HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba launched its own variant of the Linux computer operating system this week in the latest front of the communist island’s battle against what it views as U.S. hegemony. The Cuban variant, called Nova, was introduced at a Havana computer conference on “technological sovereignty” and is central to the Cuban government’s desire to replace the Microsoft software running most of the island’s more…

Cuba has always had a reputation for not allowing freedom of information and such, but with the launch of their new Linux Distro and now allowing regular citizens to obtain PCs, they are getting a lot closer to what would be considered freedom of information.

According to Hector Rodriguez, dean of the School of Free Software at Cuba’s University of Information Sciences, about 20 percent of computers in Cuba, where computer sales to the public began only last year, are currently using Linux

Being born and raised in Cuba i find it exciting that my country is finally moving up in the technology world, I love the initiative they have taken and I have faith that they will reach the goal of having Linux on the majority of the PCs they run.

Hector Rodriguez Dean of the School of Free Software and the University of Information Sciences is my cousin, I talk to him on a regular basis and I have just contacted him to get me more information about what the distro is based on and see if I can get my hands on a copy. I’ll post more updates as the become available to me.

But on a personal note and in contrast with the philosophy we have in this country I find it absurd and ridiculous that all our government and educational institutions have been standardized on Windows to the point that there are people out there that have no idea there are other operating systems available.

Can you imagine the amount of money that Schools and Universities would save if they are made the push to go open source. I am not saying get rid of windows but at least go open source with some of the apps used, replace MS Offie with Open Office and Photo-shop with Gimp these two replacements alone would account of millions of dollars in savings a year. We complain about the budget deficit but refuse to do simple things to help out.

This may be weird or odd but I think we should follow in Cuba’s foot steps when it comes to this.

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8 Comments on Cuba launches own linux distribution (NOVA)

  1. Josh says:

    Don’t they speak spanish in Cuba? Wasn’t there a big thing about the Chevy Nova having some bad reputaion because “No va” means “doesn’t go” in spanish?
    Either the old story is bogus, or the new distro doesn’t go.

  2. Johnny says:

    Nova means new in Latin, not spanish, yes? Anyway, kudos to Cuba for making a new linux distro. I hope it doesn’t have built-in keyword sniffers to monitor those who search “freedom” or “how to build a boat in less than 24 hours”. 🙂

    good post!

  3. scott says:


    íHola! Jose.

    I hope I can contribute to Cuba’s open software effort specifically,
    and to Cuba’s revolution in general.

    I’d like to meet you and your cousin sometime too.

    íHasta luego!

  4. Jose C Gomez says:

    Thanks Scott!!

  5. Edgar Andara says:

    No Johnny, people that leave Cuba on weak boats (also called “balseros”) doesn’t have in their minds to run free software on their computers, I think OS X is more apropiate for the lifestyle they look in Miami; and their intentions to leave Cuba are widely known, there are no secrets and no punishment for them.
    Congratulations to the people of Cuba for his new distro and good look!

  6. edgar says:

    I had the chance to test Nova and I don’t see what’s the difference with any other Linux distro just the fact that inside Cuba there is no possibility to download any extra pack to add to the software itself. I think Cuba needs to adopt a light linux distro version since most of the PC down there are not that new. I mean any LXDE or XFCE distro….Debian based much better.
    Implementing open source has on underdeveloped countries has advantages….