Gunnar Hellekson

Red Hat lead architect on open source software in government

During Transparency Camp a few weeks ago, I sat down with Red Hat Lead Architect Gunnar Hellekson and asked him the following questions around open source in government:

  • What’s the value of open source software to government?
  • What are the hurdles in implementing open source software in government?
  • What can be done to make implementing open source projects in government easier?
  • What’s the state of open source in government and its future?

New GovFresh feature: ‘Fresh from:’

Starting today, we’ll feature commentary from prominent industry leaders in a new section called ‘Fresh from:.’ The purpose of this new feature is to better understand what’s on the minds of vendors working in the trenches and how their work applies to open government initiatives and Gov 2.0 in general.

The first is Fresh from: Red Hat and will feature regular posts from Red Hat’s lead architect Gunnar Hellekson.

Look for new contributors over time. Contact us if you’d like to participate.

Gov 2.0 guide to Open Source for America

Open Source for America is an organization formed in July 2009 by businesses and organizations to advocate for open source technology use within the federal government.


“To educate decision makers in the U.S. Federal government about the advantages of using free and open source software; to encourage the Federal agencies to give equal priority to procuring free and open source software in all of their procurement decisions; and generally provide an effective voice to the U.S. Federal government on behalf of the open source software community, private industry, academia, and other non-profits.”


  • to effectuate changes in U.S. Federal government policies and practices so that all the government may more fully benefit from and utilize free and open source software;
  • to help coordinate these communities to collaborate with the Federal government on technology requirements;
  • to raise awareness and create understanding among federal government leaders in the executive and legislative branches about the values and implications of open source software. OSFA may also participate in standards development and other activities that may support its open source mission.

Podcast with OSFA board members Roger Burkhardt and Tom Rabon on the creation of OSFA:


Red Hat Government’s Gunnar Hellekson announces launch of OSFA at OSCON 09:

‘Getting Involved with Open Source for America’ video:


Gunnar Hellekson talks government and open source principles at OSCON 09

Gunnar Hellekson of Red Hat Government shares how a ‘fail faster’ culture is an option when it comes to the government embracing open source, how we must celebrate the success stories and the importance of Open Source for America, in his talk, “Applying Open Source Principles to Federal Government.”


“They’re not lazy. They’re not stupid. They’re just constrained by a broken system. And so when they succeed, we need to reward them.”