A Bhutanese touch to Linux

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Bhutan, a country with seven lakh inhabitants, now has its own Debian-based operating system in the national language, Dzongkha. The system was built by the Bhutanese Department of Information Technology and consists of a CD, which can be either installed or used as a live CD.

The installation system uses Morphix rather than the standard Debian Installer, which was not ready at the time of release. The CD includes a complete set of Dzongkha-localised applications, namely the Gnome environment, the OpenOffice suite, the Mozilla web browser, the Evolution mail reader and GAIM as instant messaging application. Debian developer Christian Perrier said that, while giving a keynote speech at the launch, it is important that users have computers that work in their own language, and that free software leads the way over proprietary software in allowing this to happen. The Bhutanese were very responsive to the idea that the main challenge of the free software for their country is to develop it by their own  for the benefit of themselves and their culture.

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