German federal state switches Linux-based school server
The governmental IT supplier for schools in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg has committed to stop development of its in-house Linux-based school server software paedML in favour of a new solution based on Univention's UCS@school product. This move was originally announced by the government organisation at the end of 2012; the intention was to reduce the workload on the teachers developing and supporting the software by outsourcing this work to a commercial company. UCS@school is based on version 3.1 of the open source Univention Corporate Server.
Baden-Württemberg's paedML, which was formerly known as Musterlösung ("standard solution"), originated in a standard school server project that was started by the federal state government at the end of the 1990s as a project using Novell's NetWare. Windows- and Linux-based versions of the server were released in 2002 and a completely open source version based on Linux and known as OpenML is also available; this version removes all proprietary components such as IBM's Tivoli and Rembo tools. The project aimed to provide file sharing, work group management, Active Directory services and client backup and software deployment functions. Over the last few years, paedML has formed the basis of several different rollouts of school server solutions in other German federal states.
The developers of the linuxmuster.net web site forked paedML 5 last year after the Baden-Württemberg government declared its intention to move to the Univention product. The project plans to continue developing a community-based version of the school server and the developers are currently working on the next version of the fork – linuxmuster.net 6.0, based on IPFire and Ubuntu 12.04 – under the auspices of a non-profit organisation.