C-DAC RELEASES BOSS V 2.0 AT CONNECT 2007
Kalaignar M Karunanidhi, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu unveiled the Bharat Operating Systems Solutions (BOSS) Linux software version 2.0 developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Chennai at Connect 2007 in the presence of Thiru A. Raja, Hon’ble Union Minister for Communications and IT on Sept 17, 2007.
BOSS Linux has been developed at the National Resource Centre for Free and Open Source Software (NRCFOSS) of C-DAC. The NRCFOSS is promoted by the Department of Information Technology, MC&IT, Government of India to address the issues related to FOSS in the Indian context and to explore how FOSS can play the twin roles of helping to bridge the digital divide as well as strengthening the Indian software industry.
BOSS Linux is an Indian distribution of GNU/Linux based on Debian. It consists of the Linux operating system kernel, office application software suite BharateeyaOO, Internet access software (e.g. web browser, email, chat etc.), and file sharing / converter and multimedia applications. The desktop environment and applications have been localized to enable the use of Indian languages. Currently, it has been completely localized for Hindi and Tamil.
Majority of the government computer users require software for common tasks like office applications (Word processor, spread sheet), accessing the Internet and multimedia in a secured environment. However, to bring it on every desk the software should be low cost and preferably without any licensing fees. Here, free and open source software like BOSS can meet these requirements as it is free for use and can be freely copied, modified and distributed. It can also be easily localized to meet local needs and language. They are also relatively immune to common computer viruses, worms and spy ware. BOSS Linux is targeted at the government user initially. The ultimate objective of creating BOSS Linux is to enable the non-English literate people of India, to be exposed to the benefits of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux. It is hoped that with the current version of BOSS that has been localized to Indian languages, more people will turn to FOSS as an alternative to using illegal unlicensed proprietary software.
BOSS Linux is simpler to install than many of the normal Linux distros and it comes ready with several packages for office applications, multimedia and Internet access, file sharing, etc. A BOSS development repository is being prepared and this should make it easier for other developers to build other specialized Linux distros based on BOSS Linux.
The availability of BOSS Linux will have a positive impact on the digital divide in India as more people can now have access to software in their local language to use the Internet and other information and communications technology (ICT) facilities. Community Information centres (CIC’s), and Internet cafes will benefit from BOSS Linux too as this software can be utilized to power these outlets and it is affordable and easy to install, use and support.
For more information on BOSS, please