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Impi's blog | Impi Linux (Pty) Ltd


Impi's blog

Impi Linux 7.05 Desktop Released

South Africa-developed Impi Linux, a local version of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, today announced its latest release. With this release Impi Linux, is hoping to extends its existing public sector foothold and grab a little more of the enterprise sector.

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SA government to switch to open source

22 February, 2007
The South African Cabinet today announced that it had approved a free and open source strategy and that government would migrate its current software to free and open source software.

At a Cabinet media briefing government said that it had "approved a policy and strategy for the implementation of free and open source software (FOSS) in government.

In a statement the cabinet said "all new software developed for or by the government will be based on open standards and government will itself migrate current software to FOSS. This strategy will, among other things, lower administration costs and enhance local IT skills."

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Tectonic: SA government to switch to open source

Meta: Linux

Ubuntu, which has become one of the world's most popular Linux distributions in recent years, launched its latest version on June 1 following months of intense testing. The new release is titled Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support), and has a specific emphasis on the needs of large organisations with both desktop and server versions.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS introduces functionality that simplifies common Linux server deployment processes. For system administrators setting up large numbers of web, mail and related servers, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS offers the fastest and most consistent path to deployment, combined with the availability of global commercial support where needed. "Ubuntu has a reputation for working well out of the box on desktops, and we have worked to bring that same ease of deployment and configuration to the server marketplace" said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project. "Based on our analysis of the ways people were already deploying Ubuntu on servers, we have aimed to streamline their experience while expanding the range of software available to people deploying Ubuntu in the data centre."
Ubuntu is freely available, including security updates for five years on servers, with no restrictions on usage and no requirement to purchase support contracts or subscriptions per deployment. Full telephone & online support on commercial terms is available globally from Canonical Ltd and other companies. "The economics of Ubuntu deployment are fundamentally different from those of other leading Linux distributions that offer commercial support" said Jane Silber, COO of Canonical Ltd. "Companies and individuals can deploy Ubuntu widely, and purchase support only for the machines where they need the assurance of a Support Level Agreement. This makes Ubuntu the preferred choice for large scale deployments where support contracts are not essential on every machine."

Sun Microsystems and Canonical also announced this week that Ubuntu 6.06 LTS will support the UltraSPARC T1 processor on Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers. These SPARC-based systems join the list of architectures for which Canonical will offer technical support on a paid, commercial basis, starting at $700 USD per year for a single server. For more information, please see the ubuntu support pages.

The Server Edition of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS includes a unique mechanism to set up a standardized, certified, and supported LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server with a single command. The feature greatly reduces the setup time for companies providing hosted LAMP services, as well as making it easier for organizations to set up and maintain their own LAMP-standardized servers. Canonical Ltd. Also provides technical support for the full suite of components in the LAMP stack.
“This new (LAMP) functionality is the first of several planned fully-certified free software stacks in Ubuntu,” said Fabio Massimo Di Nitto, product manager of Ubuntu Server Edition. The acronym LAMP refers to four ingredients of the world's most widely used framework for dynamic website publishing. While many variations on the LAMP theme exist, these four components are most commonly deployed together. The process of integrating these components will often take several hours per server and leaves room for the introduction of security vulnerabilities or unnecessary variation in configuration between different systems. "LAMP servers were the most popular use of Ubuntu in the data center, so we focused on that stack first" added Adam Conrad, Ubuntu's lead LAMP developer.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS also has a new mechanism to make commercial software available, enabling businesses and individuals to download select software from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). There are a variety of solutions available this way already, including data management software from Arkeia, cross-platform development tools from Raining Data, PC sharing from Userful and virtualisation from VMware. Additional software for Ubuntu from ISVs will be added in the coming months.
"Ubuntu and VMware have worked together to make industry-leading virtualization a freely available and easy to use capability for Ubuntu 6.06 LTS," said Dan Chu, VMWare's Senior Director of Technology Alliances & Developer and ISV Products. "Now any Ubuntu user can automatically install and run VMware Player from the Ubuntu package manager, and join the four million plus users of VMware worldwide for running virtualized servers, desktops, and virtual appliances. Hundreds of thousands of users have already adopted Ubuntu virtual appliances using VMware, and the increased integration between Ubuntu and VMware will further enable broad uptake of these virtual appliances."

Ubuntu is part of the Debian family of distributions. As such it has an extremely wide selection of software that is instantly available to Ubuntu users, and includes some of the world's best-regarded software for the management of software updates and changes. "Debian is integral to the success and popularity of Ubuntu" said Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Ubuntu. "The combined efforts of more than 1,000 developers create a unique platform in Debian, which allows Ubuntu to focus on the specific needs of our users." Ubuntu is believed to be the leading version of the Debian system that includes skills certification from LPI, as well as certifications from hardware and software companies.

A special added bonus of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS is the inclusion of several chapters from “The Official Ubuntu Book”, which Prentice Hall Professional will publish in July 2006, under an Open Content licence. The book represents the collaborative effort of more than a dozen Ubuntu community members from around the world, in addition to the primary authors: Benjamin Mako Hill, Jono Bacon, Corey Burger, Jonathan Jessie, and Ivan Krstic. “We’re thrilled to have been able to develop this book in such close partnership with the Ubuntu community,” said Paul Boger, VP/Publisher for the Pearson Technology Group. “This book is truly by and for the Ubuntu community.” The book can be pre-ordered at

The word "Ubuntu" is a special word in many African languages. It translates loosely as "human-ness" and speaks to the importance of the role each individual plays in their community. In celebration of that, this release of Ubuntu also includes unique video footage of an interview with Nelson Mandela, who speaks on the relevance of this philosophy today.

About Ubuntu
Since its launch in October 2004, Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions, with millions distributed and in use around the world. Ubuntu will always be free, and will not have restrictive licenses associated with it. With these goals in mind at all times, Ubuntu aims at being the most widely used of all Linux systems, and is the centre of a global open source software ecosystem. The latest version can be downloaded from the Ubuntu site.

About Canonical Ltd.
Canonical Ltd. is committed to the development, distribution and promotion of open source software products, and to providing tools and support to the open source community. With a global organization headquartered in Europe, Canonical has employees throughout Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Australia.

Meta: Linux

Impi Linux Announces the 'Mile High Club'

Impi Linux is proud to announce a brand new partnership programme, designed to bring the company’s offerings to its partners in a mutually beneficial way. Entitled 'The Mile High Club' to correlate with the company’s aviation theme for the programme, the intention is to better serve partners in providing Impi Linux's products and services to their clients.

By involving themselves in the programme, partners will be enabled to maximise their offerings in terms of Impi Linux’s range of customised, industry-specific Linux products and ensure their clients of the highest level of professional support.

“Impi Linux has decided to employ a dynamic partner strategy in growing its network of service providers,” says Gary Fortuin, managing director for Impi Linux. “Via this programme, we will be giving our partners access to some of the best local Linux skills on offer. Furthermore, our partnership programme has a developmental aspect to empower the SMME market to provides services within the growing Linux segment.”

“Given our strategic partnerships with international organisations such as Canonical and CodeWeavers, we will also be providing our partners with access to the same professional services and products we currently enjoy,” he adds.

The programme uses elements of Ubuntu’s partnership programme utilised internationally. “We’ve taken the programme from Ubuntu and adapted it to the local environment with its unique needs and challenges,” says Fortuin. “Just as we have taken Ubuntu itself and adapted it to specialised local demands, in the spirit of open source. Partners can therefore be assured that the services Impi brings them are optimised for the South African market.”

The programme will focus on breaking ground for Impi Linux’s products in the market and the generation of leads, which will then be handed down to the company’s partners. “The idea is that we do all of the hard work in arousing clients via our substantial network of connections and then pour the leads generated into the channel. Impi Linux takes care of the high-level technical requirements, strategy and marketing; its partners take care of the rest, with the company’s assistance.”

Mark Shuttleworth bought into Impi Linux last year, commencing the company’s relationship with Ubuntu.

As per the company’s agreement with Canonical, Impi Linux's products are now based on the dynamic Ubuntu platform. Whereas Ubuntu is aimed at a broad spectrum of Linux users, Impi's products are customised for specific customers, such as government departments, corporate enterprises and educational institutions. “Our products are focused on their intended environments,” explains Fortuin. “Impi Linux engages with customers alongside its partners. They take care of large scale deployments and support, whereas Impi takes care of escalated support, bug fixes and customisation requirements.”

In providing focused Linux products and services for the South African market, the Impi Linux partnership programme enables partners to provide their clients with the highest level of support and service via a relationship that places the partner in the most advantageous position for delivery.

Meta: Impi

Impi Linux, Arivia.kom launch internship programme

Impi Linux and Arivia.kom have joined forces to launch a Linux internship programme. The two companies have made a commitment to train an initial 30 learners in the skills required to admin Linux systems. Candidates will conclude their training with a Linux Professional Institute(LPI) certification.

The programme is registered as an ISETT SETA(Sector Education Training Authority) internship programme.

"This programme will contribute to helping Government achieve its goals in the Linux and open source realm," says Sipho Yeni, managing executive of Arivia.kom's Focused Business Solutions division. "Until now, it has been a challenge to find the correct skills to roll out Linux and open source technologies at national, provincial and municipal level."

"The benefits of Linux and open source are also clearly evident to the majority of business minds in the local market," says Gary Fortuin, managing director of Impi Linux. "That said, however, it's clear that what's holding adoption back to a great degree is the lack of high-end, affordable skills in the market. With this internship programme, we aim to initially create 30 valuable resources for the local market to begin bridging that gap.

"In the long term, we see this internship programme gaining more support from industry and resulting in a further reaching transformational effect on the South African IT market," says Fortuin.

A third of the candidates for the internship programme already have some form of tertiary qualification in IT or computer science. "This means that roughly one third of the learners concluding the programme will be cross-skilled in numerous areas of the IT market," says Fortuin. "As those in the know within the IT market will testify to, these kinds of skills are most sought after.

"The other two-thirds of the selected candidates," he says, "have no formal tertiary education. This is where the highest transformational effect will take place, since we will be in a position to empower young
South Africans that have previously struggled to find employment with rare knowledge in the Linux and open source markets and vastly increase their chances of career success."

"One of the most valuable aspects of this programme is the fact that these skills will be created across the South African landscape," says Yeni.

"Since Arivia.kom has a national footprint, when it comes to experiential training, on the job knowledge creation and mentorship, the thirty candidates will be spread out across that national footprint. It means that unlike many internships undertaken in the local market, we will be creating a national skills base that can be tapped into at any business centre throughout the country," he explains.

Arivia.kom and ImpiLinux have concluded their recruitment process and have begun the training portion of the programme. On completion, the candidates will enter the workplace and begin using the knowledge they have gained in a first hand manner, in the field.

Ian Madonsela, Arivia.kom's business solution manager says that once the candidates have qualified they will be assigned to project teams headed by experienced project managers. "This will ensure that they will gain the requisite business and client interface insights that are so important to the success of any project."

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