Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare



  • In the UK, the NHS is the nation healthcare service one of the largest organizations and largest IT departments on planet Earth and whatever it does causes huge waves in the industry. One of their big projects is NHSbuntu, a custom distribution of Ubuntu designed specifically around their needs. This week a large project was underway to get ready for 750,000 Windows to Ubuntu Linux smartcard machine replacements as a forerunning to potentially moving millions of PCs to Linux as well.

    Youtube Video



  • Currently the NHS is dangerously outdated and crippled with desktop licensing costs. The current desktop infrastructure that isn't even running technology from this decade is costing British taxpayers £100m per year for Windows XP and Windows 7 licenses. The hope, with the help of NHSbuntu, is for the organization to be Windows 7 free by 2020.


  • Service Provider

    This is a pretty epic move for Linux on the desktop. Sure, this initial release is two weeks away (projected) but 750,000 deployments is not trivial, and as a demo to prepare for millions more is really something. While the NHS might be the text book example of failed IT projects (literally, every software engineering textbook I've ever had uses the NHS as the stock example of the organization that can't get any project to work) as the largest healthcare organization out there, what they do influences the global medical community.



  • You can't change bad IT by changing the OS.



  • @mlnews

    Its good news (Anything better than outdated XP or Win7), but this is starting to be bad practice, cause all the big organization that does this, just use Ubuntu and change a couple of user interface elements add some packages and give it a new name.

    If you really want to do it right, spin your own Linux OS and hire I.T skills to do this, and make it as small as possible to reduce attack surface, for example when you go to banks and big grocery markets, you can still see that some of them use like shell interface client for operations like Terminal or Command Prompt.

    I feel that the cause this is just BIG organization, using Ubuntu might not be the cure, cause there is SAMBACRY, and when you dont understand the OS, bad stuff bound to happen. And the only way to truly understand Linux is to try spinning your own OS.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    You can't change bad IT by changing the OS.

    Oh no, NOTHING is going to fix the NHS. Lowering the cost is a good possibility, though.


  • Service Provider

    @msff-amman-Itofficer said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @mlnews

    Its good news (Anything better than outdated XP or Win7), but this is starting to be bad practice, cause all the big organization that does this, just use Ubuntu and change a couple of user interface elements add some packages and give it a new name.

    If you really want to do it right, spin your own Linux OS and hire I.T skills to do this, and make it as small as possible to reduce attack surface, for example when you go to banks and big grocery markets, you can still see that some of them use like shell interface client for operations like Terminal or Command Prompt.

    I feel that the cause this is just BIG organization, using Ubuntu might not be the cure, cause there is SAMBACRY, and when you dont understand the OS, bad stuff bound to happen. And the only way to truly understand Linux is to try spinning your own OS.

    Why would you want everyone to spin their own? Why throw out all the other quality work being done and do it all again yourself? You start with a proper solid base and add the specific tools and packages you need.



  • @Tim_G said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    You can't change bad IT by changing the OS.

    At least now there will be less of it.


  • Service Provider

    I agree, spinning their own would only make sense in extremely limited situations. The risk and this is huge is that they will make their own and not be able to maintain it at Ubuntu level quality. Ubuntu has huge resources to do this and is already doing it. NHS does not have the skills to do this and has never done it and has no reason to do it. If NHS needs a specific tool, they could make just that tool or better yet, contribute it to the Ubuntu code base.



  • @JaredBusch said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @msff-amman-Itofficer said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @mlnews

    Its good news (Anything better than outdated XP or Win7), but this is starting to be bad practice, cause all the big organization that does this, just use Ubuntu and change a couple of user interface elements add some packages and give it a new name.

    If you really want to do it right, spin your own Linux OS and hire I.T skills to do this, and make it as small as possible to reduce attack surface, for example when you go to banks and big grocery markets, you can still see that some of them use like shell interface client for operations like Terminal or Command Prompt.

    I feel that the cause this is just BIG organization, using Ubuntu might not be the cure, cause there is SAMBACRY, and when you dont understand the OS, bad stuff bound to happen. And the only way to truly understand Linux is to try spinning your own OS.

    Why would you want everyone to spin their own? Why throw out all the other quality work being done and do it all again yourself? You start with a proper solid base and add the specific tools and packages you need.

    Yeah, the fact that they are doing this, this decision itself, is more proof of bad IT.

    I'm not opposed to running Linux in a major enterprise, I'm a big supporter of it, as long as it's for the right reasons and you can support all business needs with it.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @JaredBusch said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @msff-amman-Itofficer said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @mlnews

    Its good news (Anything better than outdated XP or Win7), but this is starting to be bad practice, cause all the big organization that does this, just use Ubuntu and change a couple of user interface elements add some packages and give it a new name.

    If you really want to do it right, spin your own Linux OS and hire I.T skills to do this, and make it as small as possible to reduce attack surface, for example when you go to banks and big grocery markets, you can still see that some of them use like shell interface client for operations like Terminal or Command Prompt.

    I feel that the cause this is just BIG organization, using Ubuntu might not be the cure, cause there is SAMBACRY, and when you dont understand the OS, bad stuff bound to happen. And the only way to truly understand Linux is to try spinning your own OS.

    Why would you want everyone to spin their own? Why throw out all the other quality work being done and do it all again yourself? You start with a proper solid base and add the specific tools and packages you need.

    Yeah, the fact that they are doing this, this decision itself, is more proof of bad IT.

    I'm not opposed to running Linux in a major enterprise, I'm a big supporter of it, as long as it's for the right reasons and you can support all business needs with it.

    By that logic, the NHS wouldn't run anything at all ;)



  • @scottalanmiller said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @Tim_G said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @JaredBusch said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @msff-amman-Itofficer said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @mlnews

    Its good news (Anything better than outdated XP or Win7), but this is starting to be bad practice, cause all the big organization that does this, just use Ubuntu and change a couple of user interface elements add some packages and give it a new name.

    If you really want to do it right, spin your own Linux OS and hire I.T skills to do this, and make it as small as possible to reduce attack surface, for example when you go to banks and big grocery markets, you can still see that some of them use like shell interface client for operations like Terminal or Command Prompt.

    I feel that the cause this is just BIG organization, using Ubuntu might not be the cure, cause there is SAMBACRY, and when you dont understand the OS, bad stuff bound to happen. And the only way to truly understand Linux is to try spinning your own OS.

    Why would you want everyone to spin their own? Why throw out all the other quality work being done and do it all again yourself? You start with a proper solid base and add the specific tools and packages you need.

    Yeah, the fact that they are doing this, this decision itself, is more proof of bad IT.

    I'm not opposed to running Linux in a major enterprise, I'm a big supporter of it, as long as it's for the right reasons and you can support all business needs with it.

    By that logic, the NHS wouldn't run anything at all ;)

    Maybe they shouldn't be the ones running things!


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @scottalanmiller said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @Tim_G said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @JaredBusch said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @msff-amman-Itofficer said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @mlnews

    Its good news (Anything better than outdated XP or Win7), but this is starting to be bad practice, cause all the big organization that does this, just use Ubuntu and change a couple of user interface elements add some packages and give it a new name.

    If you really want to do it right, spin your own Linux OS and hire I.T skills to do this, and make it as small as possible to reduce attack surface, for example when you go to banks and big grocery markets, you can still see that some of them use like shell interface client for operations like Terminal or Command Prompt.

    I feel that the cause this is just BIG organization, using Ubuntu might not be the cure, cause there is SAMBACRY, and when you dont understand the OS, bad stuff bound to happen. And the only way to truly understand Linux is to try spinning your own OS.

    Why would you want everyone to spin their own? Why throw out all the other quality work being done and do it all again yourself? You start with a proper solid base and add the specific tools and packages you need.

    Yeah, the fact that they are doing this, this decision itself, is more proof of bad IT.

    I'm not opposed to running Linux in a major enterprise, I'm a big supporter of it, as long as it's for the right reasons and you can support all business needs with it.

    By that logic, the NHS wouldn't run anything at all ;)

    Maybe they shouldn't be the ones running things!

    That's been the theory for a very, very long time.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    This is a pretty epic move for Linux on the desktop. Sure, this initial release is two weeks away (projected) but 750,000 deployments is not trivial, and as a demo to prepare for millions more is really something. While the NHS might be the text book example of failed IT projects (literally, every software engineering textbook I've ever had uses the NHS as the stock example of the organization that can't get any project to work) as the largest healthcare organization out there, what they do influences the global medical

    Miss read the number- nevermind.



  • @Dashrender said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @scottalanmiller said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    This is a pretty epic move for Linux on the desktop. Sure, this initial release is two weeks away (projected) but 750,000 deployments is not trivial, and as a demo to prepare for millions more is really something. While the NHS might be the text book example of failed IT projects (literally, every software engineering textbook I've ever had uses the NHS as the stock example of the organization that can't get any project to work) as the largest healthcare organization out there, what they do influences the global medical community.

    Assuming this is replacing windows in every case, that's like 1/2 of all windows desktops MS says they have, assuming memory serves me right at 1.4 billion desktops.
    I just looked it up, err it's 1.25 billion.

    This will seriously injure MS in the desktop space.

    Half? Uhh?



  • @stacksofplates said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @Dashrender said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @scottalanmiller said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    This is a pretty epic move for Linux on the desktop. Sure, this initial release is two weeks away (projected) but 750,000 deployments is not trivial, and as a demo to prepare for millions more is really something. While the NHS might be the text book example of failed IT projects (literally, every software engineering textbook I've ever had uses the NHS as the stock example of the organization that can't get any project to work) as the largest healthcare organization out there, what they do influences the global medical community.

    Assuming this is replacing windows in every case, that's like 1/2 of all windows desktops MS says they have, assuming memory serves me right at 1.4 billion desktops.
    I just looked it up, err it's 1.25 billion.

    This will seriously injure MS in the desktop space.

    Half? Uhh?

    I'm reading on the phone in the car- that 750 thousand, not million doh!


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @stacksofplates said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @Dashrender said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @scottalanmiller said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    This is a pretty epic move for Linux on the desktop. Sure, this initial release is two weeks away (projected) but 750,000 deployments is not trivial, and as a demo to prepare for millions more is really something. While the NHS might be the text book example of failed IT projects (literally, every software engineering textbook I've ever had uses the NHS as the stock example of the organization that can't get any project to work) as the largest healthcare organization out there, what they do influences the global medical community.

    Assuming this is replacing windows in every case, that's like 1/2 of all windows desktops MS says they have, assuming memory serves me right at 1.4 billion desktops.
    I just looked it up, err it's 1.25 billion.

    This will seriously injure MS in the desktop space.

    Half? Uhh?

    I'm reading on the phone in the car- that 750 thousand, not million doh!

    Still a big number.



  • @scottalanmiller
    I agree, though I also agree with the others I don't think it will matter for them in the slightest.
    They will simply abandon doing updates on these as well.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Introducing NHSBuntu, UK's Ubuntu for Healthcare:

    @scottalanmiller
    I agree, though I also agree with the others I don't think it will matter for them in the slightest.
    They will simply abandon doing updates on these as well.

    Very likely.


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