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The City of Schoten and Open Source Software

You can say that the City of Schoten, in the Province of Antwerp, Belgium, loves open source software, or they just love saving money. Either way, open source software wins. With a population of about 33.000, four hundred of whom are employed by the city administration, the city’s three IT personnel oversee the deployment and maintenance of open source solutions end-to-end.

For Schoten’s two hundred desktops and twenty servers, the IT personnel chose the following open source software:

  • SUSE, CentOS or Ubuntu server distros
  • Joomla content management system
  • Zarafa, an open source replacement for Microsoft Exchange
  • Asterisk for VoIP services
  • Postfix mail server, with Clamav for anti-virus services
  • OpenOffice.org, a Microsoft Office alternative, on several desktops
  • Workbench for project management
  • OTRS, an open source trouble ticket system


According to Jan Verlinden, Schoten’s IT administrator, the city is planning to increase its use of open source:

Migrating to such tools is a smooth process. It is very easy to solve problems, and these applications have proven to be very stable and more secure. Our use of is open source is purely pragmatic, it is not out of ideology.

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