NHSbuntu Name Change

Hi openhealthhubbers and NHSbunters

Following lengthy discussions with the NHS DoH Brand Police we’re having to change the name of NHSbuntu because they feel it implies that NHSbuntu is an official NHS product, and such ‘passing off’ is not allowed. I’ve attached their most recent letter which states we must stop using the name NHSbuntu.

This enforced name change offers one or two advantages anyway, since we have had significant interest from cloud compute providers, including Red Hat, who produce RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and so it may work in our favour a) not to tie ourselves purely to Health & Social care and b) not to tie ourselves purely to Ubuntu.

At present the front-running alternative name is NHoS, which does not infringe the NHS’s brand guidelines, and doesn’t specify that we are an Ubuntu derivative either, while still preserving a clue as to what our project is about. We had considered using some totally abstract name with no particular meaning, but there is definitely some advantage in having a self-explanatory name as opposed to one we’d have to explain to people constantly.

We’re happy to discuss name ideas with the community, just comment/discuss below (but bear in mind we’ve been hammering on this problem for a good few months and we don’t want to spend a lot of time on names when there’s proper work to be done! :slight_smile: )

Below are the final takedown letters from DoH for information:

We’re still ploughing along with progress in finding funding for proof of concept work and further development of NHoS, and we’re not letting this minor branding issue get in the way, which is why we’re not bothering to fight the issue any further. It’s better to spend our energy writing code and adding features.

Both Rob and I have been pretty busy over summer with non-tech personal stuff, but we’re both back in the saddle now, and looking forward to bringing you a much more refined new ISO in the coming months. Watch this space.

Marcus & Rob
NHSbuntu/NHoS project founders

I do hope that the (official) letter was in addition to lots of pats on the back for the great work you’re doing for the NHS?! I get there’s a reason for this, but equally they must have seen that it was a well intended (mis)use of the branding.

On the name…NHoS works, but keeps you in the health space. Opening up to local gov etc. could be helped by using government or public in the name. I’m not a very creative person so unfortunately don’t have any good suggestions :no_mouth:

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Thanks @darrenhutton. We’re keen at this stage not to directly take on the ‘non-health’ space - since all of our expertise and current following is from within Health.

And, no there have been no congratulatory letters, just the takedowns :slight_smile: We don’t care. As republican socialists, Rob and I are both planning to turn down the MBEs and other gongs when they’re eventually proffered :wink:


Perhaps time to reconsider my proferred Pubuntu (yonks ago, not in this forum). Not sure how the name of the product takes on ‘non health’ spaces and at least Pubuntu offers a nod towards public sector, and in the minds of those so inclined, other things as well.

Really like the initiative guys,
Strange DH choose to single you guys out.
How about something tongue in cheek like en-aitch-es-ubuntu, or NiHiSubuntu, - National insurance Health information Services.

Hi. I am new to the group, but very keen on seeing more FOSS in Primary Care. Not only the financial benefits but also the freedom to know the background to the software being used and how my patients data is being stored and accessed. The current patchwork of proprietary systems is broken, slow and difficult to work with, though primary care is at the ‘forefront’ of using IT on a daily basis it is still rubbish!

Regarding the name I think NHoS works well; identifies the OS as being for the NHS primarily, though if takes off could be rebranded with a sister brand for local government purposes…maybe LGoS…or something else?!

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Welcome @matt_best!

Thumbs up to NHoS, disruption and subversion :smiley:

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