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FreeHealth philosophy & GNU/Linux

Why did we decide to concentrate our efforts on GNU/Linux?

GNU/Linux is the heir of UNIX. At the core of the UNIX philosophy, we have this principle:

Make each program do one thing well. To do a new job, build afresh rather than complicate old programs by adding new “features”.

Healthcare is complicated. Hospitals, even community healthcare centers, regroup many different people and professions with various needs and requirements.

Not one single software can help with the enormous variety of tasks that are accomplished on an hourly basis in any healthcare setting.

GNU/Linux operating systems are like a big family reunion without the infighting: they are designed so that all the apps you install run together well, smoothly and in a predictable way.

Let's take an example with the near future of FreeHealth EHR.

We want to add these features:

  • Encryption capabilities based on GnuPG
  • Medical imaging visualization and storage based on Orthanc Server
  • Encrypted messaging (mobile & desktop) based on XMPP/OMEMO: Conversations, Gajim, ChatSecure

Installing all these apps on Windows or macOS and making them work together would be a nightmare. Doing the same on Debian or any other well maintained Linux distribution requires one line of code.

So what will happen to users of FreeHealth that want to remain on their Windows or macOS PC?

They could use Ubuntu (or Debian) inside a virtual machine powered by the free and open source virtualization software VirtualBox. We will provide a file containing a standard Ubuntu virtual machine with the latest FreeHealth EHR and everything installed and configured.

Using FreeHealth on macOS or Windows will be as easy as:

  1. Install VirtualBox
  2. Download the custom Ubuntu virtual machine containing FreeHealth
  3. Start Ubuntu & use FreeHealth apps

Another possibility will be to use a cloud based Ubuntu Remote Desktop Server and access it with a browser (using noVNC) or an open source remote desktop client called x2go.

Countless improvements come with using GNU/Linux:

  1. Stability
  2. Security
  3. Privacy
  4. Automatic updates
  5. Thousands of medical applications freely available with 1 click

Once you taste GNU/Linux inside your Ubuntu/FreeHealth virtual machine or cloud desktop, you might rapidly get addicted to it and dump your old proprietary OS altogether!

en/gnu.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/31 01:27 by Jérôme Pinguet