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Indiana schools enroll Linux

Hundreds of thousands of Linux machines could eventually be used in Indiana schools, if a pilot project goes well.

Schools in Indiana have started a Linux pilot project that could lead to every secondary-school student in the state using the open-source operating system, according to software company Linspire.

Linspire, which sells a version of Linux aimed primarily at consumers, said "dozens" of classrooms across Indiana have already deployed the open-source operating system on desktops. If the trial is successful, around 300,000 Linux PCs could be deployed over coming years. This would allow every secondary-school student to have access to a Linux desktop in each classroom they visit during the day.

Kevin Carmony, chief executive of Linspire, said Thursday that the trial is going well.

"We're thrilled that a desktop Linux solution is being evaluated in Indiana with such success, and we're confident that other school systems will look to this deployment as an example for their own classrooms," said Carmony in a statement.

The United States is not the only country where there are large-scale plans to launch Linux on the desktop. South Korea has deployed Linux in 190 schools in Seoul and plans to eventually launch it in 10,000 schools across the country. The city of Bergen in Norway is also at the early stages of a desktop Linux launch that will eventually lead to 32,000 students and 4,000 teachers using Linux at 100 schools across the city.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.