Free and Open Source Software: Use and Production by the Brazilian Government

First up, I want to say, I’m truly impressed with Brazil. One day I will visit this amazing place, and spread the good word of open source with projects that are close to my heart: MySQL,, Fedora, and in due time, a lot more. This is a live-blog, from a most interesting talk, at JavaOne 2008. As I wrote on Twitter, “Brazil, simply impresses me. Their use of open source in government, makes me think that the rest of the world has a lot to learn from them”.

Free and Open Source Software: Use and Production by the Brazilian Government
Rogerio Santana <> +55 61 313 1400, Logistics and Information Technology Secretariat
Planning, Budget and Management Ministry
Brazilian Government

Households with Internet access: 70% in the US4k household income range. 70% of households have mobile phones (even when total revenue is USD$2k). Middle and upper class are all, generally on the Internet.

In 2007, 98% of Income Tax has been sent by the Internet. By 2009, there’s only going to be use of a Java application for this. About 17.5 million people filed via the Internet. Impressive.

Brazil has 142k public schools – 26k are connected to the Internet now (18%), and 92% are connected at low speed, while 8% have 512kbps connections.

Plan? Free Internet for schools, from 2008-2025. 1mbps for each connection, growth plans in the next 3 years.

There exists Computer Reconditioning Centres (CRCs) for recycling PCs. (e-PING: e-Government Interoperability Standards) (e-MAG: e-Government Accessibility Model)

Brazil has been using electronic voting since 1995. 136.8 million people voted in 2006 election. Next version of vote machines will use GNU/Linux!

Open Standards. Interoperability. Free Software. Free License. Community.

e-PING: uses XML, browser compliant, they have metadata standards

Many organisations of the Brazilian Government use Java as a primary development platform. Remember, Java is important because its the first that allowed even Linux users to interact with government applications.

Brazilian Digital Television? Middle-ware responsible for the interactive process of digital TV also developed in Java. (Ginga is the name of the application).

In education? Enrolment is done via the Internet for universities. e-Proinfo is an e-learning project that has already trained 50k students.

Developing clusters and grids, with focus on high availability, load balancing, database replication, distributed mass storage, and virtualization. The government is backing this, since 2006.


  1. ryan says:

    Hi!! I’ve also been impressed with the free software movement in Brazil — and, throughout Latin America in general. In case you aren’t aware of these resources related to that topic, I’m putting them here so you can check them out:

    1) — this is a news site called “Free Software in Latin America”, it covers all the news related to the open source movement in the region.

    2) — this is an interview we recently conducted with Marcos Mazoni, the new head of the federal committee to implement free software in Brazil. It is the first in a series of articles we’re doing about the free software movement in Latin America.

    3) — this is a company I founded, North-by-South, which has an office in San Francisco and a secondary hub in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We support the free software movement in Latin America by giving businesses in Silicon Valley access to a large developers network of open source programmers living throughout Latin America, in particular Brazil.

    check it out!

  2. danm says:

    check out brazil in the healthcare space. truly impressive.

  3. Neeraj Gaur says:

    It is really interesting to know all that about Brazil and Open Source. Around nine years back when we started working on Linux and Open Source very few including us dreamt of this scenario and it give me immense pleasure to introduce my self and my organization for any service related to open source. As a matter of fact deploying Linux and Open Source is as easy as going to office daily but providing services that too at affordable cost is the real hard nut to crack.

    I present my organization for any service related to open source in Brazil as we are planning to have our own office there to cater and tackle varied demands on open source.