Welcome to NHSbuntu!

So why are so many trusts buying another product on top of BitLocker? I guess some of them have a significant XP estate, so that would be one use-case.

NHSbuntu is built from Ubuntu GNOME.

We created a ‘defaults’ package - nhsbuntu-default-settings - which sets configurations for:

  • Desktop theme, wallpaper, icons etc
  • GNOME3 extensions for panels and menus
  • Browser defaults for the homepage & adding bookmarks
  • Installer slideshow

The defaults package is also used to add / remove components from the installation.

We created our own graphical bootloader with a spinning logo! See nhsbuntu-plymouth-gnome

We’ve used Evolution for a couple of reasons:

  1. Evolution is the default mail client in GNOME.
  2. GNOME Online Accounts ‘just worked’ with NHSMail2.
  3. Evolution Exchange Web Services ‘just worked’ with NHSMail2.

We’ve signed and published these packages in our PPA on Launchpad.

We use ubuntu-defaults-image to build the ISO from the settings package.


We said “few (none?) products cover legacy operating systems”.

If you’ve got some examples of enterprisey encryption products with support for Windows versions from XP to 10 please share them!

Thanks @paultargett

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Email, Calendaring, NHSMail2 and Exchange Integration

Guys, I think its best not to get pulled into the good vs evil debate on Microsoft desktop - will suck light and day. Need to focus on a use case that makes it an easy decision. Also need to think about how staff and IT managers are won over. There’s a communication thing here too. Something for Code4Health I think…

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have to agree with you Adrian. We have Windows 10 deployed with Bitlocker, Office 365 etc. just about to deploy to 800 GP’s and support staff too as part of a primary care update programme. Also need to consider ongoing support costs for NHSbunto. Will some form of managed service be developed? I know it is great being all agile and innovative, but stablity and reliability of a client service will have to be assured somehow. Don’t get me wrong, it is ultimately one of the ways forward, but with eyes open…

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@stephen.slough Absolutely with eyes open, and we think the future will of course be a mix of all kinds of different operating systems including Windows. Really good to have your honest feedback and involvement.

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Hi @stephen.slough

You ask questions that I do not have answers for. I hope you will help us get to some answers though!

On support. What do you do now in your organisation? In your example of deploying 800 GPs to W10 & Office 365, I guess you are migrating from something and not deploying into a greenfield site. So let’s say, for arguments sake, that you’ve got a deployment of 800ish Windows 7 and Office 2007 desktops. You’ll have a people on your service desk and in your infrastructure team, some trainers, a library of support materials and howto guides. You will have invested in MOS certification for power users as well as MCPs for your service desk staffers and MCSEs for those in your infrastructure team. These people will be crucial to the success of your deployment. You would ensure that you equip these people with the skills needed for to support the new technologies as you migrate. And let’s not forget the 800 GP’s! No doubt you will have tested, tested and tested again all the applications that they use every day to ensure that everything works in the new environment. You will have provided training sessions for them, and as you knew they would not have time to attend you will at least have made sure that you got one person from every practice along so that at least someone would be your onsite expert.

Okay, perhaps I exaggerate a little. However, what would be difference if you were migrating to Apple OS X and not Windows 10. Or migrating to NHSbuntu for that matter? Supporting the technology in your organisation has a cost today, it will have a cost tomorrow as you migrate and it will continue to have a cost the day after.

On managed services. Canonical and Red Hat, the two major open source OS companies, both offer Professional Services and Support Services with a range of Service Level Agreements. Could you tell me about the support services you currently get from Microsoft? I am sure that you could get the same from open source vendors. Collabora, for example, offer Libre Office services. Canonical and Red Hat are also on gCloud.

Some info I’m sure many of you are aware of, but may help those who aren’t…

The city of munich some ten years ago made a large scale switch to a tailored linux version - LiMux. This has provided some real insight into the viability of Linux desktop at scale. Well worth having a google, as there are many articles on the learnings to date.

Unfortunately (imho) the city is now looking at switching to windows 10, backed up by a report authored by accenture (microsoft partner) and by pro-microsoft execs.

some links:

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This looks really interesting, unfortunately I’m unable to access what I understand to be the download location at http://nhsbuntu.openhealthhub.org/ and just get a 404 error instead. Am I looking in the right place?

Hi Andrew, we recently switched our web stuff to http://www.nhsbuntu.org and are having some DNS issues with nhsbuntu.openhealthhub.org.

So please use https://www.nhsbuntu.org from now on


Whilst Bitlocker has been included in Windows since Vista, you need the Enterprise Edition to run it, which wasn’t included in the EWA licenses for Windows 7. The costs vary for Enterprise, depending on your Windows OEM Version and where you are in your cycle of either Microsoft Select Plus, since replaced with Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), or via an Enterprise Agreement, which means you own the software, or an ESA, which is basically rental. The last batch of 150 PCs we bought, which Dell still ship with Windows 7 OEM, costs £190ish per device for an Enterprise license. So even though Bitlocker is included it costs! To manage it across your estate you either need MBAM (Microsoft Bitlocker Administration and Monitoring tool), which requires an Enterprise agreement covering your whole estate, or another option, such as Sophos Endpoint, which is a lot cheaper, but we also run Microsoft Direct Access, which again requires an Enterprise license, so whichever way you do it, you end up paying the MSOFT Tax! Since the demise of the NHS EWA, I dread to think what the NHS has spent on MSOFT licensing, and upskilling its staff to ensure it knows what it is doing! MSOFT licensing is a black art…

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Having used Evolution EWS on both Ubuntu and CentOS, must say it’s more stable on Ubuntu as the repos deliver a much newer version but even so, it can be quite flaky. I abandoned it in favour of the latest version of Davmail which works like a charm with Thunderbird. Worth having the option of both ?

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Hi does evolution connect automatically if you are running it from home ? ie not on a N3 line, if not what are the configuration details .


Yes, once configured Evolution will connect to whichever network you are on, WIFI, N3, 4G, 3G etc.

It is easy enough to set up. Let me know if you need any config help


IT Operations Manager
NHS South Devon and Torbay CCG
Pomona House
Tel: 01803 652583
Mob: 07500127083

I have passed your disc to Jeremy Hunt and he was extremely interested. He is passing it on to his tech people. I note two problems which urgently need to be sorted out.
If you can do the first I will give him the updated version.

  1. Virtualbox doesn’t load with sudo apt-get install virtualbox. It shows an error in the terminal.
    This is necessary for those windows application and drivers not available with Linux and it is a must to be repaired.
  2. The email is extremely dated and no software is in the system to load Thunderbird.

Can you treat these as a priority before the tech guys give it a thumbs down because of this.

Oh yes please , can you send me the settings ?
Thank you

Best wishes


Dr David Howard
Pemberley Surgery
Dr Howard & Partners
32 Pemberley Avenue
MK40 2LA
01234 351051

Bedford Locality Chair
Bedford Clinical Commissioning Group
Tel: 01234 263873
PA :-Email: cerys.peck@bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk
Address: Gilbert Hitchcock House, 21 Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2AW

I am not sure what settings you want. I am sending you the disc in the post today.

Don’t use evolution it is dated. Use thunderbird. Load it from a terminal with sudo apt-get install thunderbird.
You will then find it in applications/internet thunderbird mail.