Moving from office365 to NethServer at school

Continuing the discussion from Help with server for a non-profit school:

hi there…

sorry for being OT but… you don’t want to pay licenses and use Office365? :smile:
a bit strange, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

Slow down @zamboni. :wink: You should know, being a professional, that choises made in the past, are hard to reverse. Changing the server environment is a first step in the right direction. Just lets try to get to a license free environment, step by step.
Do you have a (or more) opensource suggestions to replace office365?
And please not one of the solutions where you pay with your privacy, like google apps.

I’m just curious, 'cause I’m working to a full thin client/remote desktop OOSS solution for schools and I just found awkward using (free) OOSS just to connect to payed services in an environment defined as " on a very short budget, it’s a non-profit school"… that’s all…

IMO there’s no alternative to google’s app or to office365, but the real question is “why do you need to use such applications?”

even in a short budget school, using just linux features, you can have a full working desktop with all the sw you need and your data…

think about owncloud on NS… why would you use it? just because you want “your” cloud in “your” environment without sending “your” data elsewhere…

there’s always a solution, at least a technical one… many times, the problem is not technical, just human :wink:

and very often the problems come from people laziness… that’s absolutly a fact

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The discussion is taking a slightly offtopic direction, but still is an interesting one.
From my personal observations there are 2 major issues that keep schools off from changing to open source.

  • lack of knowledge of the teachers and decisionmakers.
  • ‘advisors’ that lobby for the big ict companies and keep the schools in a vendor lock-in.
    What I have seen it is not laziness. Don’t forget that the job of a teacher is to teach, not to keep an ict environment running. I don’t know how it is in Italy, but over here, in .nl and .be the teachers are overwhelmed and overworked with huge classes (28+ students in secondary education) and bureaucracy is absurd. Teachers have to fill in reports that take them from their actual work.
    I try as hard as I can to counter those lobbyists and show teachers and schoolboards what they can achieve with opensource. So they spend less money and get out off the vendor lock-in.

They also adopt another way of thinking with opensource: a way of sharing knowledge and resources instead of grabbing as much money as possible. A “we” attitude instead of a “me” attitude.

That last point is even more important than the money aspect. WE needs to be the key word in this rapidly hardening world of the survival of the fittest. This is not my world and I will try to change this by spreading the opensource and open content word.

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one way to make migration from windows to linux easier is just… “dress” linux to mimic windows :smile:

here you find 2 screenshots of a thin client session, from my prototype…

Why using office 365 instead of libre-office and thunderbird
correo electrónico se ha enviado desde un equipo libre de virus y protegido
por Avast.

seems like when you answer from email your AV add some text :smile:

@mabeleira: Of course you should use Libre Office and Thunderbird. But there is not really a cloud based alternative. (for those that want to jump on the cloud hype because ‘advisors’ are hammering to fill their pockets and not to give the best solution)
However, I recently read news that libreoffice can be run from the cloud with owncloud as data provider:
You can check out the code of CODE at

Alternatively you can look at rollapp: But this has the same problem as office365 and google apps: your are not in control of your data.
You could try fernapp to go by this problem, but it is not scalable: I have tested this a few years ago, but it was very buggy, and it looks like development has stalled a bit… :frowning:

Hi everybody, and thank you all for the suggestions.

With regards to the 365 choice, I must clarify that, since we are a non-profit organization, we benefit a free version of 365. I really doubt that there are any cloud collaboration services (paid or free) better than Microsoft’s one and, being it totally free, it was a no brainer choice. Don’t forget that a private cloud means infrastructure, skills and many things that can go wrong (backups, configurations, single point of failures…).
At the moment, the only infrastructure we run is a couple of internet connections, 4 switches and 10 access points.
With regards to the PCs, we mainly use tablets (Android based) connected to wifi video projectors in the classrooms. Anyway, most of the educational programs are still Windows based (and needs a CD too…), so we have some Microsoft Surface in case of needs.
Hope that now everything could be more clear.

Interesting and scaring at the same time
Robb… you said “‘advisors’ that lobby for the big ict companies and keep the schools in a vendor lock-in.”… here they are…

Interestingly, in the U.S., non-profit schools are not eligible for 365 non-profit programs, just academic volume licensing.

It is the same in france…look at the shark …a recent agreement in France between the minister of education and Microsoft

the first dose of drug is always free :smile:

sorry and welcome @tramamo, I’m OT

I agree… schools should never use closed source sw… pupils just need to know what is a word processor and how to use it…

M$ is trying to gain users just giving them their sw for free… sad and scaring…

Not just MS, Apple has been doing it for years, Google just started a couple of years ago.

The EFF just filed a complaint with the FTC about violations of student privacy laws.
One of the largest school districts in the country just cancelled a huge contract with Apple because shenanigans came to light.

Welcome to humanity, the struggle is real.


Use LibreOffice or OpenOffice.
And put the docs and sheets in an share folder in the Nethserver instance.

There’s alternatives to GAFAM ( Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) :smiley:

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@alessio: OP doesn’t want to move from office365… he just want not to use windows as a server and to give the right priority to traffic directed to office365… did I miss anything? :slight_smile:

True, but the topic is split off so we can take the discussion broader.

@Jim: nice option to create online documents online. I didn’t know framasoft yet. Next thing would be, is to have a webbased officesuite in our own hands, like for example owncloud as an alternative for dropbox …

The Office365 and Googledoc alternative is based on Etherpad and Ethercalc

Too bad it is java based… ok, it makes it cross platform, but I wish devs would use other ways to create applications… Especially with webbased applications, there should be no need to use java.