Did you know that the Philippine government funds a Linux distribution? I did not until today.
Chin wrote about Bayanihan Linux, which is a Philippine government-funded Linux distribution based on Debian. The term ‘bayanihan’ itself, “refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.” Chin tried installing Bayanihan 3 times and failed with the comment:
All this was unfortunate, because Bayanihan 5 looks like a promising and modern operating system, that like Ubuntu, is based on Debian Linux. Like other modern Linux distributions, Bayanihan 5 also comes with a complete set of free and open source applications, including an office productivity suite, a powerful image-editing application, a media player and a CD burner. The interface, based on KDE , is a little busy for my taste, but is slick and easy enough to navigate. But do we really need bouncing icons attached to the mouse pointer while an application loads?
There is some effort at localization. Bayanihan’s OpenOffice, for example, is packed with templates of commonly used government forms. Firefox is set up with bookmarks to government and local news sites. But are such localized touches worth the effort of developing our own Linux distribution?
Chin also mentions that Bayanihan Linux version 5 came out in 2007 and that there has been no news about any updates. The website for the OS lists a forum for users but that is closed, which is ominous. He closes the post by asking whether there is a need for a Philippine Linux distribution. I’d love to know more about the customizations of Firefox that were made and how those decisions were made.