Archive for December 2009

A short summary on Linux and Open Source Software scenario in Brazil

December 16, 2009

Linux, and other open source software, have been strongly fostered by the Brazilian government over the last years. Its utilization has called even more attention due to efforts done by the Brazilian Culture Minister, and the Brazilian Republic President himself. The Brazilian government recommends and fosters the Linux and other open source software adoption among all of its agencies, departments and organizations (http://blueoxen.com/paper/foss-adoption-in-brazil/).

However, this mass adoption of Linux and OSS by the government is just a result of an older movement that precedes it: the growing of the Brazilian Linux and OSS community. Back in the mid-1990s ordinary people managed to create users and study groups, and they started to do business in a very very small scale. Some of those people, in 1995, have founded the first private company focused on deliver a Linux distribution. This company was named Conectiva, and it became widely known all over Brazil and Latin America (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conectiva).

Nowadays, Brazil has a wide and complex Linux ecosystem that embraces government agencies, privately held companies at all market segments, non-governmental organizations and a very huge number of users groups spread all over the country. However, despite OSS being widely used in Brazil, even after so many years the model of open source software development (and OSS business) is still not so understood by most Brazilian authorities, businessmen and end users. There still are those who see in OSS (specially in Linux) a way to cut costs off or just lower their budgets down. It seems that still lacks, to many of us, a better understanding about the way of development in OSS works and how to do business with it.