This distro seems interesting and its now been forwarded onto a number of individuals in IT management, but I know that one of the fears will be disruption to existing services and continued support for those systems and software (current and deprecated) if trialling another OS.
Have you approached any Trusts in regards to their current needs?
My Trust currently supports a number of systems across many sites which would make it difficult to consider such a move. Have you reviewed which software is being used across the NHS and whether there is a clear solution or alternative to use in its place?
Is there a clear point of contact and a development roadmap for NHSbuntu?
Software currently being supported across many sites and departments -
Adobe Acrobat Pro
CAM Cris V.3 Live
CCube Solutions CD Decryption
Choose & Book Training
Cisco IP Communicator
Cisco UCCX Agent Desktop Software
Co-Pilot Health Management System
ESR Self Service
GI Reporting Tool
Heritage Cirqa Library Software
Imprivata SSO Desktop Software
Little Green Button
Opera (not the web browser)
Sophos Endpoint Protection
Skype for Business
The catch-all answer is : you can run Windows in a VM for any specific needs that don’t run on Linux.
My initial response to this was to open a spreadsheet with this list in it to start enumerating the equivalence and here it is, but the answer for so many of these will be “it depends” - mostly on what you’re using them for.
Many of these are a vast can of worms… many of them could be a storm in a teacup.
But! Does NHSBuntu have a wiki yet? Because this is the sort of thing that needs considered and extended documentation. Valuable for enumerating the vast landscape of different bits of software out there and also good for working out what could be quick wins.
But… it depends.
IrfanView would appear to be a no-brainer - it’s an image viewer. There are lots of FOSS image viewer programs that run on Linux and most desktop distros ship with one or two by default. But is it being used e.g. specifically because it has a 64-bit version that copes well with ginormous radiology images, or does it cope with DICOM formats where others don’t etc.
@NHS_Informatics thanks for your interest and also huge thanks for that very nice list of software we will need to play nicely with.
We would like to compile a software compatibility list using this - would you be able to help us out with testing access to install media for these packages?
Initially we are primarily aiming at supporting backoffice/admin areas of the NHS where there is considerable scope for saving of Microsoft licenses but less challenge from supporting clinical systems.
Anything browser-based will just work in NHSbuntu (unless it has been perversely engineered specifically for an older IE version. In which case that clinical software will need to be replaced anyway because it’s extremely insecure.)
I’d be astonished if we can’t get something like TPath working in NHSbuntu natively and without much fuss - after all it is simply a TelNet session.
As @adrian.wilkins says, for some systems the answer will come from virtualisation of Windows, which can mitigate security concerns of older Windows versions although it won’t necessarily save you on MS licenses unless you can aggregate machines on a virtualisation server and have, say, 0.25 to 0.5 machines per user, on the assumption that they are not all on shift and using systems at the same time.
Anything Java based should be able to be run on NHSbuntu, if it has been written properly (I’ve found that Windows-based Java shops tend to have scant regard for case-sensitivity, character encodings, and backslash etiquette)
In short, I’m confident we can eventually (5 years, say?) get to a point where everything that is still required to be used can be run on NHSbuntu, and for everything else we’ve either provided an open source alternative or someone else has.
After revisiting this topic with other Informatics team members, it seems that Docman would have to be tightly integrated/supported in order for any rollout or testing of a new OS across surgeries etc.
Thanks @NHS_Informatics, always useful to know what is required. Much of what you have listed in previous posts is web-based - anything web-based will ‘just work’ with NHoS.
The other stuff - will need work and testing and funding to get right on NHoS. We’re always looking for sites that would be interested in partnering with us to run pilot programmes - funding can often be found for this centrally. Would St Helens & Knowsley be interested in partnering?
As Docman 10 is web based, with an alternative client install if required, but not a pre-requisite, then this should not present any issues. I asked our Docman account manager directly this question, and he advised similar