Current article compiling was supported by HITSA Tiger University program (in Estonian).

At 18th December 2013 was in Estonia at HITSA ( -
Information Technology Foundation for Education) seminar about free software and its possible usage at public sector, also in governmental institutions. Participants were from local city governments over all Estonia, Ministry of Education and Science, HITSA and its suborganization EENet (Estonian Education and Research Network), Tallinn City Municipality Education Board and free software experts Kalle Kebbinau, Rainer Aus and Edmund Laugasson. Edmund is also PhD student at Tallinn University, Institute of Informatics in FOSS field and his dissertation topic is strongly related with FOSS - “Free software strategies of managing information and communication technology infrastructure in Estonia”.

First presentation was by free software experts and spoke about free software meaning and value, especially for educational systems. Also were spoken the main reasons, why Estonia should switch to free software at all - what would be benefit and vision in this field for Estonia. Then were spoken about free software usage experience in Estonian schools and also international examples were highlighted. Also two schemes were introduced about ICT infrastructure based on FOSS and also vision of more practical ICT-education based on FOSS.

After first presentation there were discussion over the problem, that Microsoft has increased their prices for schools up to 25 times. Mr Jaak Anton from Estonian Ministry of Education and Science announced, that they could establish a new contract with Microsoft - until the year 2017 1st July will prices remain onto same level as currently - approximately 3€ per computer per year for both of MS Windows and MS Office. Then prices will start increase progressively. This announcement caused active discussion and main result was, that now we have some more time to carefully plan transition to free software. All agreed, that this is temporary solution and transition to free software must come anyway.

The most important breakthrough - there has been noticed attitude change of decisionmakers - they now understands, that change is necessary and free software is the solution. It takes time and we are bringing Munich experience as one recent example from Europe.

Second presentation showed by EENet and they spoke about central identification system TAAT and based on that, in turn also OpenLDAP-based authentication solution for Estonian public sector. Also connecting different public and educational services authentications under the same umbrella was one topic. One important moment is also connecting authentication with EHIS - Estonian Education Information System. There is also plan to connect this authentication system with other services over all Europe, called eduGAIN. EENet is also planning to create Estonian own educational cloud based on ownCloud. There is also software central management project called Manpremo, which is started by estonians and looking currently developers.

Third presentation were made by Kätlin Kalde from Tallinn City Municipality Education Board about free software pilot project in Tallinn. This involves 3 schools and 2 kindergartens, which will be completely switched to free software. There are also Kalle Kebbinau and Edmund Laugasson involved as external experts into this pilot project. During that pilot project also cloud service based ownCloud will be set up, central management based OpenNode and central authentication based on OpenLDAP. Monitoring will be done using Zabbix. Operating system will be customized version of Lubuntu 12.04 LTS due to fact, that schools still have some old hardware. Ubuntu platform has been chosen by good hardware support and active development.

After presentations there were active discussion over presented topics and next steps. First step is to establish communication between interested sides. Second step is to create activity plan of free software transition with calculations. Then there can be start to plan next steps. Next big step will be open file formats in public sector - establish a situation where public sector in Estonia can change documents in open fileformats as strongly suggested also in Estonian Interoperability Framework document called “State IT Architecture v1.01 (2007)”.

In background there has been also Free Software Competence Centre (FSCC) creation process started. FSCC will be one part of Estonian Free and Open-Source Software Alliance (ALVATAL). This all takes some time when organizational part has been changed and is targeted to Q1 of 2014.


article in Estonian about cheaper prices until 1st July 2017:
about eduGAIN -
Estonian Education Information System, in Estonian: EHIS -
central software management software Manpremo -
Estonian Interoperability Framework 2011 (EIF 2011) -
EIF document “State IT Architecture” -
Edmund Laugasson’s PhD study site -

Edmund Laugasson

Me teame kes teab!


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