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Presidential candidates run on open-source platforms

Jan 26, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxOpen Source

* Open source gets political

With primary season in full swing, we’re getting a little political this week with an analysis of the platforms for each of the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Open source is popular with a majority of the candidates; five out of the seven who are still in the race run either Linux or FreeBSD with a mix of Apache, OpenSSL or PHP on their Web sites. The following data on each candidate’s site was gathered using Netcraft’s Webserver Search tool, which can be found on the ‘Net data collection company’s Web site:

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has generated the most ‘Net-related buzz this campaign. He has raised the most money of all the Democratic candidates – it is estimated that half of the $14 million he raised in the fourth quarter of 2004 came from small online contributions on his site. The Dean’s cyber roots come from campaign manager Joe Trippi, who previously worked at Linux start-up Progeny – founded by Debian founder Ian Murdock – prior to joining the Dean campaign.

Dean and Sen. John Kerry (, who beat Dean in the Iowa Caucuses last week, both have the most extensive Web infrastructures based on Linux and Apache, according to Netcraft. Each candidate has 10 Web servers running Linux and Apache, along with OpenSSL, according. The Web serving firm Akamai hosts the Linux/Apache servers for both candidates.

Sen. Joe Lieberman has a mix of open source and proprietary software behind his site. His campaign runs five Web servers, Netcraft says – three Free BSD servers running Apache, and two Windows 2000 servers also running Apache and the open source Tomcat application server.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark and Rep. Dennis Kucinich both have smaller sites, compared to Dean, Kerry and Lieberman. Clark’s site is powered by a single Linux/Apache server, according to Netcraft. Kucinich runs two Linux servers, along with open source modules PHP, OpenSSL and PERL.

Rounding out the candidates are Rep. John Edwards ( and Rev. Al Sharpton ( Edwards is the only major Democratic candidate running his Web infrastructure on Novell. His Web site is using a NetWare server as a proxy/cache server, fronting a Windows/IIS server. Sharpton has a single Windows 2000/IIS server running his site.

Incidentally, runs on nine Windows 2000/IIS servers, and one Linux/Apache server, according to Netcraft.