly concluded that an open-source system was the only choice.

Up to that time-in 2002-the state's Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs had labored under a financial analysis program called FAMIS (Family Accounting and Management Information System)-a rickety COBOL application that could generate only a fixed set of budgetary reports, which were updated monthly and then printed out for state officials for review.

Reports routinely took weeks to assemble. If anyone requested a nonstandard report, a COBOL programmer had to write a new program to generate it.

In a state that prides itself for service and hospitality, "this was not a user-friendly system," said Nakamura, administrator for Hawaii's Information and Communication Services Division, in Honolulu.

In 2002, exasperated state officials turned to the Linux operating system to change that. They wanted all budget and expenditure data in one data mart, with a front-end application that lets users download data to their PCs and crunch numbers as they see fit.

Moreover, they did not want to shackle themselves for another decade or so to a proprietary system such as FAMIS. An open-source platform would offer stability yet still evolve with the state's needs.

"We wanted to use as much of the resources as we already had in place, and where we had to buy infrastructure we wanted it to be as economical as possible," said Wayne Sasaki, a branch manager in the Department of Accounting and General Services who worked on the project with Nakamura. "So we started talking about Linux. The goal with Linux was cost."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Chrome OS may soon be able to run Linux applications in a container

Even though Chrome OS is based on Linux (Gentoo Linux, to be exact), you can't run traditional desktop Linux applications. One solution to this problem is Crouton, a script that sets up a chroot of Ubuntu or Debian Linux on top of Chrome OS. While this does allow many people to use Chrome OS who otherwise couldn't, it's a hacky solution and requires enabling Developer Mode (which turns off most of Chrome OS' security features). A new commit on the Chromium Gerrit has come to light, with the name "New device policy to allow Linux VMs on Chrome OS." The specific code adds a 'Better Together' menu in the Chrome OS settings, and allows IT administrators to turn the feature on or off. Of course, the big news is that Chrome OS will almost certainly support running Linux applications at some point. That opens up a huge range of software, from open-source favorites like GIMP and LibreOffice, to Linux-compatible Steam games like Civilization V and Rocket League. Potentially, users could even install Wine to run some Windows programs. Read more

Android Leftovers

GNOME Shell vs. KDE Plasma Graphics Tests On Wayland vs. X.Org Server

A premium member this week had requested some benchmarks of openSUSE Tumbleweed when looking at the performance of KDE Plasma vs. GNOME Shell in some open-source graphics/gaming tests while also looking at the Wayland vs. X.Org Server performance. With KDE Plasma 5.12 that openSUSE Tumbleweed has picked up, there is much better Wayland session support compared to previous releases. While KDE developers aren't yet ready to declare their Wayland session the default, in my experience so far it's been working out very well but still routinely will find application crashes in Kate and the like when testing under the KWin's Wayland compositor. Read more

Stable kernels 4.15.6, 4.14.22, 4.9.84, 4.4.118 and 3.18.96