Monday, 17 February 2014


Following on from my look at Huayra, I thought I'd take a look at Canaima, another Latin American linux distribution that has some push behind it.

Canaima is a Venezuelan government sponsored Linux distribution. They've recently announced a technology agreement with Huayra, which is why I thought I'd take a look.

Canaima turns out to be just another Debian GNU/Linux distro, with a few localised applications for email and web access but otherwise, utterly standard.

All the options exist for an english language installation (and indeed all the other languages supported by Debian) Under virtualbox it complained that it lacked the correct graphics drivers to start gnome properly, but running the linux updater fixed that.

The applications software that ship with the distro are more or less what would be expected - Libre Office, Gedit, evince and the rest, the only real departures being a locally customised web browser based on iceweasel, and a locally customised email client.

The value proposition for adopting Linux is of course no licensing fees for applications or operating system, which potentially simplifies managing upgrades and distributions, as well as encouraging a local software industry.

I find the no licencing cost option particularly interesting. Apple have of course recently released mavericks as a no cost upgrade in an effort to standardise the operating system environment across their user base. And when I used to be concerned with managing desktop services, licencing, and the cost of upgrades, was always a major concern.

Interestingly, according to wikipedia, the Venezuelan government has also sought to get vendors to certify their hardware for use with the operating system, which would form the first step in building an ecology around its use as well as providing some assurance to hardware purchasers that the hardware was compatible.

I, of course, have not visited either Argentina or Venezeula, so cannot comment on the actual extent of the adoption of Huayra or Canaima, but these are both interesting initiatives both educationally and technologically ...

No comments: