Regional Government of Andalusia –
Development of the Knowledge and
Information Society using Free Software
[Maybe a more catchy title: Andalucia uses Free Software to Advance Society]
GNOME Success Story
Country or Region: Andalusia (Spain)
Regional Government of Andalusia
(Junta de Andalucía) manages public services for 8 millions of citizens.
Until now, Andalusia has been playing a passive role in the innovation and new technologies field.
The regional government wants to become a leader in the new Information and Knowledge Society
in order to improve their citizens' quality of life and advance technology and industry in the region.
By using free software like Guadalinux and GNOME, Andaluca has been able to bring the internet, and all the information
and knowledge it contains, to their citizens. By creating their own GNU/Linux
distribution tailored to their needs, they have been able to help school children and rural
areas improve their quality of life. Andalucia's three free software programs, Guadalinux, Guadalinux EDU and Guadainfo, have enabled
them to improve the lives of its citizens from school children to people with disabilities to entreprenuers looking to set up small software
businesses in their home region.
Huge cost savings [over what? in government spending? Alternatively: low cost
internet for all citizens]
Free, inexpensive and tailored software that safisfies citizens' digital rights.
Digital literacy, with a focus on children and marginalized areas of society.
Development of a local software industry.
Andalusia is an autonomous region of Spain. It is the most populous and the second largest, in terms
of land area, of the seventeen Spanish autonomous regions. The Regional Government of Andalusia
(Junta de Andalucía) is a large institution that provides public services to more than 8 millions of citizens.
[Need to define "Knowledge and Information Society". It's described in the Situation section - maybe we
could move it here.]
Since 2002, one of its strategic goals (strategic plan [email protected] 2002-2004) has been to advance
Andalusia into the Information and Knowledge Society. This plan was reinforced legally by the 2003
by Decree 73/2003 of Measures to Encourage the Knowledge Society in Andalusia which specifies the use of
Free Software as a mean to achieve this ambitious goal.
One of the instruments created by the Decree was the GNU/Linux distribution Guadalinex which was
released for the first time in 2004. Guadalinex is a GNOME-based distribution and it has been massively
deployed in public schools, libraries, telecenters and elderly centers all over Andalusia.
Using free software, Andalusia has a great opportunity to position itself in the new Knowledge and Information Society,
as the other developed countries are doing. Not only does free software bring the internet to citizens but it also
enables Andalusians to create new software companies solving their own problems and creating new jobs and
a better quality of life.
The Information Society is a new social paradigm founded on the possibility and capacity of its citizens, companies
and governments to obtain and share information in the same moment in which it is generated, wherever it comes
from and with the mediation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The Regional Government was aware of inequalities that exist between those that have access to the
information and those that do not and the [economic? social?] problems that it can cause for those that don't have
access. Economic, socio-cultural and territorial determinants continue being one of the
main obstacles to the advance of the New Technologies and Internet in Andalusia.
By giving citizens access to the internet, telecommunications and computer infrastructure, the government can
create an Information Society and all of the benefits it brings.
The Decree 73/2003 of Measures to Encourage the Knowledge Society in Andalusia established the legal background
for the main lines of action. The use of Free Software was one of these measures.
“The Junta de Andalucía Administration will promote the dissemi-nation
and utilization of Free Software properly secured aimed at personal,
household and educational use. To this end, it will establish an help
service on Internet for installation and use of such products.“
The Decree 73/2003 of Measures to Encourage the Knowledge Society in Andalusia.
Article 31.3. Free Software.
Guadalinex is the GNU/Linux distribution based on GNOME created by the Junta de Andalucía. Its birth in
2004 is linked to another Regional distribution: LinEx (Linux from Extremadura), which pioneered the use
of Free Software in schools in the world. Andalusia and Extremadura are collaborating to develop Free
Like LinEx, the first versions of Guadalinex were derivatives from Debian. However, starting with version 3, in 2006,
Guadalinex is based on Ubuntu.
The decision to use GNOME in Guadalinex was partly because it was chosen on LinEx, but there were several other
important reasons behind of that decision:
* GNOME has leading accessibility technology which is important to ensure that all citizens have access to technology.
* GNOME has regular six month releases which is important for software products like Guadalinux that are relying on updates and patches
to the technology they are usuing.
* GNOME has a strong precense in Spain. Starting in 2002, the GNOME annual conference was celebrated
in Seville. Since then GNOME has had two more of their annual European conferences in Spain and has created a GNOME
HIspano group with its own annual conference in Spain, GUADEC-ES.
The inclusion of GNOME is evaluated again in every new Guadalinex version, and it continues to be the desktop
of choice for Guadalinux. This and other technical issues are discussed at the Guadalinex developer
summit, which is open to the public under the umbrella of the Junta de Andalucía. These summits follow
a scheme similar to the Ubuntu Developers Summits, where it is habitual that Guadalinex developers also
attend to collaborate with Ubuntu sharing Guadalinex contributions.
Guadalinex is a distribution developed with common people in mind. With Guadalinex users can do all the
typical tasks, but also do many public digital services like making a
medical appointment, ask for a job to the public employment services, etc.
Since 2003, the Junta de Andalucia has the very ambitious “Plan [email protected]” to incorporate computers into
the classroom. The “ICT centers” are schools with a computer and telecomunication infraestructure running
free software provided by the Junta. At the moment there
are 1,495 of this ICT centers all over Andalusia.
The Education Deparment of the Junta of Andalucía has a special tailored edition of Guadalinex called
Guadalinex EDU is running in more than 400,000 computers of the Andalusian ICT Schools network. Guadalinex
EDU takes advantage of the network infrastructure and servers from the center to offer systems that:
allow any member of the center to become a remote user of its data in any computer of the center.
transmit multimedia content to the computers of a classroom [from where? the teacher's computer or the internet or?]
interaction between students and teachers via the computer
This massive infrastructure is controlled remotely by the Advanced Management Center (CGA, Centro de
In the 2009-10 school year, the Education Department of the Junta de Andalucía started a new program called
“ICT School 2.0” in collaboration with the Spanish Education Ministry, for delivering 10” netbooks to students.
In 2010 it has been delivered 173.500 netbooks to students with Guadalinex EDU and 17000 laptops to teachers.
This new plan extents the use of the computer as pedagogical tool from the schools to their homes, enabling families to
share in their children's educational process.
The Guadalinfo project is a social iniciative for supporting innovation, training and employment,
which goes beyond its initial conception focused on digital literacy in rural and marginalized areas.
Today, Guadalinfo is a large project led by the Junta de Andalucia in collaboration with the Provincial Councils
of Andalusia managed by the public Consortium "Fernando de los Ríos". The
Guadalinfo Project is co-financed with European Development Funds (ERDF).
There are about 600,000 Andalusian citizens in this network and 764 Guadalinfo centers and CAPIs
(Public Internet Access Centers):
636 in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants
56 in municipalities between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants
72 CAPIs in marginalized areas in cities.
Guadalinfo is defined as an open space with high digital and local value that fosters economic, social and sustainable
development and whose main pillars are in innovation, talent, the value of human capital, technological culture,
integration into the knowledge society and connection and openness to the new global society. The strong presence
in the municipalities of the Guadalinfo network turn Guadalinfo centers into a key tool for the identification, detection
and activation of new innovation processes.
The system of choice of Guadalinfo centers is an taylored version of Guadalinex known as Guadalinex Guadalinfo edition.
The accessibility capabilities of GNOME are very valuable to the Guadalinfo project because the Guadalinfo centers belong the
network of centers for people with disabilties. Furthermore, Guadalinfo has contributed to improve even more the accessibility
support of GNOME as one of the actions of their program “Guadalinfo Accesible” with contracts for improving some
accessibility features of GNOME's screen reader (ORCA), GNOME's document reader (Evince) and other GNOME components.
Guadalinex in Public Libraries and Elderly Centers
The Junta de Andalucía collaborated with Red.es, a Spanish Government entity, to provide access to Internet to the Public
Municipal Libraries of Andalusia.This program was co-financed with European Development Funds (ERDF). The deployment
was been done by the Culture Department of the Junta de Andalucia using Guadalinex Bibliotecas. The Internet conection
allow users to access to the Catalog of the Andalusian Library Network.
Guadalinex has been used as well for desktop computers in computer classrooms in Public Elderly Centers managed by
the Social Afairs Department of the Junta de Andalucía.
[Needs a short summary. Using free software, the Junta of Andalucia has improved the lives of its citizens by enabling them
to use the internet to improve education, build a local software industry and include people with disabilities in the information age.
The three keys to this success are: